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Articles on Sikhism
The principal Sikh scripture is the Adi Granth (First Scripture), more commonly called the Guru Granth Sahib. The Sikhs do not regard this as their "holy book" but as their perpetual and current "Guru", Guide or Master. It was called Adi Granth until Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and final Guru in human form conferred on it the title of the Guru in 1708, after which it was called Sri Guru Granth Sahib or Guru Granth Sahib, for short. The Granth has 1430 pages and is divided into 39 chapters. All copies are exactly alike. The Sikhs are forbidden from making any changes to the text within this Scripture.
This Granth is the only world religious scripture which was compiled during the life time of its founder. All other world scriptures were compiled many years after the death of the prophet. The Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs. The work of compilation was started in 1601 and finished in 1604. The Granth, called by Guru Arjan as "Pothi Sahib", was installed at Harmandir Sahib (House of God) with much celebration.
The main banis found here are the following:
- Japji Sahib
- Shabad Hazaray
- Anand Sahib
- Rehras Sahib (less the Benti Chaupai)
- Kirtan Sohila
- Sukhmani Sahib
- Asa di Var
The following languages are found in this Granth:
- Punjabi - many Sikh Gurus, Bhagat (saint) Sheikh Farid and others
- Sindhi - Guru Arjan
- Sanskrit - Guru Nanak, Guru Arjan and others
- Lehndi or Western Punjabi - Guru Arjan
- Gujrati and Marathi - Bhagat Namdev and Trilochan
- Western Hindi - Bhagat Kabir
- Eastern Hindi - Court poets
- Eastern Apabhramshas - Bhagat Jaidev
- Influence of Arabic and Persian - Bhagat Namdev,Guru Nank
The first published translation of the Guru Granth Sahib into Sindhi was done in 1959 by Mr. Jethanand B. Lalwani of Bharat Jivan Publications. He used his entire personal savings and was able to produce only 500 copies. Lalwani later took out loans to make a reprint in 1963.
This is regarded as the second holiest book of the Sikhs and is called the Dasam Granth - the book of the tenth Guru. The Granth was compiled three years after the Guru’s death and it was Mata Sundri the widow of the Guru who asked Bhai Mani Singh, a contemporary of the Guru, to collect all the hymns composed by the Guru and prepare a Granth of the Guru. It was completed in 1711. In its present form it contains 1428 pages and 16 chapters as listed below:
- Jaap (meditation)
- Bichitra Natak ( autobiography of the Guru)
- Akal Ustat (praises of God)
- Chandi Charitar I & II (the character of goddess Chandi)
- Chandi di Var (a ballad to describe goddess Durga)
- Gian Prabodh (the awakening of knowledge)
- Chaubis Avtar (24 incarnations of Vishnu ordered by Supreme God)
- Brahm Avtar (incarnation of Brahma)
- Rudar Avtar (incarnation of Shiva)
- Shabad Hazare (ten shabads)
- Swayyae (33 stanzas)
- Khalsa Mehma (the praises of the Khalsa)
- Shaster Nam Mala ( a list of weapons)
- Triya Charitar (the character of women)
- Zafarnamah (epistle of victory, a letter written to Emperor Aurangzeb)
- Hikayats. (stories)
The following are the main banis regularly recited by Sikhs:
The languages used in the Granth are:
Bhai Gurdas Varan
Varan Bhai Gurdas is the name given to the 40 Varan (Chapters) of writing by Bhai Gurdas ji. They have been referred to as the "Key to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib" by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru. He was the first scribe of Guru Granth Sahib and a scholar of great repute. From his work its clear that he had mastery of various Indian languages and had studied many ancient Indian religious scriptures.
Each of the 40 chapters of "Varan Bhai Gurdas" consists of a differing number of Pauris (sections, paragraphs). The composition is a collection of detailed commentary and explanation of theology and the ethics of Sikh beliefs as outlined by the Gurus. It explains the Sikh terms like sangat, haumai, "Gun", Gurmukh and Manmukh, Sat, Naam, etc. Many of the principles of Sikhism are explained in simple terms by Bhai Sahib and at times in many different ways.
- Bhai Nand Lal's Work
- Bhai Gurdas Kabits Savaiyas
- Hukamnamas of the Gurus
Digitization of Scriptures
Panjab Digital Library in collaboration with the Nanakshahi Trust took up digitization of Sikh scriptures in 2003. Thousands of manuscripts has been digitized and are available online at Panjab Digital Library.
- Panjab Digital Library
- Sri Dasam Granth Report & Contents
- Sri Dasam Granth Sahib ji Website
- Gurudwara.Net Online Guru Granth Sahib with Hindi, Punjabi and English translation.