‘Except the True Name, I Have No Miracle’

Susan E. Prill

in Sikhism in Global Context

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780198075547
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082056 | DOI:
‘Except the True Name, I Have No Miracle’

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This chapter explores Sikh understandings of the miraculous, and the problematic nature of their status in the mind of the modern Sikh. The most commonly accepted miracle stories concern the life of Guru Nanak (1469–1539), and are contained in collections called Janamsakhis. Karamat and chamatkar are the two more common terms in Punjabi to imply ‘miracle’. The author discusses the story of Baba Dip Singh. Many Sikhs believe that their religion forbids the belief in miracles. In popular Sikh understanding, miracles seem to have become somewhat problematic during the later Guru period. The Vasu Bhardwaj cancer cure, and the preservation of the Guru Granth Sahib in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina present an interesting contrast about miracles. Many Sikhs hold miracles, particularly those associated with the Gurus, including the Guru Granth Sahib, to be an absolutely acceptable part of the religious tradition, while others deny their validity. The author concludes his essay by stating that the role of miracles in Sikhism needs to be examined by scholars.

Keywords: Sikh miracle; chamatkar; karamat; Guru Nanak; Janamsakhis; Vasu Bhardwaj cancer cure; Guru Granth Sahib; Hurricane Katrina

Chapter.  6053 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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