Guru Granth Sahib is the only scripture in the world which is believed to be Ever Living Shabad Guru by crores of believers in Sikhism. In other religions of the world, scriptures respected as sacred books are not given the status of Guru, Prophet, christ or highest preacher. In Guru Granth Sahib, the Bani or its contents are in exactly original form because the author Gurus put in black and white by Gurus themselves and not a single word was added subsequently. Moreover this is the only Universal scripture which has compositions of the authors even belonging to other religions such as Hindus and Mohamadans besides Sikh Gurus themselves. Even compositions of Bhakatas belonging to lower and backward castes who were
considered as untouchables in those days have also been included in this Granth. Thus Guru Granth Sahib is a unique secular scripture in the world and is a Living Treasure of infinitely precious gems of thoughts.

Guru Nanak used to pen down his Bani (Composition) himself and he handed over his book (Pothi) of composition to Second Guru Angad Dev Ji who in turn handed over this alongwith his own composition to third Guru Amar Das Ji. This practice continued. Thus the Bani of all the first four Gurus received by fifth Guru Arjan Dev Ji along with the Bani of Bhaktas. In order to eliminate the possibility of mixing up and adulteration of fake Bani with Guru’s bani by undesirable elements. Guru Arajn Dev JI compiled all the Banis of earlier Gurus received by him alongwith his own Banis and that of Bhaktas etc. into a single volume with the assistance of a renowned Sikh Scholar Bhai Gurdas who under took writing work with his own hand as directed by Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The compliation of this volume known as Adi Granth took wbout 3 years and was installed ceremoniously in Harmandir Sahib Temple at Amritsar in 1604 A.D. Baba Budha Ji was appointed as first Granthi ( a person reciting Bani from Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhs and attending there later formalities).

Guru Gobind Singh got the whole volume of Adi Granth with the addition of the Bani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji at Sabo Ki Talwandi (Damdama Sahib) in Bathinda District of Punjab in 1705. He finally bestowed Guruship on Guru Granth Sahib just before he breathed his last in 1708 A.D. at Nanded in Maharashtra. Thus Guru Granth Sahib was formally declared as prepetual Guru of the Sikhs for all time to come.

CONTENTS OF GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
It consists of 1430 pages and includes compositions of 36 persons in all as detailed below :-

A. SIX GURUS
1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji 1469 - 1539 A.D.
2. Guru Angad Dev Ji 1504 - 1552 A.D.
3. Guru Amar Das Ji 1479 - 1574 A.D.
4. Guru Ram Das Ji 1534 - 1581 A.D.
5. Guru Arjan Dev Ji 1563 - 1606 A.D.
6. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji 1621 - 1675 A.D.

B. 15 BHAKATAS (OTHER THAN SIKH)
1. Kabir Ji 1398 - 1518 A.D
2. Ravi Dass Ji 1378 - 1529 A.D.
3. Nam Dev Ji 1270 - 1350 A.D.
4. Trilochan Ji 1267 - 1335 A.D.
5. Dhanna Ji 1415 - 1475 A.D.
6. Jai Dev Ji 1201 - 1273 A.D.
7. Sain Ji 1390 - 1440 A.D.
8. Peepa Ji 1426 - 1562 A.D.
9. Sur Das Ji 1529 - A.D.
10. Ramanand Ji 1366 - 1467 A.D.
11. Saohna Ji
12. Beni Ji
13. Parmanand Ji 1483 - 1593 A.D.
14. Bhikhan Ji 1480 - 1574 A.D.
15. Sheikh Farid 1173 - 1266 A.D.

These Bhakats were Hindus as well as Mohamaddans. They belonged to both high and low castes and represented different regions and provinces of India.

C. ELEVEN BARDS (BHATTS)
who came to Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s Darbar and sang hymns in praise of Gurus. They were :
1. Kalasher
2. Jalap
3. Kirat
4. Bhikha
5. Sal
6. Bhal
7. Nal
8. Mathura
9. Gaijant
10. Bal
11. Harban

D. FOUR SIKH DISCIPLES
1. Bhai Sunder Ji 1560 - 1603 A.D.
2. Bard Singer (Rababi) Doom
3. Bard Singer (Rababi) Rai Balwand
4. Bard Singer (Rababi) Mardana 1459 - 1534 A.D.


Coming through the above list, it is clear that Guru Granth Sahib is a truly secular and universal in character which is meant for whole humanity and not only for Sikhs.

Another unique feature of Guru Granth Sahib is that its contents are in poetry and have been arranged to be sung in classical Ragas. Almost whole of the Bani is classified in 31 main RAGAS with their Sub Ragas and branches, known as Raginis. It has in all 5871 rhymes or Shabads. These Shabads are in the languages which were easily understood by man throughout i.e. Punjabi in various prevalant , poorbi, Dakhni, persian and some sanskrit, marathi etc. unlike other scriptures using Sanskrit, Arabic, Latik and Greek etc. as their languages which was understood only by priest class and not common people.

No wonder that Guru Granth Sahib is hailed in the world over as an universal scripture of a universal religion. It is a universal treasure home of gems of thoughts. Its message is for the welfare of whole human society and not for any particular caste, creed, religion, sect, province or country. Its subject matter relates to alleviation of human beings to a higher spiritual level and

 WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT GURU GRANTH SAHIB
1. DUNCAN GREENLEES : Gospel of Guru Granth Sahib : Guru Granth Sahib is certainly one of the world’s masterpieces of poetry. It is legitimately the ‘Bible of the Universal Religion’.

2. PROF. ABDUL MAJID KHAN : In the real sense of the word, Guru Granth is a synthesis of scriptures, a spiritual dictionary and a marvellous book meant for the betterment and spiritual uplift of humanity.

3. Dr. RAJENDRA PRASAD : The Sikh Gurus were partiots and reformers, but in no way partisans. What is more they believed in practising TRUTH rather than merely preaching it. The Adi Granth is indeed a monument to their universal and rationl outlook, their catholicity and earnest search for spiritual truth.

 4. MRS. PEARL S. BUCK : Guru Granth Sahib is a source book, an expression of man’s loneliness, his aspirations, hislongings, his cry to God and his hunger for communications with that Being. I have studied the scriptures of other great religions but I do not find elsewhere the same power of appeal to the heart and mind as I find here in these volumes.

5. ARNOLD TOYNBEE : "Guru Granth Sahib is remarkable for several reasons. Of all the known religious scriptures, this book is the most highly venerated. It means more to Sikhs than even what the Quran means to Muslims, the Bible to Christians and the Torah to Jews. The Guru Granth is the Sikh’s perpetual Guru (Spiritual Guide)". "In this coming religious debate, the Sikh religion and its scriptures, Guru Granth will have something of special value to say to the rest of the world."

6. Dr. S. RADHAKRISHNAN : "We find in the Guru Granth, a wide range of mystical emotions, intimate expressions of the personal realization of God and rapturous hymns of divine love." "The borders of seas and mountains will give way before the call of eternal truth which is set forthe with freshness of feeling and feruorr of devotion in Guru Granth."

7. SADHU T.L. VASWANI : "The living spirit of the Guru speaketh today in the words of this ever living Book, the inspired Testament of the saint, which Tenth Nanak (Guru Gobind Singh Ji) with the last benedietion of this earthly life, left to his disciples as their Enlightner."

8. PROF. PURAN SINGH : "It is the scripture of all nations, for it is the lyric of Divine Love and all the people of the earth submit on such growing lyrical prayer that Guru Granth is one song, one idea and one life. Immensity is the substance of the sublime."

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