Social Scientist. v 2, no. 20 (March 1974) p. 22.


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JASBIR SINGH AHLUWALIA

Anti-Feudal Dialectic of Sikhism

SIKHISM arose essentially as a non-Vedantic mode of thought in the historical fight against the feudal value-pattern. This brings into sharp focus the characteristic anti-feudal dialectic of Sikhism which subsequently got blunted in the correlative processes of feudalization and vcdanticiza-tion of the Sikh tradition. Guru Nanak evolved a harmonious concep^ tual framework within which he reconciled a spiritualist conception of the transcendental being with a materialist view of the phenomenal reality on the basis of a new causal relation that is different from vivartavada of Advaita Vedanta, satkaryavada of Visistadvaita Vedanta and parinamavada of the Sankhya system. Also, the concept of creation as a causal relation has nothing in common with the Buddhist idea of dependent origination. The spiritualist-materialist tradition of thought as advanced by Guru Nanak correlated the saguna reality with the nirguna Being in a unique way that ensured the indeterminateness of the transcendental Being in its aseity as well as its determinate relatedness with the empirical reality, which as such could not be dismissed outright as sensory illusion or maya adhyasa. This also shows how the Sikh philosophy transcends the traditional polarity of being and becoming with Advaita Vedanta at one extreme and the original Buddhism at the other. Transcendental determinism gives way to phenomenal causality in the Sikh thought. Unfortunately under the



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