Chapter

Narrating the Person: Images of the Guru

Pashaura Singh

in Life and Work of Guru Arjan

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679212
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080687 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679212.003.0010
Narrating the Person: Images of the Guru

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This study has reconstructed Guru Arjan's life based upon history, memory, tradition, and mythic representation. By using a multidisciplinary approach and placing documentary evidence in the light of Punjabi cultural and social practices in the historical context of Mughal India, it has been able to present a biography of Guru Arjan. As part of this endeavour, the book has examined the popular image of the Guru in Sikh narratives based upon group memory as well as his teachings. This chapter provides a synthesis to unite the glimpses provided by the available documentary sources with the personality that emerges from the Guru's works available in the Adi Granth. Guru Arjan takes his place halfway down the spiritual lineage, beginning with the first, Guru Nanak, and ending with the tenth, Guru Gobind Singh. The final twenty-five years of Guru Arjan's life were a crucial period for him, the Adi Granth, and the Sikh Panth. In particular, it was during this period that Guru Arjan achieved martyrdom, which became the single most decisive factor for the crystallisation of the Sikh Panth.

Keywords: Guru Arjan; Punjabi culture; Adi Granth; Sikh Panth; martyrdom; Mughal India; Sikh narratives; Guru Nanak; mythic representation; Guru Gobind Singh

Chapter.  4339 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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