Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji



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Guru Granth Sahib is the sacred scripture of the Sikhs. No Sikh ceremony is regarded as complete unless it is performed in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This holy scripture was written in Gurmukhi script and it contains the actual words and verses as uttered by the Sikh Gurus. After Guru Arjan Dev was appointed as Guru, he started compiling the hymns of the first five Gurus and some of the Bhagats (prophets) of medieval India into a sacred book initially known as the Adi Granth and was installed in 1604, in the Harimander Sahib (known as Golden Temple), Amritsar. The idea was to preserve the teachings of the Great Gurus and prevent contamination of their compositions. More importantly, it provided Sikhs a scripture they could relate to. He made no distinction and included hymns of all the preceding Gurus as well as great Hindu and Muslim prophets. This tradition was later carried on by other Gurus as well.

This copy of Adi Granth, which was Harmandir Sahib, fell into the hands of Dhirmal. In a selfish act, he refused to relinquish Adi Granth back to the Sikhs. This lead Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, to recompose the scripture and added the Adi Granth the composition of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur. It is believed that four copies of the Granth Sahib were prepared; the first one was sent to the Harimander Sahib at Amritsar, the second to Anandpur, the third to Patna and the fourth was kept by him at Nander. The new version, Granth Sahib, not only contained the original contents, but also the compositions of later Gurus and other saints. Guru Gobind Singh did not include his own verses in the Granth due to his modesty and humility.

At the time of death, Guru Gobind Singh ended the line of living Sikh Gurus by raising the Adi Granth to the status of a permanent Guru and renamed it Guru Granth Sahib. He then commanded the Sikhs that it was to be revered as the body and spirit of the Ten Gurus. It is the ultimate teacher of the sikhs. Sikh means disciple and Guru means teacher .

Every copy of Guru Granth Sahib consists of 1430 pages. It contains the Banis (the sacred compositions) of the first five Gurus and the ninth Guru as well as a number of passages of verses written by several saints from Muslims, Hindus and even so called "untouchable". This was done to demonstrate the Sikh respect for other saints and tolerance for all faiths. Altogether, Guru Granth Sahib includes 5894 Shabads (hymns or holy verses) it is written in the Gurmukhi script which are arranged in 31 Ragas (musical measures). The first verse is Mool Mantar (or Mantra), the Root Verse, followed by daily prayer or Nitnem namely, Japji, Sodar and Kirtan Sohila. The remaining verses have been arranged according to their individual musical patterns or Ragas, which began with Siri Raga and end with Jai-jiwanti.

Among the composers of the Granth are Jaidev, Namdev, Rama Nand, Kabir and Farid.

Guru Granth Sahib is an anthology of prayers and hymns. Most of the hymns are addressed to God and often describe the devotee's condition: his aspirations and yearning, his agony in separation and his longing to be with Lord. The subject of Guru Granth Sahib is truth: how to live a truthful living, that is, an ultimate for an ideal person. As Guru Nanak states in the Mool Mantra, God is the Ultimate Truth and one has to cultivate those qualities, which are associated with him, in order to like Him. The basic concept behind the hymns is that sacred music, when sung or listened to with devotion and undivided attention can link the individual's consciousness with God. A mind may become stable and enjoy the peace of His divine Presence, as listening to the hymns can exert a powerful influence on the mind and help to establish its communion with God.

In Guru Granth Sahib, revelation and Raga go hand in hand. The Gurus were emphatic about the religious value of sacred music or Kirtan and stressed its continuous use, as source of divine joy and bliss. Sacred music is fine art wedded closely to the spiritual theme. It is devotional music in praise of the Glory of God conveyed by melody and rhythm. The goal or objective of Kirtan is to put the individual soul in tune with God.

Guru Granth Sahib is a book of Revelation. It conveys the Word of the Master through His messengers on earth. It is universal in its scope. The greatness of Guru Granth Sahib lies not only in its being the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs but also in it being a general scripture available to mankind, intended for everybody, everywhere.

According to Guru Gobind Singh's poet Sainapat, Bhai Nand Lal and Dhadi Nath Mal, all of who were present at Nander, a day before the Guru's demise, the sikhs enquired as to whom he was entrusting his Khalsa. Bhai Nand Lal in Rahitnama says the Guru replied he has three forms. The first was nirgun or invisible, the second was his word and the third was sagun or the visible. After his physical death his soul would be invisible. His second form would be Adi Granth (not Dasam Granth), "Dusar Rup Granthji jan , Mera rup Granthji jan. Is men bhed nahin kuchh man." The third sagun, or visible rup was the Khalsa. He added that he had bestowed his physical form upon his khalsa. The Guru accompanied by Khalsa went to the place where Adi Granth had been installed. He opened the holy book, placed five paise and a coconut before it, bowed before it, then went round the sacred scripture five times, bowed every time, and declared it as the Guru for all times to come. Upto this time the holy book was called Pothi Sahib. Gobind Singh named it Granth consisting of two words, Gur and Ant meaning eternal Guru. He asserted: " In future whoever wishes to seek englightenment, guidance and solace, let him read the holy granth. This is your Guru for ever and ever till eternity. " The Guru said that he was entrusting the Khalsa to the care of AkalPurukh (God). He affirmed

Dusara rup Granth ji jan

Un ke ang mero kar man Jo sikh gur darshan ki chah

Darshan karo granth ji ah.

Jo mam sath chaho kar bat

Granth ji parhe bichare sath.

jo muj bachan sunan ki chai

Granth ji parhe sune chit lae

mero rup Granth ji jan

Is men bhed nahin kuchh man

[The Granth is second myself (Guru Granth, not Dasam Granth which was compiled later by Bhai Mani singh), It should be taken for me. A Sikh who wants to see me, should have a look at the Granth. One who wishes to talk to me, should read the Granth and think over it. One who is anxious to listen to my talk, he should read the Granth and listen to its recitation with attention. Consider the Granth as my ownself. Have not the least doubt about it.]

Guru Gobind singh's last sermon (now it is part of daily routine of Sikhs, after Ardaas).

aagya bhai Akal ki Tabhi chalayo Panth,

Sab Sikhan ko hukum hai Guru Manyo Granth.

Guru Granth ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh.

jo, prabh ko milna chahe khoj shabad men le.

[Under orders of the Immortal being the Panth was started. All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider Guru Granth as representing Guru's body. Those who wish to meet God can find the way in its hymns.]

Thus Eleventh Guru Granth Sahib ji were born. Guru Granth has 1430 pages of text in poetry form. The Guru Granth is full of devotion, meditation, grace of Guru and God. It includes hymns of more then 20 Hindu and Muslim saints of India. It is the only holy book in world which was written by its founder of religion. Bible was not written by Christ, neither was Quran but Granth was written by all Gurus, from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind. Guru Granth Sahib also contains the hymns of famous saints of their time (irrespective of caste, creed, religion,etc).

Guru Gobind Singh wrote his own Granth, which was called "Dasam Granth". Bhai Mani Singh compiled and included other work of Guru Gobind Singh in Dasam Granth. Here is the comparison of both granths. Guru Granth vs. Dasam Granth.

Adi Granth and Dasam Granth, a comparison: similarity.

1. Both the granths have almost the same number of printed pages of the same size of the page and similar type. The Guru Granth has 1430 pages and Dasam Granth 1428.

2. Both belive in one supreme being, a personal God, merciful and kind.

3. God is also all-pervading, unborn, formless, timeless.

4. Both lay emphasis on meditation and repetition of the Name to achieve salvation.

5. Both believe in the law of karma and transmigration of soul.

6. Both have faith in Sacha Khand.

7. Both emphazie on the devotion to the Guru, who is perfect man, but not God.

8. Both rely on casteless and class less society, and equality between man and woman.

9. Both are in poetry and in Gurmukhi script.

The difference between Guru Granth and Dasam Granth.

1. The main difference between the two is that of objective. The Guru Granth aims at gaining peace of mind and complete renunciation. The Dasam Granth believes in a holy war (Dharma Yudh) against tyranny and fanaticism.

2. God of Guru Granth is God of truth. God of Dasam Granth is God of justice, ready to strike at the tyrant, autocrat and the despot.

3. The Guru Granth is full of devotion, meditation, grace of Guru and God. The Dasam granth depicts scenes of battles, arms and weapons and intrigues of men and women.

4. Guru Nanak's Japji and Guru Gobind singh's Jap differ essentially. Japji believes in God's Hukum. There is no such thing in Gobind Singh's Jap.

5. According to Loehlin, the Guru Granth may be compared to Temple and the Dasam Granth to a fortress. (Loehlin pages 57-59)

The Granth also explains what Guru Nanak meant by a "perfect individual" or a Gurmukh. It is a remarkable storehouse of spiritual knowledge and teachings. It does not preach any rites or rituals but stresses meditation on the Name of God. Through its teachings, it can enable men and women to lead a purposeful and rewarding life while being productive members of a society. It seeks universal peace and the good of all mankind. Guru Granth Sahib also stresses the democratic way of life and the equality of all people. It teaches that we are Karm Yogis, that is, we reap what we sow. The emphasis is on moral actions, noble living and working for the welfare of all people. Respect and veneration for Guru Granth Sahib does not imply idol worship, but rather respect for a divine message, the ideas and ideals contained in the Sikh scripture. Meditation on the True Word, Satnam or the Wonderful Enlightener, Waheguru, or on any line of a verse in Guru Granth Sahib, may bring the true devotee or disciple to be in tune with God.

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