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Authenticity of Sri Guru Granth Sahib


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This is a very nice article.


The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS) is the only Holy Scripture which was written by the founders of the religion during their lifetime. SGGS is a voluminous anthology meticulously prepared by Guru Arjan Ji of all the sacred verses by the six of the Ten Gurus whose compositions it carries and of some of the contemporary saints/bhagats and men of great devotion. The Living Guru of the Sikhs is treated by the followers as Word Incarnate, the embodiment and the presence manifests the spirit of the Ten historical Gurus. The original copy of the scripture, called Adi Granth, compiled and authenticated by Guru Arjan Dev exists today and is kept at Kartarpur, 15 km. north west of the city of Jalandhar, Panjab, India.

Its revelation began with Guru Nanak Dev Ji and lasted over a period of 239 years. When Guru Nanak Dev Ji sensed the imminence of an inspired utterance, he would ask Mardana, “Rabab waja, Bani aaei haiâ€, meaning “be ready to play the Rabab, the holy Word is descendingâ€. In one of his hymns Guru Nanak Dev said that Bani had originated in the transcedant realm: Dur kI bwxI AweI ] iqin sglI icMq imtweI ] “The Bani of His Word emanated from the Primal Lord. It eradicates all anxietyâ€. (SGGS, p628)

The authenticity of the Holy Granth is proclaimed in the hymns of Guru Amardas:

siqgur kI bwxI siq siq kir jwxhu gurisKhu hir krqw Awip muhhu kFwey ] “O the disciple of the Guru, know that the Satguru’s hymns are perfectly true. The Creator God Himself causes the followers to chant itâ€. (SGGS, p308)

Guru Arjan Dev Ji uttered the divine Word as it was ordained to him by Waheguru.

He said: hau Awphu boil n jwxdw mY kihAw sBu hukmwau jIau ] “By myself, I do not even know how to speak; I speak all that the Lord commandsâ€.(SGGS, p763)

Guru Ramdas Ji preached what was ordained to him by God. He said: jo inMdw kry siqgur pUry kI so swcY mwir pcwieAw ] eyhu AKru iqin AwiKAw ijin jgqu sBu aupwieAw ]1] “One who slanders the Perfect True Guru is punished and destroyed by the True Lord. This Word is spoken by the One who created the whole universeâ€. (SGGS, p306)

More evidence is drawn from Guru Granth Sahib to affirm the authenticity of the Holy Granth. Some of which are:

hmwrI ipAwrI AMimRq DwrI guir inmK n mn qy twrI ry ]1]

drsn prsn srsn hrsn rMig rMgI krqwrI ry ]1] “My Beloved has brought forth a river of nectar. The Guru has not held it back from my mind, even for an instant. Beholding it, and touching it, I am sweetened and delighted. It is imbued with the Creator's Loveâ€.

(SGGS, p404)

siqgur kI bwxI siq siq kir mwnhu ieau Awqm rwmY lInw hy ] “Accept as True, Perfectly True, the Word of the True Guru's Bani. In this way, you shall merge in the Lord, the Supreme Soulâ€. (SGGS, p1028)

logu jwnY iehu gIqu hY iehu qau bRhm bIcwr ] ijau kwsI aupdysu hoie mwns mrqI bwr ]3] “People believe that this is just a song, but it is a meditation on God. It is like the instructions given to the dying man at Benaresâ€. (SGGS, p335)

God speaks through the prophets and the Holy Saints. In Sikhism, there is no difference between Guru and Saint (Bhagat). God instils His Jot in the body of the Guru and the holy Saints, thus, the Guru and the Holy Saints are the forms of God. Gurbani affirms: swD rUp Apnw qnu DwirAw ] “The Holy Saint is the very embodiment of the Lord's formâ€. (SGGS, p1005)

This can be further explained by an analogy of a mother and a child. The Sikh Gurus were like a child who is born with divine qualities (Brahm Gian) whereas the Bhagats attain the Brahm-Gian during their lifetime through meditation. They attained the highest spiritual level where they became One with God. Once they reach the stage of unity, Waheguru reveals the divine truth to them. Thus, there is no difference between the hymns of the Gurus and the Saints, both are the revelation of God. Guru Arjan Dev Ji affirms: AMimRq bcn swD kI bwxI ] jo jo jpY iqs kI giq hovY hir hir nwmu inq rsn bKwnI ] “The Words, the Teachings of the Holy Saints, are Ambrosial Nectar. Whoever meditates on the Lord's Name is emancipated; he chants the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, with his tongueâ€. (SGGS, p744)

SGGS is a universal Granth because it contains the hymns of both Hindu and Muslim Saints, “low†and “high†castes. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, during his missionary tours, collected and preserved the writings of his contemporary Saints, such as Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Ravidas and Sheikh Farid, which were later incorporated in the Adi Granth by Guru Arjan Dev Ji. Some sacred verses of the past Saints were inherited by Guru Arjan Dev Ji through their followers. It is said that four Saint-poets of Lahore named Kahna, Chhajju, Peelu and Shah Hussain came to Guru Arjan Dev Ji and requested that he include their verses in the Holy Granth. But the Guru rejected their compositions as he did not find them genuine. Even Bhai Gurdas Ji, the chief editor and the scribe of Guru Granth Sahib had a clear vision of Gurbani. It is said that once Guru Arjan Dev Ji asked him how he could differentiate between Kacchi Bani and Sacchi Bani. Bhai Gurdas replied: “As a married woman can recognise her husband’s voice while her husband is sitting next door talking to other men, similarly, it is easy for a Gurmukh to distinguish the Word of God from worldly versesâ€.

During the Mughal reign, the authenticity of the Holy Granth was challenged by Emperor Akbar who issued summons to view the Granth. Baba Buddha Ji, Bhai Gurdas Ji and Sahib Daya were sent by Guru Arjan Dev Ji where Bhai Gurdas Ji was asked to read a hymn: Kwk nUr krdM Awlm dunIAwie ] Asmwn ijmI drKq Awb pYdwieis Kudwie ]1] “The Lord infused His Light into the dust, and created the world, the universe. The sky, the earth, the trees, and the water - all are the Creation of the Lordâ€. (SGGS, p723)

Emperor Akbar was very pleased and said, “Except love to God, I find neither praises nor blame for anyone in the Holy Granth. It is a volume worthy of great reverenceâ€. He even tried to make an offering of 51 gold coins as token of respect.

Each and every word contained in the Holy Granth is the utterance of God as revealed to the Sikh Gurus and the Holy Saints. The composers of SGGS are many but the author is God Himself. God Himself directly speaks to His messengers. Evidence for this can be found in the example below which appears to be the direct conversation between God and the Guru: siB Gt myry hau sBnw AMdir ijsih KuAweI iqsu kauxu khY ] ijsih idKwlw vwtVI iqsih BulwvY kauxu ] ijsih BulweI pMD isir iqsih idKwvY kauxu ]1] “God says, all hearts are mine, and I am in all hearts. Who can explain this to the one who is confused? Who can confuse that being, unto whom I have shown the Way? And who can show the Path to that being whom I have confused since the beginning of time?†(SGGS, p952)

In the light of the above evidences, SGGS, is the direct revelation of God and its divinity is beyond challenge. The making of the SGGS by Guru Arjan Dev Ji involved sustained labour and vigorous intellectual discipline. The personal Guruship ended by the SGGS himself.Succesion passed to the SGGS in perpetuity; most significant development in the history of the Sikh Panth. It is the poetry of pure devotion, lyrical rather philosophical, moral rather than cerebral. It is the living source of authority, the ultimate guide to the spiritual and moral path pointed by the Gurus which keeps the followers of the faith focused with the naam shabad. As Guru Nanak Dev Ji believed that the shabad (divine word) was coined in the mint of the mind filled with the nectar of continence, realization, knowledge, fear and love of the Lord. In the 1430 pages, the authenticity of the SGGS is a sanctity and is the focal point of all Sikh devotion. It is the living source of authority, the ultimate guide to the spiritual and moral path as pointed by the Gurus, who came to dispel all darkness!

Dr.Rani Kaur Vaid, London

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