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Events Compilation the Adi Granth

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    By this time, Sri Harimandar Sahib, the Golden Temple, was almost complete. Baba Prithi Chand, Guru Arjan’s eldest brother was very angry that there were two things that made Sikhs united and strong. One, the city of Amritsar and the Sri Harimandar Sahib were social, political and religious centers. The second was Gurbani.

    To be recognized as Guru, Prithi Chand built a Harimandar and a nectar tank at Hehri and also built a Dukh Nivaran Sahib as substitute for Dukh Bhanjani. He also compiled a ‘pothi’ in where there were hymns of the first four Gurus, saints and his own poetry. He composed poetry under the name of Nanak and then passed it out as those of Guru Nanak and other Gurus. On the other hand Prithi Chand’s son Meharvan also started composing poetry under the seal of Nanak. So the number of hymns under the name of Nanak were increasing.

    Usually the Sikhs recognized the genuine Gurbani. In Sikhaa(n) bee Bhagat Mala, Bhai Mani Singh has written that some Sikhs such as Bhai Teerath came to Guru Arjun in a group and requested, "When we read or hear Guru’s Bani we enjoy it and are spiritually elevated by it. Both the Sodhis like Prithi Chand and Meharvan have written Bani under the name of Nanak. When we read their poetry our minds become more worldly and egotistical. What is the reason?"

    On hearing this, Guru Arjan said to Bhai Gurdas, "At this time Gursikhs known Gurbani, but the Sikhs of the future won’t be able to recognize the genuine from the false poetry, so we must compile all the Guru’s Bani in the form of Granth. The script should be simple Gurmukhi script."

    But the situation was quickly becoming so confused that an undiscerning individual could not discriminate between the genuine or the false poetry. One day Guru Arjan heard a hymn of Meharvan being sung by the bards. He told Bhai Gurdas that the genuine hymns should be separated from the false ones, because the Meenas (Prithi Chand and his companions) were mixing them up. This led Guru Arjan to prepare and preserve an anthology of the preceding Sikh Gurus and other saints for posterity in their original form.

    Also this was already in the mind of all Gurus to give the World a gift such as it had never experienced before, a source of divine living guidance so clear and penetrating that it could uplift the consciousness of a human being within no time. A gift so pure and essential that it could transcend the boundaries of time and religion and exist beyond personality and human form.

    Thus began the compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Arjan sent out a call to all the Sikhs wherever they were to bring poetry which they had that had been composed by the Gurus.

    There was a copy of the 'Pothi Sahib' in two volumes with Baba Mohan, son of Guru Amar Das. In one volume there was the Bani of the Gurus. In the other was the Bani from the Bhagats (saints.) From Baba Mohan, Guru Arjan procured these volumes after much persuasion. Baba Mohan had copied these volumes with great devotion and love. He did not want to part from them. Only his great love and respect for Guru Arjan forced him to surrender them to the Guru. This is made clear in Bansavali Nama written by Kesar Singh Chhibbar.

    gurU arjn jI dw mohn nwl sI vfw ipAwr]
    puqr mwmy n lgy, BweI swD sMq ihqkwr]

    For this great work, Guru Arjan selected a nice shady place in Amritsar on the bank of a tank dug by him named Ramsar. He took up his abode there and started the work. As Guru knew it would take a long tim for the compilation, he asked Baba Budha to move to Amritsar from Beer (the place where Baba Budha used to reside) and continue spreading the teaching of the Gurus. Bhai Bano (a devotee Sikhs of the Guru) was appointed for other servies at Ramsar. Day and night Bhai Bano served the Sangat and the Guru.

    After the collection of all the poetry was finished, Guru Arjan requested Bhai Gurdas to separate Guru’s Bani. Then Guru Arjan personally scanned each verse. One day Guru Arjan asked Bhai Gurdas, "How can you recognize which is the true Gurbani and which is false?" "Only an unfortunate woman would not be able to recognize her husband’s voice," was Bhai Gurdas’ very humble reply. "O Guru, this is 'Khasam Kee Bani,' the Bani of Lord Husband. If in the next room some men are sitting and talking, the husband’s voice will directly strike his wife’s heart."

    After all the selection was done, Guru Arjan himself started dictating the Bani to Bhai Gurdas. And Bhai Gurdas wrote it into Gurmukhi script. Bhai Gurdas was often instructed by Guru Arjan to revise and correct the portion of Adi Granth that he had written during the day. The use of words such as 'Sudh keechay' in some places in some places in Adi Granth was an instruction to Bhai Gurdas to correct if there was any error.

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  3. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    The Aad Pothi: Guru Nanak through Guru Ram Das

    The story of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib starts from the day when Guru Nanak uttered the first hymn. It was then that the compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib started. The first hymn was recited in 1475 in Rai Bhoe Kee Talwandi, the birth place of Guru Nanak.

    Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib in its final form was completed in 1706 in Sabo Kee Talwandi by Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Master. So it took 231 years for the completion of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

    Guru Nanak always said that his Guru was the "Shabad" the Word. Bhai Gurdas says wherever Guru Nanak went he made human beings realize the supremacy of "Shabad." "There is no miracle other than the Word," were Guru Nanak’s words. When the sidhas asked how he became spiritually strong, Guru Nanak answered, "Other than the company of ‘Bani Guru’ I have no other strength or shelter." Bhai Gurdas has written that is was only through the word that Guru Nanak could conquer the whole world. The Yogis also asked Guru Nanak who was his Guru?

    qyrw kvxu gurU ijs kw qU cylw]

    Who is the Master whose disciple thou art?

    and the answer was

    Sbd gurU suriq Duin cylw]
    (isD gosit)

    The holy word is the Preceptor by devoted meditation on it am I its disciple.

    Whatever and whenever the Shabad manifested in his heart, Guru Nanak wrote it down in a book he always kept with him. Bhai Gurdas in one of his Vars says that when Guru Nanak went to Mecca, he had two things with him, asa and kitab (stick and book.)

    Awsw hiQ ikqwb kiC
    (vwr 1 pauVI 32)

    This book can only be the book in which he wrote the Bani. This is also why the Quazis and Mulla(n)s asked Guru Nanak, "Open your book and tell us who is greater, a Hindu or a Muslim?" (Bhai Gurdas, Vars)

    puCin Poil ikqwb nO, ihdU vfw ik muslmwnOeI]
    (vwr 1 pauVI 33)

    There were times when Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana were all by themselves in jungles. Whenever Guru Nanak felt like singing Bani, he used to ask Mardana to play for him. He used to say, "Mardana start playing the rebek. Bani is coming to me." There was no one else then who wrote that Bani, but Guru Nanak himself. In his journey wherever Guru Nanak went, he met Hindu and Muslim saints and held discussions with them. He collected the hymns of those saints whose thoughts were similar to his own. In his first journey, he collected the hymns of Kabir, Bhagat Ravi Das, Jai Dev, Nam Dev, Beni, Parmanand, Bhagat Surdas, Sain and Dhanna. In his third journey, he collected the hymns of Baba Farid and Bhagat Sadhana. Guru Nanak’s own Bani testifies that he started editing Bhagats’ Bani. For example, Baba Farid wrote a hymn

    byVw bMiD n sika, bMDn kI vylw]
    Bir srvr jb aUClY, qb qrxu duhylw]
    (sUhI lilq - SyK &rId jI 194)

    Listen, thy Man, thou didst not look to the tackle of my boat while it was yet time. In the swollen lake, how shall it float? (1)

    Guru Nanak put his hymn in Raad Suhi. Then he put a hymn of his own to explain the other side of Baba Farid’s hymn:

    jp qp kw bMDu byVulw, ijqu lMGih vhylw]
    nw srvru nw aUClY AYsw pMQu suhylw]1]
    (sUhI mhlw 1, 729)

    With contemplation and austerity equip thy boat, where by easily mayst thou cross over. Then shall there not be the ocean nor the storm. Easy shall thy path be. (1)

    (Soohi Mahalla 1, Page 729)

    All the hymns that he collected in his journey he wrote in same kitab. (The Book).

    When Guru Nanak passed the light of Guru-ship to Bhai Lehana, Guru Angad, he asked Guru Angad to ask for any blessing or gift. Guru Angad asked for three things. First was Guru Nanak’s comber band. Second was Guru Nanak’s Kitab (Book). Third he asked for Bhai Balwand, the bard who used to play Kirtan for Guru Nanak after Bhai Mardana’s death. Guru Nanak gave all these things to Guru Angad. The Janam Sakhi of Guru Nanak says that when Guru Angad became Guru, Guru Nanak gave him his own treasure of Bani.

    Guru Angad wrote the Gurmukhi script and put his own Bani in sloks along with the Bani of Guru Nanak. This book was then called Pothi. He passed this Pothi to Guru Amar Das. Guru Amar Das edited it. In some places he even explained Guru Nanak’s and Bhagats’ thoughts. This whole treasure of Bani then was passed to Guru Ram Das, the fourth Master. And from him it passed to Guru Arjan Dev. At that time it was called Aad Pothi.

    Throughout all this time, the Gurus preached to the Sikhs to be attached to the Word rather than the physical body of the Guru. When Prithi and Kheda came to Guru Nanak in Kartapur, they wanted to quit their worldly responsibilities and live with Guru Nanak, enjoying his darshan all the time. Guru Nanak told them, "I abide in the Sadh Sangat. Go to Dharmsala early in the morning and also in the evening, serve the Sadh Sangat and sing Gurbani. By doing this you will be serving me and I will always be with you. Now go back to your village and perform your worldly duties honestly. If you meet the physical body of the Guru, you must one day be separated from him. But if you attach yourself to the ‘Word’ of the Guru, you will never be separated from Him." (Bhai Mai Singh, Sikhaa(n) dee Bhagat Mala.)

    Guru Ram Das in Raag Nat Naraain says

    bwxI gurU gurU hY bwxI ivic bwxI AMimRqu swry]
    (nt m: 4)

    The holy Word is the true Master, the Master’s image the holy Word. In the holy Word is pervasive amrita.

    To sing and recite Bani was the strongest practice of the Sikhs.
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