Chapter

A Pure and Distinct Panth

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/9780198070740.003.0007
A Pure and Distinct Panth

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Born around 1550, Bhai Gurdas became a loyal supporter of Guru Hargobind following the martyrdom of Guru Arjan. Among his works, Bhai Gurdas composed six shaloks in Sanskrit which are found in Bhai Santokh Singh’s Suraj Prakash. There are also 675 kabitts and savayyās in Braj Bhasha. Bhai Gurdas’s Vārs provide ‘an extensive commentary’ on the teachings of the Gurus. Bhai Gurdas considers Guru Nanak as the World-Preceptor (jagat-gurū) and the Manifest Guide (jāhar pīr). Bhai Gurdas also claims that the shabad and Gurbānī confer a peculiar distinction upon sat-sang and sādh-sangat. In addition, he discusses the doctrine of the unity of Guruship, Gurbani, Gursikhs, and Gursikhkhī. The Vārs of Bhai Gurdas seem to indicate that he is extremely conscious of Sikh religious identity which is also corroborated by Dabistan-i-Mazahib.

Keywords: Bhai Gurdas; Vārs; Gurbānī; sangat; shaloks; Guru Nanak; kabitts; Suraj Prakash; Dabistan-i-Mazahib; Gursikhkhī

Chapter.  6495 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sikhism

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