Adi Granth

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Guru Granth Sahib

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib ( Panjabi : ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ [Śrī Gurū Granth Sāhib Jī]) is the sacred book of the Sikhs . It is written in the Gurmukhi script and has 1430 angs (pages). Gobind Singh , the tenth and last human guru of Sikhism , had appointed Scripture as his successor in 1708 and made it an eternal guru. The script is also referred to as the Adi Granth ([Ādi Granth] = 'original book').


The Adi Granth is composed of numerous poems and hymns by various saints . The first guru Nanak Dev and his successors composed the verses ( gurbani ) in a poetic and pictorial language. The fifth Guru, Guru Arjan , gathered these together and united them in the Adi Granth. Right from the start, the hymns were intended for musical presentations. Their melodies ( rags ) follow the tonal specifications of certain ragas of classical Indian music : the 31 chapters into which the hymns are divided are each assigned a specific rag . Some compositions go back to Bhakti followers and Sufis such as Sheikh Farid , Pipa , Namdev or Kabir . They are performed by the Dhadis, a group of musicians mentioned several times in the Adi Granth, who play the hourglass drum dhadd and the string sarangi to accompany them. Other folk musical instruments found in Punjab that are used to rhythmically accompany the hymns are the barrel drum dholki and the pincer-shaped idiophone chimta .

The gurus do not address their message to specific people or a specific region. Rather, they speak in their verses about a fundamental human attitude towards life that is permeated with charity, devotion and sincerity. The teachings therefore place great value on mutual respect. In the closing prayer Ardas of the Sikhs, prayers are made for the good of all creation. This thought is also expressed in the places of prayer ( Gurdwaras ) of the Sikhs: Everyone, regardless of their origin and religion, is invited to take part in the services and events.

Excerpts from the Adi Granth

Note: These are excerpts. However, the Adi Granth should be read in context. These are also translations, in which inaccuracies and deviations can always occur. A brief statement of the topic precedes the quotes.


“In the beginning, God the Creator created the light. Then all mortal beings. From the one divine light, the world soul, everything developed. Who should we call good and bad? "

- Adi Granth, p. 1349 : Kabir


"As the word of the merciful Creator is revealed to me, so I proclaim it, O Lalo."

- Adi Granth, p. 722 : Guru Nanak

Relationship with Hindus and Muslims:

“I do not fast, nor do I celebrate the month of Ramadan. I only serve the one who will protect me in the end. […] He / She (the Creator) gives justice - to Hindus and to Muslims. (Pause.) I am not making a pilgrimage to Mecca, nor do I pray in the holy shrines of the Hindus. [...] I do not perform Hindu worship rituals, nor do I recite the prayers of Muslims. I have received the one formless Creator in my heart, and there I humbly worship him. I am neither a Hindu nor a Muslim. My body and my breath of life belong to Allah (name of God in Muslims), Ram (name of God in Hindus) - the God of all. "

- Adi Granth, p. 1136 : Guru Arjun Dev

Relationship to women:

“You are born of a woman, you grow up in a woman, you are engaged and married to a woman. We experience friendship from women, and through women the course of the world continues. [...] How can you call it inferior when it gives life to kings? A woman emerges from a woman, nobody would be without the woman. Nanak says that there is only one Creator without a woman. "

- Adi Granth, p. 473 : Guru Nanak Dev

Good deeds:

"You do not become a saint without doing good deeds."

- Adi Granth, p. 1349 : Guru Nanak

Intoxicants and nutrition:

"The mortals who ingest marijuana, fish and wine run into nowhere, no matter what pilgrimages, fasting rites and rituals they follow."

- Adi Granth, p. 1377

See also

  • Mul Mantar , mantra from the first lines of Guru Granth Sahib


  • Martin Kämchen (ed.), Tilak Raj Chopra and Heinz Werner Wessler (translator): From the Guru Granth Sahib and other sacred writings of the Sikhs. Selected translated and commented by Tilak Raj Chopra and Heinz Werner Wessler, edited by Martin Kämpchen , Verlag der Weltreligionen im Insel Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-458-70033-3
  • Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (ed.), Manmohan Singh (translator): Sri Guru Granth Sahib , (in English and Punjabi (Gurmukhi) translation in 8 volumes), Amritsar 1993 (4th edition)
  • Monika Thiel-Horstmann : Living from the truth. Texts from the sacred scriptures of the Sikhs. Selected, introduced and translated from the original. by Monika Tiel-Horstmann . Zurich 1988. (Selection from the hymns of Adi Granth)
  • Ernest Trumpp : The Adi Granth . London 1877 ( at Internet Archive ); Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi 2004, ISBN 978-8-12150-244-3

Web links

Commons : Adi Granth  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Karminder Singh Dhillon: Sri Guru Granth Sahib: Parkash & Gurgadee Diharas. In: The Sikh Bulletin. Vol. 10, No. 9-10, September-October 2008, p. 3, fn. 11
  2. Does Gurbani Prohibit Eating Meat?