Chapter

Introduction

J.S. Grewal

in History, Literature, and Identity

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780198070740
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080427 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198070740.003.0001
Introduction

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The Sikhs produced a wealth of literature during the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. A historical analysis of this literature can help elucidate the Sikh tradition and better understand Sikh history. This book presents the history of the Sikhs, focusing on their literature, ideology, identity, faith, and nationalism. It looks at the compositions of five Gurus as the articulation of a new dispensation: Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, and Guru Arjan. It also analyses the compositions of Guru Tegh Bahadur in a phase of confrontation with the state. The book examines the mission of Guru Gobind Singh, declared in the Bachittar Nātak as an irrevocable commitment to righteous war, and discusses Sikh literature of Khalsa Raj as well as Bhai Gurdas’s eloquent expression for a distinctive identity of Gursikhs, the literature produced at the court of Guru Gobind Singh, the Khalsa Panth, and the Sikh writers’ use of tisar panth in their works to distinguish the Khalsa from Hindus and Muslims.

Keywords: Sikhs; Sikh literature; Gurus; history; ideology; identity; faith; nationalism; Gursikhs; Khalsa

Chapter.  1530 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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