Guru Granth Sahib is the only scripture in the world which is believed to be Ever Living Shabad Guru by crores of believers in Sikhism. In other religions of the world, scriptures respected as sacred books are not given the status of Guru, Prophet, Christ or higher preacher. In Guru Granth Sahib, the Bani or its contents are in exactly original form because the author Gurus put in black and white by Gurus themselves and not a single word was added subsequently.
Guru Nanak used to pen down his Bani (Composition) himself and he handed over his book (Pothi) of composition to Second Guru Angad Dev Ji who in turn handed over this alongwith his own composition to third Guru Amar Das Ji. This practice continued. Thus the Bani of all the first four Gurus received by fifth Guru Arjan Dev Ji along with the Bani of Bhaktas. In order to eliminate the possibility of mixing up and adulteration of fake Bani with Guru’s bani by undesirable elements. Guru Arjan Dev JI compiled all the Banis of earlier Gurus received by him alongwith his own Banis and that of Bhaktas etc. into a single volume with the assistance of a renowned Sikh Scholar Bhai Gurdas who under took writing work with his own hand as directed by Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The compliation of this volume known as Adi Granth took wbout 3 years and was installed ceremoniously in Harmandir Sahib Temple at Amritsar in 1604 A.D. Baba Budha Ji was appointed as first Granthi ( a person reciting Bani from Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhs and attending there later formalities).
Guru Gobind Singh got the whole volume of Adi Granth with the addition of the Bani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji at Sabo Ki Talwandi (Damdama Sahib) in Bathinda District of Punjab in 1705. He finally bestowed Guruship on Guru Granth Sahib just before he breathed his last in 1708 A.D. at Nanded in Maharashtra. Thus Guru Granth Sahib was formally declared as prepetual Guru of the Sikhs for all time to come.
CONTENTS OF GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
It consists of 1430 pages and includes compositions of 36 persons in all as detailed below :-
A. SIX GURUS
1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji 1469 - 1539 A.D.
2. Guru Angad Dev Ji 1504 - 1552 A.D.
3. Guru Amar Das Ji 1479 - 1574 A.D.
4. Guru Ram Das Ji 1534 - 1581 A.D.
5. Guru Arjan Dev Ji 1563 - 1606 A.D.
6. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji 1621 - 1675 A.D.
B. 15 BHAKATAS (OTHER THAN SIKH)
1. Kabir Ji 1398 - 1518 A.D
2. Ravi Dass Ji 1378 - 1529 A.D.
3. Nam Dev Ji 1270 - 1350 A.D.
4. Trilochan Ji 1267 - 1335 A.D.
5. Dhanna Ji 1415 - 1475 A.D.
6. Jai Dev Ji 1201 - 1273 A.D.
7. Sain Ji 1390 - 1440 A.D.
8. Peepa Ji 1426 - 1562 A.D.
9. Sur Das Ji 1529 - A.D.
10. Ramanand Ji 1366 - 1467 A.D.
11. Saohna Ji
12. Beni Ji
13. Parmanand Ji 1483 - 1593 A.D.
14. Bhikhan Ji 1480 - 1574 A.D.
15. Sheikh Farid 1173 - 1266 A.D.
These Bhakats were Hindus as well as Mohamaddans. They belonged to both high and low castes and represented different regions and provinces of India.
C. ELEVEN BARDS (BHATTS)
who came to Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s Darbar and sang hymns in praise of Gurus. They were :
1. Bhai Sunder Ji 1560 - 1603 A.D.
2. Bard Singer (Rababi) Doom
3. Bard Singer (Rababi) Rai Balwand
4. Bard Singer (Rababi) Mardana 1459 - 1534 A.D.