Guru Granth Darpan By Professor Sahib Singh (A Brief Guide)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004

Brief description: Guru Granth Darpan is a monumental work by the Sikh theologian and grammarian, Professor Sahib Singh. The work serves as both a dictionary and an "exegesis" (explanation) of each and every shabad of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru Granth Darpan is organized by raag, by Ang and by shabad, giving the meanings of individual words, the considerations each work requires given the fact that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is poetry, and insights into important influences on the use and translation of words and shabads. Each section is subdivided into a presentation of the shabad, word definitions, interpretation of passages.

You can access the online Granth Darpan by Professor Sahib Singh at this link.

Siri Guru Granth Sahib Translation in Punjabi by Professor Sahib Singh

I like this one because it has been formatted to make searching for shabads and tuks very efficient.

To beginners: I recommend this version for those who are new to Guru Granth Darpan. Although many versions are available on the Internet, and available as .pdf download files, the copy at this link has format features that help you to navigate through the document. These format features are not always found in other versions on the Internet. Those with more experience take navigation and searching for granted. But not the beginner. You don't want to throw up your hands and run away in frustration.

This famous text is written in Punjabi and Gurmukhi fonts. Sources of confusion for beginners lie in the fact that the Guru Granth Darpan page numbers do not match those of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This is natural because each of the 1430 pannas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and their explanation would take up more than one page each. Therefore the number of pages in Guru Granth Darpan exceeds 1430 and keys to figure out where to go is helpful.

To read this version, you only need three keys:

1) On the landing page/home page there are buttons that group all 1430 pages of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji into smaller groups or chunks. Click on the button for the page group you want. For example 94-113. This will take you directly to the part of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji of interest to you.

2) When you are looking for a particular shabad, scroll until you see a page number in the text. It will look like this (p. xxx). That takes you to the Ang of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji of interest to you.

3) Explanations and word meanings for any single Ang can go on for several pages. Therefore, to find the shabad you want to know more about, look for the text in red font. That gets you right away to the particular shabad you are interested in.​

Now for the story of its author, Professor Sahib Singh

SAHIB SINGH, PROFESSOR (1892-1977), grammarian and theologian, was born on 16 February 1892 in a Hindu family of the village of Phattevali in Sialkot district of undivided Punjab. He was originally named Natthu Ram by his father, Hiranand, who kept a small shop in the village. Soon the family shifted to Tharpal, another village in the same district. As a youth, Natthu Rain was apprenticed to the village Maulawi, Hayat Shah, son of the famous Punjabi poet, Hasham, upon whom his royal patron, Ranjit Sirigh, the Maharaja of the Punjab, had settled a permanent jagir.Winning a scholarship at his middle standard examination, Natthu Ram joined the high school at Pasrur where he received in 1906 the rites of the Khalsa and his new name Sahib Singh. The untimely death of his father made the situation hard for him, yet he managed to plough through first Dyal Sirigh College, Lahore, and then the Government College, Lahore. At the latter, he obtained his bachelor's degree. In 1917, he joined as a lecturer in Sanskrit at Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Gujranwala.

Sahib Sihgh, now commonly known as Professor Sahib Singh, took part in the Gurdwara Reform movement in the twenties of the century. He was appointed joint secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1921. During this period he suffered jail twice-once during the Guru ka Bagh agitation (1922) and then in the Jaito morcha (1924). In 1927 he returned briefly to his college in Gujranwala which he soon quit to join the Khalsa College at Amritsar. From 1929 to 1952 he remained at Khalsa College producing a succession of learned works and commentaries on the Sikh sacred texts. Retiring from the Khalsa College, Amritsar, after many a long year of unbroken and luminous scholarly work, he became principal of the Shahid Sikh missionary College. He also worked as principal at the Gurmat College, Patiala.

Professor Sahib Singh was known for his erudition and assiduous pursuit of scholarship. Nearly 50 of his works were published between 1927 and 1977. These included exposition of several of the Sikh sacred texts and his monumental 10-volume commentary on Sikh Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darpan, published during 1962-64. A most original and earlier work was his Gurbani Viakaran, a textual grammar of the Guru Granth Sahib. No exegetical work since the publication of this book in 1932 has been possible without resort to the fundamental principles enunciated in it, especially those concerning the interpretation of vowel endings in inflexions of nouns and verbs. Sahib Singh made a notable contribution to Punjabi prose through his essays on moral and spiritual themes, religious philosophy and issues in history arid biography.

Sahib Singh's contribution to Sikh studies and Punjabi letters received wide recognition in his own lifetime. The Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, Ludhiana, honoured him in 1970 with a life fellowship, and Punjabi University, Patiala, conferred upon him, in 1971, the degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa). Earlier, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee had made award to him for his Gurbani Viakaran, and the Government of Patiala and East Punjab States Union had honoured him in 1952 marking his services to Punjabi literature.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Note: When we add to this thread keep in mind the objective is to keep understanding close to the minds and hearts of the ordinary seeker. Long before the idea that all are created equal and democracy became the form of government in Western Europe and the new world, Guru Nanak understood. Guru Nanak and Guru Angad did everything in their power to make Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji understandable, accessible, meaningful to the ordinary person. Professor Sahib Singh in his own way continued this tradition. It is no accident that he took part in the Gurdwara Reform movement. Because of his labors, students of the Guru do not need an intellectual elite. Because of his labors, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is not abstract, difficult to translate in our daily lives. Please, when you add comments, do not go down a different path. So many times in history we have been told that we need special scholars of Sanskrit and/or Vedic scriptures to reveal the true message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to us. Professor Sahib was a scholar of Sanskrit and ancient scriptures, yet he took a different approach. Welcome to comments that add and extend the work of the professor.
Last edited:
Jul 18, 2007
I heard a while ago that Prof Sahib Singh's Darpan was going to be translated into English? Does anyone know about this? Also, doing so would potentially dilute no doubt dependant on "Who" does it if they are associated with a certain group etc.

I think it would be good, as the existing english translations are flawed in places, for example on you can show the transliteration and also choose with darpan to view, if you understand both languages you find yourself reading two different meanings entirely.

Almost like watching a film with subtitles but you know the original language and they dont match up because the translating language is not flexible enough to explain the original.