By Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh Gill

The Adi Guru Granth Sahib was first compiled by Guru Arjun Dev, the fifth Nanak and installed in the Hari Mandir Sahib, (now famous as Golden Temple) Amritsar in 1601. The Holy Granth contains hymns written by the Gurus and 30 other popular poets including Muslim Pirs (Farid), Hindu saints (Rama Nand) and even lowcaste holy men (Kabir, a weaver), Nam Dey, (a calico printer), Ravi Dass (a Shoemaker). Guru Gobind Singh finalized it in 1707 by adding gurbani written by Guru Teg Bahadur. Before his death in 1708 at Nanded (Maharashtra) he passed on the guru ship to the Granth Sahib as “External Shabad Guru”.

Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, gave the new religious thought that there is no Hindu, no Musalman, no high caste and no low caste. God has created us simply as human beings. All of us have equal rights to love him and sing his praises in any language we like. No one particular name is more suitable than others to remember him.

The language of the Adi Granth is Sant Bhasha, which is very much akin to the present Punjabi. Hymns written in Persian and Hindi language are also included in the Granth. Words from Arabic, Sanskirt and many other Indian languages and dialects have been frequently used. Hundreds of names of God popularly used in different faiths and sects, e.g. Ram, Bhagwan, Gobind, Hari, Niranjan, Allah, Rahim, Karim etc. have been repeated with equal love and respect for all. The script used is Gurmukhi (which name has its origin in the word guru) and it has its own grammar.

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 8, 1985