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Saroop of Guru Granth Sahib

  • 25 Aug 2021
  • 8 min read

Why in News

Recently, India has brought three saroops of Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book) from Afghanistan, now just three more remain in Afghanistan.

  • There were 13 saroops in Afghanistan, of which seven were already shifted to India earlier.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Saroop is a physical copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, also called Bir in Punjabi. Every Bir has 1,430 pages, which are referred to as Ang. The verses on every page remain the same.
    • The Sikhs consider the saroop of Guru Granth Sahib a living guru and treat it with utmost respect.
      • They believe that all the 10 Gurus were the same spirit in different bodies, and the Guru Granth Sahib is their eternal physical and spiritual form.
    • Guru Arjan Dev (fifth Sikh master) compiled the first Bir of the Guru Granth Sahib in 1604, and installed it at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
    • Later, Guru Gobind Singh (tenth Sikh master), added verses penned by his father Guru Tegh Bahadur (ninth master), and compiled the Bir for the second and last time.
    • It was in 1708 that Guru Gobind Singh declared Guru Granth Sahib the living Guru of the Sikhs.
    • Guru Granth Sahib is a compendium of hymns written by six Sikh gurus, 15 saints, including Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Ravidas, Sheikh Farid and Bhagat Namdev, 11 Bhatts (balladeers) and four Sikhs.
      • The verses are composed in 31 ragas.
    • The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has the sole rights to publish the Birs of the Guru Granth Sahib, and this is done at Amritsar.
    • The installation and transportation of Guru Granth Sahib is governed by a strict code of conduct called Sikh Rahit Maryada.
      • Under ideal circumstances, five baptised Sikhs are required to transfer the Guru Granth Sahib from one place to another. As a mark of respect, the Bir of the Guru Granth Sahib is carried on the head, and the person walks barefoot.
    • Gurdwaras have a separate resting place for the Saroop, called ‘Sukh Asan Sthan’ or ‘Sachkhand’ where the Guru rests at night.
    • In the morning, the saroop is again installed in a ceremony called ‘Prakash’.
  • Sikh Rahit Maryada: It is the manual that specifies the duties of Sikhs, names four rituals that qualify as rites of passage.
    • The first is a birth and naming ceremony, held in a gurdwara.
    • A second rite is the anand karaj (blissful union), or marriage ceremony.
    • The third rite—regarded as the most important—is the amrit sanskar, the ceremony for initiation into the Khalsa.
    • The fourth rite is the funeral ceremony.


  • The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple'. Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus.
  • Sikhs believe in one God (Monotheism). The Sikhs call their faith Gurmat (Punjabi: “the Way of the Guru”).
  • Sikhism was established by Guru Nanak (1469–1539) and subsequently led by a succession of nine other Gurus.
    • The development of Sikhism was influenced by the Bhakti movement and Vaishnava Hinduism.
  • The Islamic era persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa, as an order for freedom of conscience and religion.
  • Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa order (meaning 'The Pure'), soldier-saints.
    • The Khalsa upholds the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a social conscience and practice the faith of 5 Ks, which are,
      • Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a wooden comb), Kara (a iron bracelet), Kachera (cotton underpants) and Kirpan (an iron dagger).
  • It preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God.
  • The Sikh Literature:
    • The Adi Granth is believed by Sikhs to be the abode of the eternal Guru, and for that reason it is known to all Sikhs as the Guru Granth Sahib.
    • The Dasam Granth is controversial in the Panth because of questions concerning its authorship and composition.
Ten Gurus of Sikh Religion
Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539)
  • He was the first guru of Sikh and the founder of Sikh religion.
  • He started the GURU KA LANGAR.
  • He was contemporary of Babur.
  • Kartarpur corridor was commemorated on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Guru Angad (1504-1552)

  • He invented the new script called Guru-Mukhi and popularized and expanded the system of Guru ka Langar.

Guru Amar Das (1479-1574)

  • He introduced the ceremony of the Anand Karaj Marriage.
  • He abolished the custom of Sati and Purdah system among the Sikhs.
  • He was contemporary of Akbar.

Guru Ram Das (1534-1581)

  • He founded Amritsar in 1577 on the land granted by Akbar.
  • He started the construction of Golden Temple/Swarna mandir at Amritsar.

Guru Arjun Dev (1563-1606)

  • He composed the Adi Granth in 1604.
  • He led to the completion of construction of Golden temple.
  • He was acclaimed as Shaheeden-de-Sartaj.
  • He was executed by Jahangir on charges of helping prince Khusrau.

Guru Hargobind (1594-1644)

  • He led to the transformation of the Sikh Community into a Military community. He is known as “Soldier Saint”.
  • He led to the establishment of Akal Takht and fortified the Amritsar City.
  • He waged wars against Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

Guru HarRai (1630-1661)

  • He was a man of peace thus devoted most of his life in maintaining peace with Aurangzeb and doing missionary work.

Guru Har Krishan 1656-1664)

  • He was the youngest guru of all and was given the title of Guru at a very early age of 5.
  • He was summoned by Aurangzeb against anti-islamic blasphemy.

Guru Teg Bahadur (1621-1675)

  • He founded Anandpur Sahib.

Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708)

  • He founded a warrior community known as Khalsa in 1699.
  • He introduced a new rite ”Pahul”.
  • He joined Bahadur Shah’s as a noble.
  • He was the last Sikh Guru in human form and he passed the Guruship of Sikhs to the Guru Granth Sahib.

Source: IE

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