A Guide to the Gurbani in Sikhism

Close-Up Of Women Holding Holy Book
Close-Up Of Women Holding Holy Book. Hafiz Ismail / EyeEm / Getty Images

Gurbani is a compound word composed of:

Gurbani refers to the text of Sikhism's holy scripture or the word of Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs revere the scripture of the Granth as their everlasting guru and consider Gurbani the means of enlightenment and salvation. The scripture of Guru Granth was preceded as a guru by ten spiritual masters or gurus. The compositions of Gurbani are poetic. The sacred manuscript of Gurbani contains the writings of several of the ten Gurus and other enlightened beings:

  • Bhagat bani - may refer to selections included in Gurbani authored by saints of various faiths known as bhagats.
  • Dasam bani - refers to compositions of Tenth Guru Gobind Singh which are not included in Gurbani.

Pronunciation: grr bonny

Alternate Spellings: gurbanee


Fourth Guru Raam Das wrote:
"Baanee guroo guroo hai baanee vich baanee amrit saarae||
The word is the embodiment of the Guru and the Guru is the embodiment of the word. Within the word immortalizing elixir is contained.
Gur baanee kehai saevak jan maanai partakh guroo nistaarae||5||
The Guru's word instructs that whoever believes and acts accordingly is personally emancipated by the Guru. ||5||" SGGS||982
Fifth Guru Arjun Dev wrote:
"Gurbaanee is jag meh chaanan karam vasai man aa-ae ||1||
The Gurus word illuminates this world, through grace within the mortal's mind it comes to abide." ||1|| SGGS ||67

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Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "A Guide to the Gurbani in Sikhism." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, learnreligions.com/gurbani-gurus-word-2993037. Khalsa, Sukhmandir. (2020, August 27). A Guide to the Gurbani in Sikhism. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/gurbani-gurus-word-2993037 Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "A Guide to the Gurbani in Sikhism." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/gurbani-gurus-word-2993037 (accessed June 10, 2023).