|Support this site
buy Gurbani CD / VCD
Sri Guru Granth
|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
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
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
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