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Religion Library: Sikhism

Sacred Texts

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Every day, wherever there is an enshrined copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, a reading is done from it at random. The hymn that is read (vaak) is considered to be the Guru's command (hukam) for the congregation for that day. Sikh houses of worship, or Gurdwaras, will often post the hymn for that day on a bulletin board at the entrance. In this internet age, any Sikh with a computer can access his or her own personal random reading from the Guru Granth Sahib. Also, the hukam from the central Sikh Gurdwara in Amritsar is broadcast and downloadable, providing the collective global Sikh community one common hymn to reflect on in their day.

The contents of the Guru Granth Sahib have been translated into several languages and are also available online. As the Sikh community has become increasingly global, and Sikhs have grown accustomed to conducting their day-to-day affairs in global languages, the community will need to address a variety of issues related to their scriptures, particularly the validity of translations and the next generation's learning of gurmukhi.

Study Questions:
1.     Describe the contents of the Guru Granth Sahib.
2.     What role does daily reading of the Guru Granth Sahib play in Sikh life?
3.     What are some of the contemporary questions raised about the role of scripture in Sikh life?