By Promod Puri
The 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, close to his death, sealed the continuity of human gurus. He declared that henceforth the holy book Adi Granth would be the eternal Guru of Sikhs.
The hymn composed by him for that declaration encourages a devotee to study, research and contemplate the enlightenments contained in the sacred book.
The hymn says:
Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth
Sabb Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth
Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh
Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le
Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe
Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe.”
While the first three lines of the hymn translate like this: the Sikh Panth (meaning a path) was created by the orders of the Supreme Being whereby all Sikhs are asked to accept the Adi Granth (Sikh holy book) as their Guru which is also an embodiment of all the gurus.
The fourth line emphasizes that whosoever wishes to “milbo” (meet or seek) Him can realize Him thru “Khoj” (search) in the “Shabad” (words) of wisdom explicit in the scriptures.
And the last two lines of Guru Gobind Singh’s hymn mean “The pure shall rule, and the impure will be no more; those separated will unite and all the devotees of the Guru (the Sikh holy book) shall be saved”.
“Khoj shabad mein le” are the keywords in this advice. It has rationality in the expression which conveys the message that the acceptance of the Adi Granth as Guru, involves studying and following this treasure of revelation and inspiration. The hymn also encourages a follower to seek consultation from the Guru (Adi Granth).
As such, along the lines of the hymn, Guru Gobind Singh emphasizes that one should do his or her own studies (khoj) to understand and convince oneself while accepting the words of wisdom offered by the Adi Granth.
As Guru Gobind Singh does not believe in blind following he offers to reason in his abiding declaration of “Guru Maneyo Granth”.