Sikh Missionary Society
Southall, Middx, U.K. UB2 5AA
Charity No: 262404
Who is my Guru?
Who is my Guru?
We sing a couplet (dohera) after ‘Ardaas’ (supplication):-
Aagea bheyi Akaal ki, tebhi chelayo Panth,
But are not the ten human Guru Ji’s our Gurus?
Sabh Sikhan ko hukm hai,
GURU MANEO GRANTH.
By the order of the Timeless Being, the ‘Path’ to be followed by the
Khalsa was shown.(To walk that path) all Sikhs are ordered henceforth,
to accept the Granth as the Guru.
Yes they are, through Guru Granth Sahib. We invoke their spirit
whenever we do the Ardaas. They were different human forms (Guru
personalities) but with the same Guiding Light of Guru Nanak Sahib,
which received Waheguru’s message for humankind in Gurbani, the Guru’s
Word, the Revealed Word. For that reason, the essence of the message of
Sikhee is in the everlasting Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Therefore, Guru Granth Sahib represents all Guru personalities and
teaching received from Waheguru through them. Ultimately, it is the
Guru’s teaching in Guru Granth Sahib (The Word Guru) which is our
Was the idea of the Aad Granth becoming the Guru the initiative of our
tenth Guru Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh Ji?
The answer is an emphatic ‘NO’. It was pre-ordained and referred to
right from Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Let us find out how that is so.
Let us start with Guru Nanak Sahib. Gurbani (the word of God) used to
come to him from God Almighty at different times and his inspiration
was the rebeck (a Middle Eastern stringed instrument. My musical
companion Keith Preston, plays a similar instrument) of his life-long
Muslem companion, Bhai Mardhana. Hence the famous line which you would
have heard – “Mardanea, shaid rebarb, bani aayee” (O my friend Mardana,
touch the strings of your rebeck, I can sense the coming of the ‘Word
“As the Lord’s Word comes to me, O Lalo, so do I deliver it” GGS p. 722
As a side note, it is worth noting that Guru Nanak Sahib then used to
note the verses down and also the musical scale in which the ‘Word’
used to come. These notes which Guru Ji wrote into a book, came to be
called the Pothi Sahib. The Pothi Sahib was added to, by our second to
fourth Guru Ji’s and then compiled, including the inspirational
writings of about thirty other sages from as far back as the 12th
Century, considered relevant by Guru Nanak Sahib Ji himself, and hence
the Aadh Granth was compiled by our fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, in
1604. This Aad Granth was adopted as the embodiment of the spirit of
all ten Guru Ji’s by Guru Gobind Singh Ji after he had inserted the
revealed Word of God to his own earthly father and ninth Guru, Guru
Tegh Bahadur Ji, in 1708. So, this year (2008) we celebrate the 300
Anniversary of the Aad Granth becoming the final Guru, Sri Guru Granth
So back to the question, ‘Was it the initiative of Sri Guru Gobind
Singh Ji to make the Aad Granth the Guru in 1708 or was it
The glory of our faith, Sikhee, is that though it passed through the
hands of ten Guru Ji’s in human form over a period of two hundred
years, the consistency in thought and action is so remarkable that it
will appear as if the same ‘being’ directed its progress. Well, that is
true because it was always the guiding Light (Jot) of Guru Nanak Sahib.
In this case we are discussing the progress of the ‘Word of God’
through ten generations of Guru Ji’s in human form to become the
ultimate ‘Guru’ – our Guru. It was pre-ordained and Sri Guru Gobind
Singh Ji merely carried out a pre-ordained transition in 1708.
Guru Nanak Sahib Ji makes numerous mentions of the ‘Shabad’ or ‘Bani’
(both meaning ‘Word of God’) being the Guru.
The Word is the Guru and my mind in reflective meditation , the
disciple. GGS p 943
The profound and unfathomable ‘Sabad’ is his Guru and spiritual guide.
Without the ‘Sabad’ the world is gone mad. GGS p 635
This consistency is carried on by third Guru Ji, Sri Guru Amar Das
“Hail, hail, the word of the Guru. which is the Formless Lord Himself.
There is none other, nothing else to be reckoned equal to it.” GGS p 515
Fourth Guru Sahib says
“Bani, the word of God, is the Guru, the Guru is Bani, in ‘Bani’ is the
nectar of life.” GGS p. 982
Our fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji says,
“I myself know not what to speak, all I speak is what the Lord
commands.” GGS p 762
“As You inspire me to speak, so do I speak, O Lord. What other power do
I have to speak? Nanak, sings His Praises in the holy congregation
which is very dear to Lord.” GGS p 508
So, all the above quotations, which have been taken directly from our
Guru Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib and as revealed to our Guru Ji’s in
human form, show beyond doubt that first of all, we possess the
authentic ‘Word of God’ and secondly, that our Guru Ji is the Granth –
Guru Maneo Granth.
How do we fully utilise our ‘Guru’ to benefit us in this life form as
human beings, and as Sikhs?
By spending time with our Guru. It is not good enough that we ‘metha
tek’ to Guru Ji. We need to read Bani, to sing Bani, to learn Gurmukhi
so that we can read Bani in the original language of the Guru Ji’s –
Gurmukhi and as time goes on and we read and sing Bani, we will come to
understand Bani. Every process from reading, singing and finally
understanding our Guru Ji makes us better human beings because it is
the ‘nectar of life’.
Editor’s note: Sardar Dya Singh is the world renowned Gurbani
sangeetkar who has taken the universal message of Gurbani to global
Sikh and non-Sikhs audiences in his unique “world music” style, while
retaining Gurbani Raag bases.)
Dya Singh (Australia)
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