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McLeod, William H. (1965) The life and doctrine of Guru Nanak. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis is divided into four sections. The first is a brief introductory section dealing with the historical, social, and religious background. The historical survey concerns the Panjab and covers the period AD 1398-1540. The treatment of the religious background principally concerns the Sant tradition of Northern India. The second section describes the sources available for a reconstruction of the life of Guru Nanak. It begins with a brief survey of the more important contributions by European writers and then considers the limited contribution of the Adi Granth to our knowledge of Guru Nanak's life. The greater part of the section concerns the Panjabi janam-sakhis which, notwithstanding their general unreliability, constitute our principal source of biographical information. The third section deals with the life of Guru Nanak. It begins with a translation of the relevant portion of Bhai Gurdas' first Var, followed by paraphrases of the Puratan janam-sakhis and the first pothi of the Miharban Janam-sakhi. Five categories are postulated, namely the established, the probable, the possible, the improbable, and the impossible. The criteria to be employed in testing the manifold janam-sakhi traditions are defined, and a conspectus of the various traditions is set out in the form of a chart, in attempt is then made to fit the various sakhis into their appropriate categories, This is followed by an examination of the chronology of Guru Nanak's travels, and the section concludes with an account of the Guru's life based upon the sakhis which have been accepted as established or probable. The fourth section represents an effort to gather into a systematic pattern the teachings of Guru Nanak which are dispersed throughout the Adi Granth. The section is subdivided into subsections treating Guiu Nanak's doctrines of the nature of God, the divine self-expression, the nature of unregenerate man, and the discipline required in order to attain salvation.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:06

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