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This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks. The first salok comprises nine lines and mocks the fake notions of purity regarding food observed by Hindu priests (Brahmin). The second salok contains eight lines and admonishes those who consider women lower in status while depicting the woman’s greatness in human life. This pauri equates Brahmin and Shudra, men and women, all as equals. Therefore, no one can be considered inferior.
m: 1.
bhanḍi Ki Var & section:Pauri 19 & footnote:13> jammīai bhanḍi nimmīai bhanḍi maṅgaṇu vīāhu.
bhanḍahu hovai dostī bhanḍahu calai rāhu.
bhanḍu muā bhanḍu bhālīai bhanḍi hovai bandhānu.
so kiu mandā ākhīai jitu jammahi rājān.
bhanḍahu hi bhanḍu ūpjai bhanḍai bājhu na koi.
nānak bhanḍai bāharā eko sacā soi.
jitu mukhi sadā sālāhīai bhāgā ratī cāri.
nānak te mukh ūjale titu sacai darbāri.2.
Commentary
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
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Guru Nanak focuses verse two on another example of how these divisions of pure versus impure dictate everyday life, by discussing the female subject. This builds on the discussion in the previous ballad of the hypocritical belief in the impurity of a menstruating woman, that the very men calling her impure are impure in their actions and in their speech. This is a larger statement about the inherent importance of women as the nuclei of society around which all things are centered.

Guru Nanak says, we are made of a woman's blood and come into being through her, to a woman we are betrothed and married. Through a woman, friendship is extended in the form of relationships, and through a woman, the system of the world is furthered. Guru Nanak describes the woman as the bhand, a thing you put other things in, which holds so many other things, a vessel for all of these other things which flow from her. The famous line that is so often quoted usually reads, Why call her bad? From her, kings are born,” but this line is merely the last example in a list of examples employed to make the larger point that the woman is the nucleus of society — not just in the private sphere, but also in the public political sphere too. This is a statement about every role in society getting its start from the woman, every code of society, every social system, every relationship, and every system of governance, because the great rulers (highest political potentialities) of our time come from her. This is a larger statement that all potentialities are rooted in the woman. All potentialities come from her. Nothing happens without her.

Guru Nanak says that the only exception to this is the One Eternal and that the mouth which praises the One and condemns women is not really a mouth that is praising the One at all. That dichotomy of putting down women and praising men will continue until our mouths are forever living in the praise, our minds are focused on the praise, and Nam (1-Identification) is brought into our connection with IkOankar. This is when hypocritical condemnation of anyone leaves our mouths forever. Truly praising IkOankar means having no more differentiations in our worldview. This is a direct statement on both the South Asian religious context and on the Semitic context — in brahminical codes, the woman is considered to be below the lowest caste, and in Semitic traditions, she is described as the weaker vessel (so here, the use of bhand, describing a woman as a vessel, seems to be a reference to biblical framing). The mouth with which IkOankar is always praised is fortunate. Nanak! Only such individuals who praise IkOankar are honored in the eternal court of IkOankar.
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