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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
So I have been reading some Sri granth, but I am little bit confused now. Since sikhism is monoteism (one god), how there is alot scriptures about: allah, shiva, brahma, vishnu...? I got that picture, that you guys believe in all of those... or do you believe that god is one and it doesnt matter which god you worship? I am little bit of lost now, so much confusing texts. -------------------------- I want also ask, is it ok to meditate to hindu gods. ?
A hindu friend of mine once remarked SGGS is written in praise of Rama and Krishna - here are two shabads to debunk this myth - first is by bhagat namdev and second by Guru Nanak . ਆਜੁ ਨਾਮੇ ਬੀਠਲੁ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਮੂਰਖ ਕੋ ਸਮਝਾਊ ਰੇ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Today, Naam Dayv saw the Lord, and so I will instruct the ignorant. ||Pause|| ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੁਮਰੀ ਗਾਇਤ੍ਰੀ ਲੋਧੇ ਕਾ ਖੇਤੁ ਖਾਤੀ ਥੀ ॥ O Pandit, O religious scholar, your Gayatri was grazing in the fields. ਲੈ ਕਰਿ ਠੇਗਾ ਟਗਰੀ ਤੋਰੀ ਲਾਂਗਤ ਲਾਂਗਤ ਜਾਤੀ ਥੀ ॥੧॥ Taking a stick, the farmer broke its leg, and now it walks with a limp. ||1|| ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਮਹਾਦੇਉ ਧਉਲੇ ਬਲਦ ਚੜਿਆ ਆਵਤੁ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਥਾ ॥ O Pandit, I saw your great god Shiva, riding along on a white bull. ਮੋਦੀ ਕੇ ਘਰ ਖਾਣਾ ਪਾਕਾ ਵਾ ਕਾ ਲੜਕਾ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਥਾ ॥੨॥ In the merchant's house, a banquet was prepared for him - he killed the merchant's son. ||2|| ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਰਾਮਚੰਦੁ ਸੋ ਭੀ ਆਵਤੁ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਥਾ ॥ O Pandit, I saw your Raam Chand coming too ਰਾਵਨ ਸੇਤੀ ਸਰਬਰ ਹੋਈ ਘਰ ਕੀ ਜੋਇ ਗਵਾਈ ਥੀ ॥੩॥ ; he lost his wife, fighting a war against Raawan. ||3|| ਹਿੰਦੂ ਅੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਤੁਰਕੂ ਕਾਣਾ ॥ The Hindu is sightless; the Muslim has only one eye. ਦੁਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਿਆਣਾ ॥ The spiritual teacher is wiser than both of them. ਹਿੰਦੂ ਪੂਜੈ ਦੇਹੁਰਾ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਣੁ ਮਸੀਤਿ ॥ The Hindu worships at the temple, the Muslim at the mosque. ਨਾਮੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਜਹ ਦੇਹੁਰਾ ਨ ਮਸੀਤਿ ॥੪॥੩॥੭॥ Naam Dayv serves that Lord, who is not limited to either the temple or the mosque. ||4||3||7|| ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ Aasaa, First Mehl: ਪਉਣੁ ਉਪਾਇ ਧਰੀ ਸਭ ਧਰਤੀ ਜਲ ਅਗਨੀ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ਕੀਆ ॥ He created the air, and He supports the whole world; he bound water and fire together. ਅੰਧੁਲੈ ਦਹਸਿਰਿ ਮੂੰਡੁ ਕਟਾਇਆ ਰਾਵਣੁ ਮਾਰਿ ਕਿਆ ਵਡਾ ਭਇਆ ॥੧॥ The blind, ten-headed Raavan had his heads cut off, but what greatness was obtained by killing him? ||1|| ਕਿਆ ਉਪਮਾ ਤੇਰੀ ਆਖੀ ਜਾਇ ॥ What Glories of Yours can be chanted? ਤੂੰ ਸਰਬੇ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ You are totally pervading everywhere; You love and cherish all. ||1||Pause|| ਜੀਅ ਉਪਾਇ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਹਥਿ ਕੀਨੀ ਕਾਲੀ ਨਥਿ ਕਿਆ ਵਡਾ ਭਇਆ ॥ You created all beings, and You hold the world in Your Hands; what greatness is it to put a ring in the nose of the black cobra, as Krishna did? ਕਿਸੁ ਤੂੰ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਜੋਰੂ ਕਉਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ॥੨॥ Whose Husband are You? Who is Your wife? You are subtly diffused and pervading in all. ||2|| ਨਾਲਿ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਸਾਥਿ ਵਰਦਾਤਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਭਾਲਣ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਗਇਆ ॥ Brahma, the bestower of blessings, entered the stem of the lotus, with his relatives, to find the extent of the universe. ਆਗੈ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਕੰਸੁ ਛੇਦਿ ਕਿਆ ਵਡਾ ਭਇਆ ॥੩॥ Proceeding on, he could not find its limits; what glory was obtained by killing Kansa, the king? ||3|| ਰਤਨ ਉਪਾਇ ਧਰੇ ਖੀਰੁ ਮਥਿਆ ਹੋਰਿ ਭਖਲਾਏ ਜਿ ਅਸੀ ਕੀਆ ॥ The jewels were produced and brought forth by churning the ocean of milk. The other gods proclaimed "We are the ones who did this!" Further there are other sloks like "Devi deva poojiye kya mango kya dey" "thakur chor cheri ko dhyave" Here is another shabad by bhagat namdev again ਭੈਰਉ ਭੂਤ ਸੀਤਲਾ ਧਾਵੈ ॥ One who chases after the god Bhairau, evil spirits and the goddess of smallpox, ਖਰ ਬਾਹਨੁ ਉਹੁ ਛਾਰੁ ਉਡਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ is riding on a donkey, kicking up the dust. ||1|| ਹਉ ਤਉ ਏਕੁ ਰਮਈਆ ਲੈਹਉ ॥ I take only the Name of the One Lord. ਆਨ ਦੇਵ ਬਦਲਾਵਨਿ ਦੈਹਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ I have given away all other gods in exchange for Him. ||1||Pause|| ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ That man who chants “Shiva, Shiva“, and meditates on him, ਬਰਦ ਚਢੇ ਡਉਰੂ ਢਮਕਾਵੈ ॥੨॥ is riding on a bull, shaking a tambourine. ||2|| ਮਹਾ ਮਾਈ ਕੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੈ ॥ One who worships the Great Goddess Maya ਨਰ ਸੈ ਨਾਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਉਤਰੈ ॥੩॥ will be reincarnated as a woman, and not a man. ||3|| ਤੂ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੀ ਆਦਿ ਭਵਾਨੀ ॥ You are called the Primal Goddess. ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕੀ ਬਰੀਆ ਕਹਾ ਛਪਾਨੀ ॥੪॥ At the time of liberation, where will you hide then? ||4|| ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਗਹੁ ਮੀਤਾ ॥ Follow the Guru's Teachings, and hold tight to the Lord's Name, O friend. ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਮਾ ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਗੀਤਾ ॥੫॥੨॥੬॥ Thus prays Naam Dayv, and so says the Gita as well. ||5||2||6||