What Is Saroop?
Among the most striking images emerging from the flight of Sikhs from Afghanistan have been those of Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri carrying on his head, one of the saroops of the holy Guru Granth Sahib flown in from that country.
- Saroop is a physical copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, also called Bir in Punjabi.
- Every Bir has 1,430 pages, which are referred to as Ang. The verses on every page remain the same.
- The Sikhs consider the saroop of Guru Granth Sahib a living guru and treat it with utmost respect. They believe that all the 10 Gurus were the same spirit in different bodies, and the Guru Granth Sahib is their eternal physical and spiritual form.
- It was the fifth Sikh master, Guru Arjan Dev, who compiled the first Bir of the Guru Granth Sahib in 1604, and installed it at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
- Later, the tenth Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh, added verses penned by the ninth master, his father Guru Tegh Bahadur, and compiled the Bir for the second and last time.
- It was in 1708 that Guru Gobind Singh declared the Guru Granth Sahib the living Guru of the Sikhs.
- Guru Granth Sahib is a compendium of hymns written by six Sikh gurus,15 saints, including Bhagat Kabir, Bhagat Ravidas, Sheikh Farid and Bhagat Namdev, 11 Bhatts (balladeers) and four Sikhs.
- The verses are composed in 31 ragas.