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The Eighteenth Century in Sikh HistoryPolitical Resurgence, Religious and Social Life, and Cultural Articulation$
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Karamjit K. Malhotra

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463541.001.0001

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God, Guru, and Gurdwārā

God, Guru, and Gurdwārā

(p.101) 3 God, Guru, and Gurdwārā
The Eighteenth Century in Sikh History

Karamjit K. Malhotra

Oxford University Press

There is a broad consensus in contemporary sources about the basic Sikh beliefs and Khalsa practices. The unity of God and the ten Gurus, and the Guruship of the Granth closely followed by the doctrine of Guru Panth figure as the foremost tenets. The sanctity of the dharamsāl was enhanced as the locus of Guru Granth and Guru Panth. The term Gurdwārā came to be increasingly used, particularly for the dharamsāls associated with the Gurus and martyrs, which became places of pilgrimage. With its sacred tank (amrit sarovar), the Harmandar, and the Akāl Bungā, Ramdaspur (now called Amritsar) became the premier centre of Sikh pilgrimage. Rejection of Brahmanical, Islamic, and several popular practices was a logical corollary of the exclusive concern with individual and congregational worship. The chapter traces the roots of doctrinal developments and institutional practices of the eighteenth-century Sikhs to earlier Sikh tradition.

Keywords:   Sikh tradition, Khalsa practices, Guru Granth, Guru Panth, dharamsāl, Gurdwārā, Harmandar, Akāl Bungā, Amritsar, Sikh pilgrimage

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