Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib also called Adi Sri Granth Sahib Ji is much more than a scripture for the Sikh community since this Granth, or Holy Book is their last and eternal Guru. The sacred text runs over 1430 pages and contains the actual teachings of the founders of Sikhism – the Ten Gurus and those of saints of other religions like Hinduism and Islam. There were thirty six composers and twenty two languages or dialects have been used. In 1708, the last of the Sikh Gurus, Guru Govind Singh Ji proclaimed Sri Guru Granth Sahib as his successor and as the living Guru for all ages to come, just prior to his demise. The holy book was composed and compiled between 1469 and 1708, during the lifetime of the ten Gurus.
The book is highly venerated and contains hymns and “baanis” that describe the qualities of God and why it is essential to meditate on God’s name. It guides the Sikhs as to how to pray, live and worship so as to attain the grace and mercy of the Almighty. Many learned men from other cults find the holy book a treasure house fit for all mankind. Although Sri Guru Granth Sahib is written using Gurmukhi script, which is considered, the modern version of ancient Sanskrit, one can find a mix of dialects. It is a divine revelation and the seekers are sure to find appropriate answers to their queries pertaining to religion and morality. Persons who explain the ulterior message of the holy text are called granthi, missionaries or the enlightened ones. Under the supervision, of Guru Arjan, Bhai Gurdas prepared the volume in the form of poetry. After an exchange of a few hands, the final version of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was installed in Nanded and is displayed on Baisakhi every year.
The holy literature existed in its rudiments during the life-time of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. The Adi Granth may be divided into three distinct sections according to the composers. The verses can be set to music and easily reaches the heart of the common man. The Sikhs preserve the sanctity of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and accept it as the Word of God. Copies of the Granth are placed on a raised platform in the Gurudwara and are given the highest authentic honour. The canopy placed above the Holy Scripture depicts the reverence showered on Sri Guru Granth Sahib.