AAD GRANTH SAHIB JEE
The Revealed Word of God
Gurbaani is REAL, i.e. it is REALITY not philosophy. The SHABAD (Infinite Wisdom) is the Guru. Guru Nanak Sahib jee and the Das Saroop (10 Bodies) interpreted and revealed the Shabad. Guru Arjan Dev Sahib jee, accumulated the Shabad’s reveleation from first five Nanaks 15 BHAGATS and 11 BHATTS etc, and recorded it into the PHYSICAL WORD in the form of AAD GRANTH SAHIB JEE (also refered to as 'POTHI SAHIB'), which was earlier form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee.
Religion of the Bhagats
It is often said that Guru Arjan Dev Sahib jee included the Baanis of Hindu and Muslim mystics. This is false. ALL the Bhagats, Bhatts and Sikhs whose revealed Baani was accepted and included in the Aaad Granth Sahib jee shared the COMMON RELIGION of GURMAT and NAAM and had experienced SAT (the Truth). Truth is the Truth. There is no different angle to the Truth. The Truth is ETERNAL, UNCHANGING and the SAME irrespective of which light someone sees it. Therefore, the Sikh Guru Sahibaans, the Bhagats, Bhatts and Sikhs all experienced and talked about this ONE UNIVERSAL TRUTH, which was EK OANKAAR, as explained in the FIRST VERSE of AAD GRANTH SAHIB JEE:
ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
ik-oankaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbhau nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhun(g) gur prasaad.
One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace ~
So what is the difference between GURU and BHAGAT (Devotee of God). Giani Sant Singh jee Maskeen explained in Katha (Gurbaani discourse) gave the following analogy to explain this difference. There is one child who OPENS HIS EYES and realizes he is sitting in his MOTHER'S LAP. There is another child who CRAWLS to his mother and then SITS in her LAP. Guru Nanak Sahib jee and the Sikh Guru Sahibaans had BRAHM-GYAAN from the BEGINNING. They opened their eyes and they were ALREADY SITTING in the LAP OF VAHEGURU. The Bhagats were those who through LIFE and EXPERIENCE attained UNION with the Divine and sat in the LAP OF VAHEGURU. Once they reached this level, through the chosen Bhagats of Vaheguru the SHABAD was revealed to the world. As a consequence there is NO DIFFERENCE between the SHABAD (Gurbaani) revealed through the Sikh Gurus and the Bhagats etc. Both are 'GURBAANI'.
Collecting the Shabads
From Guru Nanak Sahib jee to Guru Raam Daas Sahib jee, each and every Guru Sahib had RECORDED the REVEALED SHABAD in POTHI SAHIBS (small Volumes). These Pothi Sahibs were collected together by Guru Arjan Dev Sahib jee. He sent trusted Sikhs such as Bhai Piara jee, Bhai Gurdaas jee and Baba Buddha jee across the country to bring the Baani of the Bhagats etc.
Scribing the Aad Granth Sahib jee
Guru Arjan Dev Sahib jee pitched a tent by the side of Raamsar Sarovar (tank) in Amritsar and started the task of compiling the FIRST EDITION of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. BHAI GURDAAS JEE (the maternal uncle of Guru Sahib) was entrusted as Guru jee's SCRIBE for the master copy. The monumental task was finally completed after FIVE YEARS. This original edition of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib known at that time as POTHI SAHB was installed on a high pedestal within Sri Darbaar Sahib in August 1604. Guru Arjan Dev Sahib jee seated himself at a lower level and instructed all Sikhs to bow before it, NOT as an idol, but as the DIVINE SPOKEN WORD OF GOD, which would save anyone who would enshrine and live by the Divine Word. The revered Baba Buddha jee was appointed the FIRST GRANTHI (custodian) of the Aad Granth Sahib jee.
The Epilogue of the Aad Granth Sahib jee
Guru Arjan Dev jee wrote in the last verses of Aad Granth Sahib jee:
ਮੁੰਦਾਵਣੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਥਾਲ ਵਿਚਿ ਤਿੰਨਿ ਵਸਤੂ ਪਈਓ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੋ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਾ ਪਇਓ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਸਭਸੁ ਅਧਾਰੋ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਖਾਵੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਭੁੰਚੈ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੋ ॥ ਏਹ ਵਸਤੁ ਤਜੀ ਨਹ ਜਾਈ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਰਖੁ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰੋ ॥ ਤਮ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਚਰਨ ਲਗਿ ਤਰੀਐ ਸਭੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਸਾਰੋ ॥੧॥
"Mundaavanee, Fifth Mehl: Upon this Plate, three things have been placed: Truth, Contentment and Spiritual Understanding. The spiritual-life giving Naam, the Name of our Lord and Master, has been placed upon it as well; it is the Support of all. One who eats (this spiritual food) and enjoys it shall be saved. (If you wish to spiritually saved then) this thing can never be forsaken; keep this always and forever in your mind. O Nanak! (With the blessings of Naam) grasping the Feet of Vaheguru (i.e. Gurbaani) the dark world-ocean is crossed over and (one begins to see) everywhere the Divine Light of Vaheguru is manifest. ||1||"
The whereabouts of the original Aad Granth Sahib jee
Pothi Sahib (known today as the Kartarpur Bir) was kept by the Sixth Nanak, GURU HARGOBIND SAHIB JEE in his house. From here it was STOLEN by his GRANDSON called DHEER MAL, who intended to use it to further his claims on the succession of the Guruship. Some THIRTY YEARS LATER the Sikhs of the Ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur FORCIBLY RECOVERED it, but were instructed by Guru Sahib to RETURN IT. But as the Sikhs were far from the town, they placed it in the shallow river bed of the SATLUJ RIVER. From here Dhir Mal recovered it, miraculously it was UNDAMAGED. In 1850, with the ANNEXATION OF PANJAB, the Bir together with its golden stand were discovered by the British in the custody of the LAHORE ROYAL COURT. At present the Bir (Volume) remains with Dheer Mal's family, the SODHIS of KARTARPUR (Panjab), thus the name KARTARPUR BIR ('Bir' meaning 'Volume'). The Kartarpur Bir is preserved to this day and Sangat is allowed it's darshan monthly.