The Message Of The Sacred Text - Guru Granth Sahib

The essence of Sikhism is compiled in Shri Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred text of Sikh faith, which represents the true religious philosophy of India, in one of its purest forms, as highlighted by the great saints of the Bhakti Movement, led by Guru Nanak Dev. It is one of most precious collections of wisdom humanity has been able to gather.
The Message of the Sacred Text - Guru Granth Sahib
Source - Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AGuru_Gobind_Singh_bowing_to_Guru_Granth.jpg)

Shri Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred text of Sikh faith, is also an important landmark in the evolution of Indian values and religion. It is the best compilation reflecting the Indian renaissance of the medieval period that owed itself to certain enlightened souls who shunned religious bigotry, rituals and fanaticism and endorsed basic human values as the real goal of mankind.

 

The word Sikh is derived from Shiksha, meaning education. Thus, he name itself provides the emphasis that Sikhism placed on education. The education or Shiksha, that was desired in Sikhism was not a formal one, but a deeper, long lasting

enlightenment of soul, which allowed the follower to discern right from wrong and follow the path that was good for humanity. It is hardly surprising then that the holiest thing in Sikhism is Shri Guru Granth Sahib.

The Sacred Text

SHRI GURU RANTH SAHIB is the sacred text of the Sikh faith. It is the compilation of the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus.

The compilation of this sacred text was done by GURU ARJAN DEV in 1604 AD, which was initially called the ADI GRANTH, meaning the 'original text' and contained the teachings of the first five Sikh gurus along with many other spiritual leaders of the time. The compilation was finalized by the last Guru of Sikhs, GURU GOBIND SINGH by adding the teachings of the ninth Sikh guru, GURU TEG BAHADUR.

Contents of Shri Guru Granth Sahib

Shri Guru Granth Sahib contains the teachings of the Sikh gurus. Out of the ten Sikh gurus, only the direct teaching of first five gurus and the ninth guru are there in the Guru Granth Sahib. It also contains the sermons, teaching and philosophies of many other non-Sikh sants (saints) such as KABIR, NAMDEV, RAVIDAS and SHEIKH FARID.

The sacred text of Shri Guru Granth Sahib is written in SANT BHASA, a common dialect used during that period in Punjab. It is a language deriving itself from Punjabi and Hindi languages. The script used is GURMUKHI. The text is divided in to 31 RAGS. Most of it is in the form of SABADs, or musically set up hymns that are sung using classical religious music of the era.

Message of Shri Guru Granth Sahib

Shri Guru Granth Sahib begins with these words, "Ik-onkaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbha-o nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhan gur parsaad." Almost like the essence of the whole text, these words mean, "One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image of the Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace."

The main messages of Guru Granth Sahib can be summarised as under.

(i)   All human beings are equal in the eyes of god. They should be treated equally in the eyes of all human being too, irrespective of sex, race, religion, class, caste or wealth.

(ii)  There is one god for all humanity. The same is worshipped and revered in all religions and communities under different names and forms, so there is no point in getting confused over gods and fighting with each other on this issue.

(iii) The biggest dharma (duty) of every person is to lead a truthful life free from treachery and falsehood.

(iv)  Every person needs to control the five vices of Pride, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Lust. These vices are the greatest obstacle in the attainment of salvation and realization of god.

(v)  


Always practice humility, kindness, compassion and love. Doing good for people and serving people around you is the greatest deed.

The Eleventh GURU

Shri Guru Granth Sahib, was also declared the eleventh and everlasting GURU of the Sikh followers by the last guru of Sikhs, GURU GOBIND SINGH. Its sacred text is a constant source of enlightenment for not only the followers of the Sikh faith, but also millions other across the globe. It is one of the most precious collections of wisdom that is available to the humanity today.

Relevance for Humanity

The teachings of Shri Guru Granth Sahib are one of the most accurate reflections of Indian religious philosophy, which placed its primary emphasis on conduct of the person, with a wise tolerance for the form in which one prays of devotes to God, and very little sanction for communalism.

The anti-communal stand of Shri Guru Granth Sahib is the essence of Sikhism, which evolved as part of the dissatisfaction of Saints like Guru Nanak Dev with the communal practices that were becoming prominent at that time, particularly due to the forceful patronisation of Islam by india’s Muslim rulers. In a way, Sikhism represented a reaction of Indian philosopher-thinkers to Islamic bigotry and communalisation, but also rejected the Brahminical emphasis on ritualism and claim of superiority by birth. This shows prominently in the teachings of Shri Guru Granth Sahib, which places a kind of respect for humanity that modern world can only aspire for. It strives and teaches equality of man and the existence of one god, and thereby derides those who aim to divide and communalise the society in different groups.

The greatest emphasis of true Sikhism is placed on truthful life free from treachery and falsehood. It also tells its followers about the vices of pride, anger, greed, attachment and lust, and recommends humility, kindness, compassion, love and selfless service as the most important virtues. The concept of kar-seva (voluntary service) is widely practiced in Sikhism and makes it one of the few religious sects that practices what they preach.

Indeed, the teachings of Shri Guru Granth Sahib represent one of the most precious collections of wisdom of the gurus and saints. There vaani, or speech, represents the Amrit or the devine nectar, that God has blessed humans with in the form of this great text.

Every individual, whether a professed Sikh or not, who wishes to be educated, should learn and benefit from it.



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