‘Seeing’ my Beloved

Darśan and the Sikhi perspective

  • Opinderjit Kaur Takhar University of Wolverhampton
Keywords: Guru Granth Sahib, Sikh Panth, darśan, seeing, Gurdwara, Sants

Abstract

The discussion in this chapter focuses on the concept of darśan from a Sikh perspective by analysing teachings from the Guru Granth Sahib on the subject of 'seeing' the Divine. Sikhi (Sikh teachings) emphasises the Ultimate Divine as formless and experienced through the senses. Indeed, Sikhi refers to this experience as blissful union with one's Beloved. This chapter explores Sahaj, mystical union with the Divine, through an analysis of teachings around darśan in Sikh teachings. Time and time again, the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib allude to the bestowing of Nadar as the opportunity to transcend one's consciousness from being manmukh (worldly/self-orientated) to gurmukh (attuned to the Divine). To become gurmukh is the concept of an awakened mind; according to Sikhi, a gurmukh is one who has 'seen' the formless Divine, one who has 'heard' the anahad sabad (the unstruck melody), which suggests a heightening of the senses, an awakening of the man/buddhi. 

Author Biography

Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, University of Wolverhampton

Opinderjit Kaur Takhar is director of the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and also senior lecturer and head of religious studies there. Takhar's academic research is focused around Sikh, Dalit and Punjab studies, and she teaches modules on Indian religions and the philosophy of religion. She has written extensively on matters and issues in relation to British Sikhs, caste and gender and is also the author of Sikh Identity: An Exploration of Groups among Sikhs (Ashgate, 2005) which is used as a key text on Sikh identity in universities across the world. She is also an editorial board member of the peer-reviewed journal Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory, and is guest editor (along with Surinder S. Jodhka and Hugo Gorringe) of the special issue on caste of the Journal of Contemporary South Asia(2017). 

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Published
2018-11-09
How to Cite
Takhar, O. K. (2018). ‘Seeing’ my Beloved. Body and Religion, 2(2), 190-205. https://doi.org/10.1558/bar.36489
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