Lallie, Harjinder Singh (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Restricted to Repository staff only until 28 June 2020.
This study examines the development of Sikh thought during the early period of Sikhism (vis-à-vis the period of Guru Nanak’s life) with a particular unique emphasis on ideologies that may have contributed towards the development of Sikhism as a religion as opposed to a sect within Hinduism. The life of Guru Nanak and his views towards key issues such as Guruship and varan are compared within the context of the bhagti movement in order to establish particular nuances developed by Guru Nanak. Key questions are addressed relating to the origins of Sikh thought by investigating the relationship and influences on Guru Nanak of bhagats such as Kabir. This study finds that there is little evidence to prove that Guru Nanak was influenced solely and uniquely by any bhagat within the bhagti movement. Whilst varan based influences had an adverse effect on the development of some of the bhagti movements, Guru Nanak’s view and attitude towards varan differed to that of the bhagats and ensured that Sikhism was less prone to adverse varan based influences. The study also finds that Guru Nanak’s views on Guruship were a key factor in contributing towards the longevity of his movement and establishing the foundations from which his successor Guru Angad Dev could continue the development thereof.
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