GALLERY 8: Guru Arjan Dev

Guru Arjan Dev began the construction of the Darbar Sahib in the middle of the Amrit Sarovar. A Sufi fakir, Miyan Mir, was invited by the Guru to lay its foundation stone. Under the Guru's leadership and instruction the verses composed by the preceding gurus were compiled into the one work, called the Adi Granth.

The Granth is believed to be the living embodiment of Guru Nanak's preaching. Its message reached people of all religions and castes, to Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists alike. It spread throughout the subcontinent and beyond into Afghanistan.

In compiling and publishing the Adi Granth, Guru Arjan Dev gave the new philosophy its organizational form. Here was a message of love, harmony and a persuasion to the existing religions to purge themselves of superstition, meaningless ritual and inhuman tradition.

The Adi Granth was a compilation of the compositions of all four previous Gurus, as well as Sufis, saints and Bhakti seers such as Kabir and Namdev. These were composed in a musical score of prescribed ragas.

The Adi Granth was first placed in the Darbar Sahibin 1604 by Baba Budhaji. He became the first Granthi, the Reader of the Granth Sahib.

Sikhism, through the message of the Gurbani, seeks to fulfill the worldly and spiritual needs of humans. Guru Arjan Dev termed this state of harmony the Halemi Raj, the triumph of benevolence. In Sikhism there are no chosen people. The human is entreated to choose God and the path of righteousness.

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