Birth of the Khalsa, The: A Feminist Re-Memory of Sikh Identity
Sikhs trace the genesis of their religious rites, prayers, dress codes, and names to Guru Gobind Singh’s creation of the Khalsa in 1699. The Birth of the Khalsa is the first work to explore this pivotal event in Sikh history from a feminist perspective, questioning the ways in which Sikh memories have constructed a hypermasculine Sikh identity. The book argues that Sikh memory needs to acknowledge the vital female dimension grounded in the universal human condition and present at the birth of the Khalsa.
Inspired by her own father, the eminent Sikh scholar Harbans Singh, Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh rediscovers the feminine side of the words and actions of the founders of Sikhism. She looks at the basic texts and tenets of Sikh religion and demonstrates the female aspect in the sacred text, daily prayers, dress code, and rituals of the Sikhs. Singh reminds us that Guru Gobind Singh’s original vision was an egalitarian one and urges present-day Sikhs to live up to the liberating implications set in motion when he gave birth to the Khalsa.
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1 Pregnant Text and the Conception of the Khalsa
2 The Guru in Labor and the Birth of the Khalsa
3 Mythic Inheritance and the Historic Drink of the Khalsa
4 The Five Ks and the Accoutrement of the Khalsa
5 Semiotic Poetry and the Reproduction of the Khalsa
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Akal Ustat amrit Amritsar Anandpur androcentric aqedah artistic Baisakhi Baisakhi Day battles beautiful become Bicitra Natak birth blood body bracelet caste chapter Chaupa comb congregation consciousness cosmos creative cultural Dasam Granth death Delhi Divine drink event father feminist Five Beloved five Ks flow gender goddess Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh Guru Granth Guru Nanak guru’s Hindu human hymn Indian Infinite Jaap Janamsakhi kacha Kali kara kesha Khalsa Khalsa initiation khand kirpan Koer Singh language long hair male guru maternal memory mother Muslim Nanak’s Jap narrative Olivelle Patiala patriarchal physical poet poetic poetry primal Punjabi re-memory recited religious remember rite of passage ritual River Bein role sacred Sahib Sainapat scholars semiotic sexual Sikh community Sikh guru Sikh identity Sikh women Sikhism Sita social society spiritual stanza Swayyai sword tenth guru tion tradition Transcendent turban University Press verse wear woman womb words