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Erudite scholars of the Dasam Granth, and Sri Sarbloh Granth, have concluded that Kali plays an important role in both scriptures. She is a metaphor for associating femininity with the Akal. In this article I hope to highlight the societal, and familial factors which convinced Guru Gobind Singh Ji to utilise Kali in his works. The Dasam Granth residences a plethora of mystical-cum-spiritual metaphors which are fecund spectres of an ubiquitous vision. One such spectre is that of Kali, the dark Goddess. Evolving from a primeval genesis, Kali is presently a household deity amongst the sub-continent's denizens. Possessing a bloody historicity, to rival that of the Mexica pantheon, Kali for the Khalsa is not a reverential deity but a figurative utility for it's femininity. The often bloody historicity of the Khalsa has marginalized it's feminism, in pursuit of a more hyper-masculine monomania. Despite it's Gurus' emphasis on gender equivocalism, the latter principle is found ardently lacking in practice. Even today the pseudo-inter religious governing body, the SGPC, veto's women from performing Kirtan in the cardinal Darbar Sahib. A similar strain is also visible in the collective Sikh psyche of today. Despite acknowledging the existence of a formless God in their ethos, they will still opt for a more patricentric God in an emulation of Semitism. Ironically this is a notion which directly contradicts the feminism invoked in the Dasam Granth. To understand why the Dasam Granth utilises Kali, to showcase femininity, one has to understand the historic milieu orbiting it's creation. Authored by Akali-Nihung Guru Gobind Singh Ji, it was written at a time when the societal segregation of Hinduism was at it's peak, and subsequent Islamic invasions had divided sub-continental society in believer and non-believe. The elite strata, of Hinduism, had escaped the greater Islamic penchant for persecution via allying themselves with the Mughal dynasty. Approving the latter course, the Mughal nucleus had readily allowed the latter a constrained practice of their faith. Summarily the nadir strata of Hinduism now faced two dangers. The orthodox hegemony lead by the fanatical Brahmins, or religious clerics, and the whims of Islamic radicals. Simultaneously the Brahmins restrained the performance and observance of religiosity to themselves and their male hierarchy, whilst forbidding women and the servile classes from emulating them. In the periods which followed the servile classes, and women, were slowly deprived of their deities, until penultimately Kali was left. Kali herself was perceived as being an ostracised deity by the Brahmins. Born during a mythical era of warfare, her figurative symbolism had been lost through the ages until ultimately her figure was defined in numerous modes. For the ostracised layers of Hinduism she represented a sporadic escape, an hearkening to an era where she would manifest and slaughter the malesh (filth) plaguing them. Her persona spoke volumes to the Guru who not only wanted to parent a distinct socio-religious parcel but also uplift the proletariat regardless of the latter's allegiances, associations and beliefs. Decrying her worship, he nonetheless adopted her as a clandestine metaphor for his literary works. Kali's spectral prowess over death was employed by him to depict the maternal aspect of the Akal, or the deathless entity. Simultaneously her ability to consume time was another element which he favoured and aligned with the Akal who fluidly exists over time and it's offshoots. Other factors, which were pivotal, in the Guru's adoption of Kali are found in his own life and hierarchy. Wendy Doniger argues that 'other people's myths' assist one in bettering one's own persona and traits. These 'other myths' provide an anti-inertial, and diverse, balance in one's understanding of one's own life and environment. The Khalsa Gurus' resided during a time when the folklore of Hinduism was a sub-continental phenomena, thus to assist their apostles in understanding their own unique dictums they employed well-recognised and known figures to assist them. His predecessor's anti-inertial devices were not lost on the Guru, who also forwarded the latter tradition. Secondly, despite his masculine attributes and generalship he was also close to feminism himself. His father had been executed by the fanatical Aurangzeb, and he had been left in the care of a mother who had acted as a decisive vizier for him in his early years. His own grandfather, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, had also deputed his wife and mother as his regents when he himself was imprisoned by the Mughals. Thus his family had seen a balance between male and female paradigms, a course not lost on him. Thirdly he employed a sublime figure. Kali is not overly beauteous, but nor was her role as an embodiment of warfare. Acknowledging this reality, the Guru added her to his own growing repertoire of literal arsenals. Fourthly Kali, for the Guru, became a stereotypical element of his own war against the contemporaneous polity. The dark, almost devilish, goddess wars against injustice in order to liberate her pantheist brethren. Simultaneously the Guru also uplifted the servile out castes of his milieu and armed them to fight the tyranny inflicted upon them. In Kali he found a kindred spirit and acknowledged this element in his writings. Fourthly the Guru gifted a parental Kali to the embryonic Khalsa. For him the purity of a female was beyond doubt, and the Khalsa too would have to imbue the same spirit in order to wage it's perpetual war against abibek. Conclusively, for the Guru, Kali became an integrative element of his revitalising of society. The fact that he could envision a female wielding a sword depicts the importance of both masculinity and femininity in human society. In the post-Guru era, Khalsa women would foster a strong tradition of warrior-dom and leadership. Mata Bhag Kaur, the Guru-mother's Mata Sahib Kaur and Sundar Kaur, Sada Kaur, Rani Jind Kaur are only few of the names which come to mind when acknowledging the matriarchal aspect of Khalsa historicity. Thus one cane easily summarise that for the Guru, Kali was a multi-faceted deity which he employed for anti-inertial and figurative upliftment. http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/05/why-kali.html?view=magazine
What does Elusive Fighting look like? Click here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=282012048612199&set=vb.432861230092196&type=2&theater Command of Guru Gobind Singh: “Daily, with complete love and concentration, train with (meditate on) your weapons” Confused...? When you hear stories of the old Khalsa being amazing warriors when comparing to the Khalsa you see today...? Are you ready to take the first step and develop Teeth and Claws which makes a Lion/Lioness true to their form? Develop the skills and confidence to defend yourself, your family and your Panth... For those NOT already learning a fighting art (our aim is not to poach or compete with others), if you have the following characteristics, you are invited to learn from the School of Elusive Fighting: Humility Politeness and respect (towards all people, all faiths and all jathebandiyan/sampryada) Dedication Passion Open Mindedness Courage Hard Work Ethic Discipline DISCRETION We teach armed and unarmed fighting based on principles derived from rare traditional fighting systems of South East Asia (predominantly, but not only, Filipino and Chinese). The Sword, Stick and Knife are the basic weapons students learn (we move on to many variations of these i.e. the short staff and fighting axe). We also teach use of the Kara based on elusive fighting. The principles to use each or a combination of the above are one and the same, in essence, the art is very simple, the devil lies in the detail. Footwork, evasion, positioning, fast take downs, nerve/muscle/bone manipulation, multiple opponent and weapons strategies, and internal power generation are the core principles of the art. Street psychology, awareness and the practice of street scenario applications is an integral part of the learning. You will also learn old school traditional fighting exercises to develop fighting energy, fighting flexibility and fighting movement. We specialise in escapes from grabs and hold ups, so this art is highly suitable for females. The art does not rely on the training of strength and speed, but more so, on body mechanics and timing. The classes are kept small and operate as family environments, so full respect for all students is assured. No type of bad behaviour (in or outside of class) is tolerated. Commitment of 1 class a week is required. This means making the class your priority, and re-arranging other social and work issues. This is not a 'MA tick box' or Hobbyist class. It is for serious students only, who wan to invest in a martial inheritance and pass it on to the next generation. Currently classes are held on Saturdays in South London, Hayes and Coventry. We are looking to set up a class in East London once we have enough interest. Central London (London Bridge) classes for Women are held on Wednesday evenings and for Men on Thursday evenings. There is no modern teaching structure i.e. belt/grading system, nor are there any competitions (this is not a sport). Classes are taught using old school methods, very relaxed yet focused atmosphere, and learning is organic (natural). Progress is purely dependant on the students practice. The Teachers aim is not to keep paying students for 20 years, but to teach as quick as the student is willing to learn (with quality). We are not affiliated to any cults, MA school/society, controversial personality or jathebandi. If you are DEADLY SERIOUS and interested in learning, then kindly let us know a little about yourself, your previous martial arts experience and why you would like to learn from us. Drop us an email on: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not contact us ‘out of interest’. We are only interested in speaking to those who are ‘ready’ to commit and learn. Dhanvaad Daas H Singh Click here for INSPIRATION: http://www.facebook.com/ElusiveFighter This is the battle of life, the Dharam Yudh for which we should always be prepared. Only those who succeed in their own battle (life), can fight other battles of Dharma, physically (external) and mentally (internal) and attain temporal and spiritual glory. Only such a soul has the right to wear and handle the sword of Guru Gobind Singh, and become his Holy Soldier, the Khalsa. None else, none else.” ~ Guru Gobind Singh ~