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Life and Work of Guru Arjan$
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Pashaura Singh

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195679212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679212.001.0001

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The Adi Granth: Fixing the Divine Word

The Adi Granth: Fixing the Divine Word

(p.134) 6 The Adi Granth: Fixing the Divine Word
Life and Work of Guru Arjan

Pashaura Singh

Oxford University Press

This chapter reconstructs the history of the compilation of the Adi Granth. It looks at the interactions between the Mughal and the Sikh traditions and examines the place of certain early manuscripts in the formation of the Sikh canon. Bhai Gurdas and Jagana Brahmin are believed to have helped Guru Arjan in his preparation of the Adi Granth. In addition, four other scribes — Bhai Sant Das, Bhai Haria, Bhai Sukha, and Bhai Mansa Ram — were also involved. Incidentally, at least four different handwritings were identified at different places, although the primary scribe is responsible for the major portion of the Kartarpur Bir. The making of the scripture was thus a product of teamwork led by Guru Arjan at Ramsar, in the central place of Amritsar. The formation of the Sikh canon commenced with the use in Sikh liturgy of Guru Nanak's hymns, when he was the head of a nascent Sikh Panth. Analysis of the early manuscripts indicates that Guru Arjan worked on a number of pre-canonical texts before coming up with an authoritative text of the Adi Granth in 1604.

Keywords:   Guru Arjan, Adi Granth, scribes, Bhai Haria, pre-canonical texts, Ramsar, Kartarpur Bir, Bhai Gurdas, Jagana Brahmin, Bhai Sant Das

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