Archive for the ‘Sikhism’ Category

400 years of Guru Granth Sahib

It is the 400th year of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. The daily times has an article about this book, which tells us about the Sikh Gurus and also why Sikhs have turbans.

It contains, besides the works of the Sikh Gurus, writings of several Hindu and Muslim sages and holy men. Altogether there are 3,384 hymns of which nearly 1,000 are attributed to non-Sikhs. Among the Muslim saints whose contribution to the Guru Granth Sahib stands out clearly is Shaikh Farid. This way Sikhism is an eclectic rather than an exclusive creed. This breadth of vision truly captures the essence of the spiritual and humanist traditions of South Asia.

The hymns included were originally composed in several languages including Punjabi, Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian but have been made accessible to the Punjabi readers in the Gurmukhi script in which the Guru Granth is written. Recently it has been rendered into the Persian or ‘Shahmukhi’ script which should make it easier for people in Pakistan to read it.

From a sociological point of view, we find Guru Gobind Singh to be one of the earliest leaders of peasant rebellions in South Asia. His followers began to be called sardars (chiefs) and wore a turban. Under the prevailing norms of society only the upper classes or castes could wear a turban or ride a horse. Ordinary people had to walk and go bareheaded.[400 years of Guru Granth Sahib]

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The history of Guru Granth Sahib

On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Sikh Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib, the Times of India has an article about the history of it.

The Adi Granth, written by Guru Arjan Dev, is the original scripture, also known as Kartarpuri Bir, and was installed at the Golden Temple on September 1, 1604. The genuineness of this master copy, scripted by Bhai Gurdas under the direct supervision of Guru Arjan Dev, had been vouched by top Sikh scholars, including Bhai Jodh Singh, after thorough scrutiny of the holy text, which bears the original signatures of Guru Arjan Dev.

The master copy of the Adi Granth was initially kept by Guru Hargobind in his house. From there it was stolen by his grandson Dhir Mal who intended to use it to further his claims on succession. Some 30 years later, followers of the Guru Teg Bahadur forcibly recovered it, but were instructed by the guru to return it. The holy book emerged from obscurity only in 1849. [Descendants of Arjan Dev have original text]

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