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Life and Work of Guru Arjan$
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Pashaura Singh

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195679212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679212.001.0001

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Narrating the Person: Images of the Guru

Narrating the Person: Images of the Guru

(p.290) 10 Narrating the Person: Images of the Guru
Life and Work of Guru Arjan

Pashaura Singh

Oxford University Press

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

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