The development of early Sikh thought and Guruship in the context of Indian religious movements and the socio-religious milieu

Lallie, Harjinder Singh (2010). The development of early Sikh thought and Guruship in the context of Indian religious movements and the socio-religious milieu. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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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.

This research has been published in the book “Guru Nanak Dev and the Bhagats”, Harjinder Singh Lallie, Nielsen, ISBN 9781739929480.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion


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