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(Punjabi: First Book) Sacred scripture of Sikhism. Composed of nearly 6,000 hymns of the Sikh Gurus and Hindu and Islamic saints, it is the central object of worship in all gurdwaras (temples). It is ritually opened and closed daily and is read continuously on special occasions. First compiled in 1604 by Arjan, it included his own hymns and those of his predecessors and the devotional songs of saints. In 1704 the last Guru, Gobind Singh, added more hymns and decreed that after his death the Granth would take the place of the Guru. Written mostly in Punjabi or Hindi, it contains the Mul Mantra (basic prayer), Japji (the most important scripture, written by Nanak), and hymns arranged according to the ragas in which they are to be sung.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Adi Granth, visit Britannica.com.
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