Revelation in Sikhism

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The Sikh religion originated about 500 years ago, based on the spiritual teachings of the Sikh Gurus. The writings of the Gurus form the verses of the holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, compiled by the Gurus themselves.

Sikh philosophy regards the words in the holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, to have been revealed directly from the divine through the Gurus. Indeed, many of the verses written by the Gurus bear testimony to such divine revelation.

According to Cole and Sambhi, "Sikhism is to be regarded as a revealed religion (rather than a social protest movement nor any attempt to reconcile Hinduism and Islam in the 15th century), which began with Guru Nanak's awareness of being taken to the divine court and commissioned to be God's messenger".[1]. A passage in the Guru Granth Sahib, written by Guru Nanak, is said to be a description of Guru Nanak's revelatory experience [2]


I was once a worthless minstrel then the Divine One gave me work; I received the primal injunction: Sing divine glory night and day! The sovereign called the minstrel to the True Mansion: I was given the robe of honouring and exalting; I tasted the food of the true ambrosial Name. Those who, through the Guru feast on the Divine food win eternal joy and peace. Your minstrel spreads your glory by singing your Word. Nanak says, by exalting the Truth we attain the Absolute One. (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 150) [2]

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Kapur Singh states that the Sikhs are bidden to accept the revelation of the true Guru as true for ever and for ever "for it is God Himself who maketh the Guru utter it (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 308)". [3]. He adds that "Nanak is the first born in India who claims that the religion he preaches is a revealed religion", and quotes the verses “I am completely dumb as I am and I speak as I am made to, by God; I utter and preach the Word just as it comes to me. (GGS, p 763)" [4]. Other verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, written by the Sikh Gurus themselves, conveying that the "divine word in the scripture came to the Gurus directly from God" [5], include


Shabde upje amrit baani Gurmukh aakh Sunavnia : From God springs ambrosial Gurbani. The exalted Guru narrates and preaches the same to the world (GGS, p 125) ; Ek akhar tin nakhia, Jin Jagat sabh upaaia: This Word come from Him, Who hath created the World (GGS: p 306); Jeh bid sur updeshia so sunre bhaai: Whatever the Lord hath instructed me, Hear, O my brother (GGS, p 727). [5]
  1. ^ W. Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi , A Popular Dictionary of Sikhism: Sikh Religion and Philosophy, Taylor & Francis, 1997, page=71, isbn=0203986091
  2. ^ a b William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, page 11, ISBN 978-1898723134.
  3. ^ Kapur Singh, Parasaraprasna, Guru Nanak Dev University Press, ISBN= 81-7770-014-6
  4. ^ Kapur Singh, Guru Nanak: The founder of a world religion, Sikh Review, Feb Mar 1975, 5-10; and 1981 5-11. Also in Journal of Sikh Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, 2(1), Feb 1975, 9—16
  5. ^ a b Bhagat Singh & G.P. Singh, Japji, Hemkunt Press, pages 9-12