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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2021

The Martyrdom Of Guru Arjan

The Martyrdom Of Guru Arjan

(p.205) 8 The Martyrdom Of Guru Arjan
Life and Work of Guru Arjan

Pashaura Singh

Oxford University Press

Guru Arjan's execution by Mughal authorities is the most controversial issue in Sikh history. Most historians of Mughal India look at this event from a political angle, while most Sikh scholars view it as only the first of a long series of religious persecutions suffered by the Sikhs at the hands of Mughal authorities. This chapter examines the contemporary and near-contemporary sources on Guru Arjan's execution and shows that it was Emperor Jahangir who sentenced him to death. Although the main reason for Guru Arjan's execution was his alleged blessing of the rebel Prince Khusrau, other urgent religious, socio-cultural, and economic factors also played a role. In particular, it was Bhai Gurdas who placed a reconstruction on the death of Guru Arjan in the ideal of martyrdom. Guru Arjan's martyrdom is significant to Sikh history because it contributed to the growth of the Sikh community's self-consciousness, separatism, and militancy.

Keywords:   Guru Arjan, martyrdom, execution, Mughal India, Sikh history, Jahangir, Khusrau, Bhai Gurdas

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