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Sikhism: Guru Granth Sahib Ji
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Guru Granth Sahib JiGuru Granth Sahib Ji is the holy scripture and present Guru of Sikhs. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is considered the word of God, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Guru conveyed that anything he narrated was narrated under the authority of the creator, God. Everything written in Guru Granth Sahib Ji is in it's original form, unaltered, uninterpreted, and untranslated. Seeing the interpretations of holy scriptures in other religion, and different denominations creating their own version of the holy scriptures, it was imperative that Guru Granth Sahib Ji must be kept in it's original form so that no sub versions or interpretations are created later on.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji is very easy to read and understand. The wording in Guru Granth Sahib Ji often called Gurbani, meaning the Word of Guru, contains countless anecdotal references and analogies. Although various English translations of Guru Granth Sahib Ji are available, the original form and content of Guru Granth Sahib Ji remains unchanged since it's compilation. Guru Granth Sahib Ji has deep meanings and in order to understand these meanings, one should read the original non-translated text. It might be a little hard to understand the text at first but as you build vocabulary by looking for the meaning of the words in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the text becomes easier and easier to understand.

The Language

Guru Granth Sahib Ji is written in its entirety in Gurmukhi which translated means from the mouth (Mukh) of the Guru. Gurmukhi was developed by the first Guru and then promoted by his successors, it was a language spoken and understood by all classes of people, the Guru hoped for the scriptures to be accessible by all. Guru Granth Sahib Ji also contains hymns which are written in a language known as Sahiskriti as well as Sant Bhasha, it also contains many Persian and Sanskrit words as well. The simpler form of Gurmukhi is now known as Punjabi.

The Content

Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains hymns written by Sikh Gurus and devotees of God who themselves have attained salvation. They write about their experiences and the life they lead to meet God. The scripture, which is 1430 pages in length, is also composed almost wholly in musical scale and meter and is completely written in poetic verse.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains answers to question like: Who is God? What does God look like? How to meet Him? What happens after death? How to live a lifestyle what would lead to meeting God? All answers on this site have been taken from the information in Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji also states remarkable information about the universe, galaxies, stars, planets and the moons. None of the information written in the scripture contradicts with the scientific facts. Scientific facts have been supporting the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru Granth Sahib Ji further explains how God created the Universe. In addition, this is not the first time God created the Universe. He has created the Universe and life in the Universe many times. All life on the Earth is a creation of God and has been evolving since. Furthermore, life is not just limited to the Earth.

Since the writers of Guru Granth Sahib Ji themselves attained salvation, they write how you can meet God as well and attain salvation yourself. Many devotees have written about their journey and longing to meet God and about their Union with God as well.

The Contributors

Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains the Bani (compositions) of 7 Sikh Gurus and many devotees of God regardless of their original religion. It is said that once they became devotees of God, they were not some person from a religion but a spiritual learner of God. Kabir Ji himself said, 'I am not a Hindu or a Muslim, I am just a common person.' Guru Arjan Dev Ji has the most hymns in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Following is the list of all contributors and the amount of hymns contributed.

 Contributor Name
 Shabads (Hymns)
 Guru Nanak Dev Ji  974
 Guru Angad Dev Ji  63
 Guru Amar Das JI  907
 Guru Ram Das Ji  679
 Guru Arjan Dev Ji  2218
 Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji  116
 Guru Gobind Singh Ji  1
 Bhagat Kabir  541
 Bhagat Naamdev  60
 Bhagat Sain1
 Bhagat Ravi Das  41
 Bhagat Trilochan  4
 Bhagat Dhana  4
 Bhagat Farid  134
 Bhagat Beni  3
 Bhagat Jai Dev  2
 Bhagat Bhikhan  2
 Bhagat Sur Das  2
 Bhagat Parmanand  1
 Bhagat Pipa  1
 Bhagat Sadna  1
 Bhagat Ramanand  1
 Bhagat Sundar  6
 Bhat Kal  49
 Bhat Kalsehar  4
 Bhat Tal  1
 Bhat Jalup
 Bhat Jal
 Bhat Kirat
 Bhat Sal
 Bhat Bahil
 Bhat Nal
 Bhat Bhikha
 Bhat Jalan
 Bhat Kas
 Bhat Gend
 Bhat Sevak
 Bhat Mathra
 Bhat Bal
 Bhat Harbans
 Bhai Mardana
 Bhai Sata and Bhai Balvanda

The History

Guru Nanak Dev Ji's writings were kept by his companions including Bhai Mardana. Baba Buda and Bhai Datu - both followers of the Guru are also known in the history to have kept records of the Guru's Bani. When Guru Angad Dev Ji was enthroned as the second Guru, he was given a 'pothi' - a book which contained hymns of Guru Nanak and some Bhagats such as Bhagat Kabir and Bhagat Farid. This Pothi is not available today. 

Guru Angad Dev Ji bought together the Bani composed by his predecessors, and recited them to Bhai Paira Mokha who scribed these to form another Pothi. This Pothi was passed to Guru Amar Das Ji, the third guru of Sikhs. Guru Amar Das Ji compiled all the Banis of his predecessors into another Pothi. 

The Bani was passed down to Guru Ram Das Ji and then to Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Guru of sikhs, then built a tent near the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple), which was then under construction. The Guru called for Bhai Gurdas, a renown and respected Sikh scholar, for the purposes of compiling all the compositions of his predecessors and devotees of God. This version came to be known as the Adi Granth.

At that time, the emperor of Hindustan (India) was Akbar, he received complaints alleging that the fifth Guru had compiled a Holy Book which was detrimental - not only to the Hindu faith, but to Islam also. Emperor Akbar asked that the Guru appear before him to answer these complaints. The Guru sent Baba Buda and Bhai Gurdas to answer the Emperor. The Emperor, who is said to have most liberal views among all emperors in the history of India, asked that some passages from the Holy Granth be read to him so that he can decide whether the contents of the Granth was offensive or not. Baba Buda then read shabads from the Holy Granth. Akbar was very pleased with the content which embraced an acceptance of God regardless of religion and sent a message of peace and unity. He gifted two gold coins to the scripture and robes for the two representatives and a robe for the Guru. The Emperor later visited the Guru during a tour of Punjab.

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji was enthroned as the tenth Guru, he completed the final version of the holy scripture. Guru Gobind Singh Ji added the Shabads of the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and one Salok (couplet) of his own to the Adi Granth. Before the tenth Guru passed away, he bestowed this version of the Granth as the final and everlasting Guru. It then became known as the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, whoever longs to meet God, find the way in the Shabad (Guru Granth Sahib Ji).

The Message

Guru Granth Sahib Ji gives a peaceful message to the entire world. It states that you cannot reach God just by belonging to a certain religion or following a certain religion, you have to have moral values, help the less fortunate, live a truthful life, and most importantly, meditate on God.

"All beings and creatures are His; He belongs to all" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 425). As the color of safflower is impermanent and is washed away in water, likewise the colors of religiosity are also temporary. There are no religions beyond this world.

If one seeks to meet God and attain eternal peace, he or she should read Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The scripture does not preach Sikhism or tells people to convert to Sikhism but gives an amazing, mind opening and enlightening information about God and His creations. In addition, Guru Granth Sahib Ji shows everyone a straight path to attain salvation regardless of their background or religion.

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