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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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‘Divine Presence’ in History and Memory: the Life of Guru Arjan

‘Divine Presence’ in History and Memory: the Life of Guru Arjan

(p.64) 4 ‘Divine Presence’ in History and Memory: the Life of Guru Arjan
Life and Work of Guru Arjan

Pashaura Singh

Oxford University Press

Guru Arjan was fully immersed in the teachings of the Gurus, tutored to acknowledge the Divine Presence, from the time of his birth. This chapter reconstructs Guru Arjan's life — in history and memory — and traces the events leading to his death which became a turning point in Sikh history. Guru Arjan's life can be divided into three discrete periods of unique character: eleven years at Goindval, seven years at Ramdaspur and Lahore, and twenty-five years of Guru Arjan's reign. Written recollections of Guru Arjan include Tikke di Var (‘Ballad of Coronation’) and Bhattan de Savayye (‘Panegyrics of the Bards’). This chapter also examines Guru Arjan's autobiographical hymns in the Adi Granth and places the available evidence in the light of Punjabi cultural practices and social contexts. Finally, it looks at the popular image of Guru Arjan in Sikh narratives.

Keywords:   Guru Arjan, Sikh history, Tikke di Var, Bhattan de Savayye, autobiographical hymns, Adi Granth, Sikh narratives, Goindval, Ramdaspur, Lahore

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