Guru Granth

The Quintessential Sikh Metaphor


  • Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh Colby College



Guru Granth, Body, Rituals, Metaphor


For the Sikhs, their scripture (Guru Granth) is the manifest body (deh) of their Gurus. But this quintessential Sikh metaphor has become so familiar an application that it has lost its “fundamental metaphoric quality.” We need to ask anew: what does it mean that the Guru Granth is the body of the Gurus? In their metaphorical relationship, the “text” and the “body” must maintain a dynamic tension—a simultaneous is and is not—so that the mind is forced to stretch and discover a new meaning. Using Philip Wheelwright’s framework and Gadamer’s hermeneutic lens, this paper explores the “widening experience” (Truth and Method, p. 429) brought about by the perpetual motion between the textual and the corporeal matrices. What significance does their metaphoric association have in the daily life of the Sikh community? The two areas that examined here are ritual performance and feminist ontology.


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How to Cite

Singh, N.-G. K. (2010). Guru Granth: The Quintessential Sikh Metaphor. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 4(2), 157–176.