Guru Granth Sahib Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

The word �Guru� is a Sanskrit word. It is derived from the root words “Gu”, which means darkness or ignorance, and “Ru”, which means light or knowledge. Thus, Guru is a spiritual guide, who dispels ignorance and darkness. �Granth� means book. �Sahib� and �ji� are used to show respect for this Holy book.

Guru Granth Sahib is the ‘Holy Book’ or the Sacred Scriptures of the Sikhs. Guru Granth Sahib was originally compiled by Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan in 1604 and named as “Pothi Sahib”, and later recompiled by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru. Before his death Guru Gobind Singh ordained that from then on Guru Granth Sahib would be the Eleventh Guru of the Sikhs.

No Sikh ceremony is considered complete unless it is performed in the presence of the Holy Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Granth Sahib is written in Gurmukhi (Punjabi) script. It
contains the actual words and verses as said by the Sikh Gurus. Guru Granth Sahib includes 5,894 Shabads (hymns or holy verses), which are arranged in 31 Ragas (musical measures). It has 1430 pages.

A unique feature of Guru Granth Sahib is that it also contains a good number of passages or verses written by non-Sikhs i.e. Muslims, Hindus and even so called ‘untouchables’. There are 15 Brahmins (all Bhatts, Ramanand ji, Surdas ji, Paramanand ji, Jai Dev ji), 8 Khatris authors (6 Sikh-Gurus, Sundar ji, Pipa ji). Kabir ji, Ravidas ji, Sadhna ji and Sain ji were members of so-called lower-castes. Farid ji was Muslim. Here is the list of Banikaars (authors), whose verses are included in the Guru Granth Sahib: –

Sikh- Gurus: –

  1. Guru Nanak Dev ji
  2. Guru Angad Dev ji
  3. Guru Amar Das ji
  4. Guru Ramdas ji
  5. Guru Arjun Dev ji
  6. Guru Teg Bahadur ji

Others

  1. Kabir ji
  2. Ravidas ji
  3. Sain ji
  4. Sadhna ji
  5. Sundar ji
  6. Surdas ji
  7. Satta ji
  8. Balvand ji
  9. Jai Dev ji
  10. Trilochan ji
  11. Dhanna ji
  12. Naamdev ji
  13. Parmanand ji
  14. Pipa ji
  15. Farid ji
  16. Baini ji
  17. Bhikhan ji
  18. Ramanand ji
  19. Bhatt Kalsahar ji
  20. Bhatt Jaalap ji
  21. Bhatt Keerat ji
  22. Bhatt Bhikha ji
  23. Bhatt Sall ji
  24. Bhatt Bhall ji
  25. Bhatt Nall ji
  26. Bhatt Gayand ji
  27. Bhatt Mathura ji
  28. Bhatt Ball ji
  29. Bhatt Harbans ji

It is said that Guru Gobind Singh and Bhai Mardana are among the authors of Guru Granth Sahib, But some scholars are not agree to it.

All the authors belong to different religions and castes.

The Holy Guru Granth Sahib is given same respect by the Sikhs as would have been given to the Living Prophet. In the Gurdwara (Sikh religious place), it is placed on a dais with a canopy above and is covered with cloths or materials. All Sikhs place an offering as they approach the Holy Guru Granth Sahib, and bow down low on their knees to show their respect.

English Translations of Guru Granth Sahib are available. Max Arthur Macauliffe, Dr.Gopal Singh; Dr. Manmohan Singh etc. had translated Guru Granth Sahib into English.