Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd)
10, Featherstone Road. Southall, Middx, U.K. UB2 5AA
Tel: +44 020 8574 1902
Fax: +44 020 8574 1912
Reg Charity No: 262404
The Miracle of Amrit
When the women drank Amrit, they became Kaurs-the princesses. This was to make clear to the people the Guru's point of view that a daughter was as good as a son. This was the same idea as taught by Guru Nanak
"Why call her inferior who gives birth to Kings and great men?"Guru Gobind Singh was staying at Anandpur and the Sikhs used to visit the place from time to time. There were no good roads in those times and the people used to travel on horseback or on foot in small parties. It so happened that a group of people front Majha (central Punjab) set out for a visit to Anandpur. There were some children and young ladies in this party. One of the young ladies who was on horseback, strayed ahead of the party. She did not wait and soon she was about a mile ahead of the others. Suddenly some robbers appeared and demanded all the money and gold that she had on her. She was distressed but soon took courage. She told the robbers that it was very wicked of them to rob her when she was going to visit the Guru at Anandpur. But the robbers only because angry and threatened her. She took out her purse and threw it down near the robbers. She sat firmly in the saddle and soon one of the robbers bent down to pick up the purse. She drew out her sword and killed him. The rest of the robbers ran away in panic.
When her companions arrived at the scene of the attack they were horrified to see a dead man. The brave lady told them the whole story. The party did not agree as to the proper conduct of the woman. Some said that it was unlady-like for a woman to fight against men. Others said, that it was entirely against the tradition and ancient religions. But there were others who had caught the revolutionary spirit of the times. They praised her for bravery in fighting these evil men.
A day later the party arrived at Anandpur. The news of this incident spread quickly. A controversy arose over the role of the young lady. "How should a Sikh lady act in times of danger to her life and honour?" was the question. There was a great difference of opinion. When the question was referred to the Guru in the Sangat (The holy gathering) he praised the brave action of this lady and asked her to appear before the congregation. There were loud cheers when the Guru said, "Dear daughters you have acted in the right way. You are really brave. I am pleased at your conduct. I wish all the Sikh ladies would follow your shining example." The young lady bowed and accepted the Guru's blessings. The Guru then addressed the Sangat
"All human beings, rich or poor, high or low, kings or subjects have the right to life-to an honourable life. All have the right of self-protection. If someone attempts to take lifer the victim has the right to use whatever weapon he or she has in self-defence, Remember, it is the worst of crimes to provoke someone or to attack an unarmed person whatever the reason. It is a matter of greatest honour for everyone to protect the honour of women, whether they belong to friends or foes. Not to do so is totally against the Sikh religion. As for women, they must be ready to fight if there is no other alternative."He added, "It is the duty of every Sikh to see that all women are treated honourably. A Sikh should always regard women whatever caste, colour or religion they belong to, as his mothers. sisters or daughters. If the lady is the age of your mother, respect her and call her mother's if she is of your age, call her sister; and if she is the age of your children, consider her as your daughter."
The Sangat was greatly pleased with the Guru's instructions. It was with these teachings in mind that later on many Sikh women fought shoulder to shoulder with the men in the fight against the oppression, bigotry and intolerance of the Mughal rulers. They made heroic sacrifices to keep the flame of religious freedom burning.
"Consider women other than your wife,
as your mothers, sisters and daughters.
To look lustfully at a woman other than your wife,
is like pork for a Muslim and beef for a Hindu."
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