Sikhs Guru Granth Sahib Ji (1708-Present)
Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the Sikh Holy Scripture. The fifth
Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji,
collected all the sacred writings of the first five Gurus and also those of many
saints whose views were in accord with the Sikh teachings. He compiled these
into one large volume and named it the Adi Granth in 1604. Later on, Guru,
Guru Gobind Singh Ji
added the writings of his father, Guru Tegh
Bahadur Ji and completed it in 1705. He declared that there would be no more
Gurus in human form after him and that the Sikhs will recognize 'Adi Granth' as
their Guru. Thus in 1708, the Adi Granth became Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Guru Granth Sahib Ji is written in the Gurmukhi script. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is exactly 1430 pages of hymns. However, many people call the pages 'Angs', or body parts, because they believe that Guru Granth Sahib Ji is human. The hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji have been laid out in a very musical and well planned manner devised by Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The hymns have been arranged according to the 'Raga', or melody, in which they are meant to be sung.
Guru Granth Sahib begins with the 'Mool Mantra' which contains Guru Nanak Dev Ji's description of God. The hymns from Guru Granth Sahib Ji contain the philosophy of Sikhism and it is the central part the Sikh Culture. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji teaches us many things. These include:
Love of God and as well as mankind
Service to God and the community
Equality of man and woman
Respect and tolerance for other religions
teachings from Guru Granth
The Sikhs have great devotion for Guru Granth Sahib. It is placed on a 'Palki', or decorated seat, which is kept on a 'Takkat', or a raised platform, at a prominent position in the Gurdwara hall. It is covered with 'Ramalaas', or a richly embroidered cloth called . Above Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a colorful 'Chandni', or canopy.
Every day Guru Granth Sahib Ji is installed and a hymn is read from a page opened at random. This is called the 'Hukam', or the order of the day. This whole process is called 'Prakash'. The professional singers 'Ragees' sing 'Keertan', or hymns in praise of God. A 'Granthi' performs all ceremonies and conducts prayers. During the singing of the hymns the Granthi sits behind Guru Granth Sahib Ji and occasionally waves a 'Chaur', or fan, over the Guru. The Chaur and Chandni are symbols of Guru Granth Sahib Ji's authority. After the evening prayers the Guru Granth Sahib is ceremoniously closed and taken to its 'Sukh-Asan', or place of rest.
A continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib Ji from beginning to end by a number of readers is called an 'Akhand Path' and it usually takes 48 hours to complete. It is done on special occasions like births, weddings, moving to new homes, and other special occasions.
There are many important values that are taught to the Sikhs in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.