Thursday, November 30, 2006

The New Women’s Movement: We’re Coming Home

By Mrs. Wayne E. Hunter

Adultery, pornography, broken homes, domestic abuse, abusive children, poor mental, physical, and emotional health, illness, disease, dysfunctional schools, heart disease now killing one out of two women; these problems plague our families and nation. These things break women’s hearts, literally. They not only break our hearts, but our nation. They are of profound seriousness. Families and nations don’t thrive under these conditions, and despite law after law being passed to try to alleviate these problems, they still grow and grow. America, we have hope. The New Women’s Movement holds the key and the cure to these problems. This hope, key, and cure stand to affect us all in more ways than can be imagined. America, your wives and mothers are coming home.


Today’s wives and mothers have found their total freedom. Freedom from tyrannical bosses. Freedom from unfair wages and promotions. Freedom from dividing our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls between work and family. We’ve found our freedom by coming home. Here we are truly free: financially, emotionally, and creatively. Our hearts are free to love, free to give, free to be and become who we really are, free to get to know who we really are, and free with our schedules. We manage all of these freedoms with perhaps more skill, professionalism, and resourcefulness than ever before, and it’s healing us, our families, and our nation.

We find much mental happiness in our freedom to create within the household. It doesn’t take a menial laborer to become one of the New Women’s Movement’s wives and mothers; it takes a genius, which just happens to be what American women are known for. For example, we don’t just decorate the inside of our homes, rather, we study the subject, then we observe our family members to decide which colors, fabrics, art, and décor best suits the growth of their personalities and development. We then shop around for the highest quality at the best prices to implement our plan. And if we can’t find what we’re looking for, we make it ourselves. We are expressing ourselves, we are treasuring our family members, and we are all growing healthier in every aspect.

Not just anyone can love the way a round-the-clock wife and mother can. Here, in our profession, we know that love is reciprocal – we have to give it to receive it – and the more we give, the more we get. We need it, we share it, and we grow in it. We are finding happiness that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, and that is in our very own homes.

Substituted, but Never Replaced

The feminist movement gave us the “liberation” to face life outside the home. We were given the means to find and provided with substitutes for the care that wives and mothers traditionally gave their families, such as daycare, earlier and later compulsory age requirements in schools, three-meal-a-day daycares and schools, fast-food restaurants, and quick-fix-it boxed meals to replace home-cooked meals. School teachers took over character training for our children, therapists took over teaching our children to play and get to know themselves as well as interacting with others, counselors took over the wise counsel and understanding that once only a mother could give, and tax-funded social services for families and communities grew astronomically.

All of these substitutes and services have cost and continue to cost our nation incalculable amounts of money both publicly and privately--but were once provided for free to our families and society from devoted, round-the-clock wives and mothers. What we’ve learned through our “liberation from the home” was that these substitute services can’t hold a candle to what we can provide. We are irreplaceable. When people are paid to give these services, they do it for money; when women choose to give of themselves by providing these services, they do it out of and for love. Love: that’s the missing ingredient, and the best kind of love is love that gives freely. There’s only one way to develop this love, as today’s wives and mothers have found out, and that is through the devoted day-in/day-out care of our own families. We’re here, we’re on the job - though be it at home - and we’re excelling. We’ve tried the substitutes; now we’re all ready for the real thing. We’re indispensable, irreplaceable, and we’re in love with our families. The New Women’s Movement wives and mothers are truly liberated by living as God created us to live – and this pours out into our society in a most profound way.

Our View of Our Husbands and Children

Perhaps here, more than anywhere else, is where the greatest avenue of change lies. When “the battle of the sexes” began, we couldn’t just leave it in the workforce, but it, unfortunately, came home with us. It has grown and grown until domestic abuse dominates many American families. Women are statistically more abusive than men, and we don’t like it. We refuse to live this way. We refuse to be abused and we refuse to abuse. We have found the golden keys to prevention. We have reexamined the attributes of men and women and studied their undeniable differences. We have stopped believing that men and women’s functions in the home and society are interchangeable, but now know that these functions, while very different, are of equal importance. In this New Women’s Movement, we have removed the battle lines, laid our weapons down, and are making peace in our homes. We choose to speak in kindness and wisdom to our family members. We refuse to continually put them down and treat them as if they are of little importance. We love them, and they love us. If there is to be peace on earth, it must begin at home. We’re here. We’re today’s peacekeepers, and not only are we living the ways of peace, but we are teaching our children these ways. We are encouraging our husbands in these paths of peace by offering them the love, understanding, and intuition that only their wives can provide them, and we just happen to be lowering our blood pressures, stress levels, and agitation in the process--not to mention giving these healthful gifts to our families.

We are Confident, Educated, and Resourceful

Like our foremothers long ago, we devote ourselves completely to our cause, and thanks to abundant opportunities for learning, confidence, and resources that we have access to in our nation, we can do our job with unmatchable expertise. No one can love a woman’s husband and children the way she can. Combining our hearts with our confidence, education, and resources makes a New Women’s Movement wife and mother a woman who exceeds excellence. We don’t just feed our children sugar-laden cereal in front of a TV every morning, but serve them home-made meals created from healthful, whole ingredients--while discussing current events or holding character-building conversations with them. We don’t just make do; we do well.

Today’s wives and mothers have found that the best quality for their families most often happens to be from their own hands. We garden, we preserve what we’ve grown, we sew quality clothing for our children at a fraction of the cost of low-to-mid quality clothing, and we find ways to save while increasing our family’s quality of life. Our husbands make the living for our families and we make our families lives worth living. The two halves really do make a superbly workable whole.

We’ve been in the workforce with men and know the kind of women there are out there, and thus we know how to prevent other women from destroying our marriages. We’ve observed what works and what doesn’t work as far as what men really want. We know that men, at least our husbands, view us as respectable, dedicated, honorable, selfless rather than selfish, and magnificent. We don’t have to worry quite so much about our husbands leaving us for other women or walking out on us, leaving us with no means of support, because our husbands are supported, loved, appreciated, admired, and respected. It’s all mutual. Both we and our husbands know that we are two halves of an intricately beautiful whole, and it’s a rather divine way to live. We’re happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise.

The Incalculable Economic Impact of the New Movement

This is a most significant impact of this New Movement. While we are no longer in the workforce contributing to our national economy, we are actually repairing it from the inside. We give of ourselves to our family’s total well-being, including their health, welfare, and character. This has astronomic implications for our economic future. Everything that we do for our families we do with not just today, but tomorrow, in mind. Breastfeeding is an excellent example. We know that we are giving our children physical, emotional, and spiritual nutrition that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. We know that not only do these benefits affect our children today, but that they will continue until their dying day. We bring this level of intelligence, dedication, nurture, and foresight into all we do in our homes. This means a healthier nation today and tomorrow, which also means a dramatic decrease in the amount that the government, through tax dollars, must spend trying to repair health and homes.

We are smart, excited, motivated, and dedicated. We love to share what we learn, and we do so freely in many ways, such as with websites, community or online classes, and sharing great resources. All of these things save our nation tremendous amounts on health and social services both today and in the future.

Another big movement inside the New Women’s Movement is that many of our families are working together to get out of debt and stay out of debt. These wives and mothers are master gardeners, seamstresses, and hard workers, and we are saving our families bundles. We know how to live within our families’ means but to not sacrifice quality and comfort. We are saving our husbands the wear-and-tear of trying to live above our means, and this leads to healthier hearts, minds, bodies, and souls for not only them, but for us and our children. We love our husbands, and we will do whatever we can to ensure that they are around for a long, long time. Our women are learning to be much more resourceful and frugal, and we are passing these lessons on to our children. Our children are tomorrow’s citizens and policy makers, and if they know well the art of managing money and avoiding debt, they can lead our nation to economic freedom and stability.

The Bright Future of Our Families, Nation, and World

By God's grace, we will have loving, secure, healthy, happy, capable adults due to this movement. Every American citizen will see the marvelous fruits of the New Women’s Movement in the years to come. We all win: America’s round-the-clock wives and mothers because we are being restored to a place of honor and dignity in our society; America’s husbands because they are being welcomed back with open arms to their roles of honor, strength, and provision; America’s children, because they are being valued as treasures, the greatest of all our national resources; and America’s society as a whole, because a nation is only as strong as its families, and in our families lie the strength and character of our nation. In the future it is suspected that we will see with a mighty force the truth in the saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Welcome home, Momma, and thank you!

© Copyright 2002-2006 by LAF/


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why Some Gurudwaras are Failing

By SSNews, Lakhvir Singh Khalsa

Nov 16, 2006, 16:24

The Hindus have their Mandirs, the Christians their Churches, the Muslims their Mosques and the Sikhs their Gurudwaras. All these congregational centres were meant to unite people of faith and help each other grow in spirituality and stick together in times of trials, tribulations and joy.

Though Gurudwaras began to be built much after our Gurus, they have nevertheless played a great role in becoming centres of Sikh teachings and in bringing communities together. Over the past few years, however, an unfortunate trend has begun to come to the fore-front. Majority of Gurudwaras around the world no longer inspire new Sangat, mostly because of the wrong people with incorrect ideas are put in charge of the House of the Guru.

There was a reason why our Gurus did not establish Gurudwaras and the foresight of Guru Gobind Singh Ji was spot on. Guru Ji’s decision to pass the Guruship to the Word of God (Guru Granth Sahib Ji) has saved the Panth from destruction at its own hands. Even today, one can witness the number of sects, deras and self-professed gurus that continue to grow in the same attempts that were made in the times of our Gurus by Prithi Chand, Ram Rai, Dhir Mal, Dattu and the massands. Our Sikh Gurus were appointed by Akaal Purakh to lay the foundations of the Sikh faith and that is why when Guru Gobind Singh Ji, as the last human Guru of the Sikhs, installed Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the final and eternal Guru of the Sikhs, we need to understand the reasons behind that decision and Hukam.

Humans, as proved through history, are prone to failure because of their selfish nature and are likely to be corrupted by maya. Guruship is a huge power which can drive anyone to the brink of doing anything to lay claim for oneself. Our Gurus were appointed by Akaal Purakh and it was within His Divine Will to end the human Guruship with Guru Gobind Singh Ji and rest the destiny of the Sikh Panth in the Shabad of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Shabad is what humanity needed but very few accept the Word of God as their leader. No wonder we have all other religions clamouring for leadership and have failed the message engrained within their scriptures. Sikh faith is the only organised religion that has conferred Guruship to the Spirit of the Word and need no human Guru to take its place. The Sikh Gurus’ mission was to reveal the Word and record It for time eternal as no human will be able to match its Wisdom and Instructions. Those that have strayed from this principle have contradicted the very message the Gurus taught and have condemned themselves into squabbles which is their downfall. Over the centuries, men have fallen but only Guru Granth Sahib Ji still stands above all, pure and unadulterated as it was prepared by the Sikh Gurus. Guru Gobind Singh’s instruction to his Sikhs to consider Shabad as Guru has proved its reason. Those that do consider Guru Granth Sahib as Guru and following its teachings can never be conquered by any human force. They are the Sikhs of the True Guru and they have survived the centuries, and will survive for centuries to come. That is the power of the leadership of Guru Granth Sahib.

When Sikhs treat Guru Granth Sahib Ji as a mere formality and to extract from it what is of use to them and ignore what their manmat doesn’t agree with, they fall and take down along with them those that support or promote them. This is what is happening in Gurudwaras today. By treating the Gurudwara as a business, all the committees ever take seriously is their chairs, their turbans and their big fat egos and treat matters of the Panth as a secondary issue. It is a known fact how it takes minutes to approve a budget running into millions that has to do with expansion of the Gurudwara’s properties and will argue for hours on the relatively petty expenses to invest in Parchaar and Gurmat.

Just last night, a dear Gurmukh friend of mine, who is a vice-chairperson of our local Gurdwara here in Nairobi was lamenting that their Gurudwara no longer has any money in the banks and is struggling. Ironically, they have huge amounts in fixed deposits. He was really heart-broken that a Jatha that is to come to Kenya sometime in November has been given a very tight, but miniscule budget while they are approving expansion programmes for their Gurudwara. He felt so hurt that these committees have such little hearts for Parchaar. I comforted him by saying that a Gurudwara like that was bound to run out of money because it is run like a business, and not like a Guru Da Ghar. Business are vulnerable to bankruptsy, not Guru Da Ghar. These kind of people, who have little respect and regard for their Gyanis, guilty of disrespect kesh, eat and drink and corrupt voters to gather their seats of power . . . how can such people ever be custodians of the Guru’s Treasures? They are gambling away their own treasures (Sikhi) and will run the very House of the Guru into ruin. These are the modern day massands. Now we know what Guru Gobind Singh Ji had to face with the massands. The tragedy is that today’s massands are elected by us and we have no guts to tear them off from their chairs.

I have heard much about the treatment our Gyanis are given by these shameless committees. They literally man-handle them with words. How outrageous to speak to the custodians of Gurmat in such a pathetic manner! How do we expect Sikhi to flourish in such conditions? These Gurudwara committees don’t even care a dime. They expect the youth to come to Gurudwaras and adopt Sikhi yet they themselves are hollow inside. They are doing more damage than the massands of puratan times because we elect these massands. Like our Guru taught us, more guilty than the oppressor are those that do nothing against it. We will be held accountable in the Court of the True Guru, for not doing anything about it. Of all those sacrices give by our Gurus and we have confined them to frames in the Gurudwaras. Who needs the Babar the invader to conquer the people? Our own Sikhs are our greatest invaders. We don’t invade another’s territory, but we are certainly shredding our skin to expose the flesh for the flies to feast on.

An ideal Gurudwara committee should have a Gyani as an advicer on matters of faith and the leaders should al be at least complete keshadhari and the Chairman an example of a complete Gurmukh who is Amritdhari and Nitnemi. These days, we may even come across some keshdhari or Amritdhari leaders, but they still fail the Panth in one way or another – examples of which are as vast as the human mind can conceive. Were our Gurudwaras led by Gyanis and men and women of a Gurmat living, Sikhi wouldn’t have been taking a beating it is today. Who can dare bring down Sikhi if Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Khalsa was to live on His Hukam of a Niyara Khalsa? People like the leaders in SGPC, RSS, fundamentalist preachers of other religions and governments would have nowhere to hide were it for the Sikhs to deal with the issues affecting their Panth. Our leaders are sold-out to maya and drunken in the wine of power and have little care for the House of the Guru.

While the wrong people continue doing their dis-services, the right people do little to nothing. We will both be in the same Court when we are presented before the Guru. The fruit which we will be handed will be of our own asking and there will be no chance to turn back and correct what we had the powers to do.

In conclusion, I’d like to quote what the famous boxer Muhammed Ali once said: “Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gurdwara: A Place to Recite and Discuss Gurbani

Gurdwara : Guru Dwara
A Place to Recite and Discuss Gurbani


Prof. Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD


One of the outstanding characteristics of the Sikhs is that wherever they settle in the world they build a Gurdwara. Because to build a gurdwara is considered by them as their biggest achievement in their settlements.


The irony is that the term 'Gurdwara' is not understood properly by many Sikh scholars and Sikh theologians. Gurdwara is a shortened version of Guru Dwara used by Guru Nanak in his bani (words, verse). However, nowadays some Sikhs have replaced the word Guru Dwara with Guru Ghar without paying any attention to the differences in the meanings of these two words. Although both words have 'Guru' in common, replacement of 'Dwara' with 'Ghar' makes lots of differences in their meanings. When Guru Nanak used the word 'Guru Dwara' in his bani he referred 'Guru' to the Guru (the Almighty) and 'Dwara' to the gateway, thus, 'Guru Dwara' means the 'Gateway to the Guru (the Almighty)'. But when one uses Guru Ghar it means the House of the Almighty. In fact according to Gurbani, there is no gate or house wherefrom the Almighty controls the universe and the life in it:

So dar keha so gar keha jit beh sarb smalae (AGGS, Jap 27, P 6).

Thus, to call Guru Dwara or Gurdwara as Guru Ghar is not justified because one cannot confine the Almighty to one place (ghar/house). Because the Almighty pervades everywhere in the universe. Some Sikhs who have coined the word, Guru Ghar, might argue that Guru Ghar means where the Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS) resides. This argument is not valid because many Sikhs keep the AGGS in their homes and such homes cannot be called Guru Ghars under any circumstances. Nevertheless, I must add here that Bhai Kahn Singh (1) has used 'Guru Dwara' and 'Guru Ghar' as interchangeable terms. I do not agree to his interchangeable use because Guru Dwara cannot be Guru Ghar according to Gurbani.

Now let us look into the word 'Guru Dwara' used by Guru Nanak:

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥
soohee mehlaa 1.
Soohee, First Mehl:

ਭਾਂਡਾ ਹਛਾ ਸੋਇ ਜੋ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵਸੀ ॥
bhaaNdaa hachhaa so-ay jo tis bhaavsee.
That vessel alone is pure, which is pleasing to Him.

ਭਾਂਡਾ ਅਤਿ ਮਲੀਣੁ ਧੋਤਾ ਹਛਾ ਨ ਹੋਇਸੀ ॥
bhaaNdaa at maleen Dhotaa hachhaa na ho-isee.
The filthiest vessel does not become pure, simply by being washed.

ਗੁਰੂ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਹੋਇ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥
guroo du-aarai ho-ay sojhee paa-isee.
Through the Gurdwara, the Guru's Gate, one obtains understanding.
ਏਤੁ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਧੋਇ ਹਛਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ ॥
ayt du-aarai Dho-ay hachhaa ho-isee.
By being washed through this Gate, it becomes pure.

ਮੈਲੇ ਹਛੇ ਕਾ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਾਇਸੀ ॥
mailay hachhay kaa veechaar aap vartaa-isee.
The Lord Himself sets the standards to differentiate between the dirty and the pure.

ਮਤੁ ਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਜਾਇ ਅਗੈ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥
mat ko jaanai jaa-ay agai paa-isee.
Do not think that you will automatically find a place of rest hereafter.

ਜੇਹੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ਤੇਹਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ ॥
jayhay karam kamaa-ay tayhaa ho-isee.
According to the actions one has committed, so does the mortal become.
ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਾਇਸੀ ॥
amrit har kaa naa-o aap vartaa-isee.
He Himself bestows the Ambrosial Name of the Lord.

ਚਲਿਆ ਪਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਵਾਜਾ ਵਾਇਸੀ ॥
chali-aa pat si-o janam savaar vaajaa vaa-isee.
Such a mortal departs with honor and renown; his life is embellished and redeemed, and the trumpets resound with his glory.

ਮਾਣਸੁ ਕਿਆ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ਤਿਹੁ ਲੋਕ ਸੁਣਾਇਸੀ ॥
maanas ki-aa vaychaaraa tihu lok sunaa-isee.
Why speak of poor mortals? His glory shall echo throughout the three worlds.
ਨਾਨਕ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ਸਭਿ ਕੁਲ ਤਾਰਸੀ ॥੧॥੪॥੬॥
naanak aap nihaal sabh kul taarsee. ||1||4||6||
O Nanak, he himself shall be enraptured, and he shall save his entire ancestry. ||1||4||6||

* 'Guru Dwara' (Gateway to the Guru) is a metaphor of the 'Teachings of the Guru'. It has also been referred so at other places in Gurbani (AGGS, M 3, P 919 and 922).

The main theme conveyed in this verse by Guru Nanak is as follows:

The polluted body (mind) cannot be cleansed by washing the body. However, it can be cleansed when one follows the "Teachings of the Guru" through which one gets wisdom to cleanse one's mind.

Now the question is how does one gets the wisdom?

When one recites the Gurbani and discusses (vichar) it with the sangat (congregation) then one finds the wisdom to get one's mind cleansed. Guru Dawara, therefore, means entering the gateway of the Guru, i. e., the understanding of the "Teachings of the Guru". Therefore, the place, where one can recite and discuss Gurbani (Teachings of the Guru) with the sangat to find out the truth, contentment and realize the Almighty, is called Guru Dwara.


A great importance of vichar (discussion/deliberation) has been given in the Gurbani at many places in the AGGS. For example:

Nanak sabd wichariae payiae guni nidhan. (AGGS, M1, P 59)

Nanak says: "By discussion/deliberation one gets the treasure of wisdom."

The vichar has been interpreted differently by different writers. At some places in Gurbani Vichar means the philosophy of the Gurus. In general the meanings of vichar in Punjabi and given by Bhai Kahn Singh (1) are: The method to find out the truth. The method to find out the truth is by discussing/deliberating the subject matters thoroughly in a group. The meanings of the word 'discuss' in English dictionaries are: To investigate by reasoning or argument; to discourse about something to arrive at the truth or to convince others of the validity of one's position (2). Thus, discussion/deliberation of Gurbani is the most important characteristic feature of Sikhism and of Gurbani. The Gurbani also advises that in case there are doubts that can be decided by discussion/deliberation while sitting together:

Hoae ikatar mil maerae bhai dubda dur karo liv lai. (AGGS, M 5, P 1185).

Get together, Oh my brothers, to remove the doubts while attuned to the Almighty.

Since so much importance is given on the vichar (discussion/deliberation) in the Gurbani then why it has not been adopted in the Gurdwara? It means the word, Gurdwara, was never understood properly before. It is never too late to amend and adopt the right path. Today, we should promise ourselves to use the Guru Dwara or Gurdwara as explained in the Gurbani. On entering the Gateway of the Guru it becomes imperative for every Sikh to vichar (discuss/deliberate) the Gurbani with the sangat to find out the truth and to achieve the contentment and ultimately to realize the Almighty.


AGGS = Aad Guru Granth Sahib. 1983 (reprint) 1430 p. Publishers: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar. (M = Mahla, i.e., succession number of the Sikh Gurus to the House of Guru Nanak, P = Page of the AGGS).

1. Singh, (Bhai) Kahn. 1981. Mahan Kosh (Punjabi). Bhasha Vibagh, Punjab, Patiala.

2. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. 1991. Thomas Allen & Son Ltd., Markham, Onatario


Presently the Gurdwaras are being used for reciting Akhand Paths, celebration of Gurpurbs, Barsis of different sants, sant samelans, birth days of some Bhagats, martyrdoms of Gurus and of some Sikhs mostly recent ones, solemnizing marriages, birthdays of children, and political conferences. Most recently celebration of New Year Eve has been included as one of their functions. Organization of Kabadi and other supports have been also introduced in some Gurdwaras as one of their important duties. But no gurdwara is known to me that arranges discussion of Gurbani with the Sangat (congregation) as recommended in Gurbani.