The Adi Granth is the early compilation of the Sikh Granth (divine living guidance), created by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru. It contains Shabads which had been passed down from the first four Gurus, as well as Guru Arjan’s own words, recorded by Bhai Gurdas Ji. In addition, the Guru added the Shabads of many Hindu and Muslim saints, including Kabir Ji, Ravi Das Ji, Naam Dev Ji, Trilochan Ji, and Sheikh Farid Ji.
The Adi Granth can be considered a “universal Granth” because it contains the hymns of both Hindu and Muslim saints.
Completion of the Adi Granth took place on August 30, 1604. Soon after, Guru Arjan Dev Ji installed the Adi Granth at Sri Harmander Sahib in Amritsar, India for the first time, on September 1 of that same year.
On the occasion of the Adi Granth’s installation at the Golden Temple, Guru Arjan Dev Ji told his Sikhs that the Adi Granth was the embodiment of the Guru, and should be treated in the same fashion as they respected him. When Guru Arjan first completed the Adi Granth, he placed it upon his own bed and slept on the floor. It was written without any spaces or breaks. It was transcribed in Gurmukhi.
The original Adi Granth still exists today and is kept at Kartarpur, which is a town about 15 kilometers north-west of the city of Jalandhar, Punjab, India.
The Adi Granth is the precursor to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji added further holy Shabads written by the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, to the Adi Granth during the period of 1704 to 1706.
Then in 1708, before taking leave for his heavenly abode, Guru Gobind Singh Ji affirmed the Adi Granth as the perpetual Guru of the Sikhs, and the Granth then became known as the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The installation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the eternal Guru occurred on October 20, 1708. This occasion continues to be celebrated today on the holy gurpurb of Guru Gaddi Day each year.
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