Dr. S. S. Sodhi Dalhousie University Halifax, N.S.

Important Facts About Guru Granth Sahib, Dr. S.S. Sodhi, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.

Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs was first compiled in 1604 by Guru Arjan Dev Ji and it contains the composition of Gurus and Saints ranging from the twelfth to the seventeenth century.

It is a very clear representation of “spiritual culture” which includes ethical greatness, aesthetic grandeur and spiritual achievement.

Gurmukh, was the man who lived and developed the spiritual culture as stated in the Granth. A person became Gurmukh by performing cognitive operations to stop his lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego delusions, jealousy and vanity. He replaced these negative tendencies with modesty, friendliness, compassion, fearlessness, purity, moderation, faith, generosity and humility.

Spiritual culture of the Gurmukh does not develop in isolation from the social culture. He is expected to live the life of a house holder who is not bothered by “Sanskaras” but is anxious to cultivate the qualities of the present self. The personality of a Gurmukh has poise and balance. He creates harmony within his physical, psychological and spiritual self.

The spiritual culture of Guru Granth Sahib does not believe in man made distinctions. It speaks against all types of exploitations and evils which are sanctioned by man against man. The Gurumukh did not give a low status to woman.

The Adi Granth is a treasury of most of the old Indian languages. One can see the use of Sant Bhasha, Western Punjabi, Sindhi Western Hindi, Eastern Hindi, Marathi, Arabic, Persian and Eastern, Western and Southern Aprabhamsa (a form of spoken language of the masses before the emergence of Hindi). In other words, the spiritual realities of various regions was included so that it could have an universal appeal to the common man whose language was being used. Sanskrit as the language of the elite was rejected for representing the spiritual culture of the Gurmukh.

The music, the nonverbal humanity, as Huxley puts, is extensively used in the Adi Granth. There are thirty one Ragas in Adi Granth. Their names are as under:

  1. Sri Raga 2. Majh 3. Gauri 4. Asa 5. Gujri 6. Dev Gandhari 7. Bihagra 8. Vadhans 9. Sorath 10. Dhanasari 11. Jaitsri 12. Todi 13. Bairari 14. Tilang 15. Suhi 16. Bilawal 17. Gaund 18. Ramkali 19. NataNarayan 20. Mali Gaura 21. Maru 22. Tukhari 23. Kedara 24. Bhairo 25. Basant 6. Sarang 27. Malar 28. Kanra 29. Kalyan 30. Prabhati 1. Jaijawant.
  2. Out of these thirtyone Ragas, only fourteen are actually Ragas and the remaining seventeen are Raginis, but there is no distinction made between a Raga and a Ragini in Adi Granth.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 30, 1985