Guru Arjan’s Editorial Perspective

Pashaura Singh

in The Guru Granth Sahib

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195663341
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080694 | DOI:
Guru Arjan’s Editorial Perspective

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This chapter explores how Guru Arjan's editorial insights enabled him to produce the first canonical text of the Adi Granth in 1604. It shows that Guru Arjan applied meticulous standards to give the scripture its distinctive form in terms of both content and style. The theological aspects of texts of the Adi Granth are consistent with their metrical, poetic, and linguistic structures, providing an internal unity to the Adi Granth. Guru Arjan was also largely responsible for the final text of the scripture, and some of the fundamental aspects of his editorial policy are reflected in the rédaction process itself. An analysis of his editorial decisions reveals five major guiding principles: doctrinal consistency, the ideal of balanced life, the spirit of optimism, the inclusive ideal, and the concern for a distinctive Sikh identity.

Keywords: Guru Arjan; redaction process; doctrinal consistency; balanced life; optimism; inclusive ideal; Sikh identity

Chapter.  11249 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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