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Gyani, Sher Singh (1938) Philosophy of Sikhism. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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It is the first attempt at the philosophisation of the Sikh religion on Western lines. The material from which this philosophy is constructed lay scattered in the Sikh scriptures written in Medieval Panjabi in the Gurmukhi script. The work containing about 85 thousand words is divided into four main parts. The introductory part begins with a brief review of different literary movements dealing with Sikhism from the days of its origin in the 16th. century down to our own times. Then follows a chapter on the founders of Sikhism with a description of the environments in which they conceived their ideals and a discussion of some traditions and biographical controversies. The third chapter of this part gives an account of the sources of the material for this work. The second part is devoted to a discussion of the sources of Sikhism. The alleged notion of Sikhism being a branch of Hinduism has been disputed, By means of comparison and on the basis of internal and external evidence an has been made to show that Sikhism Whilst presenting a new synthesis of ideas has as its background not Hinduism which, is a vague notion, but Vedantism, Saivism,Vaisnavism, Buddhism, Siddhism (the system of Gorakh), Islam, and perhaps Christianity and other systems of thought both of Indian and non-Indian origin. Then comes a critical survey of the philosophy of Sikhism both theoretical and practical. In part III after a careful analysis of the Franthic hymns the Guru's ideas have been systematised on the following subjects: God, His historical and attributive names and their implications; Cosmology; Man and his destiny. It has been shown that the distinctive contribution of the Guru towards the concept of God from the mddern critic's point of view is two fold: the socialised nature of God and and the aesthetic notion of the deity. These are new facts and have been overlooked by all writers. In the field of practical philosophy there is again a striking departure from the traditional three margas of India: Kama, Bhakti and Gyan. Here it is the Wismad marga of the Guru which is expounded in the fourth part. It is communion with God-not with Nature but through nature-by means of aesthetic intuition This is quite a new line of approach. Different stages and steps of the marga have been briefly described in the last few pages.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:20

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