akjfaq10While compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Gurbani was written in Gurmukhi script in a continuous chain system of writing, where all the words in a line are joined together. This is known as lareedaar. Having coming to this world directly from Vaheguru, Gurbani’s true and correct reading as well as understanding is obviously beyond the limited capacity of most people. Even today, in spite of the hard efforts of the top Sikh scholars to decide on the correct reading of Gurbani, there are about 500-700 words where they have not been able to reach a consensus (on how to correctly break-up words).  While there is such confusion existing, it is inappropriate to print Padh Chedh Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib which will contain mistakes.  Our Guru is beyond mistakes and it is inappropriate to insert mistakes into our Guru.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not merely a Holy Book. Had it been so, it would have been alright to print or write it in any way one likes. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Satguru – the True Guru – under whose benevolent care and protection, the Khalsa Panth has been placed by the Satguru himself. If we really believe in the True Guruship of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, then it follows as an obvious corollary that the Satguru will himself remove our ignorance and will bless us with the true wisdom enabling us to read Gurbani correctly.  Breaking up the words using our own “Mat” or thinking is not correct.  It is better for the reader or paathi to make mistakes while reading rather than for there to be mistakes in the Guru.

The first volume of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, compiled by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, was written in continuous form with all the words in a line joined to one another. Later, the Bir on which Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji formally invested the Guruship for all times to come, was also written in the same way. On this basis, until recently, Sri Guru Granth Sahib was written or printed in the same way. Some effort is definitely needed to enable the beginner in read Gurbani printed in such a way but such difficulties are always faced by beginners in every new field of knowledge. Until only a few decades ago, when the so-called literacy level was also low, devout Sikhs living even in remote villages were able to read Gurbani printed in such a way by following a systematic methodology, i.e., first practicing difficult Banis from Gutkas and Pothis under the guidance of certain learned and devout Gianis or Granthis. Only after they developed some amount of confidence in their reading of Bani, they used to be introduced to the reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a formal ceremony – Gurcharni Lagna – after saying Ardas or prayers. Now, when the literacy percentage as well as the level of education is reported to have increased, we are finding difficulties in reading from Sri Guru Granth Sahib printed in joined or continuous system (lareedaar). This difficulty is the result of the complacency of many who do not want to take even small efforts as Gursikhs in the past used to do.  The reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib to Sikhs has become a very low priority.

Today, the Akhand Kirtani Jatha places a special emphasis on doing Amrit Sanchaars only in front of Lareedaar Saroop of Guru Sahib and also only doing Sri Akhand Paath Sahibs from Lareedaar Saroop.

In conclusion, the Jatha hopes that the panth embraces Lareedaar Saroop in the future for all Gurdwara Sahibs.  Padh Chedh Saroops have caused a weakness in the panth where paathis are not truly fluent in Gurbani as well as the fact that padh-chedh of Gurbani is certainly done incorrectly hundreds of times, thus bringing faults into Guru Sahib by inserting our own thinking into the printing of Guru Sahib saroops.  May Guru Sahib bless the panth with a new generation of paathis who can conduct Lareedaar Sehaj Paaths and Lareedaar Akhand Paaths.