Sakhi, Vyakhya and the Self: Some Reflections on Chaubole Mahla 5

This essay probes the interplay between gurbani, sakhi and the human self. It attempts to show that a study of textual nuances (in this case the meaning of the word Chaubole) can sometimes be helpful in detheorizing varied conceptualizations of language, subjectivity and love in relation to the human body-self. While many of the prevalent methodological techniques in scriptural analysis are informed by the culture of modernity and are founded on supposedly universal notions of language as a tool of rational communication, I argue that this need not always be the case. The language of the Guru Granth Sahib, for example, stirs multiple effects in the human subject that urge us to tread a path of spiritual love. Sakhis are seen here not as mere myth, which conveys meaning through metaphor, but as vehicles that deliver the force of spiritual teachings right up to the door of the reader's subjectivity. This force empowers the subject's spiritual quest and it exists in the form of a charged language that retains the capability of transforming the self. This is one reason why I have chosen to write this essay in a language other than English. Interpretive frameworks imposed by the global spread of English through several centuries of colonialism can only be counteracted by resurrecting the particularities of oppressed, silenced and mutilated languages.


  1. Can you please post the full article here?

  2. I don't think that you can post full articles due to publishing policies. Veerji, it might be best for you to log into the website, get membership and then retrieve the article.

  3. Yes Anonymous,

    you are right. It cannot be published on blog due to copyright restrictions.

    But Surinder,

    you can log in via your iit id. I think iit must have provided some access to journal archivesl.
    If it has not provided you with any such access, then only God can help such institutions.

  4. God is running those institutions :)

  5. Not God,

    Stupid Indian Politicians are running those institutions.

  6. Veerji

    Sakhi is a true story, isn't it?

    Myths are something else?

  7. Yes Singh2 ji,

    You are right. Sakhi is a true story but every true story is not a Sakhi.
    The difference is crucial. Sakhi is that which happens in this world but tells about Dargah, the realm of spirituality. Actually, the time when Sakhi happens, the division between these worlds collapsed. The immanence and transcendence mingle with each other in the event of Sakhi. Sakhi is when Guru Sahib manifest full splendor of Akal Purakh through their Ilanhi karams.

    Myth is something else but it is not a simple lie. Maybe I will post something more about this in coming months.


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