World  Philosophical  Heritage

Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib

Sikhism : Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib

The Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib compiled by the fifth Guru Arjan was installed in the Golden Temple, Amritsar, India on September 1, 1604 A.D. He already had before him the hymns of his four predecessors collected and put to writing by the second and third Sikh Gurus. The latter had even added some of the popular sayings of the Hindu Bhaktaas and Muslim Sufis as well. Guru Arjan collected the writings from most of the available sources and following judicial pruning of apocryphal writings with the help of Bhai Gurdas, a disciple of the Gurus, prepared “Aad Guru Granth Sahib” as the spiritual Guide and Support for the Sikhs. Subsequently, Guru Gobind Singh the tenth and the last Sikh Guru, added some of the sayings of his father, Guru Teg Bahadur to the volume and declared it to be “Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib”.

This is the only scripture in the world which was compiled by one of the founders of a religion himself and whose authenticity has never been questioned.

The “Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib” is arranged according to the musical measure in which a hymn is meant to be sung. Most of the Sikh Gurus were themselves great musicians, masters of classical style. Guru Arjan himself was a great vocalist and an instrumentalist. The whole Granth is written in poetry of the highest order, both music and poetry have formed an inseparable part of the Sikh ritual and Sikh cultural pattern, and runs through the blood of every man and woman of this aesthetic faith.

The Granth, besides the writings of the Sikh Gurus, for reference contains compositions of all the medieval Hindu Bhaktas and Sufi Muslims. No other religion has perhaps shown this catholicity of outlook in bringing together views of such diverse hues and even when they are diametrically opposed to the tenets of the faith of whose scriptures they now form an integral part.

The Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib, now reverend and respected by the Sikhs the world over as the “living embodiment of the Gurus”, as enjoined by Guru Gobind Singh, is the Scripture of the Sikhs, and the impingement or expungement of any portion thereof is considered sacrilegious. The Granth, as Dr. Trumpp has said, “is the treasure of the old Hindvi dialects.” Besides, it is a source –book for compiling a socio-cultural history of North India of medieval time. Its idioms and proverbs have become the stock-in-trade of every Punjabi for all occasions, no matter what his religion, profession or place of residence.

The Sikh philosophy as embodied in the Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib is chiefly a philosophy of action, deed and consequence. Though in its essentials, it is completely in tune with the ancient Indian thought regarding the genesis of the world and the ultimate nature of reality, it moves away from quietism, passivity and abstractions. The emphasis is on shared communal experience, and on purposive and idealistic involvement. The extinction of the ego or selfishness is the corner stone of the Sikhism. The Aad Siri Guru Granth Sahib presents a comprehensive source and guide that sets for its followers a perfect set of moral values and a practical code of conduct. It is indeed, the complete teacher.