Saturday, September 26, 2015

Equality vs. Reality

In Sikhi, we are taught that women and men are equivalent. But the real life of Punjabi culture is much different and I think many people don’t realize what they have done to their sisters and their daughters. 

From the time of a woman’s pregnancy, everyone wishes for her to have a baby boy. And when the child is born, they will hand out ladoos, if it’s a boy. They tell boys that no matter what, he is the best, and he matters above his female counterparts. If he does something wrong, they look the other way because “He’s our boy, he wouldn’t do anything wrong.” The expectations of the boy are that he is going to take care of the parents and bring them grandchildren. Many men are allowed to date multiple women just for fun before they marry someone traditional- someone who stays home and cooks and cleans and gives birth to a baby boy. The expectation of the daughter-in-law/wife is that she is obedient, she sacrifices her own goals, and hasn't had previous relationships. He is given preferential treatment, his goals are considered more important. Often what she has to work for, he is given from his parents. 

That girl grows up her whole life with the expectation that her only purpose in life is to look good, get married and have babies. What happened to her goals, her dreams, her life? You have taught her to be dependent on someone else. To look to him for happiness, to solve her problems, for financial support. I was raised in a family where my mother taught me I’m equal. People ask me “when are you getting married?” There should be more to that conversation. There should be questions about my dreams and aspirations, not just about my marriage potential. I was taught to have my own dreams. A woman needs some independence, a career of my own to do sewa in the world. My goal is to become a doctor and save lives. My value is not just tied to getting married and having kids. My value is not tied to someone else telling me I’m beautiful and worthy. I am not dependent on anyone telling me how to feel or act. Your body is the vessel to your soul and your soul is the part that you should focus on. I want to tell girls that we are the Daughter of Guru and deserve respect. Our choices should be respected, our goals and dreams are valid and should be pursued. God has made you a perfect soul. You ARE enough. Focus on Naam Japo, Vand Shako, Kirat Karo. 

I’m not saying that girls shouldn’t get married but I AM saying it should be on HER terms and there shouldn't be an expectation of marriage. I’m saying it shouldn’t be her only purpose. I’m saying you shouldn’t get married because you’re feeling the pressure of being “too old.” You shouldn’t settle. You should know that the only real relationship in this world is with God and that you have an unending ocean of love, peace and happiness within you if you work on that relationship. It’s not easy to follow that path.

Teach your daughter she is worthy. Tell her to get an education. Teach your daughter she should have the life she deserves. Teach your son to respect her. That means to treat her equal. To put value in her dreams. To treat her as more than just a body but as a fellow soul in this journey to God. That is true Sikhi. 

According to  the ratio of females to males is 846 females per 1000 males (age 0-6) in the state of Punjab in 2011. This is the second worst state in all of india for a disproportionate sex ratio! This shows us where our values lie for women. Its up to us to change that.

Am I worthy? Am I good enough?

Almost everyone asks themselves this question at some point. And it seems once you get stuck in this pattern of thinking, it can be hard to get out. The problem is, you have placed your self-worth outside of yourself.
I’ve heard things like “you’ll never make it.” Over and over. “Quit now, give up.” There are people out there who do not wish for you to succeed in this life. They are constantly trying to break apart your successes so they can feel better about themselves. But this isn’t about them. It’s about how you let their words get inside your head and internalize it. It’s about how you turn their comments into a comment about your worth. And how you have a choice of not letting them affect you. People can flat out say that you aren’t good enough to your face, but it doesn’t have to affect the way you see yourself.
Your self-worth is not in your actions. It’s not in your failures or successes. It’s not outside of you. Speaking from experience, no matter how many awards you could win, you could still have a poor sense of self-worth. It’s about what’s inside you, telling you that you are worthy. It’s the thoughts in your head that tell yourself the truth. The truth is that you have a beautiful soul. That this is a piece of God. That YOU, reading this post, are worthy because God is giving you un-ending love. Has given you a human life, has given you many gifts. Has given you the whole world! How could you consider yourself un-worthy? You are good enough for simply being here. You don’t need to be the best at something. You don’t need to impress people. Tell yourself “Dear soul, I am perfect. God created me the way that I am. May I be thankful each day. I don’t need anyone else to tell me. I don’t need anyone else’s approval because I have Yours.”  

It’s not an easy process to overcome and it usually doesn’t happen in one day. It takes time to change your thinking and establish self-confidence so that no matter what someone tells you, you know it’s not true and that you are worthy of having your dreams come true. You are worthy of love, peace and happiness. You are worthy of having a good life.
Gold is still gold, no matter what you throw at it. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tum Sio Jori

Shabad Sachee Preet Hum Tum Sio Jori

Translation Provided by

If You are the mountain, Lord, then I am the peacock.

If You are the moon, then I am the partridge in love with it. ||1||

O Lord, if You will not break with me, then I will not break with You.

For, if I were to break with You, 
with whom would I then join? ||1||Pause||

If You are the lamp, then I am the wick.

If You are the sacred place of pilgrimage, then I am the pilgrim. ||2||

I am joined in true love with You, Lord.

 I am joined with You, 
and I have broken with all others. ||3||

Wherever I go, there I serve You.

There is no other Lord Master than You, O Divine Lord. ||4||

Meditating, vibrating upon You, the noose of death is cut away.

To attain devotional worship, Ravi Daas sings to You, Lord. ||5||5||

Kab Gal Lavenge Shabad

Shabad Kab Gal Lavenge

Kalyaan, Fourth Mehl:

O God, Treasure of Mercy, please bless me, 
that I may sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord.

I always place my hopes in You; O God, 
when will you take me in Your Embrace? ||1||Pause||

I am a foolish and ignorant child; Father, please teach me!

Your child makes mistakes again and again, 
but still, You are pleased with him, O Father of the Universe. ||1||

Whatever You give me, O my Lord and 
Master - that is what I receive.

There is no other place where I can go. ||2||

Those devotees who are pleasing to the Lord
 - the Lord is pleasing to them.

Their light merges into the Light; the lights 
are merged and blended together. ||3||

The Lord Himself has shown mercy; 
He lovingly attunes me to Himself.

Servant Nanak seeks the Sanctuary of the 
Door of the Lord, who protects his honor. ||4||6|| One Chhakaa||