THE SIKH SCRIPTURES
The holiest of the Sikh scriptures is Guru Granth Sahib. It was called Adi Granth (first scripture) until Guru Gobind Singh conferred on it the title of the Guru in 1708, after which it was called Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Granth Sahib is the only world scripture which was compiled during the life time of its compiler. All other world scriptures were compiled many years after the death of the prophet. (compare it with Vedas, written at least thousand years after their pronouncement; Bible, written about 60 years after the death of Christ; Koran, written about 80 years after the death of Mohammed, Three Baskets and Angas written about 40 years after the death of Buddha and Mahavir).
Guru Granth Sahib was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs. The work of compilation was started in 1601 and finished in 1604. The Granth, called by Guru Arjan as Pothi Sahib, was installed at Golden Temple (then called `Harimandir’ – the house of God) with great celebrations.
Guru Arjan included the hymns of the following in the Granth:
Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amardas, Guru Ramdas and himself (Guru Arjan), 15 renowned saints of both Guru period and pre – Guru period. Farid and Bhikhen were Muslims and others were Hindus. Hindu saints were from both higher and lower castes, e.g., Ravidas, Sain, Sadhna and Namdev were from lower castes, whereas Parmanand, Surdas, Jaidev and Ramanand were Brahmins. The Bhagats also represented different parts of India, e.g., Farid was a Punjabi, Dhanna was a Rajasthani, Jaidev was a Bengali, Namdev, Parmanand, Trilochan and Pipa were Maharashtrians, Sadhna was a Sindhi, Sain was from Madhya Pradesh, and Kabir, Bhikhen, Beni, Ramanand , Ravidas and Surdas were from Uttar Pradesh.
17 bhatts (court poets) most of whom were Brahmins.
3 other disciples Bhai Mardana, a Muslim, Sunder, and Satta & Balwand, Muslims.
Guru Gobind Singh, later (1706), added the hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur in it and declared it to be the Guru of the Sikhs.The scribe of the first version (Guru Arjan’s compilation) was Bhai Gurdas and of the second version (Guru Gobind Singh’s compilation) was Bhai Mani Singh.