Guru Granth Sahib Ji – 11th and Eternal Universal Guru

Guru Granth Sahib is the Sikhs' universal and eternal Guru. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the holy scripture of Sikhs, and it is regarded as a living Guru rather than a scripture. Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is the sacred scripture, spiritual authority and eternal living Guru of Sikhs as embodiment of ten Sikh Gurus. Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji consists of 1430 pages known as Angs (limbs) in Sikh tradition. It is the expansion of the greatest humanist Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji’s philosophy of one almighty and the oneness of His creation. It is the most secular Granth on the Earth. It contains the Bani of great men of India, including 6 Sikh Gurus – Guru Nanak Dev ji, Guru Angad Dev ji, Guru Amardas ji, Guru Ramdas ji, Guru Arjun Dev ji and Guru Tegh Bahadur ji; 15 Bhagats – Jai Dev ji, Sheikh Farid ji, Trilochan ji, Namdev ji, Sadhana ji, Ramanand ji, Kabir ji, Dhana ji, Pipa ji, Sain ji, Ravi Das ji, Bhikhan ji, Sur Das ji, Baini ji, Parmanand ji; 11 Bhatts (Bards) – Kalashar ji, Gayand ji, Bhikha ji, Kirat ji, Mathura ji, Jalap ji, Salh ji, Bhalh ji, Balh ji, Harbans ji, Nalh ji; 4 Gursikhs – Bhai Mardana ji, Baba Sundar ji, Bhai Satta ji, Rai Balvand ji. All compositions included in it – whether written by Sikh Gurus, bhakats, bards or gursikhs – are treated as Gurbani, the guru’s words.

Guru Granth Sahib is an unparalleled treasure of the wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and teachings of six Sikh Gurus and thirty Indian saints – from various castes, sects, and regions – who lived over a 500-year period, from Bhagat Jaidev ji (b.1170) to Sri Guru Teg Bahadur ji (1621- 1675). Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji contains no sectarianism. It contains universal truths, universal brotherhood, morality, and divine love songs. Guru Granth Sahib ji has given equal status to all – Sikh Gurus as well as Bhagats of various castes, creeds, and classes – whether a weaver, cobbler, barber, king, butcher, Muslim, Jaat, Brahmin, Vaish, or Shudra – all are sitting on the same throne in Gurudwara Sahib, where every Sikh bows his head in reverence since more than 300 years.

The Guru Granth Sahib is written in the Gurmukhi script, but it is a unique multi-lingual scripture written not in a single scholarly language, but in the mixed languages of the masses from various parts of the Indian subcontinent. It is written in Persian, Arabic, Hindi, Sanskrit, and other Indian languages. These devotional hymns and prayers to the supreme contain the message of love and devotion, truth, humility, mercy, brotherhood, equality, service to others, and mental and spiritual purity. The scripture was first prepared in 1604 by Shri Guru Arjun Dev ji, the fifth Guru, who installed it in Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple.


Guru Granth Sahib Ji was installed as Guru on Kattak Sudi 2, 1765B, i.e. November 19, 1708 AD, at Hazoor Sahib, Nanded. In 1708 AD, while Guru Gobind Singh Ji was in Nanded, Sirhind's Nawab Wizir Khan had two of his men stab Guru Ji. Bahadur Shah, the Mughal Emperor at the time, sent the best surgeon to assist Guru Ji in his recovery. Guru Ji's wound had been stitched, and he was on the road of recovery. When Guru Ji used a lot of force to pull a stiff bow, the wound ruptured and bled. In keeping with the previous tradition of passing the Gurgaddi (Guruship), Guru Ji placed a Kirpan, five pieces of cloth, and a coconut in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Panj Pyare - Baba Deep Singh, Baba Gurbaksh Singh, Pyare Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Santokh Singh, and Bhai Har Singh were present for the inauguration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru Ji informed the Sangat that there would be no living Guru from now on. Instead, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji would be the eternal Guru to whom they could seek guidance. Guru Gobind Singh Ji told his Sikhs that their Guru would be Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from now on, and there would be no physical Gurus.

Structure of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji has been standardized to 1430 Angs (pages). Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji begins an index. The first word is “ੴ” or “Ik Onkar” which describes the all-pervading force of Waheguru. Followed by Basic Nitnem of a Sikh which contains Japji Sahib, Rehras Sahib and Sohila Sahib. Jap Ji Sahib out of these three entries is not written in a Raag.

After Sohila Sahib, the Raag section begins which makes up the majority of the Granth. The Shabads (hymns) are arranged by 31 Raags. A Raag describes the musical scale, structure and how to create a melody. Each Raag reflects a different spiritual mood or tone and is sung at different times of the day. For example, Raag Suhi is used for undying love and extreme devotion. The Lavaan (wedding hymns) are composed in Raag Suhi. On the other hand, Raag Sarang evokes feelings of sadness and longing to meet Waheguru. There are 31 Raag sections based on the 31 Shudh (pure) Raags in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and within that section, the use of Mishrat (mixed) Raags makes the total Raags used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 60. Within each Raag, the Shabads are arranged in chronological order by Guru, followed by the Bhagats (Muslim and Hindu Saints).

There are many hymns in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji that preach the lesson of human equality and universal brotherhood. These are for all of humanity. The need is to understand these and follow the righteous path shown by Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji Ji through the collective intellect and experience of 36 divine personalities over 500 years. As Sikhs summarise their Ardaas with the words `` Nanak naam chardi kala, tere bhaane sarbat da bhala ", its true followers are always secular and peace-loving people praying for the welfare of the entire society.