The Word Called Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib
The Word Called: Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib

There is a language, a scientific language, relating to god through the balance, combinations and permutations of sound. What is that? It is called siri guru granth sahib.the pratical experiment to exalt the word of god in a practical sense failed throughout the times. It was immpossible because personalities had to play the part. They had to carry the word. But this time came to its end, and finally, guru granth sahib installed siri guru grnath sahib as the guru for those who follow the path of infinity.

“So did the Akal Purkh ordain

the Word is Master now

the song of Nam, the Guru Granth

All Khalsa shoud seek the Master in His word

And bow to Guru Granth as my successor.” (Bh. Prehlad Singh)

Siri Guru Granth Sahib is the living Guru. The faith of the Sikhs is a living one, inspired and reinspired by the Divine idea and by the Living Word. To understand it we need to enter with sympathy into the mind, live in childlike spirit, and have religious experiences as living examples of Gursikhs.

Siri Guru Granth Sahib is authentic history of Guru’s mind in poetry and song (Bani+Raag). Gurus have poured the infinty of their souls into their Banis. The Banis are then poured into the hearts of Sikhs. It is a living fountain wherein hundereds, thousands and millions quench their spiritual thirst.

It does three things to a Sikh: Firstly, the mind takes a deep dip in the divine thought if Gurbani which enables it to discriminate right from wrong or good from bad. Secondly, The Bani, helps the mind to concentrate and become strong. Thidly, this Bani has come from God into Guru’s word. Automatically the lover of Gurbani is attracted towards God. In other words, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib blesses us with the marvelous devotion to the infinite being from which all come and to which all go. It is not just as affirmation of the mere idea of this ‘Being’. But it is absolute in personal devotion to the ‘Beloved’.

When the world leaves you by the weight of its matter, then you must go to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. You will hear the Word, the Light of Lights. whoever you are, whatever you are, you start singing Bani, which is the linking bridge between finite and infinite state of grace. Why? Because the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is the story of Truth. It does not allow the traffic with falsehood of half truth or with any kind of superstitions or hypocrisies. For example, Siri Guru Granth Sahib finds the Krishna worshippers dancing in open air theatres in wild and sensual frenzy. “They dance and the kick the dirt. Dust of the streets settles on their heads. All this singing and dancing is illusion” (Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Asa Di Var). The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is the answer to all questions. It is the world teacher, the teacher of one single poor man unknown by name or fame, the teacher of pandits, religious and political leaders, kings, missionaries etc.

Compliation of Siri Guru Grnath Sahib

The story of Siri Guru Grnath Sahib starts from the day when Guru Nanak utteres the first hymn. It was then that the compilation of Siri Guru Grnath Sahib started. The first hymn was recited in 1475 in Rai Bhoe kee Talwandi, the birthplace of Guru Nanak. Adi Siri Guru Granth Sahib in its final form was completed in 1706 in Sabo Kee Talwandi by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Master. So it took 231 years for the completion of Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Nanak always said that his Guru was the ‘Shabad.’ the word. Bhai Gurdas says wherever Guru Nanak went he made human beings realize the supermacy of ‘Shabad’. “There is no miracle other than the Word”, were Guru Nanak’s words. When the Siddhas asked how he became so spiritually strong, Guru Nanak answered, “Other than the company of ‘Bani-Guru’, I have no other strenght or shelter.” Bhai Gurdas has written that it was only through the Word that Guru Nanak could conquer the whole world. The Yogis also asked Guru Nanak who was his Guru.

Teraa kavan guroo jis kaa too chelaa.
Sabad guroo surat dhun chelaa.
(Adi Guru Granth, p. )
(Who is the Master whose disciple thoy art? .......)
The holy word is the Preceptor, by devoted meditation on it am I its disciple.

Whatever and whenever the ‘Shabad’ manifested in his heart, Guru Nanak wrote it down in a book he always kept with him. Bhai Gurdas in one of his Vars says that when Guru Nanak went to Mecca he had two things with him, asa (stick) and kitab(book)1 . This book can only be the book in which wrote His Bani. This is also why the Quazis and Mullaa (n)s asked Guru Nanak, “Open your and tell us who is greater, a Hindu or a Muslim?” (Bhai Gurdas, Vars)2.

There were times when Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana were all by themselves in jungles. Whenever Guru Nanak felt like singing Bani, he used to say, “Mardana, start playing the rebeck. Bani is coming to me.” There was no one else then who wrote the Bani, but Guru Nanak himself, in his journeys wherever Guru Nanak went he met Hindu and Muslim saints and held discussions with them. He collected the hymns of those saints whose thoughts were similar to his own. In his first journey, he collected the hymns of Kabir, Bhagat Ravi Das, Jai Dev, Nam Dev, Beni, Parmanand, Bhagat Surdas, Sain and Dhanna. In his third journey, he collected the hymns of Baba Farid, and Bhagat Sadhana. Guru Nanak’s own Bani testifies that he started editing Bhagat’s Bani. For example, Baba Farid wrote a hymn. Beraa bandh na sakio bandhan kee welaa.

Bhar sarvar jab oochhlai tab taran duhelaa. (Adi Guru Granth, p. )
Listen, thou Man! thou did’st not look to the tockle of thy boat while it was yet time. In the swollen lake how shall it float? (1)
Guru Nanak put his hymn in Raag Suhi. Then he put a hymn of his own to explain the other side of Baba Farid’s hymn.
Jap tap kaa bandh berulla jit langhah wahelaa.
Naa sarvar naa oochhlai aisaa panth suhelaa.
(Adi Guru Granth, p.729)
With Contemplation and austerity equip thy boat, where by easily mayst thou cross over. Then shall there not be the ocean not the storm - Easy shall thy path be. (1) (Soohi Mahalla 1) -729

Guru Nanak made it clearer by saying that it was right that without Guru one cannot find the path, but more important was faith in th Guru. So all the hymns that he collected in his journey he wrote in the same kitab.

When Guru Nanak passed the Light of Guru-ship to Bhai Lehana. Guru Angad, he asked Guru Angad to ask for any blessing of gift. Guru Angad asked for three things: First was Guru Nanak’s comberband. Second was Guru Nanak’s kitab (book). Third he asked for Bhai Balwand, the bard who used to play kirtan for Guru Nanak after Bhai Mardana’s death. Guru Nanak gave all these things to Guru Angad. The Janam Sakhi of Guru Nanak says that when Guru Angad became Guru, Guru Nanak gave him his own treasure of Bani. Guru Angad wrote the Gurmukhi script and put his own Bani in sloks along with the Bani of Guru Nanak. This book was then called ‘Pothi’. He passed this ‘Pothi’ to Guru Amar Das. Guru Amar Das edited it. In some places he even explained Guru Nanak’s and Bhagat’s thoughts. This whole treasure of Bani then was passed to Guru Ram Das, the fourth Master. And from him it passed to Guru Arjan Dev. At that time it was called ‘Aad Pothi’.

Throughout all this time, the Gurus preached to the Sikhs to be attached to the Word rather than to the physical body of the Guru. When Prithi and Kheda came to Guru Nanak in Kartarpur they wanted to quit their wordly responsiblities and live with Guru Nanak, enjoying his darshan all the time. Guru Nanak told them, “I abide in the ‘Sadh Sangat’. Go to Dharmsala early in the morning and also in the evening, serve the ‘Sadh Sangat’ and sing Gurbani. By doing this you will be serving me and i will always be with you. Now go back to your village and perform your worldly duties honestly. If you meet the physical body of the Guru, you must one day be separated from him. But if you attach yourself to the ‘Word’ of the Guru, you will never be separated from Him.” (Bhai Mani Singh, Sikhaa(n) dee Bhagat Mala)

Guru Ram Das in Raag Nat Naaraaian says
Baanee guroo guroo hai baanee
wich baanee amrit saare
(Adi Guru Granth, p. 982)

The holy word is the true Master, the Master’s image the holy Word. In the holy Word is pervasive amrita.

To sing and recite Bani was one of the strongest practices of the Sikhs.

By this time, Siri Harimandar Sahib, the Golden Temple, was almost complete. Baba Prithi Chand, Guru Arjan’s eldest brother, was very angry that there were two things that made the Sikhs united and strong. One was that the city of Amritsar and the Siri Harimandar Sahib, the Golden Temple, were social, political and religious centers. The second was Gurbani. So to be recognized as Guru, Prithi Chand built a harimandar and nectar tank at Hehri and also built Dukh Nivaran Sahib as a substitute for Dukh Bhanjani. He also compiled a ‘pothi’ in which there were hymns of all the first four Gurus, saints and his own poetry. He composed poetry under the name of Nanak and then passed it out as those of Guru Nanak and other Gurus. On the other hand, Prithi Chand’s son Meharvan also started composing poetry under the seal of Nanak. So the number of hymns under the name of Nanak were increasing.

Usually the Sikhs could recognise the genuine Gurbani. In Sikhaa (n) dee Bhagat Mala, Bhai Mani Singh has written that some Sikhs such as Bhai Gopi, Bhai Teereth, etc. came to Guru Arjan in a group and requested, “When we read or hear Guru’s Bani we enjoy it and are spiritually elevated by it. Both the Sodhi’s like Prithi Chand and Meharvan have written bani under the name of Nanak. When we read their poetry our minds become more wordly and egotistical. What is the reason?” On hearing this Guru Arjan said to Bhai Gurdas, “At this time Gursikhs know Gurbani, but the Sikhs of the future won’t be able to recognise the genuine from the false poetry. So we must compile all of Guru’s Bani in the form of ‘Granth’. The script should be simple Gurumukhi script.’ But the situation was quickly becoming so confused that an undiscerning individual could not discriminate between the genuine or the false poetry. One day Guru Arjan heard a hymn of Mehrvan being sung by the bards. He told Bhai Gurdas that the genuine hymns should be separated form the false ones. because the Meenas were mixing them up. This led Guru Arjan to prepare and preserve an anthology of the preceding Sikh Gurus and other saints for posterity in their original form.

Also it was already in the mind of all Gurus to give the World a gift such as it had never experienced before, a source of divine living guidance so clear and penetrating that it could uplift the consciousness of a human being within no time. A gift so pure and essential that it could transcend the boundaries of time and religion and exist beyond personality and human form.

Thus began the compliation of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Arjan sent out a call to all the Sikhs wherever they were to bring any poetry which they had that had been composed by the Gurus.

There was a copy of the ‘Pothi Sahib’ in two volumes with Baba Mohan, son of Guru Amar Das. In one volume there was Gurus’ Bani and in the other was Bhagats’ (Saints) Bani. From Baba Mohan, Guru Arjan produced these volumes after much persuasion. Baba Mohan had copied these volumes with great devotion and love. He did not want to part with them. Only this great love and respect for Guru Arjan forced him to surrender them to the Guru, This is made clear in Bansavali Nama written by Kesar Singh Chibbar.

Guru Arjan da Mohan naal si wadda piar.

Puttar mame na lage, bhai sadh sant hitkar

For this great work, Guru Arjan selected a nice shady place in Amritsar on the bank of a tank dug by him named Ramsar. He took up his abode there and started the work. As Guru knew it would take a long time for the compilation. He asked Baba Budha to move to Amritsar from Beer and continue spreading the techings of the Gurus. Bhai Bano was appointed for other services at Ramsar. Day and night Bhai Bano served the sangat and the Guru.

After the collection of all the poetry was finished, Guru Arjan requested Bhai Gurdas to separate Guru’s Bani. Then Guru Arjan personally scanned each verse. One day Guru Arjan asked Bhai Gurdas, “How can you recognize which is true Gurbani and which is false?” “Only as unfortunate woman would not be able to recognize her husband’s voice.” was Bhai Gurdas’ very humble reply. “O Guru, this is ‘Khasam Kee Bani,” the Bani of Lord Husband. If in the next room some men are sitting and talking, the husband’s voice will directly strike his wife’s heart.”

After all the selection was done, Guru Arjan himself started dicatating the Bani to Bhai Gurdas. And Bhai Gurdas wrote it into Gurmukhi Script. Bhai Gurdas was often instructed by Guru Arjan to revise and correct the portion of Adi Granth that he had written during the day. The use of words such as ‘Sudh Keechay’ in some places in Adi Granth was an instruction to Bhai Gurdas, to correct if there was any error .

Guru Arjan planned to arrange the writings not by the subject, but according to musical measures, or ‘Raags’, in which the hymns are meant to be sung. The composition which is musical is also metrical, and so follows definite metrical schemes. So on this basis, the Hymns or Shabads are divided into different parts or padas. Each pada consists of one or more verses. The other divisions are pauris, sloks, chands, swayas, etc. There are some compositions with special headings and with special meaning or for specific purpose, like ‘Lava(n)’ the marriage song written by Guru Ram Das. The sloks of all the Gurus were at one place. Vars were only composed of pauris. According to the subject of the Vars, Guru Arjan selected the sloks and put them with the pauris. The sloks which were left over were put at the end under the heading, ‘Slok Vara(n) Te Vadheek’. So, in this way the pothi was divided into four major parts. First came the Bani of the Nitnem, that is Jap-Ji, Rehiras and Sohila. Second was the Bani in raagas, which makes the major portion of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Each Raag starts with the compositions of the Gurus and ends with those of Bhagats. Third was that Bani which was not in a specific Raag. That is Saihaskritee Sloks, the sloks of Bhagat Kabir and Bhagat Farid, and Swayas of Guru Arjan and the bards (Bhatts). The fourth and last portion was the left over sloks and concluding hymn, ‘Mundaavanee’, written by Guru Arjan. At the end is the Raagmala, the list of the Ragas in the sequence as traditional Indian catalog style popular then. The whole Bani of all the Gurus, including Guru Arjan’s own Bani and Bhagats’ Bani, in thirty Raags The thirty Raags are as follows: Sri Maajh, Gauree, Aasa, Goojaree, Devgandhaaree, Bihaaghraa, Vadhans, Sorath, Dhanaasaree, Jaitsaree, Todee, Bairaaree, Tilang, Soohee, Bilaval, Gau(n)d, Raamkalee, Natnaaraaian, Maalee Gauraa, Maaroo, Tukhaaree, Kedaaraa, Bhairau, Basant, Saarang, Malhaar, Kannaraa, Kaliaan and Prabhatee.1

Guru Arjan put the Guru’s Bani in order: Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan. Guru Angad’s sloks he put in the Vars and slok Vaaraa(n) te Vadheek. Following Guru’s Bani, he put Bhagats’ Bani. There is Bani of fifteen Bhagats which are as follows : Kabir, Nam Dev, Trilochan, Jai Dev, Shaikh Farid, Sadhana, Beni, Ramanand, Ravi Das, Peepaa, Sain, Dhanna, Bhikhan, Parmanand and Sur Das. He also put the hymns of four devoted Sikhs; Bhai Mardana in raag Vadhans, Baba Sundar ji in Raag Ramkalee, and bards Rai Balwand and Satta Doom in raag Ramkalee.

He put the swayas of eleven bards following his own swayas. The swayas written by bards are in praise of all five Gurus from Guru Nanak to Guru Arjan. The eleven bards are as follows: Kal Sahar, Jalap, Kirat, Bhikha, Sal, Bhal, Nal, Gayand, Mathura, Bal and Harbans.

While compiling Adi Granth, Guru Arjan specially took care of the following things: (1) He rejected the Raagas which were expressive of excessive exuberance or sadness. (2) He did not use Raagas accordings to the Indian catalog style popular in those times, as the raagas were divided into families, sons, daughters and wives, called raginis. But Guru Arjan did not make any distinction between a raaga and a ragini. Raginis were also used as raagas. Raaga literally means something that colors or tints the mind with some definite feeling. (3) He did not include the poetry of the saints which gave the slightest feelings of ego, discrimination, caste conciousness, sex prejudice, degradation of human life and renunciation. etc. (4) The language that he used was the accepted vehicle of literary expression at that time. The metaphor of the Bani is homely and direct, such as one would experience in the daily course of one’s life. (5) Each hymn was very carefully numbered so that no one could add or subtract any hymn or any verse. (6) The poetry of Bhagats was also selected and edited because people had also started writing poetry under their names.

It took about three years for the compilation by Guru Arjan. Guru Arjan named it the ‘Adi Granth’. “It will not be just a book, but a Granth in which the Word of God will be tied down so that men can read it, chant it, sing it, remember it and live it,” said Guru Arjan. This whole work was finished on August 15, 1604. It took another fifteen days to write the table of contents and bind the Granth. On August 30, 1604 Granth was brought into Siri Harimandar Sahib. Sikh Sangat’s were invited for this special day. At Ramsar, Guru Arhan explained the importance and greatness of the Adi Granth. He said that no one should ever try to chance a single letter or a word of it. The one who will change it, will be foolish and will be punished.

Then he requested Baba Budha ji to carry the Adi Granth on his head, while he himself carried the chaur sahib. He walked barefooted from Ramsar to Siri Harimandar Sahib. The Sikhs walked with the Adi Granth forming a procession and singing kirtan all the way. Everyone looked like God on the earth. Baba Budha placed the Adi Granth on a decorated throne in Siri Harimandar Sahib. Then the opened the Adi Granth and read a hymn as a Hukam. It was Soohee Mahalla 5:

Santaa ke kaaraj aap khaloiaa har kamn karaavan aa-i-aa raam

Dharat suhaavee taal suhaavaa which amrit jal chaa-i-aa raam.

Amrit jal chaa-i-aa pooran saaj karaa-i-aa

sagal manorath poorae.

Jai jai kaar bha-i-aa jag antar laathe sagal wisoore.
Pooran purakh achut abinaasee jas wed puraanee gaa-i-aa.
Apna birad rakhiaa parmesar Naanak naam dhiaa-i-aa. (Adi Guru Granth, p.783)
His devotees’ tasks has the Lord Himself undertaken to fulfil; These himself has the Lord come to accomplish.

Beauteeris the spot, beauteous the Pool, where in is filled water amrita-pure:

Filled amrita pure is the water, completed are all objects, Fulfilled all desires.
Over the world has resounded the sound of the Lord glory,

The Supreme Being, perfection incornate, eternal, immortal, whose landation Vedas and Puranas have sung. Gone are all sorrows.

Nanak on the Lord’s Name has meditated,

Who his law of grace has fulfilled (1) (Soohee Mahalla 5)

All day sangats came for the darshan of Adi Granth. Langar was served all day. At night Baba Budha asked, “where should we put Adi Granth for the night?” Guru Arjan said, “Adi Granth is the living guidance. living Word and should be put on my bed with full reverence.” Baba Budha asked, “O Guru, where will you sleep?” Guru Arjan said, “Make my bed by the side of Adi Granth in the floor.” Adi Granth was brought to that place with the same reverence as it was brought from Ramsar to Harimandar Sahib. For the rest of his life, Guru Arjan slept on the floor by the side of Adi Granth. In this way he taught the Sikhs to respect and worship the Adi Granth. Guru Arjan had already given the Sikhs a central place to worship, the Golden Temple. He had already organised the sangats under masands better than before. He had already strenghtened the practice of giving dasvand to Guru’s house. Now by giving the Adi Granth to the Sikhs he perfected the organisation of the faith in every way. He had given the Sikhs a new and effective practical living guidance to worship God through the Word of God.

Meanwhile, Jahangir the Mughal emperor was hearing news of the growing influence of the Guru, not only among the Hindus but also among the Muslims. Earlier a report had been lodged with Akbar, the former Mughal emperor, the the Guru had compiled a book in which the Muslim faith had been reviled. Akbar had asked that the book be read to him. Guru Arjan sent Bhai Gur Das and Baba Budha to the court of Akbar. They took the Adi Granth with them. In the court of Akbar they read a few hymns from the Adi Granth. The emperor was impressed by the spiritual beauty and universality expressed in the hymns. He decorated the two Sikhs with robes of honor and vowed to visit the Guru himself in the near future. But Jahangir, the next Mughal emperor, who was made of a different texture, was not friendly to the Sikhs. He could not tolerate the growing authority of Guru Arjan as he admits in his autobiography, ‘Tuzak-I-Jaha(n) giri’. He wanted to stop the growing influence of Guru Arjan. To find an excuse for his evil plan, he asked Guru Arjan to change some lines of the Adi Granth which he felt were offensive to him, the lines that criticized the hypocritical practices of the Muslims. Guru Arjan, for whom life or death made little difference, easily refused. Jahangir then had him tortured and finally after five days executed him. Guru Arjan sacrificed himself to preserve the integrity of the Adi Granth. Similarly, Guru Hargobind recognised the supermacy of the Adi Granth throughout his lifetime. During the wedding of Guru Hargobind’s daughter, Bibi Veero, the Guru became involved in a battle with the Mughals. The wedding was to take place in Jhubal. Late in the evening, after the battle, he remembered that Adi Granth was still in Prakaash in Siri Harimandar Sahib. He quickly returned to Siri Harimandar Sahib and did the Sukhaasan of the Adi Granth. Then he proceeded to the wedding.

On one other occasion, Guru Hargobind was ready to give the Guru-ship to a Sikh who could read the Jap-Ji with full concentration and perfect pronounciation. But the Sikh failed at the very end of his recitation of the prayer, when he began to inwardly anticipate the reward the Guru would give to him and let his mind stray from the Gurbani. The tender hearted Guru Har Rai, the seventh Master, could not tolerate even his son who tampered with Gurbani. The story was this: When Dara Shikos lost the succession to the throne of emperor to his brother Aurangzeb, he fled towards the West and came to Kiratpur. There he asked the Guru for help. The Guru arrayed his men along the River Beas and held the pursuing forces untill Dara Shikoh had fled to safety. Aurangzeb, the emperor, did not forgive the Guru for helping his brother escape. He asked the Guru to present himself in his court. But the Guru did not go himself; he sent his son Ram Rai. Before his departure the Guru counseled him to be true in all his actions and by no means to compromise the honor of the Adi Granth.

Aurangzeb received him well and said that he only wanted to be assured that there was nothing derogatory to the Muslims in the Sikhs’ scripture and that the Sikhs were not poised against the imperial rule. Ram Rai with his vast spiritual background and cultured manners pleased the emperor. He performed more than seventy two miracles to win the emperor’s favour. Sikhs in Delhi were sending the Guru all the news about Ram Rai. The Guru tolerated Ram Rai’s self-witted actions to some extent. But when Ram Rai Misinterpreted the Word of Guru Nanak in his desire not to offend the emperor, the Guru was so anguished that he called upon Ram Rai to leave the emperor’s court at once. He should go wherever he wanted to go, but he was never to see him again and he had lost his spiritual lineage. He also ordered the Sikhs not to deal with or see Ram Rai at all.

During these times some Sikhs came to Guru Har Rai and asked, “How can we know our minds are awakening?” Guru Har Rai Said,

Man Jaage Kee eh nishaanee
Tao ur laagai meethee baanee.
Jin bhai addab naa(n) baanee dhaaraa.
So Jaano sikh naahee(n) hamaaraa.
(Guru Har Rai, the Seventh Master-Sooraj Prakash)
The sympton of awakened mind is, that in the core of heart (sikh) starts loving Gurbani, the person who does not has any reverance for the Bani, Understand thou, he does not relate to me as a sikh.

Each of the Gurus in their lifetimes regarded the Divine Word, as enshrined in Adi Granth, as their very self, nay as their Guru. Their devotion to the Word was so powerful that when the Gurus talked even to emperors they spoke through Gurbani.

History records the great influence of Gurbani. Guru Har Krishan was only seven years old when he dealt with the most cruel fanatic Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb wanted to see Guru Har Krishan. but the Guru refused. Guru Har Rai had given him instructions not to see the emperor personally, So Guru Har Krishan wrote the following hymn of Guru Nanak to the emperor:

“What can be achieved by eating and what by dressing, so long as that True Lord abides not in the man’s Mind? What is dry fruit, what clarified butter (ghee) and sweets molasses, what fine flour and what meat? What is raiment and what comfortable couch, to enjoy sexual intercourse and revelment? Of what use is an army and what the mace bearers, servants and dwelling in manisons? Nanak, without the True Name, the entire paraphernalia is perishable.”

(Adi Guru Granth, p.142)
Kiaa khaadhai kiaa paidhai hoe.
Jaa man naahee sachaa soe.
Kiaa mevaa kiaa ghio gur mithaa kiaa maidaa kiaa maas.
Kiaa kapar kiaa sej sukhalee keejah bhog bilaas.
Kiaa laskar kiaa neb khavaasee aavai mahlee vaas.
Nanak sache naam vin sabhe tol vinaas.
(Adi Guru Granth, p.142)

The emperor was much impressed by the hymn. It opened his eyes to the Truth. He could not dare to call the Guru into his court, so he himself went to see the Guru. (Gurdwara Bangla Sahib now stands at that place). But Guru Har Krishan shut the door and Aurangzeb could not wait outside. After two hours, the emperor left disappointed without having seen the Guru. This is the power of the Word which made even an emperor to wait and bow at Guru’s door.

When the original copy of Adi Granth was completed, Bhai Bannoo was asked to copy the whole Adi Granth so that a second copy could be avialable to make more copies. Bhai Bannoo asked several Sikhs to help him. The copying was to be done in only one night. That copy is known as Khaaree Beer, and in it two hymns of other saints whose poetry was not accepted by Guru Arjan and was not put into original Adi Granth were added innocently by some Sikhs helping with the copying. From this copy of the Adi Granth few other copies were made. During Guru Teg Bahadur’s time there were about nine copies of Adi Granth.

When prevailing political conditions compelled Guru Hargobind to leave Amritsar, the original copy of Adi Granth was taken into possession by his grandson, Baba Dhirmal. When Guru Har Krishan passed Guru-ship to Guru Teg Bahadur, Baba Dhirmal tried to set himself up as Guru. He used the original Adi Granth as evidence of his legitimate claim to the Guruship. He even employed as assassin to shoot Guru Teg Bahadur, however, the Guru escaped unhurt. But the Sikhs were furious and ransacked Baba Dhirmal’s property and brought him as a prisoner before the Guru. They also brought the original copy of Adi Granth which Baba Dhirmal had in his possession. But Guru Teg Bahadur pardoned Baba Dhirmal and asked the Sikhs to return all his belongings as well as the Adi Granth.

Guru Teg Bahadur moved to Anandpur Sahib. Soon after that he started his missionary work. He travelled and preached all over India. During his travels he wrote hymns which are fifty-nine in number and fifty-seven sloks while imprisoned in Delhi. After Guru Teg Bahadur left his body, his nine year old son, Gobind Rai, became Guru. Guru Gobind Singh (Gobind Rai) knew the entire Adi Granth by heart when he was only nine years old. He also wrote a lot of poetry when he was in Anandpur Sahib and Paonta Sahib. During his hasty flight from Anadpur Sahib, the copy of the Adi Granth he had with him was submerged in the river Satluj and lost forever, along with many of the Guru’s own writtings. After the battles with the Mughals had ended, the Guru stayed at Damdama Sahib (Sabo Kee Talwandee) for some time. He sent a message to Baba Dhirmal, requesting him to allow the Guru to borrow the original Adi Granth in order to make a copy. Dhirmal haughtily refused, saying, “If you are the Guru, then make your own copy.” Undaunted, Guru Gobind Singh called Bhai Mani Singh to his side. Going deeply into meditation, the Guru recited the Adi Granth from beginning to end, including verses of his father, Guru Teg Bahadur, while Bhai Mani Singh carefully wrote everything down. This volume of Adi Granth is known as ‘Damdamee Beer’.

Guru Gobind Singh left Damdama Sahib (Sabo Ki Talwandi) for the south on October 17, 1706. He stayed in Damdama Sahib about eighteen months. The Guru reached Nanded in the South on July 19, 1708 an on August 18 the Guru was mortally wounded by a pathan. Three pathans regularly used to attend the holy congregation in the evening. Non-sikhs, including Muslims, participated in the religious meetings addressed by the Guru. The presence of the pathans in the congregation was not unusual. This pathan had attended the congregation every evening for some days. He was familiar with the Guru’s schedule. On August 18, 1708 the pathan joined the congregation as usual. Then when he found the Guru alone, he attacked him. The Guru was critically wounded. The wound was sewn together and even started healing. However, a month later, as he drew his bow to shoot an arrow, the stitches opened and the wound began to bleed a new. On midnight of October 7, 1708 the Guru called for his Sikhs. He told them that time had come and that he must depart. He asked Bhai Daya Singh to bring the Adi Granth. He asked for the Panj Piara and had them stand behind the Adi Granth which had been placed on a throne. Guru Gobind Singh then placed five coins and a coconut, the traditional symbols of spiritual inheritance, before the Adi Granth. He bowed deeply. Then he placed the tilak of Saffron upon the Adi Granth. He circumambulated the Adi Granth five times. And then, he announced that the Adi Granth was now the Guru and it should be called ‘Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib’.

Guru Gobind Singh gave his last sermon to the Sikhs by saying, “From now onwards, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib will be your Guru. Whosoever wants to talk to me should read Siri Guru Granth Sahib with full devotion. whosoever longs to hear my words should read Siri Guru Granth Sahib with one-pointed concentration. Behold me in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Never see any difference between me and Siri Guru Granth Sahib. A Sikh should take a shower early in the morning and then come to see the Guru. He should sit very respectfully and meditate on the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.”

The Sikhs were confused and upset to hear that Guru Gobind Singh would no longer be with them. They asked him, because they always loved him and were attracted to and inspired by his darshan, what to do now? Guru Gobind Singh promised that wherever five Sikhs were present in whose heart God resided and who every morning read their of nitnem Bani’s (daily routine as ordered by Guru) and meditated on the One God, then he would be physically present with them. The Sikhs again asked what should they do if they could not find five Sikhs. Guru then said that one such Sikh would represent him. But the Sikhs persisted saying, what if even one such Sikh could not be found. Guru Gobind Singh replied, “O Sikh, get up in the Amrit vela and take a shower, meditate on gurmantra Waheguru, read your Banis with love and devotion and concentration. Dress yourself up with Khalsa Bana, put on all your weapons, and tie a neat turban. Then go and stand before the mirror. Whatever ypu will see in the mirror will be me.”

In this way, Guru Gobind Singh prepetuated his physical existence for all times, and so shall ever remain a great source of moral support to all seekers of truth and righteousness.

Guru Gobind Singh asked Bhai Daya Singh to read the Hukam from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. The hymn was by Guru Arjan in Raag Maru on page 1,000 in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. With this event the line of Gurus in human form ended. The Word was now the Guru of the Sikhs.

By good furture dawing on me, and the Lord’s grace.
Divine laudation have a sung.
Ended is endavour and rest attained
As under shelter of the holy the immanent creator
My mind has entered, (I-Pause)
Cast off are lust, wrath, avarice, attachment,
Repulsed all foes.
Ever is the Lord present by me, watching over me,
Distant mever (2)
As God’s devotees have been aidant,
Cool joy has come, and all desires fulfilled,
In an instant are the fallen purified:
Beyond expression is the Lord’s praise. (3)
With all fear annulled, fear less have we become,
Under shelter of the Divine feet.
Nanak, absorbed therein night and day,
divine laudation sings (4) (6)
In the words of Giani Gian Singh : “The order came from the timeless God. Only then a new path has been ceated. It is the hukam for all Sikhs to obey the Granth Sahib as Guru. By worshipping the Guru Granth Sahib you will experience the Light of the ten Gurus. If anyone wishes to meet the One God, let him search and find Him in the Word.” This is the first time on this planet earth that the Word has presided over man, and man has bowed to the Word. There is no middleman. Vedas can be God, but not Guru. The Bible can be holy scripture but not the Guru. The Mahabharata can be greatest philosophy, but not Guru. The only scripture which reached to Guruship is Siri Guru Granth Sahib. All other scriptures of the world were written after the great people had died. But this scripture was written within the lifetime of the Gurus. The Sikh is blessed. He is conceived in the womb of the mother while all along the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is waiting outside for him to be born. As a Sikh, you can never be without a Guru, for the Guru has been given to you, and to your seed, and to all your generations. The seeker cannot live without a Guru, and the Guru must be present for the seeker. Without the Guru there is no knowledge. So find the Guru! But where? How do you find Him? How do you know? We were very fortunate Guru Nanak found the Guru for us. The Guru as he found it was the Word. The Word was his Guru. He gave the Word to us as our Guru.

Sri Guru Granth’s Sovereignty And Supremacy
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a celestianal light. The sacred hymns in this religious scripture do not belong to one person but it is a revealed word received through the mouth of many hymn-writers. It is Lord’s word. The praise and eulogy of Sri Guru Granth - the lord of umbrella and flywhisk, is an inhaustible treasure, and is capable of providing direction to religion, society, economy and polity and creating a hale and healthy society and giving unique purpose to the confused mankind going astray due to the glitter of materialism. It cannot be described,

You are beyond our comprehension as you are infinite and limitless. It is not possible for me to narrate your excellences.1

Even then, some of the characteristics of the Lord are being written for the good of the common man:
  • It is a unique and only scripture in the world which has the honour of being called word-preceptor, Baanee guroo guroo hai baanee wich baanee amrit saare. 2 The Lord is my Guru, I (His disciple greatly love Him through the Guru’s word. Sabad guroo surat dhun chelaa.3 Gurbani is the embodiment of Guru and Guru is the embodiment of Gurbani. In the whole of Gurbani, the nectar is contained.
  • The world has one and only one word-preceptor who is omnipresent and is ever resplendent light, Sad hajoor haajar hai naajar katah na bha-io dooraaee.4 The Lord is ever present by our side and is supervising all our actions and is never far from me. Hai hajoor haajar ardaas. Dukh sukh saach karte prabh paas.5 The Lord is ever present. Make supplication in His presence. Woe and weal are in His hand as he is the creator.
  • It is unique scripture uttered directly by a Guru, Prophet, incarnation, mendicant or a guide, Dhur kee baanee aaee. The Gurbani has emanated from the primordial one and all our woes or worries have been eliminated though this. Daasan daas kahai jan Naanak jehaa toon karaa-i-he tehaa hao karee wakhiaan.7 Says serf Nanak, I am the slave of Thine slaves, O my Lord. As Thou makest me speak, so do i speak. Hao aapah bol na jaandaa mai kahiaa sabh hukmaao jeeo.8 By myself I Know not how to speak, I utter all, that is the command of my Lord.
  • Universal word-preceptor of entire humanity, Khatree braahman sood wais updes chahu warnaa kao saajhaa.9 The four castes of warriors, priests, farmers and menials are equal in divine instructions. Toon saanjhaa saahib baap hamaaraa. Nao nidh terai akhut bhandaaraa. 10 O Lord! you are our common master and father of us all and thine are the nine treasures and inhaustible blessings.
  • This world-teacher is supreme, most recent and is of scientific era amongst the religions of the world, Waahu waahu baanee nirankaar hai tis jevad avar na koe.11 Wonderful are the words which denote the Formless Lord. There is none so great as He. Sabh te ooch jaa kaa darbaar.12 His court is the most exalted. His name is the support of all His saints. Sabh te wad samrath gurdev.13 My powerful Guru-God is the greatest of all. Satgur jewad avar na ko-e. There is no other power as great as the True Guru, as the Guru Himself is the Supreme Lord. Guru is an embodiment of the Lord Himself and vice-versa.
  • Guru Granth does not unite us to corporeal Guru but it unites us with the Formless Master, Khasam chhod doojai lage dube se wanjaariaa.15 The self-willed persons who having forsaken the Lord, are engaged in dual-mindedness; thus they have been drowned in the ocean of life being busy in the business of vicious thoughts or worldly actions. Jinaa naao suhaaganee tinaa jhaak na hor.16 They who are called chaste brides, cherish not hope of another.
  • Guru gives guidance to the people and redeems us from the 84,000,00 cycles of births and deaths, Sarab kalaa samrath prabh poore gurdev.17 The omnipotent Lord, the possessor of all the power is met through the Perfect Bright Guru. Gur samrath gur nirankaar gur oochaa agam apaar.18 The Guru is potent to do everything and He is beyond our reach, High, unfathomable and Limitless. Gur pooraa pooree taa kee kalaa. Gur kaa sabad sadaa sad atalaa.19 Perfect is the Guru and perfect is the Guru’s word. Guru’s word is Immutable for ever and true for all times. Waah waah poore gur kee baanee. Poore gur te upjee saach samaanee.1.Rahaao.20 Wonderful and Blessed is the Gurbani of the Perfect Guru. It springs from the Perfect Guru and merges in the True Master.
  • Guru is the fountain of Divine Knowledge, and he is Timeless and Permanent for ever, Gur kee mahimaa kiaa kahaa guru bibek satsar. Oh aad jugaadee jugah jug pooraa parmesar.21 How could I express the Greatness and exaltedness of the Guru as He is like the ocean of Truth and Virtues? The Guru is ocean of Divine knowledge and truthfulness. He is, in fact an embodiment of the Lord Himself from the ages, including the period before the commencement of Time and even now, all through the ages. Gur saagaro ratanaagar tit ratan ghanere raam.22 The Guru is the mine of jewels and an ocean, which abounds in pearls. Satguru meraa sadaa sadaa naa aavai naa jaae.23 My Guru is ever existent and eternal who is neither born nor faces death any time.
  • Word-Guru is an immortal messenger of service, philanthropy and social justice, Ghaal khaa-e kichh hathah deh. Naanak raah pachhaanah sa-e.24 O Nanak! The person who earns his livelihood through hard work and then gives away to the poor in the name of God, has really realised the true path of life. Jaanah jot na poochhah jaatee aagai jaat na he.25 Recognize Lord’s Light within all and inquire not the caste as there is no caste in the next world.
  • Word Guru is the treasure of unique way of life which is the invaluable treasure of virtues and is of extreme importance to a house-holder. Andin keertan kewal bakhaan. Garist mah so-ee nirbaan.26 He, who night and day chants the praise of the Lord only he should be considered as having attained salvation and he who remains detached in his household should be considered as having attained salvation. Naanak ghar hee baithiaa sahu milai je neeat raas kare-e.27 O Man! why do you tear off your beautiful silken dress and cover your body with a blanket only. (The Lord is not attained by leaving the house and wandering in the forests). O Nanak! the Lord could be attained even as a householder by developing faith and purity of heart. Sach-ho orai sabh ko opar sach aachaar.28
  • All our actions are nowhere near Truth while ‘Truthful Living’ is still higher, being the highest and noblest act in life.
  • Word-Guru is the standard bearer of equality, reciprocal love and partnership of all. Sabhe saajheewaal sadaa-i-n toon kisai na disah baaharaa jeeo.29 All consider themselves as equal partners in receiving your benedictions and blessings as Thou are alien to none and everyone finds you within Himself. Sabh ko meet ham aapan keenaa ham sabhnaa ke saajan.30 I have befriended all, and I am friendly towards the whole world. Aval alah noor upaa-i-aa kudrat ke sabh bande. Ek noor te sabh jug upjiaa koun bhale ko mande.31 The lord created awareness in the universe through His enlightenment and then created all human beings through the nature. The whole world came into existence through the light of the one Prime-soul then, how could some persons be considered pious and others as sinful.
  • The Guru is a guarantee of Human rights, national integrity and world-peace, Huk paraa-i-aa Naanakaa us sooar us gaae. Gur peer haamaa taa bhare jaa murdaar na khaae.32 O Nanak, another man’s right is equivalent to eating pork for a Musalman and eating beef for a Hindu as these are forbidden in thier religions respectively. The spiritual guide and the prophet shall stand sure or ensure safety only if a man does not eat carrion and earns livelihood through fair and honest means. Sabhai ghat raam bolai raamaa bolai. Raam binaa ko bolai re.1.Rahaao.33 Within all the hearts the Lord speaks, the omnipresent Lord speaks. Save the Lord, who is else it is who speaks? Sabh gobind hai sabh gobind hai. Gobind bin nahee koee.34 Everything is the Lord, everything is the Lord. There is nothing but God, the world-sustainer.
  • The word-preceptor is the symbol of secularism, Sabh mah jot jot hai soe. Tis kai chaanan sabh mah chaanan hoe.35 O Lord! the same light shines forth from your creation, and it is through your light alone that the whole firmament has been lit. Jug chaare naam utam sabad beechaar.36 Meditation of True Name and deliberations of the ‘Guru’s word’ is considered to be the most effective and attractive in the four ages. Sabh karam dharam harinaam japaahaa.37 All the virtuous deeds and righteousness are contained in the meditation of God’s name.
  • The word Guru rejects all kinds of rituals, rites, superstitions, ostentantiousness and corporeal Guru’s tradition,. So sukheeaa jis bhram ga-i-aa.38 The person, who is truly fearless and who has rid himself of all misgivings is truly happy.
l Sachai sabad sadaa man raataa bharam ga-i-aa sareerah door.39 Doubt flees away from the body of him whose soul ever remains imbued with the True Name.

l Karam kaand bahu karhe achaar. Bin naavai dhrig dhrig ahankaar.40 Without the Name, accursed and doomed is the proud person, who may perform many religious rites and good actions. P The Guru is competent and is omnipotent,

l Sarab kalaa samrath prabh poore gurdev.41 The omnipotent Lord, the possessor of all the powers is met through the Perfect Bright Guru.

l Samrath athaah badaa prabh meraa. Ghat ghat antar saahib neraa.42 Omnipotent, unfathomable and exalted is my Lord. The Master abides in every heart and is very near.

l Chet manaa paarbrahm parmesar sarb kalaa jin dhaaree. Karunaa mai samrath suaamee ghat ghat praan adhaaree.43 O my mind! remember the Lord creator, whose latent power functions in all beings; the Lord Almighty pervades all the bodies, being the source of life. I am citing some examples from history to elucidate the significance and supremacy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

  • Baba Sahib Ambedkar who fought and struggled for the uplift of so-called low caste and depressed and down-trodden classes aspired to embrace Sikhism due to its greatness and excellence. Though Mahatma Gandhi and some other colleagues did not allow him to do so, yet he acknowledges that, “The birth right of human being is Empathy, equality and liberty. This is denied by the high caste people to the low-called castes. I draw your attention towards Sikhism. I say unto you that those untouchables who were not allowed to walk on the road, they have been emancipated from these shackles, after they embraced Sikhism. There is a spirit of brotherhood in Sikhism. The Sikh is confident of this, that whenever he is in difficulty and dangers, all Sikhs will stand by him. This fact is enough to illustrate that a single Sikh is equal to 1.25 lakhs. The idea of excommunicating on the pretext of caste is alien in Sikhism but in Hindus there is no equality and unity due to the caste system. Ask a Sikh, who he is ? He will not tell his caste but says, ‘I am a Sikh’. You are simply satisfied and you do not ask him if he is a Jat, Arora, Khattari, Ravidasia or a Mazhabi. But if anybody tells you that he is a Hindu, then you are compelled to know his caste. I like Sikhism due to this as its tenets and principles inspire me”.
  • Swami Ram Tirath was an ascetic. He was a great scholar of Vedas, Shashtras, Upanishads, and Vedantic texts and had spent his life in spiritual quest. He had written many books. After deep research and discussion he was distressed and grew sad and disconsolate when he found the incidents and accounts which narrated the injustice to low castes, and women and about unfair caste system. In the last part of his life the ascetic became a devotee of Sikhism and he was so much attracted to Sikh scriptures and the high ideals of Khalsa Panth that he abandoned the doddered form and countenance and embraced Siklism. He wrote many books about Sikhism from which following lines are produced: I have enjoyed the company of saints and sages, performed penance and went to pilgrimages. At last I realised that nothing is supreme and superior to the abode of the Guru. For those people, who according to the books of Brahmins, are mentioning Sikh religion a part of Hinduism I have written a book “Khalsa Panth - a Supreme Religion” to remove their doubts.
  • According to world-renowned philosopher and Historian Arnold Toynbee, Guru Granth Sahib is mankind’s common spiritual Treasure.
  • The famous Indian sage of modern times, T.L. Vasvani has extolled this unique sacred compilation calling it as a “World Scripture”.
  • Dr Mohammed Yusuf Abbasi wrote after a deep study and perusal of Shri Guru Granth Sahib, “Guru Granth is a treasure of cosmology and world-knowledge. Every seeker can find jewels, gems, rubies and diamonds from this ocean of divinity.”
  • According to Nobel Laureate Ms Pearl S. Buck, “I have studied the scriptures (religious books) of many religions but the inspirational urge which I have felt after studying Sri Guru Granth Sahib, has never been found in any other religious book.”
  • Max Arthur Macauliffe writes, “The preceptors and founders of the religions who were born in this world, have not a single line written by themselves behind them. We know about their teachings and missions mainly on the information based on hear say or tradition but the teachings of Sikh Gurus are exactly inviolate and safe in ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib and their teachings and mission is available in their original form. It is difficult to tell about any other ethical and wide-ranging system.”
  • Dr R.C. Majumdar writes, “The Sikh Gurus made first and last successful endeavour to unify the Hindus and Muslims in a spiritual and social commonwealth.”
  • Dr S. Radhakrishnan says, “Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a collection of feelings. It is an expression to realise the Almighty. It is celestional knowledge and ecstatic word. The oceans and mountains will give way for the propagation of the message of eternal truth which is present in the form of unbound faith, devotion and novelty, innovation of experience.”
  • Nirmal Kumar Jain, I.A.S. writes, “Sikh religion like an original religion, is a spontaneous revelation. It is not based on any Vedas and holy books of other religions. As it is not the outcome of any religion, similarly it has no collision or hostility with any other prevalent religion.”
1. Toon paarbrahm beant beant jee tere kiaa gun aakh wakhaanaa. Adi Guru Granth, p. 348
2. Adi Guru Granth, p. 943
3. Ibid, p. 982
4. Ibid, p. 1000
5. Ibid, p. 352
6. Ibid, p. 628
7. Ibid, p. 734
8. Ibid, p. 763
9. Ibid, p. 747
10. Ibid, p. 97
11. Ibid, p. 515
12. Ibid, p. 182
13. Ibid, p. 1152
14. Ibid, p. 1271
15. Ibid, p. 470
16. Ibid, p. 1384
17. Ibid, p. 811
18. Ibid, p. 52
19. Ibid, p. 1339
20. Ibid, p. 754
21. Ibid, p. 397
22. Ibid, p. 437
23. Ibid, p. 759
24. Ibid, p. 1245
25. Ibid, p. 349
26. Ibid, p. 281
27. Ibid, p. 1382
28. Ibid, p. 62
29. Ibid, p. 97
30. Ibid, p. 671
31. Ibid, p. 1349
32. Ibid, p. 141
33. Ibid, p. 988
34. Ibid, p. 484
35. Ibid, p. 663
36. Ibid, p. 229
37. Ibid, p. 699
38. Ibid, p. 1180
39. Ibid, p. 34
40. Ibid, p. 162
41. Ibid, p. 811
42. Ibid, p. 535
43. Ibid, p. 249
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