Ten Sikh Gurus
• Sikhism was established by ten Gurus, human spiritual teachers or masters, over the period from 1469 to 1708 -. These teachers were enlightened souls whose main purpose in life was the spiritual and moral well-being of the masses. By setting an exceptional example of how to live a holy and worthy life through practising righteous principles of living their human lives, they sort to awaken the higher conciousness in the human race. The Gurus taught the people of India and beyond, to live spiritually fulfilling lives with dignity, freedom and honour.
• Each of the ten masters added to and reinforced the message taught by the previous, resulting eventually to the creation of the religion that is now called Sikhism. Guru Nanak Dev was the first Guru and Guru Gobind Singh the final Guru in human form. When Guru Gobind Singh left this world, he made the Sri Guru Granth Sahib the ultimate and final Sikh Guru. The Spirit of this final Guru is more than a holy book for the Sikhs, who give this eternal Guru the same respect and reverence as a living “human” Guru.
• The Sikh Gurus laid down within the sacred scriptures, the rules and regulations that outline the way of living that was to be followed by all practising disciple of this religion. The history and the literature present the followers of the faith and others with the raw material required to learn about the beliefs and practises propagated by the Gurus. The Gurus were clear also to outline rituals, practises and beliefs that were not appropriate and were not to be followed by the faithful disciples. They promoted the habit of reciting of holy hymns called Shabads; living in constant remembrance of the Supreme Creator and living a simple life of truth, decency and virtuous principles.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib or Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or SGGS for short, is more than just a holy book of the Sikhs. The Sikhs treat this Granth (holy book) as a living Guru. The holy text spans 1430 pages and contain the actual words spoken by the founders of the Sikh religion (the Ten Gurus of Sikhism) and various other Saints from other religions including Hinduism and Islam.
The SGGS was given the Guruship by the last of the living Sikh Masters, Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1708. Guru Gobind Singh said before his demise that the Sikhs were to treat the SGGS as their next Guru. Guru Ji said – “Sab Sikhan ko hokam hai Guru Manyo Granth” meaning “All Sikhs are commanded to take the Granth as Guru” So today if asked, the Sikhs will tell you that they have a total of 11 Gurus. ( 10 in human form and the SGGS).