sri guru granth sahib
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Sri Guru Granth Sahib
The first compilation of Sri Granth Sahib included the Gurbani of the first five Gurus, hymns composed by fifteen Bhagats (devotees) and about a dozen other holy persons. It was compiled by Guru Arjun Dev in 1604 and was transcribed by Bhai Gurdas. Sri Granth Sahib was enthroned in the Harminder Sahib in Amritsar. Pictures or paintings of the Gurus or any gods are conspicuous by their absence from the holy place. The final form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was got prepared by Guru Gobind Singh, it was transcribed by Bhai Mani Singh. In this final version, the Gurbani composed by the ninth Nanak was included. Copies of this sacred compilation were sent to major Sikh centers of India.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib, in its first compilation was named Pothi Sahib, which means Sacred Scriptures. Gurbani was regarded and respected as the spirit of the Gurus. When Guru Gobind Singh, before his death at Nanded, formally invested the Guruship in the Gurbani, the name Sri Guru Granth Sahib became popular.

There is another compilation prepared many years after the demise of Guru Gobind Singh. It contains the hymns of Guru Gobind Singh and other writings based on Puranic mythology, particularly relating to Hindu Avtars including Rama and Krisna. The title "Guru" is given only to Sir Guru Granth Sahib and not to the Dasam Granth.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib contains some six thousand hymns. Major contributors are from the first and the firth Gurus. Gurbani is grouped into thirty-one Regas. Each Raga is classified into the Chowpadey, the Ashtpadi, and the Chhand. Within each of these sections, Gurbani is arranged in chronological order, so that the writings of the first Guru appear first, and so on.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib is written in Gurmukhi script. The language, which is most often Sant Bhasha, is very close to Punjabi. It is well understood all over northern and northwest. India and was popular among the wandering holy men. Many hymns contain words of different languages and dialects, depending upon the mother tongue of the writer or the languages of the region where they were composed. Persian and some local dialects have also been used. Guru Nanak preached that no one particular language is more suitable than any other for praising God. A person can pray in any languages and worship God by any name; essential component of the prayer is sincerity.

In the beginning of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, preceding the Gurbani classified according to the Ragas, the Guru has incorporated three compositions: Jap, Sodar, and Sohila which form the preamble to the scripture. A Sikh should read Jap in the morning. Sodar in the evening, and Sobila before going to bed. The basic Sikh concepts of God are described in the Mangla Charan, the invocation, with which Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib begins. It is also written in abbreviated form or in full form, at the beginning of each Raga. It is repeated within the Raga where thee is a change in the musical mode or where the author changes. Var, wherever present, forms the last part of the Gurbani in a Raga.

The Bhagat Bani or the hymns of the Bhagats follow the Vars. These Bhagats include Kabir, a weaver, Farid, a Muslim fakir, Nam Dev, a calico printer, Ravi Das, a shoemaker, Dhana, an ordinary cultivator. Jaidev, Trilochan, Ramanand, Pipa, Sain, and Surdas are other Bhagats whose hymns are included in the scripture. The hymns of the Bhagats were corporated into Sri Guru Granth Sahib because they all speak of one God and the brotherhood of man. It is noteworthy that among these Bhagats are Muslims and Hindus of different classes including the so-called low castes, and even outcasts.

There are two other unique parts of Gurbani. The Var in Ramkali Raga is an account of the services of the first five gurus. It was written by Satta and Balwand, the two musicians of the Guru period. The other set of hymns, the Bhat Bani, is written by a group of Bhatts, who were well educated and recognized as professional exponents of the Hindu scriptures Bhatts visited Gondwal during the ministry of Guru Arjun Dev. They found in the Guru and the Gurbani, the peace and solace they had sought all their lives. These impressions are mentioned by them in their hymns.

At the very end of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, there are two concluding Shabads by Guru Arjun Dev. The first explains that the compilation contains Amrit Naam, the praise of the Lord. In the second hymn, the Guru thanks the Almighty for having got the sacred job of compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib done by him. The Guru prays to God for Amrit Naam.

People who read, sing, or listen regularly to Gurbani find such as occupation blissful. Gurbani explains the virtues of God, the Generator, Operator, and Destroyer of the universe, Gurbani contains no stories. It tells us the mission of human life, the ways to achieve it and to experience God. Some popular characters and mythological stories of Puranas and other old literature are cited as examples to explain that God is great and merciful

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