The Guru Granth Sahib plays a crucial role in the life of a Sikh. Every Sikh yearns to engage with it at some level and benefit from its overarching Divine wisdom. Ever since the revelation of the Sabad (Gurbani) by the Guru, it has taken the center stage in a Sikh's life, both personal and communal. In order to communicate with the Guru's message at a more personal level, Sikhs have tried to produce many interpretations over the past centuries. Consequently, there is a plethora of literature on Guru Granth Sahib available to the Panjabi-speaking audience, while there is a void in the English language for such resources. Committed to continually bringing out new educational tools and resources for the community, Sikh Research Institute has introduced Guru Granth Sahib: Its Language and Grammar, a textbook for learners of Gurbani. The book is primarily intended for use by English-speakers, especially the diaspora communities. It gives an overview of the languages of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Gurmukhi script, its pronunciation and grammar. Since, grammar serves as an important tool for the production of meaningful interpretations of Gurbani, this book seeks to introduce a basic approach for accessing the linguistics of the Guru Granth Sahib. The lessons are appropriate for beginners to intermediate-level learners, who wish to develop a better understanding of the Guru Granth Sahib. The book is set up in a language course format, which can be used to take lessons, both in a classroom environment along with the Gurbani Language Course offered by the Sikh Research Institute, as well as through self-study. With the help of this book, readers should find it helpful in interpreting Gurbani independently to enhance their understanding of Gurmat (Guru's wisdom) and thus experience the Guru's message first hand. The book tries to answer questions that many of us may have grappled with at some point in time:
- What is the language of Gurbani? Is it Panjabi?
- Is Gurbani in more than one language? How many and what possibly are they?
- That about its script? Where did it come from? What are its constituents and their character?
- Are there different ways of pronouncing Gurmukhi script, and in turn Gurbani, or is there meant to be a specific way?
- Is just knowing the vocabulary enough or is there also a grammar of Gurbani to learn?
- What is the meaning of an aunkar or a sihari at the end of some words?
- I am baffled by the heading of the Sabads, the different sets of numbers appearing in them, format of Sabads, structure of the Guru Granth Sahib etc. Where can I find an answer?
- Understand the Guru Granth Sahib's composition, layout, format, style etc.
- Learn about Different languages appearing in Gurbani Gurmukhi script, and issues related to its pronunciation Gurbani's grammar and engage in a deeper research on it
- Parents can use it to learn basics of Gurbani language, and teach it to their children
- Discussion sessions in local Gurduara gurmat/sabad vicar classes.
- Classroom sessions in retreats and camps.
- As a collection in a personal, Gurduara or Gurmat School library
- As a gift, for lovers of Gurbani
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