Sikh Guru Granth Sahib celebrated

On September 1st each year, Sikhs mark the installation of Guru Granth Sahib into the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Amritsar is the largest town in the Punjab, a state in northwet India.  At the centre of its walled old town is the gilded Golden Temple.  This is the holiest site of the Sikh religion.  The gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) is at the end of a causeway, surrounded by the sacred Amrit Sarovar lake where pilgrims bathe.

The Guru Granth Sahib is a collation of many hymns, poems, and other spiritual writings from many different scholars.  It was first compiled by the Fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan Dev, following on from work that some of his predecessors had done.  The original was installed in the Golden Temple in 1604.

This date marks that placement in the Golden Temple, but also the day when the Guru Granth Sahib was bestowed with the title of being the eternal and final Sikh guru thus ending the line of Human gurus.  So, the Guru Granth Sahib is not just the holy scripture of Sikhism, it is also considered as the living and eternal Guru – “The word is the guru and the guru is the word”.  This means it is treated with utmost respect – a Sikh never turns their back on the Guru Granth Sahib when in the gurdwara, for instance.

The original copy is written in many different languages, reflecting its many different authors.  It is now translated into several single languages.  The first complete English translation was published in 1960.  A revised version published in 1978 removed and updated words such as “thee” and “thou”.  Every Guru Granth Sahib has 1,430 pages, and each in each language is identical.

The Guru Granth Sahib gives Sikhs guidance on how to live their lives.  It teaches them about the oneness of humanity.  The hymns and poems express the importance of the equality of all humans.  They also highlight the belief in monotheism.  The vision in the Guru Granth Sahib is of a society based on divine justice without oppression of any kind.

The God-conscious being looks upon all alike, like the wind, which blows equally upon the king and the poor beggar. (Guru Granth Sahib 272)

Mary Vickers moved to North East Lincolnshire in 2010, from the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, to become Urban and Industrial Chaplain NELincs. Made redundant in 2017, she's maintained many of her connections within the business, faith, and other local communities. She's also decided to stay here rather than return to either the south or her husband's native Yorkshire, so that she can continue to enjoy and help promote the positives of NELincs.

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