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Gurbani from Nitnem Guthka

Gurbani (Punjabi: ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ) is a Sikh terminology, commonly used by Sikhs to refer to any compositions of the Sikh Gurus and other Writers of Guru Granth Sahib. In General, hymns in central text of Sikh, i.e. Guru Granth Sahib is called Gurbani. Among Amritdhari Sikhs, Few texts from Dasam Granth which are read in Nitnem like Tav-Parsad Svaiyey, Chaupai are also considered as Gurbani . In Adi Granth, Gurbani is sound which directly comes from Supreme and text is written form of the same in worldly language and scripts. It is also called Gun Bani.[1] Gurbani is explanation of qualities of Primal Lord and Soul which a Sikh should comprehend with which he can attain the supreme state.

Sikh historical writings, unauthentic writings or apocryphal compositions in name of Sikh Gurus and other writings by Sikhs are not considered as Gurbani and are referred to as Kachi Bani.[2]


Gurbani is composed of two words: 'Gur' and 'Bani'. Gur have multiple meanings as per context. In Guru Granth Sahib, Gur word is used for multiple meanings, as per context of Hymn. The common use of Gur is either for Wisdom and Internal Conscious Mind (Referred as Chitta or Antar Atma).[3]

Thereby Gurbani either means the speech of Wisdom or The speech of conscious mind.

Gurbani is directly received from inside after attaining of Supreme state where as Granth or textual form is worldly language of the same. Gurbani is also referred as Dhur Ki Bani (The speech from Supreme house). Gurbani is explanation of qualities of Primal Lord and Soul. In Adi Granth, It is considered as source of spiritual knowledge which illuminates mind and gives internal bliss. The one who comprehend on Gurbani is also stated as Amritdhari. Gurbani is source of truth with which the internal filth and sins get eradicated and one who find Gurbani sweet is in supreme state.

Extracts from Guru Granth Sahib are called Gutkas (small books) containing sections of Gurbani. These Gutkas can vary from just a few pages to hundreds of pages and are used by the Sikhs to read these Banis on a daily basis.

Nitnem compositions[edit]

A Gutka Sahib (Nitnem prayerbook) is commonly wrapped in a similar cloth out of a mark of respect
Main article: Nitnem

The hymns of the Japji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Chaupai Sahib and Anand Sahib should be read before sunrise daily according to the Sikh Rehat Maryada. These are recited by initiated Sikhs at Amritvela (before 6 AM). Rehras is read in the evening around sunset or after a days work and finally Kirtan Sohila is read before going to bed. Doing Nitnem is also commonly referred as doing paath.[4]

Japji Sahib, Anand Sahib, Kirtan Sohila are a part of Guru Granth Sahib. Jaap Sahib, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Chaupai Sahib are all compiled by Guru Gobind Singh and found in the Dasam Granth. Rehras is a mix with hymns from both Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth. A Sikh may add more Gurbani to their Nitnem and if done frequently that Gurbani becomes a part of their Nitnem.

Other Common Gurbani compositions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੫॥
    Servant Nanak chants the Glorious Words of the Guru's Bani; through them, one is absorbed into the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||4||5||: Page 494, M5
  2. ^ thesikhencyclopedia: APOCRYPHAL COMPOSITIONS
  3. ^ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ,Mahankosh, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha
  4. ^ Singha, H.S. (2008). Sikh Studies, Book 7 (Fifth Impression ed.). New Delhi: Hemkunt Press: Sikhism a complete introduction. p. 88. ISBN 9788170102458. 

External links[edit]