In its earthly form, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is 1,430 pages of sacred teachings and songs. There are a total of 36 contributors to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. In addition to six of the Sikh Gurus, there are compositions from 30 saints from different religions, places and times.
These songs are set to 31 different musical scales, called Raags. Raags are very particular musical scales. Different Raags are meant to be sung at different times of day or at different seasons.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib begins with Japji Sahib written by Guru Nanak and includes writings by the first five Sikh Gurus and the ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur. Guru Arjan also included several shabads by Muslim and Hindu saints which match the same frequency.
At the time of His death in 1708, Guru Gobind Singh Ji passed the mantle of the Guruship to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This ended the time of the physical Gurus of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared that the Word of God, embodied in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, was to be Guru for all time. He said:
“O Beloved Khalsa, let any who desire to behold me, behold the Guru Granth. Obey the Granth Sahib, for it is the visible body of the Guru. Let any who desire to meet me, diligently search its Bani.”
Thus, the Word of God, manifested as Guru in Nanak, and passed through the ten incarnations of Guru, was now returned to its form as the Word – the Bani, the Shabad. This began the reign of the Shabad Guru, itself, as the Spiritual Light and Guide for the Sikh community.
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