Installation of Guru Granth Sahib, Installation of Holy Guru Granth Sahib, Installation of Holy Guru Granth Sahib Amritsar

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Installation of Holy Guru Granth Sahib

Guru Arjan Dev Ji prepared Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of Sikhs) in A.D. 1563-1606. Its first copy was calligraphed by Bhai Gurdas. Guru Granth Sahib contains Guru Bani (precious words spoken by Guru). These verses or Guru Bani are highly revered by the Sikhs. Even the Gurus revered Guru Bani and treated it as the verse of God. To make the fountain of inspiration flow unobstructed and throughout the ages hence forth, Guru Arjan Dev Ji desired to pen down all the sacred principles and beliefs associated with Sikhism. He called Bhai Gurdas and told him to gather compositions of the Gurus as well as of some of the saints and Sufis.

Bhai Gurdas went Goindwal to bring the pothis of hymns chanted by Guru Amar Das. A collection of hymns resided with Baba Mohan, son of Guru Amar Das. At his refusal to hand over the manuscripts, Guru Arjan Dev Ji went himself and sat in the street below Mohan's attic performing on his tambura. Baba Mohan came downstairs and gifted the pothis to Guru Arjan Dev Ji. In the Gurbilas it is mentioned that the pothis were carried in a bejeweled palanquin and Guru Arjan Dev Ji walked behind barefoot considering the pothis the soul of Gurus (his four predecessors). At Khadur Sahib, Hargobind (son of Guru Arjan) joined him and they continued their journey towards Amritsar led by musicians, with flutes and drums.

The compilation of the Holy Guru Granth Sahib was very difficult task. The material used in compilation was the compositions of four Gurus preceding Guru Arjan Dev Ji, his own compositions, songs and hymns by various Hindu and Muslim saints. The material was then arranged in thirty different ragas (musical patterns). The compositions were arranged in symmetry. First place was given to sabads (in the order of the succession of the Gurus), then chhands, vars, and other poetic forms in a set order. All the compositions were written in Gurmukhi script.

The Granth with 7,000 hymns comprising compositions of the first five Sikhs Gurus and fifteen Bhaktas (devotees) and sufis from all over India, including Sheikh Farid, Kabir and Ravidas came into existence. The place where the compilation of Guru Granth Sahib took place is now known as Ramsar.
To get the book bound, Guru Arjan Dev Ji ordered Bhai Banno, a devoted Sikh who lived in Mangat, to go to Lahore. Banno thought to have another copy of Guru Granth Sahib for then followers who visit the Gurudwara (sangat). So, while their journey to Lahore, his companions started transcribing the holy text. Till they reached Lahore, a second copy was ready. He got both the copies bound and returned to Amritsar. Here Guru Arjan Dev told the Sikhs to equal the Granth with the Guru:

"Agya Bahi Akal ki, Tabhe chalayo Panth,
Sab Sikhan ko Hukum Hai Guru Manyo Granth
Guru Granth ji manyo pragat Guran ki deh
Jo Prabh ko milbo chahe Khoj sabad mein Leh"

Finally, the holy book was installed in the centre of the inner sanctuary on Bhadon Sudi 1, 1661 or August 16, 1604 with great ceremony. The original copy was then taken to Kartarpur when Guru Arjan Dev's successor, Guru Hargobind, left Amritsar in 1634. Since then it is with their family.

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