MAHANT, originally the superior of a math or any other similar religious establishment. In the Punjab of early Sikhism, its characteristic usage referred to the leaders of Nath deras. The term acquired a distinctive Sikh application during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, period during which many Sikh gurdwaras passed into
MANMUKH, the ego guided person, as opposed to gurmukh`who is Guru guided. The gurmukhmanmukh bipolarity represents the personality typology employed in the Sikh sacred literature. Basically it opposes and contrasts the ocentric and egocentric personality types. The word manmukh is compounded of man (mind, lower self) and mukh (face):
MARTYRDOM or voluntarily laying down of one`s life for one`s faith or principles, considered a noble death in any society, is especially prized in Sikhism which has a long and continuous tradition of such adherence to religious belief and sacrifice for it. Etymologically, "martyr" is derived from the Greek
PHUNHK, plural of phunha, a word derived from the Sanskrit punha meaning `again`, is the name of a poetic metre in which a particular term or phrase occurs repeatedly in each chhand or may be in each verse of a poem; in the Guru Granth Sahib it is the title
QUDRAT (spelled qudrati in gurbani), a term adopted by Guru Nanak from the Arabic and given a philosophical signification and connotation which, to some extent but with different shades of sense, had till then been conveyed by the milenniaold Indian words prakriti and mdyd. Qudrat, in Arabic, literally means power,
AKAL, lit. timeless, immortal, non temporal, is a term integral to Sikh tradition and philosophy. It is extensively used in the Dasam Granth hymns by Guru Gobind Singh, who titled one of his poetic compositions Akal Ustati, i.e. In Praise (ustati) of the Timeless One (akal). However, the concept of
SANT, commonly translated as saint though not very exactly, for the English term, used in the adjectival sense `saintly` for a person of great holiness, virtue or benevolence, has a formal connotation in the Western culture, is a modified form of sat meaning lasting, real, wise and venerable. Sat
AKALI, a term now appropriated by members of the dominant Sikh political party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, founded in 1920, and groups splitting from it from time to time, was earlier used for Nihangs (q.v.), an order of armed religious zealots among the baptized Sikhs. The word Nihang is
SANT TRADITION comprises those medieval monotheistic and devout personalities belonging to different shades of Indian society who are supposed to have been quiet, tranquil nonsectarian, opposed to Brahmanical ritualism, piously tired of the duplicity of the world but otherwise deeply conscious and critical of the outrageous anamolies professed by certain
AKALPURAKH stands in Sikh religious literature for the Divine Being, i.e. God. Like Akal, Murati, it is composed of two units, viz. akal (non temporal) and purakh (person). The latter figures in Mul Mantra, the preamble to Guru Nanak`s Japu, in conjunction with Xarta (Creator), the whole expression implying
SATNAMI. The word satnami is derived from satnam, lit. the True Name , a term used in some religious traditions including Sikhism to denote the Supreme Being. Literally, a Satnami is one who believes in and worships only the True Being and as such every Sikh is a Satnami.
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