Sikhs mark Guru Granth Sahib anniversary

AMRITSAR: Nearly 1,000 Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from Pakistan have arrived in Amritsar to take part in the 400 anniversary celebrations of the Guru Granth Sahib.

The main functions of the anniversary will begin at the Golden Temple today and will go on till September 1.

More than 30 lakh devotees are expected to reach the city to participate in the coming two days.

President A P J Abdul Kalam will visit the Golden Temple on August 31.

Several other leaders including Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and NDA Chairman Atal Bihari Vajpayee, will visit Amritsar during the celebrations.

Orginal copy of holy Guru Granth Sahib at Kartarpur villages

AMRITSAR: The original Guru Granth Sahib, the holy Sikh scripture whose 400th anniversary of installation is being celebrated, is in the possession of the Sodhi family of village Kartarpur and placed at Gurdwara Thum Sahib.

The Adi Granth, written by fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev, is the original scrpiture, also known as “Kartarpuri Bir”, and was installed at the Golden Temple on September 1, 1604.

The Sodhi family of Kartarpur, descendants of Guru Arjan Dev, displays the Adi Granth for “darshan” by devotees once a year on Baisakhi Festival in the month of April, officials of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee said (SGPC). The SGPC does not have the custody of the scripture.

The genuineness of this master copy of holy Granth, scribed by Bhai Gurdas under the direct supervision of Sri Guru Arjan Dev, had been vouched by top Sikh scholars, including Bhai Jodh Singh after through scrutiny of the holy text which bears the original signature of Guru Arjan Dev. The date mentioned there also corresponds to the year 1604.

The master copy of Adi Granth was initially kept by the Sixth Master Guru Hargobind in his house. From here it was stolen by his grandson Dhir Mal who intended to use it to further his claims on the succession.

Some thirty years later the followers of the Ninth Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur forcibly recovered it, but were instructed by the Guru to return it. The Holy Book emerged from obscurity in 1849. In that year following the annexation of Punjab, the volume together with its golden stand were discovered by the British in the custody of the Lahore royal court. An application was received from Sodhi Sadhu Singh of Kartarpur and in 1850 the volume was returned to his family.

Ever since, it has been a ritual for descendants of Dhirmal (the Sodhi family) to display the Adi Granth for “darshan”. Kartapur is the town is was founded by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji visited in 1598. This is now known as Gurdwara Thum Sahib where the master copy of Guru Granth Sahib is reportedly placed.

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Central Chronicle, India
Aug. 30, 2004

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)