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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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Rites and Ceremonies

Rites and Ceremonies

(p.142) 4 Rites and Ceremonies
The Eighteenth Century in Sikh History

Karamjit K. Malhotra

Oxford University Press

Repudiation of non-Sikh, especially Brahmanical, practices was built into the evolving Sikh rites and ceremonies. Before the institution of the Khalsa, compositions of the Guru Granth had come to be seen as relevant for different stages in a Sikh’s life: the Ānand for birth; the Ānand, Sohilā, Ghoṛiān, and the Lāvān for ceremonies related to marriage; and the Japujī, Alāhṇiān, Ānand, and the Sadd for death. Replacing the charan amrit, Guru Gobind Singh introduced initiation of the double-edged sword (khande kī pahul). A person from any caste or creed or even gender could be initiated into the Sikh fold. Integral to all ceremonies was the collective prayer (ardās), followed by the partaking of kaṛāh parsād, and often also the langar. The obligations and proscriptions attending the new initiation rite transformed the initiate in a fundamental way and strengthened the Kesdhārī vis-à-vis the Sahajdhārī identity.

Keywords:   Sikh rites, Ānand, Lāvān, Alāhṇiān, khande kī pahul, ardās, kaṛāh parsād, langar, Kesdhārī, Sahajdhārī

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