| Opinion | 1 Sept 2016 | Asia Samachar |
That momentous day in Sikh History when Guru Arjun Ji, the Fifth Nanak, gifted mankind the Book of Knowledge – not only worldly knowledge but the precise and modern pathway to the Creator and declared Pothi Parmeshar ka Thaan (ਪੋਥੀ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕਾ ਥਾਨੁ ॥) – Herein is contained the complete directions to discover the Creator within and without.
This day 16 Aug 1604 (adjusted to 1 Sept following seasonal changes in the solar lunar years) Guru Arjun Ji placed on the highest pedestal in the Harmandir Sahib, the first copy of the Aad Granth containing the compositions of Five Guru Sahibs and 34 Bhagats, Sheikhs, and other holy men of the Bhaktee Movement who had realised the Creator within and without. The Gurbani of the Ninth Nanak, Guru Teg Bahadur ji, was later added to this Aad Granth by Guru Gobind Singh who renamed it Guru Granth Sahib and installed as the Final Guru of the Sikhs.
From a historical perspective – the Aad Granth is not to be taken as a spur of the moment creation. In actual fact, it is the culmination of a well run programme beginning with Guru Nanak Sahib. It’s an undeniable fact of history that the Nirmal Panth, also called Nirala panth – the Khalsa Panth that straddles the world today, has its roots in the establishment of the Darbar Sahib Sri Amritsar and inside it the establishment of the Aad Granth (later with further additions of Gurbani of Guru Teg Bahdur Ji and completed and installed as Guru Granth Sahib the Final Guru by the Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
If we go a little deeper we can clearly see that this entire episode in history is not a man made or man created episode – but a well planned, completely thought out process that went on during the 10 human lifetimes of the ten Nanaks. To back up this, we can quote the Gurbani on Page 1408:
ਜੋਤਿ ਰੂਪਿ ਹਰਿ ਆਪਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹਾਯਉ ॥
ਤਾ ਤੇ ਅੰਗਦੁ ਭਯਉ ਤਤ ਸਿਉ ਤਤੁ ਮਿਲਾਯਉ ॥
Jyot roop HAR AAP, Guru Nanak kahaiyo
Tanteh ANGAD bahiyo tat sion tatt milayio
In the beginning The Creator Himself ordained and placed His Jyot in Guru Nanak Ji to bring His Message to the world and this was later merged into Angad as the successor.
Bhai Gurdass ji in his Vaar gives us a further insight into the unique way this entire plan was put into place by the First Guru Nanak ji Himself:
ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਆਕਾਰੁ ਕਰਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪ ਅਨੂਪ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ।
Nirankaar akaar kar jyot sroop anoop dikhayah
The Nirankaar took Akaar and showed His Jyot in Guru Nanak.
This is the reason despite the biggest challenges – be they political, social, family, economic etc – none were able to stop this pre-ordained plan form being given completion from the Birth of Guru Nanak Ji in 1469 till the Guru Granth sahib Ji was installed as Eternal Guru in 1708.
This being the case, it’s a big mistake to treat any one Guru Sahib ji as lesser or greater than the other or in any way different from the rest. It’s been very clearly stated that:
ਲਹਣੇ ਦੀ ਫੇਰਾਈਐ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਦੋਹੀ ਖਟੀਐ ॥
ਜੋਤਿ ਓਹਾ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਇ ਸਹਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਫੇਰਿ ਪਲਟੀਐ ॥
Lehnneh dee feriyeah Nanka dohee khatteyeah
JYOT UHA Jugt saiye she kaiya fer plateeyeayh…
The Nanak Jyot was merged into Lehnna transforming Bhai Lehnna into Guru Angad.
The JYOT or soul is the same..only the human body has changed.
This guiding principle should be our Lighthouse- the Ten Nanaks and the Guru Granth are the exact same Nirankaree Jyot.
This Plan was put into action by Guru Nanak ji himself when He began collecting the Gurbani of various Bhagats as he visited their places of residence on his four long journeys around the world – journeys that took almost a quarter of his earthly life.
Guru Nanak ji not only wrote down his own compositions but also copied down the Bhagat Banis he found. This treasure was passed down to Guru Angad Sahib ji and then through Guru Amardass ji to Guru Ramdass Ji and finally to Guru Arjun Ji. Guru Angad Sahib ji and Guru Amardass Ji and Guru Ramdass Ji wrote their own compositions. Guru Arjun Ji, known as Bani da Bohithah (Ship of Gurbani) due to the great volume of his own compositions, decided to give credence to the next step in this plan.
Guru Nanak ji had established Kartarpur, Guru Angad Sahib established Khadoor Sahib, Guru Amardass established Goindwaal Sahib and Guru Ramdass ji established Ramdasspur. Guru Arjun ji, the Nation Builder, expanded Raamdaspur into the vibrant township and renamed it Amritsar, built sarovars, baolis and wells to provide drinking water to the ever increasing populace.
The next step in the further strengthening of the budding Sikh nation was the building and completion of Darbar Sahib (Harmandir sahib) as the Central Headquarters and the Parkash of the AAD GRANTH as the Central Seat of the Akaal. For this momentous task, Guru Arjun Ji had to face numerous difficulties, enmities and finally martyrdom on the Hot Plate. But he never wavered the slightest bit from the Divine path and the Programme set in motion by Guru Nanak Ji about one century earlier.
It’s astonishing that Guru Arjun Ji’s life had a period of about 12 years when Guru ji, with his wife and infant son Hargobind in tow, were busy on parchaar (preaching) tour and performing social work to help in an epidemic of small pox coupled with a long serious drought. Muslim historian Noor writes that during this horrible period, the streets of Lahore were littered with corpses rotting away due to lack of labour to carry them away. Small pox and shortage of drinking water was taking a terrible toll on the screaming populace which Guru Arjun Ji calmed with His saintly presence. Even Emperor Akbar was highly impressed with Guru Arjun Ji’s humanitarian work. During this time, Hargobind was also struck down with small pox. Even in this incident, we can see the true teachings of Gurbani shining through – Guru Arjun Ji didn’t ask the Creator for any special favours for his only son Hargobind. But when the infant recovered, Guru ji composed shabds expressing his heartfelt thanks to the Creator. A Sikh always live in HIS WILL and thanks Him for the ability to live in His Hukm. Guru Arjun Ji had to burn his body on the Hot plate of the tyrant but refused to dilute the Dhur Ki bani aye, tin saglee chint mitayee (ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਆਈ ॥ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ ॥) for any reason or any ruler.
A little background as to the contents of the Aad Granth would not be out of place here.
- More than half of the Gurbani in SGGS is composed by Guru Arjun Ji. Guru Arjun Ji and His father Guru Ramdass Ji have composed Gurbani in the 30 raags.
- Guru Arjun Ji undertook the massive task of composing, checking, re-arranging all the Gurbani received into the present arrangement we see in the SGGS.
- Guru Arjun Ji arranged and allocated the Gurbani such a unique numbering system that made it tamper proof, so much so that not a single word has been added or removed despite the SGGS being in enemy control over a century when Sikhs were being hunted like wild animals.
- Another unique thing about the SGGS is the Gurbani Grammar used. The Gurbani collected by Guru Nanak ji during his travels around the world meant the Gurbani by various Bhagats numbering 15 was composed in differing languages and scripts and based on differing grammar rules – but Guru Arjun Sahib arranged all these different languages and grammars into one common script and bound it all into the common Gurbani Grammar. This is no ordinary task indeed but the trademark of an editor extraordinaire.
- This unique grammar rendering means the shabads flow seamlessly from one to the other and the meanings are in no danger of too many interpretations. The addition of RAHAO – pauses in longer shbads is another master stroke – an extremely difficult task but accomplished par excellence.
- Vaars and Sloks – slok vaaran ton vadheek. The complete Gurbani in SGGS has 22 Vaars or Ballads – long poetry. In 20 of these Vaars or Ballads there are sloks added to the paurrees. In their original state all Vaars only come with “paurrees”. Guru Arjun Ji accomplished the most difficult task of finding the appropriate saloks and fitting them in the various paurrees where they match the meaning and flow perfectly. The Sloks that remained after this were put together at the end as Sloks that exceed..slok varan ton vadheek. Another Master stroke by the Master Editor.
- Guru Arjun Ji also accomplished the difficult task of providing the titles of various Banis that were not there originally. Examples are the bani JP, Siddh Ghsht and many more. The First 13 pages of the SGGS contain the Daily Nitnem as these specific banis have been specially picked out and placed in the beginning of the SGGS by Guru Arjun Ji to serve a particular purpose.
- Guru Arjun Ji also compiled the tatkara – table of contents – another master stroke to prevent any tampering, adulteration, removal or additions of spurious content.
- The Pehllah Parkash of this Monumental Granth was also performed by Guru Arjun Ji Himself. Once this was parkashed, Guru ji never slept higher on his bed saying that this Gurbani was higher than any human deh.
- Finally but not least – the very name chosen by Guru Arjun Ji for this compilation – AAD GRANTH – signifies that the Granth was work in progress, as yet incomplete. This completion was performed by the Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, by adding the Gurbani of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji in the 30 raags used earlier and one additional raag Jaijawantee used only by Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji.
- VITAL POINT: Guru Gobind Singh Ji as the FINAL COMPILER had every right as GURU to add/remove any compositions to the Aad Granth – and He did this by ADDING the Gurbani composed by his father Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, the Ninth Nanak, throughout the entire Aad Granth, raag by raag. And Finally Guru Gobind Singh ji sealed the SGGS using the same Mundawnni Mh:5 at the end as used earlier by Guru Arjun Ji. Guru Gobind Singh ji declared that after his departure the SGGS would be the ONE and ONLY ETERNAL GURU of the Sikhs and all SIKHS shall only BOW to the SGGS. Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not add any of his own compositions to the SGGS. Sikhs have no authority to double guess Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s decision to enclose ALL DHUR KI GURBANI inside the sealed SGGS. NO composition OUTSIDE the SGGS has nay validity to the “GURBANI” title. It can be called raachnna only. Only the GURU speaks/writes GURBANI. Today, the GURU is SGGS. Therefore it’s a moot question to find excuses to call outside compositions Gurbani, no matter if claimed to be by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
In Gurmat, the Akal Purakh, the GURU and the Shabad are all shades of one and the same entity. The SGGS is called Pothi Parmeshar ka Thaan..the GURU is not a human form as has been normally accepted in traditional religious connotation. When Guru Nanak ji was asked who his Guru was, the answer was SHABAD is my GURU. Thus this negates all human deh/human forms, leaving only the SGGS as the True GURU for all time.
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