Guru Granth Sahib

Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ/Punjabi pronunciation: [ɡʊɾu ɡɾəntʰ sɑhɪb]) is the Sikh scriptures. It was compiled by the ten gurus of Sikhism and is itself regarded by Sikhs as the final, sovereign, and eternal living guru.[1] Adi Granth, the first rendition, was compiled by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan. The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, added one shloka, dohra mahala 9 ang, 1429 and all 115 hymns of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur.[2] This second rendition came to be known as Sri Guru Granth Sahib.[3] After Guru Gobind Singh's death in 1708, Baba Deep Singh and Bhai Mani Singh prepared many copies of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib for distribution.[4]

The text consists of 1,430 angs (pages) and 6,000 śabads (line compositions),[5][6] which are poetically rendered and set to a rhythmic ancient north Indian classical form of music.[7] The bulk of the scripture is divided into sixty rāags, with each Granth rāga subdivided according to length and author. The hymns in the scripture are arranged primarily by the rāgas in which they are read.[5] The Guru Granth Sahib is written in the Gurmukhī script, in various languages, including Lahnda (Western Punjabi), Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, Sanskrit, Sindhi, and Persian. Copies in these languages often have the generic title of Sant Bhasha.[8]

Guru Granth Sahib was composed by the Sikh Gurus: Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh added 1 sloakh in mahala 9 Ang 1429. It also contains the traditions and teachings of Indian sants (saints), such as Ravidas, Ramananda, Bhagat Bhikan and Namdev among others, and two Muslim Sufi saints Kabir and: Sheikh Farid.[9][10]

The vision in the Guru Granth Sahib is of a society based on divine justice without oppression of any kind.[11][12] While the Granth acknowledges and respects the scriptures of Hinduism and Islam, it does not imply a moral reconciliation with either of these religions.[13] It is installed in a Sikh gurdwara (temple); all Sikhs bow or prostrate before it on entering such a temple.[14] The Granth is revered as eternal gurbānī and the spiritual authority in Sikhism.[15]

Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib
Illuminated Guru Granth Sahib folio with nisan (Mul Mantar) of Guru Gobind Singh


During the guruship of Guru Nanak Dev, collections of his holy hymns were compiled and sent to distant Sikh communities for use in morning and evening prayers.[16] His successor Guru Angad Dev began collecting his predecessor's writings. This tradition was continued by the third and fifth gurus as well. When the fifth guru Guru Arjan Dev was collecting religious writings of his predecessor, he discovered that pretenders to the guruship were releasing what he considered as forged anthologies of writings of the previous guru and including their own writings with them.[17] In order to prevent spurious scriptures from gaining legitimacy, Guru Arjan Dev began compiling a sacred scripture for the Sikh community.

He finished collecting the religious writings of Guru Ram Das, his immediate predecessor, and convinced Mohan, the son of Guru Amar Das, to give him the collection of the religious writings of the first three gurus.[17] In addition, he sent disciples to go across the country to find and bring back any previously unknown religious writings of theirs. He also invited members of other religions and contemporary religious writers to submit writings for possible inclusion.[17] Guru Arjan pitched a tent by the side of Ramsar tank in Amritsar and started the task of compiling the holy Granth.[18] He selected hymns for inclusion in the Adi Granth and Bhai Gurdas acted as his scribe.[19]

While the holy hymns and verses were being put together Akbar, the Mughal Emperor, received a report that the Adi Granth contained passages vilifying Islam. Therefore, while travelling north, he stopped en route and asked to inspect it.[20] Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas brought him a copy of the Adi Granth as it existed then. After choosing three random passages to be read, Akbar decided that this report had been false.[20]

In 1604, Adi Granth was completed and installed at the Harmandir Sahib, with Baba Buddha as the first granthi, or reader.[21][18] Since communities of Sikh disciples were scattered all over northern India, copies of the holy scripture needed to be made for them.[20] The sixth guru added the tunes of 9 out of 22 Vars. Seventh and eighth guru did not have writings of their own added to the holy scripture; however, the ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, did. The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, included writings of his father Guru Tegh Bahadur in the Guru Granth Sahib,[20] and included 1 salokh in mahala 9 Ang 1429.

In 1704 at Damdama Sahib, during a one-year respite from the heavy fighting with Aurangzeb which the Khalsa was engaged in at the time, Guru Gobind Singh and Bhai Mani Singh added the religious compositions of Guru Tegh Bahadur to Adi Granth to create a definitive compilation.[20] Religious verses of Guru Gobind Singh were not included in Guru Granth Sahib, but he added 1 sloak in mahala 9 Ang 1429. His banis are found in the Sri Dasam Granth, they are part in the daily prayers of Sikhs[20] During this period, Bhai Mani Singh also collected Guru Gobind Singh's religious writings, as well as his court poems, and included them in a secondary religious volume, today known as the Dasam Granth Sahib.[22]

Meaning and role in Sikhism

Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib

Sikhs consider the Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal living guru, the highest religious and spiritual guide for Sikhs and inspire all of humanity; it plays a central role in guiding the Sikh's way of life. Its place in Sikh devotional life is based on two fundamental principles: on the "Gurbani" (the word of Guru/God) which was received by the Sikh gurus in their divine consciousness from God and revealed to mankind. The Guru Granth Sahib answers all questions regarding religion and that morality can be discovered within it. The word is the guru and the guru is the word. Thus, in Sikh theology, the revealed divine word was written by past gurus. Numerous holy men, aside from the Sikh gurus, are collectively referred to as Bhagats or "devotees."

Elevation of Adi Granth to Guru Granth Sahib

In 1708 Guru Gobind Singh conferred the title of "Guru of the Sikhs" upon the Adi Granth. The event was recorded in a Bhatt Vahi (a bard's scroll) by an eyewitness, Narbud Singh,[23] who was a bard at the Rajput rulers' court associated with gurus. A variety of other documents also attest to this proclamation by the tenth guru. Thus, despite some aberrations, Sikhs since then have accepted Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture, as their eternal-living guru, as the embodiment of the ten Sikh Gurus.


A composition or Shabad from Guru Granth Sahib

The entire Guru Granth Sahib is written in the Gurmukhi script, which was standardized by Guru Angad Dev in the 16th century. According to Sikh tradition and the Mahman Prakash, an early Sikh manuscript, Guru Angad Dev had taught and spread the Gurmukhi script at the suggestion of Guru Nanak Dev which has invented the Gurmukhi script. [24][25] The word Gurmukhī translates to "from the mouth of the guru". It descended from the Laṇḍā scripts and was used from the outset for compiling Sikh scriptures. The Sikhs assign a high degree of sanctity to the Gurmukhī script.[26] It is the official script for writing Punjabi in the Indian State of Punjab.

Guru Granth Sahib By Bhai Pratap Singh Giani
The end part of the handwritten Adi Granth, by Pratap Singh Giani, on the first floor of Harmandir Sahib

Gurus considered divine worship through shabad kirtan as the best means of attaining that state of bliss -vismad- which resulted in communion with the God. Guru Granth Sahib is divided by musical settings or ragas[27] into 1,430 pages known as Angs (limbs) in Sikh tradition. It can be categorized into two sections:

  1. Introductory section consisting of the Mool Mantar, Japji and Sohila, composed by Guru Nanak Dev;
  2. Compositions of Sikh gurus, followed by those of the bhagats who know only God, collected according to the chronology of ragas or musical settings. (see below).

A raga is a complex structure of musical melody used in Indian classical music. It is a set of rules of how to build a melody which can ignite a certain mood in the reciter and listeners. The Sikh Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, is composed in and divided by 60 ragas. Each raga is a chapter or section in the Guru Granth Sahib starting with Asaa raag, and all the hymns produced in Asaa raag are found in this section ordered chronologically by the Guru or other Bhagat that have written hymns in that raga.

Following is the list of all sixty Raags under which Gurbani is written, in order of appearance with page numbers.

1. Asa ------------------------08

2. Gujari --------------------10

3. Gauri Deepaki -------------12

4. Dhanasri ------------------13

5. Gauri Poorabi -------------13

6. Siri ----------------------14

7. Majh ----------------------94

8. Gauri Guarairee ----------151

9. Gauri --------------------151

10. Gauri Dakhani ------------152

11. Gauri Chaitee ------------154

12. Gauri Bairagan -----------156

13. Gauri Poorabi Deepaki -----157

14. Gauri Majh ----------------172

15. Gauri Malva ----------------214

16. Gauri Mala ----------------214

17. Gauri Sorath --------------330

18. Asa Kafi ------------------365

19. Asavari -----------------369

20. Asa Asavari - --------------409

21. Devgandhari ---------------527

22. Bihagra -------------------537

23. Vadhans -------------------557

24. Vadhans Dakhani ------------580

25. Sorath --------------------595

26. Jaitsri --------------------696

27. Todi ----------------------711

28. Bairarri -------------------719

29. Tilang --------------------721

30. Tilang Kafi ----------------726

31. Suhee ----------------------728

32. Suhee Kafi -----------------751

33. Suhee Lalit ----------------793

34. Bilaval --------------------795

35. Bilaval Dakhani ------------843

36. Gound ----------------------859

37. Bilaval Gound --------------874

38. Ramkali --------------------876

39. Ramkali Dakhani ------------907

40. Nut Narayan ----------------975

41. Nut ------------------------975

42. Mali Gaura -----------------984

43. Maru -----------------------989

44. Maru Kafi -----------------1014

45. Maru Dakhani --------------1033

46. Tukhari -------------------1107

47. Kedara --------------------1118

48. Bhairo --------------------1125

49. Basant --------------------1168

50. Basant Hindol -------------1170

51. Sarang --------------------1197

52. Malar ---------------------1254

53. Kanra ---------------------1294

54. Kaliyan ------------------1319

55. Kaliyan Bhopali -----------1321

56. Parbhati Bibhas -----------1327

57. Parbhati ------------------1327

58. Parbhati Dakhani-----------1344

59. Bibhas Parbhati -----------1347

60. Jaijavanti ---------------1352


Map birth place of Writers of Guru Granth Sahib
Map showing birthplace of various contributors of Guru Granth Sahib

Following is a list of contributors whose hymns are present in Guru Granth Sahib:


Select revered Saints


Sanctity among Sikhs

Guru Har Rai - Mool Mantar
The Mool Mantar in the handwriting of Guru Har Rai

No one can change or alter any of the writings of the Sikh gurus written in the Guru Granth Sahib. This includes sentences, words, structure, grammar, and meanings. Following the example of the gurus themselves, Sikhs observe total sanctity of the holy text of Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Har Rai, for example, disowned one of his sons, Ram Rai, because he had attempted to alter the wording of a hymn by Guru Nanak Dev.[28] Guru Har Rai had sent Ram Rai to Delhi in order to explain Gurbani to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. To please the Emperor he altered the wording of a hymn, which was reported to the guru. Displeased with his son, the guru disowned him and forbade his Sikhs to associate with him or his descendants.


A partial English translation of Guru Granth Sahib by Ernest Trumpp was published in 1877. The work was for use by Christian missionaries, and received extremely negative feedback from Sikhs.[29] Max Arthur Macauliffe also partially translated the text for inclusion in his six-volume The Sikh Religion, published by Oxford University Press in 1909. His translations are closer to the Sikhs' own interpretation of the holy scripture, and were received well by them.[30]

The first complete English translation of Guru Granth Sahib, by Gopal Singh, was published in 1960. A revised version published in 1978 removed the obsolete English words like "thee" and "thou". In 1962, an eight-volume translation into English and Punjabi by Manmohan Singh was published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. In the 2000s, a translation by Sant Singh Khalsa (referred to as the "Khalsa Consensus Translation") became popular through its inclusion on major Sikhism-related websites.[31]


Sri Guru Granth Sahib
A Granthi reciting from Guru Granth Sahib

Guru Granth Sahib is always the focal point in any gurudwara, seated on a raised platform known as a Takht (throne), while the congregation of devotees sits on the floor and bow before the guru as a sign of respect. Guru Granth Sahib is given the greatest respect and honour. Sikhs cover their heads and remove their shoes while in the presence of this sacred scripture, their eternal living guru. Guru Granth Sahib is normally carried on the head and as a sign of respect, never touched with unwashed hands or put on the floor.[32] It is attended with all signs of royalty, with a canopy placed over it. A chaur sahib is waved above the Guru Granth Sahib. Peacock-feather fans were waved over royal or saintly beings as a mark of great spiritual or temporal status; this was later replaced by the modern Chaur sahib.

The Guru Granth Sahib is taken care of by a Granthi, who is responsible for reciting from the sacred hymns and leading Sikh prayers. The Granthi also acts as caretaker for the Guru Granth Sahib, keeping the Guru Granth Sahib covered in clean cloths, known as rumala, to protect from heat, dust, pollution, etc. The Guru Granth Sahib rests on a manji sahib under a rumala until brought out again.[32]


The Gurudwara Ramsar, the official religious body of Sikhs, is responsible for making physical copies of the Guru Granth Sahib. Until 1864, the Gurudwara Ramsar allowed only handwritten copies. Now the basement of its headquarters in Amritsar houses the only printing press authorized to reproduce the Guru Granth Sahib. Since the early 20th century, it has been printed in a standard edition of 1430 Angs. The printers, chosen for their skill and uprightness, adhere to a strict code of conduct.[33]

Misprints, mock-ups, and entire runs and editions, as well as waste with just a single character of the sacred text on it, are incinerated at Goindval.[34] In a process called Agan Bheta, this unused or unpreserved text is burned by itself; no material (such as the typical wood) is added to help "cremate" it, thus making its burning pure and unadulterated. No handwritten copies are ever destroyed.


The first CD of the Guru Granth Sahib was released in 2000 by Dr Kulbir Singh Thind which included a full set of Gurbani fonts which he also developed in 1995. [35] In 2000 a British Sikh named Tarsem Singh developed the 'Sikhi to the Max' Guru Granth Sahib search engine which is currently used throughout Sikh diaspora communities around the globe to provide English language translations within Sikh Temples. [36] In 2003 the Panjab Digital Library, in collaboration with the Nanakshahi Trust, began digitizing centuries-old copies and manuscripts of the Guru Granth Sahib and other Sikh sacred texts. In 2004 the Sikher project was launched by Jasdeep Singh Khalsa to develop an 'open source' approach to Gurbani translations and app development. [37] [38] In 2017, Khalis Foundation, a Californian based non-profit, relaunched Sikhi to the Max based on the open source philosophy promoted by the Sikher project. [39] Another group, called Shabad OS (Open Source), is working on creating a publicly-logged open source and textually accurate database of various texts of the Sikh Cannon with translations and dictionaries for researchers.[40]


  1. ^ Keene, Michael (2004). Online Worksheets. Nelson Thornes. p. 38. ISBN 0-7487-7159-X.
  2. ^ Partridge, Christopher Hugh (2005). Introduction to World Religions. p. 223.
  3. ^ Kapoor, Sukhbir. Guru Granth Sahib: An Advance Study. Hemkunt Press. p. 139. ISBN 9788170103219.
  4. ^ Pruthi, Raj (2004). Sikhism and Indian Civilization. Discovery Publishing House. p. 188.
  5. ^ a b Christopher Shackle and Arvind Mandair (2005), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415266048, pages xvii-xx
  6. ^ Penney, Sue. Sikhism. Heinemann. p. 14. ISBN 0-435-30470-4.
  7. ^ Anna S. King and JL Brockington (2005), The Intimate Other: Love Divine in Indic Religions, Orient Blackswan, ISBN 978-8125028017, pages 359-361
  8. ^ Harnik Deol, Religion and Nationalism in India. Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-415-20108-X, 9780415201087. Page 22. "(...) the compositions in the Sikh holy book, Adi Granth, are a melange of various dialects, often coalesced under the generic title of Sant Bhasha."
    The Making of Sikh Scripture by Gurinder Singh Mann. Published by Oxford University Press US, 2001. ISBN 0-19-513024-3, ISBN 978-0-19-513024-9 Page 5. "The language of the hymns recorded in the Adi Granth has been called Sant Bhasha, a kind of lingua franca used by the medieval saint-poets of northern India. But the broad range of contributors to the text produced a complex mix of regional dialects."
    Surindar Singh Kohli, History of Punjabi Literature. Page 48. National Book, 1993. ISBN 81-7116-141-3, ISBN 978-81-7116-141-6. "When we go through the hymns and compositions of the Guru written in Sant Bhasha (saint-language), it appears that some Indian saint of 16th century...."
    Introduction: Guru Granth Sahib. "Guru Granth Sahib Ji 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 is popular among the wandering holy men. Persian and some local dialects have also been used. Many hymns contain words of different languages and dialects, depending upon the mother tongue of the writer or the language of the region where they were composed."
    Nirmal Dass, Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth. SUNY Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7914-4683-2, ISBN 978-0-7914-4683-6. Page 13. "Any attempt at translating songs from the Adi Granth certainly involves working not with one language, but several, along with dialectical differences. The languages used by the saints range from Sanskrit; regional Prakrits; western, eastern and southern Apabhramsa; and Sahiskriti. More particularly, we find sant bhasha, Marathi, Old Hindi, central and Lehndi Panjabi, Sgettland Persian. There are also many dialects deployed, such as Purbi Marwari, Bangru, Dakhni, Malwai, and Awadhi."
    Harjinder Singh, Sikhism. Guru Granth Sahib (GGS). "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 throughout."
  9. ^ Shapiro, Michael (2002). Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth. Journal of the American Oriental Society. pp. 924, 925.
  10. ^ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present. United States: Hamlyn. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7.
  11. ^ Torkel Brekke (2014), Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions (Editors: Gregory M. Reichberg and Henrik Syse), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521450386, pages 673, 675, 672-686
  12. ^ Christopher Shackle and Arvind Mandair (2005), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415266048, pages xxxiv-xli
  13. ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134, pages 40, 157
  14. ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134, page 44
  15. ^ Torkel Brekke (2014), Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions (Editors: Gregory M. Reichberg and Henrik Syse), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521450386, page 675
  16. ^ Singh, Khushwant (1991). A History of the Sikhs: Vol. 1. 1469-1839. Oxford University Press. p. 34. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  17. ^ a b c Singh, Khushwant (1991). A History of the Sikhs: Vol. 1. 1469-1839. Oxford University Press. pp. 54–56, 294–295. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  18. ^ a b "Sikhism Religion of the Sikh People". Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  19. ^ Trumpp, Ernest (2004) [1877]. The Ādi Granth or the Holy Scriptures of the Sikhs. India: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 1xxxi. ISBN 978-81-215-0244-3.
  20. ^ a b c d e f Singh, Khushwant (1991). A History of the Sikhs: Vol. 1. 1469-1839. Oxford University Press. pp. 54–55, 90, 148, 294–296. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  21. ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134, pages 45-46
  22. ^ McLeod, W. H. (1990-10-15). Textual Sources for the Study of Sikhism. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226560854. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  23. ^ Singh, Gurbachan; Sondeep Shankar (1998). The Sikhs : Faith, Philosophy and Folks. Roli & Janssen. p. 55. ISBN 81-7436-037-9.
  24. ^ Hoiberg, Dale; Indu Ramchandani (2000). Students' Britannica India. Popular Prakashan. p. 207. ISBN 0-85229-760-2.
  25. ^ Gupta, Hari Ram (2000). History of the Sikhs Vol. 1; The Sikh Gurus, 1469-1708. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers (P) Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 81-215-0276-4.
  26. ^ Mann, Gurinder Singh (2001). The making of Sikh Scripture. Oxford University Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-19-513024-3.
  27. ^ Brown, Kerry (1999). Sikh Art and Literature. Routledge. p. 200. ISBN 0-415-20288-4.
  28. ^ Bains, K.S. "A tribute to Bal Guru". The Tribune.
  29. ^ Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (22 February 2011). Sikhism: An Introduction. I.B.Tauris. pp. 128–. ISBN 978-0-85773-549-2.
  30. ^ John Stratton Hawley (1993). Studying the Sikhs: Issues for North America. SUNY Press. pp. 164–. ISBN 978-0-7914-1425-5.
  31. ^ Lynne Long (2005). Translation and Religion. Multilingual Matters. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-1-84769-550-5.
  32. ^ a b Fowler, Jeaneane (1997). World Religions:An Introduction for Students. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 354–357. ISBN 1-898723-48-6.
  33. ^ Jolly, Asit (2004-04-03). "Sikh holy book flown to Canada". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  34. ^ Eleanor Nesbitt, "Sikhism: a very short introduction", ISBN 0-19-280601-7, Oxford University Press, pp. 40-41
  35. ^ " Still a Hidden High Tech Treasure of Aad Guru Granth Sahib" (PDF). Institute for Understanding Sikhism. July 2006.
  36. ^ "SikhiToTheMax Version 2 Released | MrSikhNet". Retrieved 2018-07-14.
  37. ^ "New Gurbani Search Engine - GurbaniDB - in English, Gurmukhi and 52 other languages | SikhNet". SikhNet. Retrieved 2018-07-14.
  38. ^ "Sikher – Open Source Gurbani Searcher | MrSikhNet". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  39. ^ "Interview: Developer Reveals New SikhiToTheMax Beta Release". Retrieved 2018-07-14.
  40. ^ "A digital representation of Sikh Bani and other Panthic texts with a public logbook of sangat-sourced corrections.: ShabadOS/database". Shabad OS. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2019.

External links

Amrit Velā

Amrit Velā (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਵੇਲਾ, lit: Time of Amrit) begins at the start of a new day, therefore, begins at 12:00 am and ends at 6:00 am, [1] or before the dawning of the morning sun[2] which is used for daily meditation and recitation of Gurbani hymns. Typically, Sikhs start Amrit Vela at 2:00 am or earlier. Guru Nanak in the Japji Sahib (4th Pauri) says, "During the hours of Amrit velā, meditate on the grandeur of the one true Name."[1] The importance of Amrit Vela is found throughout the Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru Granth Sahib states that "those who consider themselves a Sikh must wake up daily at Amrit Vela and be in tune with the Naam (the Lord's Name)"[3]

In the Sikh Rehat Maryada, it is written to arise Amrit Velā, bath, and meditate on the divine Naam (through Simran and Naam Japna). Sikhs recite their morning Nitnem during Amrit Vela. Traditionally after Nitnem Sikhs meet with the Sangat (congregation) to recite Asa di Var.[4]

Bhagat Bhikhan

Bhagat Bhikhan (Punjabi: ਭਗਤ ਭੀਖਨ) (1480-1573), a medieval Indian saint two of whose hymns are included in the Guru Granth Sahib. There are in fact two saints of that time sharing the same name— Bhakta Bhikhan and Bhikhan the Sufi. Bhakta Bhikhan was a devotee in the tradition of Ravidãs and Dhannã. He was born at Kakori near Lucknow in present-day Uttar Pradesh state in India.. His hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib reflect his dedication to the Name of God which he describes as "cure for all ills of the world."

Bhagat Bhikhan was the most learnt of the learned men of the time of Emperor Akbar. For many years, he was engaged in teaching and instructing the people. He stated that this spiritual succession was from Mir Saiyid Ibrahim of Irij. He left several children who were adorned with piety, wisdom, knowledge and virtue. The hymns of Bhagat ji resemble those of Sheikh Farid

Bhatt Balh

Bhatt Balh was a Sikh Brahmin bard in the court of Guru Arjan, whose five hymns are present in Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs. The title Bhatt is given to learned Brahmins.

Bhatt Kalshar

Bhatt Kal Sahar was a Sikh Brahmin bard in the court of Guru Arjan, whose 54 hymns are incorporated in Adi Granth. The title Bhatt is given to learned Brahmins. Traditionally, Kal Sahar is believed to a collector of hymns of other Bhatts which were later incorporated into Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Arjan.

Bhatt Kirat

Bhatt Kirat was a Sikh Brahmin bard in the court of Guru Arjan, whose eight hymns are present in Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs. The title Bhatt is given to learned Brahmins.


Bilaval or Bilawal (IAST: Bilāval) is a raga and the basis for the eponymous thaat (musical mode) in Hindustani classical music. Raga Bilaval is named after Veraval, Gujarat. The Indian national anthem Jana gana mana is sung in Bilaval.

Bilaval had become the basic scale for North Indian music by the early part of the 19th century. Its tonal relationships are comparable to the Western music C major scale. Bilaval appears in the Ragamala as a ragini of Bhairav, but today it is the head of the Bilaval thaat. The Ragamala names Bilaval as a putra (son) of Bhairav, but no relation between these two ragas is made today. Bilaval is a morning raga to be sung with a feeling of deep devotion and repose, often performed during the hot months. The Bilaval thaat is equivalent to the Carnatic melakarta raga, Dheerasankarabharanam, as well as the Western Ionian mode (major scale) and contains the notes S R G M P D N S'. The pitches of Bilaval thaat are all shuddha, or natural. Flat (komal) or sharp (tivra) of pitches always occurs with reference to the interval pattern in Bilaval thaat.

Bilaval is one of the ragas that appears in the Sikh tradition from northern India, and is part of the Sikh holy scripture (Granth), the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Every raga has a strict set of rules which govern the number of notes that can be used; which notes can be used; and their interplay that has to be adhered to for the composition of a tune. In the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, there are a total of 31 raga compositions. Bilaval is the sixteenth raga to appear in the series. The composition in this raga appear on a total of 64 pages from page numbers 795 to 859.


Devagandhari (pronounced devagāndhāri) is a raga (musical scale) in Indian classical music. In the carnatic classical music, Devagandhari is a janya raga (derived scale), whose melakarta raga (parent scale, also known as janaka) is Shankarabharanam, 29th in the 72 Melakarta raga system.

It is also there in the Sikh tradition of northern India and is part of the Guru Granth Sahib.

Five Banis

The initiated Sikh is asked by the Panj Piare during the Amrit Sanchar ceremony to recite the following five banis every morning as a commitment to the Sikh Gurus and Waheguru.

The Five Banis are: Japji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Chaupai and Anand Sahib —these banis are usually recited daily by all devoted Sikhs in the early morning as a part of their Nitnem (daily mediations).

Rehras and Kirtan Sohila are recited in the evening.

God in Sikhism

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion and hence, believes that "God" is One, and prevails in everything, as symbolized by the symbol Ik Onkar (one all pervading spirit). The fundamental belief of Sikhism is that God exists, indescribable yet knowable and perceivable to anyone who surrenders his egoism and Loves the Almighty. The Sikh gurus have described God in numerous ways in their hymns included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, but the oneness of the deity is consistently emphasized throughout.

God is described in the Mool Mantar (lit. the Prime Utterance), the first passage in the Guru Granth Sahib:

"ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥" "ikk ōankār sat(i)-nām(u) karatā purakh(u) nirabha'u niravair(u) akāla mūrat(i) ajūnī saibhan(g) gur(a) prasād(i)." "There is but one all pervading spirit, and it is called the truth, It exists in all creation, and it has no fear, It does not hate and, it is timeless, universal and self-existent! You will come to know it through the grace of the Guru."

(SGGS. Pg 1) Sri Guru Granth Sahib


Gurbani (Punjabi: ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ) is a Sikh term, very commonly used by Sikhs to refer to various compositions by the Sikh Gurus and other writers of Guru Granth Sahib. In general, hymns in the central text of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, are called Gurbani. Among Amrit dhari Sikhs, a few texts from Dasam Granth which are read as Nitnem, like Tav-Prasad Savaiye and Chaupai, are also considered Gurbani. In Adi Granth, Gurbani is a sound which comes directly from the Supreme and the text is a written form of the same in worldly language and scripts. It is also called Gun Bani. Gurbani are explanations of qualities of the Primal Lord and Soul which a Sikh should comprehend and with which he can attain the supreme state.

Sikh historical writings, unauthentic writings or apocryphal compositions written under the names of Sikh Gurus and other writings by Sikhs are not considered Gurbani and are referred to as Kachi Bani.


A gurdwara (gurdwārā; meaning "door to the guru") is a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs.

People from all faiths, and those who do not profess any faith, are welcomed in Sikh gurdwaras.

Each gurdwara has a Darbar Sahib where the current and everlasting guru of the Sikhs, the scripture Guru Granth Sahib, is placed on a takhat (an elevated throne) in a prominent central position. The raagis (who sing Ragas) recite, sing and explain, the verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, in the presence of the congregation.

All gurdwaras have a langar hall, where people can eat free vegetarian food served by volunteers at the gurdwara. They may also have a medical facility room, library, nursery, classroom, meeting rooms, playground, sports ground, a gift shop, and finally a repair shop. A gurdwara can be identified from a distance by tall flagpoles bearing the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh flag.

The most well-known gurdwaras are in the Darbar Sahib complex in Amritsar, Punjab including Darbar Sahib, the spiritual center of the Sikhs and Akal Takht, the political center of the Sikhs.

Guru Maneyo Granth

"Guru Maneyo Granth" (English: Granth Be Thy Guru) refers to the historic statement of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), shortly before his demise, on affirming the sacred scripture Adi Granth as his successor, thus terminating the line of human Gurus. Installed as the Guru Granth Sahib, it is now the central holy scripture of Sikhism, and the eternal living Guru of all Sikhs. It is central to Sikh worship as it is said to imbibe the one light of the creator manifested in the Ten Sikh Gurus - one spirit in ten forms. (Bhai Gurdas) The event in 1708 at Nanded (in present-day Maharashtra), when Guru Gobind Singh installed Adi Granth as the Guru of Sikhism, was recorded in a Bhatt Vahi (a bard's scroll) by an eyewitness, Narbud Singh, and is now celebrated as Gurgaddi (Guru Gaddi Divas), and statement is part of the central chant, Sabh Sikhan ko Hukam Hai, Guru Maneyo Granth. October 2008 marked the Tercentenary year of Guruship of Guru Granth Sahib and was marked by major celebrations by Sikhs worldwide, and especially at Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded saw year-long celebrations.

Naam Japo

In Sikhism, Nām Japō (Gurmukhi ਨਾਮ ਜਪੋ), Naam Japna, or Naam Simran refers to the meditation, vocal singing of hymns from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or contemplating the various Names of God (or qualities of God), especially the chanting of the word Waheguru, which means "Wonderful Lord" representing the formless being, the creator of all the forms and the being omnipresent in all forms. Singing of hymns generally is also referred to as Nām Jap, sometimes also called Nām Simran. Singing of hymns with musical accompaniment is generally referred to as Kirtan. While contemplating God's names a devotee is able to get nām, the divine connection with God. Nām is able to fulfill all desires and cleanse the mind of its impurities distress. Through Nām the devotees are able to harness Godly qualities and remove the five thieves.

Nām Japna requires the remembrance of God or the Akal Purkh, the supreme formless power that is timeless and deathless, by repeating and focusing the mind on God's various names or qualities. Some of the names of Gods can be found in the Mul Mantar, which is repeated throughout the Guru Granth Sahib, and also found in Guru Gobind Singh's Jaap Sahib, which contains 950 names of God. The guideline in the Rehat Maryada of Guru Gobind Singh demands that the Sikh engage in Naam Simran as part of his or her daily routine.

Nām Japō is one of the Three pillars of Sikhism, along with Kirat karō and Vaṇḍ chakkō. Critical importance is given to the meditation in the Guru Granth Sahib as the way in which humans can conquer ego, greed, attachment, anger and lust, together commonly called the Five Evils or Five Thieves and to bring peace and tranquility into one's mind. The Sikhs practice both the quiet individual recitation of Naam in one's mind, commonly called Naam Simran, and the loud and communal recitation of Naam, called Naam Jaap. However, this is not a strict definition of these phrases.

Guru Ji says in the Guru Granth Sahib:

With my hands I do God's work; with my tongue I sing God's Glorious Praises.With my feet, I walk on the Path of my Lord and Master. ((1))

It is a good time, when I remember Him in meditation.

Meditating on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, I cross over the terrifying world-ocean. ((1)(Pause))

With your eyes, behold the Blessed Vision of the Saints.

Record the Immortal Lord God within your mind. ((2))

Listen to the Kirtan of God's Praises, at the Feet of the Holy.

Your fears of birth and death shall depart. ((3))

Enshrine the Lotus Feet of your Lord and Master within your heart.

Thus this human life, so difficult to obtain, shall be redeemed. ((4)(51)(120))


Nimrata is an important virtue that is vigorously promoted by Gurbani and Sikh history. The literal translation of this Punjabi word is "Humility", or "Benevolence". The other four qualities in the arsenal are: Truth (Sat), Contentment (Santokh), Compassion (Daya) and Love (Pyaar). These five qualities are essential to a Sikh and it is their duty to meditate and recite the Gurbani so that these virtues become a part of their personality.

The importance given to Humility in Sikhism can be seen from the following Shabads from Guru Granth Sahib:

The fruit of humility is intuitive peace and pleasure. My True Guru has given me this gift. ((1)(Pause)) (Guru Granth Sahib Page 235 line 10264)

The God-conscious being shall never perish. The God-conscious being is steeped in humility. (Guru Granth Sahib Page 273 line 12219)

First, is the Lord's Praise; second, contentment; third, humility, and fourth, giving to charities. Fifth is to hold one's desires in restraint. These are the five most sublime daily prayers. (Guru Granth Sahib Page 1084 line 46506)

Lacking truth and humility, they shall not be appreciated in the world hereafter. (Guru Granth Sahib Page 1245 line 53551)

Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra.Wear these three robes, O sister, and you will captivate your Husband Lord. ((127)) (Guru Granth Sahib Page 1384 line 59047)

The armor of self-restraint, truth, contentment and humility can never be pierced. (Guru Granth Sahib Page 1397 line 59445)

He chants and meditates, and practices austerity and good deeds. He keeps to the Dharma, with faith, humility and contentment. (Guru Granth Sahib Page 1411 line 59901)And if you do not practise humility, truth, abstinence or self-discipline then what is in store for you:

You do not practice truth, abstinence, self-discipline or humility; the ghost within your skeleton has turned to dry wood…..When the Messenger of Death grabs you by your hair, you will be punished. You are unconscious, and have fallen into Death's mouth. ((3)) (Guru Granth Sahib Page 906 line 38915)

Outline of Sikhism

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Sikhism:

Sikhism – monotheistic religion founded in the fifteenth century upon the teachings of Guru Nanak and ten succeeding Gurus (the last one being the sacred text Guru Granth Sahib), emphasizing universal, selfless love and brotherhood. "Only those who selflessly love everyone, they alone shall find God". Guru Granth Sahib teaches the humans how to unite with the all cosmic soul, with the creator. It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing.

Sikh gurus

The Sikh gurus established Sikhism over the centuries, beginning in the year 1469. Guru Nanak was the first Guru, and subsequently, each Guru, in succession, was referred to as "Nanak", and as "Light". All the Gurus themselves also used the name "Nanak" while penning down their spiritual verses.

There are a total of eleven Gurus: Ten human-form gurus and the eleventh, or current and everlasting Sikh Guru, is the integrated Sikh scripture known as the Guru Granth Sahib. The Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, had bestowed the Guruship forevermore to the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was also known as ‘kalgiyan wale pathshah’.

Sikh scriptures

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.

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 "Pothi Sahib" by Guru Arjan, was installed at Harmandir Sahib (House of God) with much celebration.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University

Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University (ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਰਲਡ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ) is a private university in Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, India. It was established under Punjab State Act 20/2008 (Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University Act) and is recognized by UGC under section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956. Sardar Prakash Singh Badal (Chief Minister of Punjab) announced the setting up of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University at Fatehgarh Sahib, the holy place of martyrs, on the occasion of the fourth centenary celebrations of the compilation and the first installation of Sri Adi (Guru) Granth Sahib in 2004.

Writers of Guru Granth Sahib

Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ;Hindi: गुरु ग्रन्थ साहिब जी;[ɡʊɾu ɡɾəntʰ sɑhɪb]), is the central religious text of Sikhism, considered by Sikhs to be the final sovereign Guru of the religion. It contains 1430 Angs (pages), containing hymns of 36 saint mystics which includes Sikh guru sahiban (6 gurus), Bhagats (15 bhagats), Bhatts (11 bhatts) and gursikhs (4 gursikhs). It is the only religious script in the world that contains views and ideology of people of other religions, castes and creeds. It also contains teachings of Sikh gurus themselves and was written by Bhai Gurdas Ji (first version) and by Bhai Mani Singh Ji (second version).

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