Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: Bhand Jammee-ai

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Bhand Jammee-ai

When I teach about Guru Naanak and Sikh Dharma I like to point out that in many ways, Naanak was the first feminist. He not only broke with the tradition of the caste system, but he questioned why women were disparaged within the culture, when they were responsible for everything: cozy home life, children, gardens, yummy food, essentially communal life is centered around the woman so "why call her bad who gives birth to kings."
500 years later and we're still fighting this same battle. Equal pay for equal work; valuing social systems that support family life; understanding that what is good for women is good for everyone. Why? Because if don't value the feminine, then we won't protect the vulnerable, we won't honor our feelings, we won't have healthy families. The Divine Masculine has wonderful qualities, but the inherent power structure must bend to the feminine or it will lose the balance.
This is not to say that women aren't powerful, we are. More powerful than we know in fact. But the average man can still overpower the average woman. This is just a fact. Just as the average woman can crush the average man with one word. This too is a fact. These are the inherent differences that lie within the polarity: one is weaker in the physical form and the one is weaker in the ego form.
What does any of this have to do with a saint that wrote a poem more than 500 years ago? Well, a woman uses her word to destroy the man when she is insecure or in duality and conflict about her own identity. A man uses his strength to subjugate the woman when he has not trained his sensitivity to honor the Divine Feminine, oftentimes because of his own inner mother phobia. So we come to Bhand Jammee-ai, the shabad that heals these respective issues in women and in men.
The third of the three practices that Yogi Bhajan explicitly gave for women to master in order to become more truly themselves, Bhand Jammee-ai is a beautiful practice for both men and women to honor the Divine Feminine and heal the world while we're at it!


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