Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs, was compiled by Guru Arjan and kept in the Golden Temple
in the year 1604. It is also popularly known as the Adi Granth. When it was prepared, it contained the hymns of only the first five Gurus and Bhagats (saints) of medieval India. At present this holy book contains 1,430 pages and 3,384 hymns. Most of these hymns are written in Punjabi
and other languages include Hindi
, Persian, Sanskrit
and dialects of north India.
As the book is a collection of spiritual poems, it is often referred to as a spiritual dictionary or an encyclopedia of philosophy and the lines in it have been composed to 31 tunes. It is a unique and authentic record of the Guru's words and is also free from interpolations. The book also is an excellent record of the social, political and religious thought that existed in India between the 12th and the 17th centuries. Today, Sikhs consider this book as their final and eternal Guru .
In the Sikh Temple, the Granth is wrapped in fine cloth and kept on a small peetha or seat. The book is opened daily at prayer time in the early morning and closed after the evening prayer.