Key Terms on Sikhism

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Henry Shiu

Key Terms for the Lecture on Sikhism: 1. Sufism: In Islam, there was Sufism, the Islamic mystical tradition (some scholars maintain that Sufism derived much early inspiration from Hinduism) 2. Sant tradition: There was also the North Indian Sant tradition (the term Sant may carry the meaning of holy ascetic, truth or saint) Three elements contributed to the rise of the Sant tradition: 1. Bhakti or devotional practice 2. Tantric yoga 3. Sufism 3. Sant poets: Ascetic poets who believed divinity to exist beyond all forms of description. There were many influential Sant poets, including Namdev, Ravidas, Kabir 4. Nanak: The first teacher: Nanak (1469-1539). Composed more than 900 hymns, compiled as the Adi Granth. He said he had experienced God directly, and the experience revealed to him was that: there is only one God, beyond all names and conceptions. Style of clothing of Nanak: Deliberately blended Hindu and Muslim elements, wore a Hindu dhoti, along with an orange Muslim coat and cap, and adorned his forehead with Hindu religious markings (tilak). Sensing his own end approaching at age 70, Nanak passed on his authority and work to a chosen disciple. Nanak is commonly called Guru Nanak, and is recognized as the first of a line of Ten Gurus.
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