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Guru Granth : As Written Record of Sabad Revealed by God

Dalvinder Singh*

The one who enlightens is called Guru — Granth in Punjabi for “scripture”; Sahib in Hindi meaning “master”, from Arabic, meaning “companion”, “friend”, “owner”, or “master”. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the perpetual Guru of the Sikhs. It has 1430 pages and contains the actual words revealed by God to the 6 Sikh Gurus; and Hindu and Sufi Muslim Saints and Bhagats. It remains a written record in original unaltered form till date. Hence Guru Granth Sahib remains the only supreme scripture of any religion in the world which is actually written and compiled by the creators of the sabad as revealed to them by God.

Sabad may be in written or unwritten form, e.g., sound. Various Holy books of the religions the world around are in written form. These have not been written by the original writers of the sabad, but composed later on with the material they obtained or heard from others. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Supreme Sikh scripture of the Sikhs written by the Gurus and saints themselves and recorded either by themselves or in their presence. Hence it is the direct evidence of direct revelation.

Thus Sabad-Bani in Guru Granth Sahib is the written version of what was revealed to the Gurus and the saints. They sang and wrote what God revealed to them. Hence Bani in Guru Granth Sahib can be stated as that of God Himself. Guru Nanak said, “I do not know how to speak. Whatever I have said I said on His Orders.” (p.763:6)

By myself I know not how to speak.
I utter all that is the command of my Lord.1
He further stated that he narrates the way God makes him to do:
Thy humble servant Nanak says,
He explains what the Lord directs him.2

and that whatever God revealed to him, the same knowledge is further transferred in the form of bani:

As the word of the Lord comes to me, so do I utter, O Lalo.3

The sabad appeared from God and removed all doubts and worries.
He also said, “I am a bard without work, whom God has put to work. I sing day and night whatever God revealed. ….Bard is expanding his activity through singing sabad. Nanak got the True God through God’s praise.”

Me, the bard out of work, the Lord has applied to His service.4
Janamsakhis mention that Guru Nanak received the sabad, or that sabad was revealed4a:
Nanak received the word from the Lord,
Then he revealed the word to others.5

The Gurus accepted that they could not describe Him on their own; whatever they said was on the orders (hukum) of God. Even the saints wrote what was revealed to them and have spoken what they saw or experienced:

Hear thou the true tale of the saints
They say only that what they see with their eyes.6
They all have described what was revealed to them by the True Lord:
From the Primal One, has emanated the Gurbani.7

Thus the Gurus and saints stated whatever they saw of the invisible, unapproachable, indescribable, formless God:

Through the Guru, he beholds with his eyes the unseen,
Unapproachable, unknowable and immaculate Lord.8

Hence all the Sikhs of the Gurus are directed to consider the Sabad Guru, Guru Granth Sahib as Truth and Truth alone as these are the recorded facts of the revelations made by the True Lord:

O the disciples of the Guru, know that the Satguru's hymns are perfectly true.
God, the Creator Himself causes the Guru to utter these with his mouth.9

The bani being directly revealed by God, the Sikhs are appealed to accept all that is recorded in Gurbani as gospel truth.

Guru Granth Sahib is thus the compilation of true words of God Himself without any adulteration. This Holy Book is thus the home of the Transcendent Lord, God. This is the only Guru which was installed by Guru Gobind Singh as the ever-living Sabad Guru of Sikhs.

The event at Nanded, about Guru Gobind Singh's breathing the last and merging into the eternal light and before this, installing Guru Granth Sahib as the ever-living Sabad Guru is recorded by Bhatts9a, the recorders of events at Guru’s durbar. The event is also recorded by one of the 52 poets at Gur durbar ‘Poet Sainapat’ and in court records as available in Akhbar-e-durbar-e-Mulla.

“Guru Gobind Singh the Tenth Mahal, son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, at Nanded at the banks of Godavari in the Dakhan Desh, on Wednesday Sudi Chauth in Sukl Paksh of Kartik month of the year seventeen hundred sixty five, asked Bhai Daya Singh to bring Sri Granth Sahib. Bhai Daya Singh brought Sri Guru Granth. Guru Gobind Singh bowed his head before the Granth after placing five paisa and a coconut. He then addressed the assembled congregation, “It is my order. In place of me, accept Guru Granth as your Guru. Whosoever Sikh will accept so, will find his efforts fruitful and the Guru will care for him. Please accept this as the truth.”

Thus Guru Gobind Singh passed Guruship to Gruru Granth Sahib as Sabad Guru: the sabad, the Guru who cannot be differentiated from God. Those who call themselves Guru but cite from the revealed Sabd Guru to put across their view point, cannot be accepted equivalent to God, hence cannot be considered Gurus or Satgurus. They are mere mortals; they are the bhekhis. As there is or will never be any other Guru of Sikhs other than Sabad Guru, Sikhs must shun from going or approaching the mortals and bhekhis.

This is not just for reciting, but for action. It is important to realize and act. We must be aware of the fact that Gurbani is the light of Gurus in this world:

Gurbani is the Divine Light in this world.
Through God's Grace does it come to abide in mortal's mind.10

It is the same light, the same jot which started with Guru Nanak and passed on to Guru Granth Sahib through Guru Gobind Singh.

Bani is Guru and Guru is Bani; all nectars are contained in Gurbani. Whatever Gurbani says, the follower must accept. Sabad Guru is the one which emancipates:

Gurbani is the embodiment of the Guru,
And Guru is the embodiment of Gurbani,
In the whole of Gurbani is contained the Nectar.
If the attendant act up to what Gurbani enjoins,
The Guru in person (verily) saves him.11
All Sikhs pray regularly that they all have the orders to accept Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru:
All Sikhs are ordained to accept Guru Granth as the Guru.1

As Guru Gobind Singh passed on the Guruship to Sabad Guru and no other guru, we must follow Guru Granth Sahib and no other guru.



1. hau Awphu boil n jwxdw, mY kihAw sB hukmwau jIau [[
2. dwsin dws khY jnu nwnku jyhw qU krwieih qyhw hau krI viKAwn ]
3. jYsI mY AwvY Ksm kI bwxI qYsVw krI igAwnu vy lwlo[[ (Guru Granth Sahib, p 722)
4. hau FwFI vykwr kwry lwieAw [[ (Guru Granth Sahib, p 150)
4a. Surinder Singh Kohli (Dr.) (ed.), Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala, Punjab University Chandigarh, 1990 (2nd Edn), pp.85, 275), Puratan Janamsakhi, pp.,20, 80, 121,193
5. “nwnk nUM sbd pRwpq hoiyeAw” “sbd prgt hoieAw
6. sMqn kI suix swcI swKI ] so bolih jo pyKih AwKI] (Guru Granth Sahib, p 894)
7. Dur kI bwxI AweI [[ (Guru Granth Sahib, p 628)
8. Aidstu Agocru AlKu inrMjnu so dyiKAw gurmuiK AwKI[[ (Guru Granth Sahib, p 87)
9. siqgur kI bwxI siq siq kir jwxhu gurisKhu, hir krqw Awpu mUhhu kFwey[[ (Guru Granth Sahib, p 308)
9a. Bhatt Wahi Talaunda, Pargna Jeend. As mentioned in ‘Guru Kian Sakhian’ (ed. Piara Singh Padam and Giani Garja Singh Publishers Kalam Mandir, Patiala:1986, p.14)
10. gurbwxI ies jg mih cwnxu krim vsY min Awey [[ (Guru Granth Sahib, p 67)
11. bwxI guru guru hY bwxI ivc bwxI AMimRq swry[[
gurbwxI khy syvk jn mwnY prqK guru insqwry[[
(Guru Granth Sahib, p 982)
12. sB isKn ko hukm hY guru mwinE gRMQ[[


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