In the Sikh tradition, there were ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak and ending with Guru Gobind Singh. Guru means “teacher” or literally: “Gu = darkness” and “Ru = light” (one who brings you from the darkness to the Light). When Guru Gobind Singh neared the end of his life, he stated that going forward, the Guru for Sikhs would be the “living word” of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
In its earthly form, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is 1430 pages of sacred teachings and songs. There are a total of 36 contributors to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. In addition to 6 of the Sikh Gurus, there are compositions from 30 saints from different religions, places and times. These songs are set to 31 different musical scales, called Raags. Raags are very particular musical scales. Different Raags are meant to be sung at different times of day or at different seasons. The spiritual technology for awakening yourself to your Inner Divinity in Sikh Dharma is to pronounce and sing the songs from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. It is especially powerful to sing them in the Raags in which they are given. But singing or chanting them, in Raag or not, will have a profound healing effect on your body, communication and mind.
From the time of Guru Nanak to the time of Guru Gobind Singh, each Sikh Master taught that a person’s own spiritual progress rests within him or herself. A teacher can show us the way. But it is up to each person to walk the path or not. The sacred songs of the Shabad Guru embodied in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib are the key to one’s own self-awakening. When a person, with his or her own lips, tongue and breath, sings the songs of the Enlightened Masters, it begins a chemical chain reaction in the brain. The singing re-patterns the neuro-net so that eventually, in time, the student can perceive directly what the Masters spoke about. Then there is Union between the Sikh and the Guru.