Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

The Versatility of Water: Metaphor and Imagery in Sikh Scripture

The Versatility of Water: Metaphor and Imagery in Sikh Scripture

Raveena Mata

This paper draws on conceptual metaphor theory, developed by Lakoff & Johnson, to understand how water is used as a source domain in the poetry of Sikh scripture to describe more abstract spiritual concepts as target domains. It attempts to answer the question: “How does the poetry of Sikh scripture harness the versatility of water to convey various moods, emotions, and frames of reference in one’s journey to merging with the Divine?” A literature review and in-depth, conceptual analysis were conducted based on different references to water and its variants (rain, thunder, storm, clouds, etc.). A few key metaphorical themes that were identified include: water as omnipresent divinity, water as a source of life, and water as a symbol of mercy, among others. Thus, this analysis explores how descriptions of water are used to relate both culturally specific and cross-culturally relevant meanings, contributing another layer of insight to Sikh paradigms and philosophy.

April 12, 2021 - Posted by | abstract

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