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Sant is the synonym for, 'the saint'. A saint or sant is a holy man clothed with the power of the numenon. The term sant occurs frequently in the ancient Pali literature of Bud-dhism from where it seems to have been resuscitated during the middle ages in India when the Bhakti Movement took birth. Through the Bhakti Movement, this term has come to be incorporated in the Sikh sacred literature. In the Guru Granth there is frequent mention of the status and significance of a sant, a holy man, who represents the salt of the earth and the hope of mankind. Out of this background has sprung a class of pseudo-sants amongst the Sikhs in recent years that claim holiness in the terms of the Fundamental teachings of Sikhism and thus have acquired much influence in the countryside where Sikh masses predominate.

These Sant are mostly illiterate or uneducated, according to the ancient prejudice that holiness accords ill with worldly learning and scholastic education. As a consequence, this class of the sants amongst the Sikhs is more conspicuous for fraud and chicanery rather than piety and capacity to guide individuals and direct the society towards ethical goals.



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