The Source: The Guru Granth Sahib

The Source: The Guru Granth Sahib

 ‘In the interchange of ideas and views among people, Sikh religion and its holy scripture (Guru Granth) will have something unique to offer to the world. Its contents are an inexhaustible source of spiritual peace.’ -Prof. Arnold Toynbee, a famous English Historian

The Guru Granth Sahib is the holy scripture of the followers of Sikhism. It is a unique collection of 5887 sacred hymns compiled by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Sahib consisting of the writings of thirty five wise men- Sikh Gurus, Hindu Saints, Muslim Sufis and Bhatts. These contributors come from various religions, castes and cultures with backgrounds as diverse as the Indian sub-continent (from Sindh to West Bengal and from Punjab to Maharashtra).

The entire Scripture is written in poetic language. It iscomposed in various musical measures (Raags).It is a treasury of old languages and dialects. Sadh-Bhasha (Sadukari), the popular spoken medium of the day,is the main language of the Scriptural Canon. However, one can find samples of Braj, Hindvi, Bhatt-Bhasha, Sahaskriti, Prakrit and Persianin addition to other languages and dialects like Western-Punjabi(Lahnda/Lahndi), Dogri, Pothohari, Eastern Hindi, Marvari, Sindhi, Gujrati, Bengali and Marathi. The entire work has been recorded in an easy script- Gurmukhi. The Scriptureuses a precisesyntaxwhich enables one to comprehendthe accurate meaning of the text even over the passage of time.

The Scripture is a source of temporal and spiritual guidance on every aspect of life. The hymns have amodern, pragmatic and universal approach. Prof. J. C. Archer rightly states in his book, ‘A Study in Comparative Religion’:

The religion of the Guru Granth is a universal and practical religion. … The world needs today its message of peace and love.

The teachings of the Scripture highlight the essential unity of people across the world.  The focus is on the ultimate Truth and on His wonderful creation – Man. In the book, ‘The Sacred writings of the Sikhs’, Dr. Radha Krishnan, a renowned philosopher, has wiselystated in the preface:

All the boundaries of oceans and mountains that separate a country from another will vanish in front of the eternal truths and utter devotion in the Guru Granth Sahib.

The Guru Granth Sahib is an ocean of divine wisdom. It is a compilation of highly revered and structured works of great men of all times. Eminent litterateur, Prof. Puran Singh remarks:

I have searched the whole world for the truth. I picked up sermons engraved on stone tablets and sentences of wisdom written on leaves. There were gems collected and obtained by the sages and prophets from their own loving experience with God. However, I soon realised that all these treasures can be found in the Guru Granth Sahib, the recitation of which I used to hear from my mother.

We can only gain something from this treasure trove when we read it, understand it and follow its advice in our life.

‘A Word A Thought’ is a step towards this goal!

Gurmukhi Transliteration Symbols
Download Gurmukhi Fonts

The list contains the books that we time to time reference in creating the AWAT issues.

For Word Meaning and Etymology:


A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages by RL Turner
A Guru Nanak Glossary by C Shackle
Encyclopaedia of Sikh Literature by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha
Sanskrit English Dictionary by Monier Williams
English and Sanskrit – A Common Heritage of Words by GS Rayall
A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary by JF Steingass
A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English by John T Patts
Guru Granth Sahib (Its Language and Grammar) by Harinder Singh, Jaswant Singh and Surenderpal Singh
Dictionary of Mythological References in Guru Granth Sahib by Surindar Singh Kohli
Punjabi-English Dictionary published by Punjabi University, Patiala
Encyclopedia of Sikhism published by Punjabi University, Patiala


Mahan Kosh by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha
Sri Guru Granth Kosh by Bhai Vir Singh
Sri Guru Granth Kosh by Dr Gurcharan Singh
Guru Girarath Kosh by Dr Harbhajan Singh
Nirukat Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Dr Rattan Singh Jaggi
Punjabi Bhasha Da Nirukat Kosh by GS Rayall
Gurbani Viakaran by Prof Sahib Singh
Gurbani Da Saral Viakaran Bodh by Joginder Singh Talwara

For Translation and Messages:


Sri Guru Granth Sahib English Translation by Dr Gopal Singh
The Essence of Sri Guru Granth by Gurbachan Singh Makin
Sri Guru Granth Sahib English and Punjabi Translation by Manmohan Singh
Jap Ji Sahib (An Interpretation) published by CSGB Singapore
The Divine Path by Dr Jaswant Singh
SikhiToTheMax II
Sri Guru Granth Sahib – An Interpretation by Daljit Singh Jawa


Sri Guru Granth Sahib Darpan by Prof Sahib Singh
Shabdarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib by SGPC
Santhya Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Bhai Vir Singh
Faridkot Wala Teeka Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Gurbani Sateeks written by Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara
Guru Granth Vishva Kosh by Dr Rattan Singh Jaggi
Bani Biora by Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara
Jap Ji Sahib Saral Sateek by Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara
Sukhmnai Sahib Saral Sateek by Bhai Harbhajan Singh Kanhpuri

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