Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

In Praise of the Guru: A Translation and Study of Sainapati's “Sri Gursobha”
by Shah, Ami Praful, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2010, 347; 3439867
Abstract (Summary)

This study is first and foremost a project of translation. Composed by the poet Sainapati during the years 1701-1708, the Sri Gursobha, “In Praise of the Guru,” is a contemporary written narrative of the life and death of the last human Guru of the Sikh tradition, Guru Gobind Singh (1661/6-1708). Written in the north Indian vernacular languages of Punjabi and Braj Bhasa and recorded in the distinctive gurmukhi script, the Sri Gursobha is a contemporary eyewitness account of the Guru’s life and an invaluable source of information on the life of Guru Gobind Singh and the history of the Sikh community at the turn of the eighteenth century in northern India. However, despite its importance it has been of limited scholarly value because there has thus far been no available translation of the text in English. By providing the first English translation of the Sri Gursobha based on manuscript evidence and printed editions, this study will introduce a source of critical importance to our understanding of the Sikh tradition. In addition to furnishing a translation of the Sri Gursobha, this study will examine the development of the Sikh literary corpus from the time of the first to the final human Guru of the Sikh tradition, Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, respectively. Chapter One will situate the emergence of the Sri Gursobha within the parameters of textual production during the Guru period (c. 1500-1708). Chapter Two will examine the narrative of the Sri Gursobha with a particular focus on its presentation of critical events that informed the life and legacy of Guru Gobind Singh. Chapter Three will compare the narrative of the Guru’s life and mission as found in the Sri Gursobha with three other contemporary narratives – Apani Katha, Das GurKatha, and Parchi Patshahi Dasvin Ki – written during the lifetime of Guru Gobind Singh and in the immediate aftermath of his death in 1708.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mann, Gurinder Singh
Commitee: Juergensmeyer, Mark, Wallace, Vesna A.
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: Religious Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biographies, Religious history, South Asian Studies
Keywords: Devotional literature, Gobind Singh, Guru, Khalsa, Mughal empire, Religious literature, Sainapati, Sikhism, Sri Gursobha
Publication Number: 3439867
ISBN: 978-1-124-45720-8
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