Sikhs celebrate the first installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji on 1st September and the Conferment of title of “Guru” on Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji on 20th October each year.
The Guru Granth Sahib Ji was compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1604. He himself was a prolific writer. He collected and edited the compositions of his predecessor Gurus including his own and the compositions of Hindu and Muslim saints, giving equal status to men of God in creating the Granth – Holy Scripture.
The Sikh Gurus preserved the contents of the holy Granth in its original and authentic form which makes it stand distinct from other scriptures.
In 1708 Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last final living Guru, proclaimed the Granth as the Guru. The Sikh Holy Scripture henceforth is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It is unique phenomena in religious history to have a Holy Scripture as a Guru. Comprising of 1430 pages of hymns, its central message emphasises the integration of the spiritual and temporal life, not the negation of it.
In Sikhism the word Guru is used only for ten prophet-preceptors, Sri Guru Nanak to Sri Guru Gobind Singh and for none other. No living person, however holy or revered, can have the title or status of Guru.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is treated like royalty and is given absolute reverence. All Sikh community meetings are held in the presence and authority of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, providing a spiritual focus. Every Sikh function, be it birth, death, marriage or initiation ceremony, or the congregation in mindful prayer, requires the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It presides like a king sitting on a throne.
Singly or in groups in their homes or in congregation in their places of worship Sikhs conclude their prayer with an Ardas (supplication). Ardas is followed by recitation of these words of Guru Gobind Singh:
“By command of the Timeless Creator was the Panth (God abiding congregation) promulgated.
All Sikhs are hereby charged to own the Granth as their Guru.
Know the Guru Granth to be the teachings of the Gurus.
They who seek to meet the Lord in the ‘Word’ as manifested in the Holy Scripture shall they discover Him”.
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