The concept and compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Dr. Darshan Singh
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Guru of the Sikhs. The Tenth Master had ordained, and this had been accepted, that after the Ten Gurus, there shall be no physical Guru of the Sikhs. Only the true import of Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s teaching and the light coming therefrom is the Guru. Therefore there shall be no one standing before the Guru as equal, or claimant to Guruship out of jealosy or enmity. In this way the supremacy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib as Guru has been automatically established. Where some distortion has taken place, either the distorters have gone out of the Sikh Panth or they have not remained worthy of respect. The Granth or Shabad is the Guru, and this is a unique position in the Sikh Panth. It is not only a Holy Book, it is the ‘Guru” and its full name is ‘Guru Granth Sahib.’
The Granth Sahib was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1604 AD. He prepared its format. But it was accorded the status of Guru by Guru Gobind Singh. In other words, from the Holy Book it was raised to the status of ‘Guru’ at Guru Gobind Singh’s time. But it was conceptualized by Guru Nanak Devji, whose divine and avant garde vision had seen its compilation (and even coronation). Keeping in view the history of the Sikhs for five hundred years and their entire field of action, and properly demarcating its developmental path, and studying its planning in totality in the historical order and the results thereof, it would seem that right from Guru Nanak and upto Guru Gobind Singh or even upto now, in whatever form the the Sikhs institutions have come to the fore, they owe their origin to Guru Nanak’s Bani. Just as the origin of all institutions lies in Guru Nanak Bani, in the same way Guru Granth Sahib’s conceptualization lies in Guru Nanak’s Bani. That the Guru of the Sikhs had to be the Holy Granth Sahib, its indication had been given in Guru Nanak Dev’s and his successor Guru’s Bani. The Holy Granth means the Holy Word or collection of Holy Words. The proof of this is found in every hymn where the Shabad-Sadhna (word-worship-acting upon the teaching) has been emphasized. When the Gurus themselves lay emphasis on the worship of the Word (following the teachings therein), and it is so stressed continuously and without break, deriving such meaning is but natural. For example,
Shabad Guru pira gaher gambhira
Bin shabdai jag bauranang. P.635
(The word verily is the Guru or Pir in all seriousness and
without the Word the world gropes in the dark).
Sikhi sikhya Gur vichar
(Guru’s views (in words) is the teaching (given to the Sikhs) P.465
Shabad na janai so annanh bolai Sei kit aye sansara. P.601
(Blind and deaf are those who do not Know the import of the
word. What’s the use of their coming to this world?)
Sabdai hi Naam upjai, sabdai meil milaya
Bin sabdai sab jag baurana, birtha jana gavaya.
Amrit ek shabad hai, Nanak Gurmukh paya. P.644
(The Name emerges from the Shabad (word) and the word helps one have Union with Him. Without the word, the entire world in groping in the dark, wasting life. The ambrosia is only the word, which, says Nanak, can be had by becoming Gurmukh (Guru-ward, following Gurus’ teachings)
Bhai Gurdas explains the imporltance of the Word in this ways.
Gyan dhyan lakh jog shabad sunavani. – Var 4
(It is the shabad through which is had all knowledge, attentive study and understanding of yoga (Union with God.)
It is thus clear that Guru Nanak and rest of the Gurus accorded the status of Guru to the Shabad (Word). Word and Guru, are synonymous in Gurbani and there is no dearth of quotes to prove this. Guru Nanak’s faith in Shabad Guru and his exhortation that the Shabad is Guru, is the foundation stone of the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
It has been repeatedly explained in Guru Nanak’s Bani that Timeless God is his Guru, He is the Divine Light and no other person in human body is his Guru. This has been the case with the Gurus succeeding him too. They accepted Guru Nanak as their Guru but at the same time they believed Guru Nanak himself to be God, Timless One and Divine Light. Though in human form, he was the Light Divine in human body. In this way Guru Nanak also has accepted the Light of the Timeless or the Word as his Guru and the other Gurus too have accepted the Word as Guru. This Word has been called Gurbani also. Right from the first Guru, upto the fifth Guru and Bhai Gurdas, they have all called the ‘Shabad’ as Gurbani. Shabad, Gurbani, and Sri Guru Granth Sahib have the same meaning in the Sikh faith. Therefore, to conclude, we can say that what is called Sri Guru Granth Sahib today, which was compiled by Sri Guru Arjan Dev, was conceived by Guru Nanak himself. This concept began with Guru Nanak, and rest of the Gurus developed it further. When the proper time came, Guru Arjan Dev gave it the form and the Tenth Master accorded it the status of Guru.
The conceptual process began with Guru Nanak, which is amply proved from his thought process, his basic concerns. The entire Bani of Guru Nanak is the living proof that he was not happy with the conditions obtaining in his time. The rulers and their officers were busy in amassing wealth and seeking pleasure, that is doing what pleased them, unmindful totally of their duty to the people. The intellectuals and leaders of society like Brahmins, Qadis and Jogis too were following the destructive path, going against the norms expected of them, and the utter ignorance of the common man as a result of which he did not know even of his being fleeced by both the sides, decline of all institutions, social, religious and political, dominance of hypocrisy, are certain things because of which no one could escape unrest. As Guru Nanak was an extra-ordinary personage, it was natural that he should have a feeling of revolt in the prevailing circumstances. Driven by this thought, he tried to devise ways and means to demolish all this falsehood completely. Whatever steps had to be taken for bringing in this change, one of those was that the people should be given a Granth, which should be different from the available granths, which should clearly express the above feelings and which, besides being the Voice of God, should bring to light the dpressed and curshed spirit of the people. Thus such a Word worthy of thought and full of cultural ethos which inspires one to turn from untruthful to truthful, from human to godly state and from demon to god. The concept of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in fact is the concept of an ideal human society and this materialized in the form of the followers of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak’s disinterest in the available religious books is the clear proof of this that a change was needed. And this alternative could be a Holy Granth. It is therefore essential for this Granth to be different from other granths. Many aspects of this being different, the glaring one is that it should be common for all. Therefore when one brings in faith in this Granth, one does not give up anything (except for inhuman nature) but gets everything (of real value).
Keeping in view the conceptual need of Guru Nanak, Guru Arjan paid his attention to compile this Granth. Guru Arjan Dev’s divine talent enabled him to give form and content to the ideas given by the Gurus before him, to complete the ongoing tasks and to leave foot prints for the subsequent Gurus and the Sikh world, for which he took many steps. Of these steps, one was the compilation of the Holy Granth.
In such circumstances, whatever steps would be taken, would be to improve the position knowing that the humanity was torn and scattered from within and without and it needed a central place. There was the need to establish and axel around which or with the support of which the broken and scattered humanity could breathe pearcefully, feel unbroken whole with a sense of oneness removing all the differences. Keeping in view this concern, Sri Guru Granth Sahib was conceived and compiled. Moving further in this regard, the first thing that comes to mind is the position of those whose Bani is incorporated in the Granth Sahib. It is a well known fact that the Bani included in the Granth Sahib is not that of the Gurus only but of Bhagats, Saints and Dervishes and Bhats. In al, l this Bani is that of thirty six personages, out of which six are the Gurus themselves. The rest of the thirty, especially those in addition to eleven Bhats, the Bani of nineteen Bhagats and others bring to the fore many unusual points. Firstly, all of them did not come from similar background. There is difference not only of family background but also of ideology. The learned people have touched upon, among many other things, Nirgun (Formlessness) and Sargun(having form) forms of God. The Gurus do not link themselves with these Shabads and the meanings thereof from ideological point of view. The Punjabis, and especially the Sikh scholars are not one in their view as to whether Gurus believe in Formless or With Form God. Some support the former aspect and others, the latter. Some say, rather most of them say, that both the aspects are found in Gurbani.At some place they seem to be votaries of Formlessness and at other, they consider Him as Of Form. I do not support their views about the Gurus in this regard. In my view, they are above all these notions as God is above the states of being formless and having form. He is in both at the same time and above both also. It is thus clear that in principle and from practical point of view, Gurujis are not ready to be linked to any limits connected with a Shabad. The same cannot be said with regard to the rest of the Bhagats and Dervishes.
From the point of view of ideology, the difference among some writers of Bani is quite clear. For example, Baba Farid’s Bani can be considered in this context. The thought process of Baba Farid and other Saint poets is different; both the sides have got a place in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. As a result, it can be said that from ideological angle, the Saint poets had a different view and the Gurus did not take side with one school of thought or the other. They do not accept any limits. The Gurus, especially Guru Nanak, writes everywhere against such limitation. He has rejected almost all type of groupism, limits and hollow thinking. Guru Arjan Dev Ji gave these Saints and dervishes place in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It is correct that in regard to the saints coming from different background, Guruji had a touch-stone before him and that was the commonness of pious feelings based on well-meaningness of ideas. The saint, who fulfilled this condition, found a place in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. But their separate background has been duly accepted. The need of the hour was to do away with any sort of misconception, like ego, show-off, hypocrisy, and upmanship and only the thought coming out of pure minds should join the holy stream. That there should only one ideology, was not the case. Therefore, the difference of opinion was accepted and not only that but all these points of view were brought at one place, one thread was passed through them putting them together around a centre. Without doing away with the differences, the inner poise and unbroken truth were brought to the fore and in this way this Granth becomes the epitome and abode of many-sided consciousness. It was such a conscious experiment, which shows unity among diversity (without destroying diversity), but by accepting it)which has not been repeated so far, neither before its compilation or afterwards.
The difference in the hymns of different saints is not only that of ideological background but there are many other aspects too which separate one from the other. For example, it is not difficult to prove that in their areas, in their community life, in their dress, there is a difference in the entire cultural background. They were not the product of one common cultural background. To find a common ground in their inner and outer life, they were given representation in the Granth Sahib getting together all aspects of their background and to offer a cultural alternative. In this way the Gurus brought into being an institution by bringing together all the people divided into classes, sects and castes.
In this way the compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is an endeavour to do away with the artificial divisions in socieity and forge it into one of classless character. It was quite unusual and difficult to do so in the prevailaing conditions of those times. It seems that, creating division, and then living strictly according to those divisions, had become the nature of man, an incurable disease. The leaders of the times took advantage of these divisions, and through these divisions, they wanted to maintain their stranghle-hold over society. The problem is that the victim of such a system, is kept tied to it so much so, he is not even ready to get rid of it. Those who control the system have to support it, but those exploited and vicitimised also feel content with their fate and having become a part of it, try to keep it unbroken. Though very strange, it happened this way, either as a compromise, or out of greed or out of fear. In the circumstances, to think of breaking this stranglehold to root it out was more difficult than coming out of the chakravihu (impregnable battle array). It was but natural to be opposed by Gurus at all levels. And this was fiercely resisted. It seems to me that most of the troubles of the Sikh faith have arisen out of the commitment of the Gurus to keep with him the depressed classes. This avowed aim is the source of energy for the Panth (Faith) though it had to pay heavy price thereof and this price is being paid even now. The Gurus made the people aware, divided as they were into classes, castes and sections as also communities, of their own reality and tried to link them to that reality, composed hymns and conceptualized and compiled the Holy Granth, Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The main idea behind this is to make the people understand that they are one from all aspects; whether spiritual, or by five elements, natural instincts and basic needs. 1 ‘This class-division is not only useless, but fatal to humanity. It is a practice opposed to history and that is why in the Indian society, there is no centre point, around which all the people, in their original form, can get together, recognizing one another, could stand as part of the same class. Thus living together with reality is the strength of mankind, and breaking away from the realisty is its weakness from all angles.
Hindu Turak kou Rafzi Imam Shafi
Manas ki jati sabhai eiko pehchanbo.
Ekai nain, ekai bain, eiko deh eikai baan Khak baad
atish auo aab ko ralav hai. (Akal Ustat)p.10
(Hindus, Muslims and their different sects, know them all as the one human race. All have the same eyes, same bodies, same tongues, and all are made of the same elements).
To give shape to his fundamental truth or to present it in clear terms, the Guru had taken this step. This Granth is valuable for the entire world because the entire humanity is divided in one way or the other. This social arrangement does not conform to Gurus’ ideology. To change this contrariness to turn in accord with Guru’s way or to create a new society free of such division, the concept of Guru Granth Sahib and its compilation were evolved.Thus to make these views, which are so subtle, meaningful, it was a unique effort.
It has been stated above that this Granth has a value for the entire world. One aspect of this view is that the entire world is a victim to this deivision one way or the other. Another aspect of this is that in Gurbani, the caste, high and low or division in classes , is not peculiar to a particcular region or people abiding it. It is a different matter that Guruji belonged to this country and some social aspect of this land have been described. But all this has been stated in such a way that it cannot be bound to any time or limits. For example-
Jati janam neh poochhiai ghar lehu batai.
Sa jati sa pati hai jehai karam kamai. P.1330
(It is not the birth or lineage; it is the worth alone which should
be the determining factor)
Khalri, khapri chamri sikha soot dhoti kini.
Toon Sahib haun sangi taira, pranvai Nank jati kaisi. p.358
(Different types of robes, skin, dresses, begging bowl, sacred
thread, staff, etc. are all the costumes of actors, sayeth Nanak, Thou maketh us act in the manner Though liketh. Where then is the question of caste?
Apparently, Guruji’s thinking is not conditioned by any regional limits, social environment, national or international frontiers nor is such conditioning acceptable to him. He says something which could be applicable to a human being, beyond all limits.
Thus, in order to put to an end the division in society, Guru Granth Sahib was prepared, as an endeavour towards that end. As a proof of cohesion present in it, the saints of different regions and classes were given a place in it, or they got representation and this was an attempt to help people rally round a centre-point. The world burning in the inferno got a shelter. The main role of a language is to express and if what is expressed is listened to by others, and unederstood properly, the role of the languge is fulfilled. Something said in a good manner, may create good impression, spread good taste and happiness, help in making the society flourish, lend fineness to the human psyche, etc. are the elements connected with this effective communication process. They are important but their place is all too small.
During Gurus’ times, the language problem was two-fold. Sanskrit was the cultural and central laungage of learning in India. It had linked the people of the country to one centre. But by the time of Gurus, Sanskrit had broken away from the people, and it had become the language of priests only. As result thereof, its moral role had ended. It had failed to be the common language of communication among the masses. The saints likened it to a blind well. For them, it had ended to be of any use.
Side by side with Sanskrit, different dialects and sub-languages were born. Out of these sub-languages or dialects were born the modern Indian languages. Guru Nanak or the Fifth Guru, made use of Punjabi the language of the people, as the vehicle of communication and wrote Bani in this language. It was a revolutionary step, very essential, in accordance with the needs and problems of the time, but it had to have its effect on other aspects also. It was an ideal, as stated above, to offer to the people of India a cultural alternative. It was therefore imperative to entwine the people with a common thread. But the nature of language has its own problem. It gets tied to many circles as a matter of course. If we move a step further, it gets tied to a community, a tribe, a caste, or the emotional state of the speaker, and his physical condition. Accepting the impact of countless such circles, the language goes on changing its form and it becomes a problem for the one having the above idea before him. This problem was there during Gurus’ time also and in the context of their idealism it was a very serious problem. It was imperative for them to write in the people’s language, prepare the Granth and also to take the language out of all these water-tight compartments, and forge it into a meaningful and unified pattern. For this role and importance of the language, Guru Nanak, as in the case of other social concerns, is more conscious, concerned and active towards this need than any of his contemporary writers of Bani. 1 Such instances are found in his Bani.
One of the sources of inspiration to conceive and compile this Holy Granth is the solution to this problem of language and to give it the right place in accordance with their own ideal. As stated above, the writers of Bani came from different social classes or groups, regions, and they spoke different languages.There was lot of difference between the language of the Gurus and those of the other Saint poets. Their source is one, but the forms are changed. It was the endeavour of the Gurus to provide them a common platform and in doing so a commom idiom should be prepared which could send their message across to those sitting at far off places, bring them closer to one another, create mutual recognition, inculcate a sense of togetherness and remove the distance in this way. Therefore, they brought together all the languages of those times in this Granth and prepared a common idiom. The language of this idiom came to be known as ‘sadhu-bhasha’. The sadhu-bhasha became the idiom vastly of most of the regions of India, except the south, and symbolic of the common bonds and the means of understanding and making others understand. In this context, this is the great contribution of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the compiler of this Granth.
Akhari Naam akhri salah. Akhri gyan geet gun gah.
Akhri likhan bolan ban. Akhri sir sanjog vakhan. Jpuji
(In words is uttered His Name, and His praise done. In words,
we write, speak and communicate.)
Guruji kept another aspect in mind in this regard. He accepted the manuscript in the form it came to him (because the form was Divine made and could not be changed) but emphasis has been laid on change its tenor successfully. Thus the languages in which the matter was received were owned by the Guru but the meaning underlying therein was changed, especially those words, which are in common use in other religious sects and have their own tradition in their traditional cults, or those which came from their mythology. Such words were used without hesitation but the previous meanings of such words were changed and new meanings were given. By giving new meanings, a new world of language was created, that too from the received matter-language, is like creating a new world. It is not an easy task. But it is an important aspect of Gurus’ over-all scheme.
Every writer has a problem in regard to use of a language. This problem is all the more pronounced in regard to the writers of Bani. The motive of Banikars is not to become great artists or to be called great artists. But there is no doubt that they were not only great artists but in the one thousand years of Indian history (which is the age of only translations, writing of the grammar, lack of creativity, a black age in this context) which was the age of inactivity, these writers of Bani not only kept the creativity alive but also raised it to the peak. In spite of this, their important and immediate problem was to make the communication process a success. Their concerns were great and they could not have been achieved if the communication process was not highly accomplished. This is one problem and the other is the basis of any language is its vocabulary. Thus it can be accepted that it is compulsion of every communication system to make successful use of the matter in the language it is written. Constrained by one’s own nature and objective, the writer of Bani cannot escape the the influence of his environment. But if the meanings of the words in the language may be accepted in toto, the social awakening cannot be brought about in the desired manner.In this context, Guruji made use of the definitive words, mythological terms and references, and symbols in the language used by the other writers of Bani, changing their meanings, as stated above, and prepared a common idiom for initiating the communication process. This idiom helps the teeming millions to have mutual communication and moves ahead towards the fulfillment of its important and central ideal.
Music has been used as a tool towards the implementation of this scheme of Gurus. Music, by itself, is a very effective art and has the power to keerp the listner spell bound. Mostly, it becomes more effective than language itself. The Gurus not only accepted its importance but also applauded it in an effective and conclusive manner. It was accepted as the most important tool (of communication). 1 It is not that the Gurus had invented the music or others did not know about its potential, but it is essential to note that giving of top importance, the desire to use it for common good as a definite tool, as part of their own zeal and activity, is discernible in Guru Granth Sahib, or the Gurus. Making music as part of the life pattern of the people, is the concept born here only.
It is proved from a reading of Sri Guru Granth that the writers of Bani were not devotees of classics. They showed their indifference to poetics or prosody, linguistic purity and scholarly disposition and the traditional use of music. According to them these artistic ways were not part of the common life and it had never played its part in the manner Guruji wanted it to play. What to talk of playing any role in the life of the ordinary people, it remained inaccessible to them. The next tragic thing is that, whenever people tried to use it for amusement, or some creative role, in the folklore, howsoever successful they were in this effort, they were looked down upon by the ‘priests of music’. Thus the fine arts, especially music not only lost its purposefulness but it became the cause of creating a distance.The medium usable for public good, capable of captivating the people totally, a tool for awaking the people’s mind, abiding very close to their main vein, became stranger to them.
The position obtaining was not conducive to the total thinking of the Gurus, the achievements of targets fixed by them and the fruition of their concerted efforts. At the time of compilation of the Granth this aspect was kept in view. Therefore they strived as under:
The etire Bani was taken out of prosody, which had become the source of catering to a particular taste. According to them following the traditional rules of poetics would mean getting astray from their aim. The aim was their first priority. Instead of making Bani prosody based, they made it music based. The hymns were composed in accordance with musical tunes and moulded accordingly. Then they took the Gurbani Sangeet (musicology) or Sidha-sngeet out of the traditional lines, gave the form of folk music. Music got a new form and new identity and new direction.
While doing so, the Gurus created some new patterns. This they did keeping in view the contemporary situation. Their attitude towards Raag and Ragini needs a special attention.
The distances created in the world of music were removed, they tried to bring it in accord with one form and one tune. Their fusion of the Southern music vis-à-vis the Bharati music, is the ample proof of their balanced outlook.
They mingled music and Shabad (hymn) with each other in such a way to achieve their objectice that this cohesion became a part of common life. It was made a means of using music to promote music and to bring in God in the congregation. When God-Guru-Congregation become one, how much would be the power of music, can well be imagined.To create this unmeasureable power was the source of inspiration of their concept and compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Gurus called the Bani of Guru Granth Sahib the revealed Bani (the Divine word). The Gurus placed the word of God, the Formless One, before them for whom it was meant. The concept of the ‘revealed’ word already existed in history. God had sent messages and Brahambani also. But there is a difference in ‘Dhurkibani’. Firstly, there is no mediator. The Gurus do not count themselves in the revelation. They do not say that they are bringing the message or the Divine Word. It is the Divine Word which God has sent directly to the people. It is in its original form direct from the origin, God. At best the writer of Bani is a medium, not a claimant for anything, like “cutting of ‘t’s’ or dotting of ‘i’s”. Secondly, according to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, God did not choose a particular person for this purpose. In fact, He had no need to do so. He is Omnipotent and He can speak, through any one or at any time. According to the writers of Bani He speaks and He has spoken also. Thirdly, the Dhurkibani means here the Word coming from the Origin (Divine). According to Gurbani, the Word and the Guru are one and the same thing. That is why the Gurus have laid emphais on seeking refuge in the ‘Word’. The Tenth Master has talked of attaching the Panth to the fabric of the ‘Word’. The Word is not only Supreme in the entire Bani, whether his hymns or those of other Gurus, but the status of being God Himself. Because it is the compilation of the Word coming from above (Origin, Divine), the Words of the Primal Being, and therefore, Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been called Adi-Granth (Primal Word). The thought of the compilation of this ‘Word’ coming from the ‘Origin’ arose out of its ability to become Guru. The Gurus themselves are the Word form, and they express this through Bani. Even the Sikhs closest to the Guru (their relatives were also Sikhs) have talked of seeking refuge in the Word. Whether one may seek refuge in God or in the Word it is one and the same thing.
In this way the Dhur-ki-bani is the Word. It can be said that both the words are synonym. These words in fact belong to the people. Its rightful users, claimants or owners are the people themselves. Consequently, the awareness attained from this Word and people’s consciousness, or the spirit of the Guru and Congregation are intermingled. Word is the epitome of this wonderful union. It is the beginning and peak of its own power. Thus the Dhur-ki-bani, as a symbol of people’s good, has come before the people in the form of Guru Granth Sahib. As a matter of fact, by doing so, Guruji has returned to the people what belonged to them and all the Ten Masters have been repaying the people’s, congregation’s unending debt in one way or the other. Some part was paid by the Fith Master in the form of compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which is the collection of the people’s consciousness of his time.
In the context of the conceptualization and compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the learned ones and the historians have said something again and again. It is that lot of interpolations had begun in the Gurubani. The Guru and the congregation were worried that in the true Bani, fake poems were being interpolated and how to stop this. This was being done for many reasons. Some people wrote Bani in the name of Gurus, wanted to get fame. But this seems to be quite ridiculous that any one should try to add his own words in Gurbani. But the world and the greed prevailing therein, seems to have no limits. It can be said to be the peak of ego. The human ego may be satisfied by mixing one’s words with Guru’s words as also the prestige that follows this, towards which the historians have raised a pointer, is very dangerous. It is the raising of a parralel Panth by adding fake verses. Of course man proposes and God disposes. Falsehood which has no beginning has a sure end. How can it thrive? The fake Bani may be collected to start a new panth but the foundations on which the Khalsa Panth has been raised, the mortar which has been placed in its foundations, where would they get that mortar, those interested in raising a new order. And if one could present mortar in equal measure, the panth could begun. Khalsa Panth is the blessing of Akal Purakh (Timeless God), Khalsa is the protected child of Akal purakh, embracing the Khalsa Panth, its followers have endured untold suffering, they sacrificed all that they had, they have made countless sacrifices and they have provided the moratr to strengthen its foundations, in addition to giving much more. This is how this Panth is thriving and shall continue to thrive and remain in High Spirits. Therefore, the doubt about raising a new panth may not be well founded, the worry of the historians and the concern of the congregation that the fake poems must be separated, there should be delineation between the true and untrue. It was a geuine worry and well meaning concern and the historians say that the Guru appreciated their concern. Thus, those who, out of greed, were trying to mix fake with the real, to stem the tide of their dishonesty, or to bring the truth to the fore, Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s compilation was undertaken. But such people are strange who live a life of unreason. Guru Nank says about such speople –
Narad nachai kali ka bhau. Jati sati kar rakhai pao.1
Guru pasahu phir chela khaye.
Tami preet wasai ghar aye….darsan dekhiai daya na hoye.
Lahe dittai Vin rahai na koye. Raja niaon karai uathi hoye.
Kahai Khudaye na manai koye. 3. (Assa p.349).
(The influence of Kaliyuga is such that the mind wanders like Narad. The righteous ones have no place to stand. The disciples expect the Guru to feed them. The love is in name; it is just greed. A mere glimpse of such guru leads one nowhere.It is give and take. Even those charged with doing justice, do so only if bribed. Seeking justice in the name of God leads one to be thrown out.)
Guruji separted the fake from the real, the true Bani was incorporated in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, so that there should be no interpolation in future. But strange are those people, who have been mentioned in the above lines. Such people did interpolate even in the Granth Sahib compiled by the Guru. Today the real form of Guru Granth Sahib has become a matter of discussion. Bhai Gurdas says –
Char varaan ik varan kar, varan avarn ta bol gulalai
Asht dhaat ik dhaat kar, Ved kateb na bhed vichalai
(Al the four castes were turned into one. The question of caste
and creed was settled. Eight metals were alloyed into one. The caste distinctions were removed. The differences between Vedas and Occidental Books were ironed out)
Bhai Gurdas has very nicely summed up the Guru’s endeavour in these words. This also applies to the conceptualization and compilation of Sri Gru Granth Sahib. By incorporating the Bani of all the Saint Poets coming from different castes, by giving different langues a common look, by moulding different forms of music into one, all communities, all the dresses of different regions, the distance between different shades of opinion, were all knit in a common thread of love, thourgh a Holy Book, they all had a common expression. It is a unique experiment in bringing together diversity around a centre point. Rejecting all sorts of limits, the humanity has been made as belonging to one human race and those living in the inferno, that is the world, have been provided an alternative culture. This had been the conscious feeling behind the concept and compilation as also the aim and ideal of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The compilation of Guru Granth Sahib was done to provide a new type of Guru and an alternative culture to the human race. This was an act of bringing diversity on a single platform. Islam too did this, but by annihilating others, to forge into one. Hindu faith has seen this unity as a distant but invisible form and has tried to add to the confusion of diversity. Guru Granth Sahib has put in one place the common virtues found in diversity.