IUS Seminar Series 2004

IUS SEMINAR SERIES 2004
QUADRICENTENNIAL OF COMPILATION AND INSTALATION OF
AAD GURU GRANTH SAHIB

Amethyste Hall
Radisson Hotel Laval
2900 boul le Carrefour,
Laval. Quebec (450-682-9000)

9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Admission: FREE

INTRODUCTION

The Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS) is the most respected and sacred Granth of the Sikhs. Sikhi (Sikhism) is based on Nanakian philosophy embodied in the Gurbani, which is incorporated in the AGGS. And the religious and social lives of Sikhs also revolve around it. On September 1, 2004 the Sikhs all over the world are celebrating 400th anniversary (Quadricentennial) of its compilation and installation of Aad Guru Granth Sahib in the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar. The Aad Guru Granth Sahib contains the philosophy of Guru Nanak, which has been explained and strengthened by the other five Sikh Gurus. Beside this it also contains the philosophy of the great Bhagats and Saints of various regions of India. It also contains the eulogy of Guru Nanak and other five Sikh Gurus who succeeded to the House of Nanak. The following brief history of compilation of the AGGS is based on the information given by Prof Sahib Singh and my own analysis of the information available from the old Sikh history and application of logic:

Guru Nanak used to write his own Bani in a Pothi (notebook). It is envisaged that as soon as Guru Nanak realized some philosophical idea he immediately put it down in words (Sabd) in Punjabi, the language spoken by the people of the Punjab, in a Pothi. Then he had been visiting seers of other religions like, Brahmins, Sidhs, Jogis, and heads of many religious institutions and organization and discussed with them his philosophical ideas from this Pothi. Wherever he went he took his Pothi with him and continued to discuss with as many seers throughout South East Asia as possible. He convinced them that his philosophy has universal acceptability so disseminate this philosophy and renounce the wrong concepts and ancient philosophy for creation of one universal (religious) order in the world. Finally, Guru Nanak settled at Kartarpur, near Lahore (now in Pakistan) and continued to discuss and preach his philosophy from this Pothi.

At the time of his departure from this world Guru Nanak handed over this Pothi to his disciple, Lehna, to whom he named as Angad (part of Guru Nanak) since he was his very close disciple and had learned and understood his philosophy completely. Guru Angad interpreted the Bani of Guru Nanak in his own Bani to strengthen the Nanakian philosophy embodied in the Bani of Guru Nanak. Then he added his Bani in that Pothi while keeping the Bani of Guru Nanak intact in its original form.

This system of interpretation of Bani of Guru Nanak and strengthening of Nanakian philosophy continued by the next Sikh Gurus, who succeeded to House of Nanak till Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru, received it. When Guru Arjan opened and examined this Pothi (inherited treasure) from his father, Guru Ram Das, he exclaimed it in astonishment as follows:

pIaU dwdy kw Koil ifTw Kjwnw ]
qw myrY min BieAw inDwnw ]
rqn lwl jw kw kCU n molu ]
Bry BMfwr AKUt Aqol ]
Kwvih Krcih ril imil BweI ]
qoit n AwvY vDdo jweI ]
khu nwnk ijsu msqik lyKu ilKwie ]
su eyqu KjwnY lieAw rlwie ]

AGGS, M 5, p 186.

As the inherited treasure (Gurbani) of our ancestors (Gurus) was opened and viewed, then the mind was illumined with Treasure (Gurbani).
Compared to this treasure the jewels and rubies have no value.
The chest is full of inexhaustible and immeasurable treasure (Gurbani).
Let us utilize it together, and dispense (disseminate) it amongst other, O'Brothers.
The Treasure (Gurbani) will not be exhausted instead it would multiply manifold.
Nanak says whosoever has the Grace of the Almighty will be a shareholder of this Treasure (Gurbani).

Keeping in view the phrase, Kwvih Krcih ril imil BweI ] qoit n AwvY vDdo jweI ], Guru Arjan thought to bind this inherited treasure {Bani of Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, and of his own along with the Bani of Bhagats and also the Swayiae (eulogy of Sikh Gurus) by Bhatts} into a Pothi (Granth) so that this Granth is made available to everybody for dissemination of philosophy of Guru Nanak to the humanity.

Since the ‘Sabd’ was declared as the ‘Guru’ by Guru Nanak, therefore, the Pothi (Book/Granth), in which the ‘Sabd’ of Gurus was incorporated, was equated to as Parmeshar (Enlightener/Guru) by Guru Arjan some time before its compilation in 1604 CE as is indicated in his following stanza:

poQI1 prmysr2 kw Qwnu3 ]
swD sMig gwvih gux goibMd pUrn bRhm igAwnu ]rhwau]

AGGS, M 5, P 1226.

The pothi1 is equated3 to the Enlightener/Guru2.
(From which) the noble people discuss (sing) the attributes of God and deliberate on the wisdom (philosophy) of God in the congregation.

DECLARATION OF GRANTH AS A GURU

It means, the day in 1604 CE the Granth was compiled it was equated to the Guru (poQI prmysr kw Qwnu) because of the fact that ‘Sabd’ was already called as ‘Guru’ by Guru Nanak in the very beginning of his teachings as is evident from the discourse with the Sidhs (sbdu gurU suriq Duin cylw ]). Since then preaching of Sabd (Nanakian philosophy) was carried on from this Pothi (Granth) by Guru Arjan himself and by all other Gurus who succeeded to the House of Nanak thereafter. That view has been expressed in Bani of the Sikh Gurus, who succeeded to the House of Nanak and also in the early writings, i.e. Sri Gur Sobha and Gurbilas Patshahi 6. Therefore, the Granth is ‘Guru’ ipso facto the ‘Sabd Guru’ is enshrined in it.

Addition of Bani of Ninth Guru, Teg Bahadur, some time during 1705 CE by Guru Gobind Singh does not make any difference in the basic Nanakian philosophy embodied in the Bani of Guru Nanak since the Bani of Guru Teg Bahadur also interprets and strengthens the Nanakian philosophy as does the Bani of other four Gurus whose Bani is incorporated in the AGGS. Therefore, the Granth, declared as Parmeshar (Guru) by Guru Arjan in 1604, remains the same Guru after the addition of Bani of Guru Teg Bahadur.

The Granth compiled by Guru Arjan in 1604 is usually called as ‘Aad Granth’ (erroneously spelled as Adi Granth by many scholars) and the Granth in which Guru Gobind Singh added the Bani of Guru Teg Bahadur is called ‘Guru Granth’ and ‘Aad’ is dropped. In fact the Granth compiled by Guru Arjan in 1604 should be called the ‘Aad Guru Granth Sahib’ and it remains ‘Aad’ (Eternal and Unchangeable in its philosophy) even after the addition of Bani of Guru Teg Bahadur and it also remains ‘Guru’ since it was declared ‘Parmeshar (Guru)’ by Guru Arjan in 1604. Therefore, the most appropriate title for the Granth of 1604 and for the present form of Granth is ‘Aad Guru Granth Sahib’.

A brief history of transformation of ‘Sabd’ to ‘Sabd Guru’ to ‘Granth Guru’ has been traced out in new book, SABD GURU TO GRANTH GURU – An In-depth Study. This book will be released on September 18, 2004 by Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, Official Representative of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, India during the Seminar of celebration of ‘Quadricentennial of Compilation and Installation (Parkash Divas) of the Aad Guru Granth Sahib’ at Amethyste Hall of Radisson Hotel Laval, 2900 boul le Carrefour, Laval. Quebec (450-682-9000).

The proceedings of the previous three conferences are available in Adobe-pdf format, however, the printed material can also be obtained at the address written at the bottom of this page.

The following speakers will be deliberating on very important topics on Nanakian philosophy from the AGGS

Prof Dharam Singh, PhD, Punjabi University, Patiala
(Structural Features of the Sikh Scripture)

Dr Harbans Lal, PhD, Guru Granth Academy, Taxes, USA
(Guru Granth Worship the Sikh Way)

Prof Devinder Singh Chahal, PhD, IUS
(Universal Acceptability of Nanakian Philosophy)

Mr Harcharan Singh, Editor Sikh Virsa, Calgary, AL
(Is Akhand Paath Devotion Or A Disgrace?)

Dr Avtar Singh Dhaliwal, PhD, Jackson, Tennesse, USA
(Doctrine of Soul in Gurbani)

Dr Jodh Singh,MD, New York, USA
(Ethics of the Sikhs)

Dr Chandan Singh, PhD, New York, USA
(Ego)

Mr Gurdev Singh Sangha, Kitchener, Ontario
(Gurbani Paath)

Mr Nirmal Singh Nilvi, Jew Jersy, USA
(Multiple Interpretations of Gurbani)

Col Permaindar Singh Randhawa, Chandigarh, India
(Message of the Aad Guru Granth Sahib Via Electronic Media)

Mr Gurcharan Singh Bhatia, IUS
(Are we following the Message of Guru Nanak?)

You may see the Program in detail
html format and pdf format

The Major Sponsor of IUS SEMINAR 2004

Mr Jaswinder Singh Rana
SGR INDUSTRIES (BLEACHING)
4610 Forest
Montreal North,
H1H 2P3, Quebec, Canada
514-328-6919
514 809-1994


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