At SGGS Angg 1226, Sarang Mehla 5, Guru Arjun Dev Ji describes Pothi Sahib as “Pothi Parmeshar Ka Thaan” i.e. this Holy Pothi is the Home of the Transcendent Lord. Pothi Sahib was installed in Sri Harmandir Sahib on 30th August 1604 by Guru Arjun Dev Ji. More than a hundred years later, Guru Gobind Singh Ji added the Bani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji to Pothi Sahib, and made some other changes in arrangement of the Bani. Gurgaddi was bestowed upon Guru Granth Sahib Ji on 7th October 1708 by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Before being bestowed Gurgaddi, the Holy Pothi was known as Pothi Sahib. Although Pothi Sahib was not Guru Ji yet, all the contents therein were Dhur Ki Bani, and the Gurus gave utmost respect and reverence to Gurbani.

Emperor Akbar died on 27-10-1605.

A few months before his death, Akbar visited Lahore. Enroute to Lahore, Akbar stayed at Batala, Punjab.

At Batala, Prithi Chand with the help of local Mughal officials lodged a complaint against Guru Arjun Dev Ji. It was alleged that Pothi Sahib contained insults against Islam and Hinduism.

The Emperor ordered that Pothi Sahib be brought before him as he wanted to examine the contents himself. Bhai Gurdas Ji and Baba Budha Ji were sent as custodians of Pothi Sahib.

At the Emperor’s Darbar, Bhai Gurdas Ji was ordered to read at any random page. He reverently opened Pothi Sahib and read from Angg 723. Tilang Mehla 5. The Emperor was spellbound as Bhai Gurdas Ji read the 1st line.

The Lord infused His Divine Light (Jote) into dust and created the world, the Universe. The sky, the earth, the trees, and water, are all Creation of the Lord.

“Khaak Noor Kardang Aalam Duniaaye; Aasman Jimmi darkhat aab Pedaish Khudaiye.”

The rahao said, O human, whatever you can see with your eyes will perish; yet, the world is engrossed in eating carcasses, (dishonestly earned food), and lives in neglect and greed.

“Bande chasm didang fanaaiye; duniya murdar khurdani gaafal havaaiye.” (rahao).

Humans behave like goblins and beasts, they forcibly kill and eat forbidden carcasses of meat; one should therefore control his evil urges, or else, he will be thrown into the tortures of hell.

“Gaibann haiwaan haram kostani murdar bakhoraiye; dil kabaj kabja kadro dozak sajaaiye.”

You may have benefactors, delicacies, companions, courts, lands, and homes; when Azrail, the Messenger of death seizes you, what good will all these do to you, then?

“Vali niaamat biradra darbar milak khanaaiye; jab Azrail bastani tab che kare bidaaiye.”

The Pure Lord, knows your condition (actions); Nanak Advises, seek Holy company, and recite your prayers.

“Havaal maalum kardang Pak Allah; Bogho Nanak Ardas pesh darvesh bandah.”

The Emperor found nothing wrong with the Shabad. In fact he felt the Shabad was amazing.

Akbar pointed to a random page and asked Bhai Gurdas Ji to read. The revered Bhai Ji read from Angg 1083.  Maru Mehla 5.

“Allah Agam Khudai Bande; Chodh khyal duniya ke dhandhe.”

It was alleged by the complainers that Bhai Gurdas Ji had chosen to read Shabads on purpose which did not offend.

Akbar ordered his clerk, Munshi Sarb Dyal, who could read Punjabi, to choose any random page from Pothi Sahib and to read a Shabad. This time, Munshi Sarb Dyal read from Angg 885. Ramkali Mehla 5.

“Koyi bole Raam Raam koyi Khudai.”

The Emperor dismissed the complaint and made an offering of 51 Gold Mohurs to Pothi Sahib. Robes of honor were given to Bhai Gurdas Ji and Baba Budha Ji.

The Shabad, “Khaak Noor Kardang Alam Duniaye” is regarded as a historical Hukamnama.

What is indeed amazing is that each time a Shabad was chosen and read, the Shabad was couched in language easily understood by the Mughals. All Bani in Pothi Sahib is indeed Dhur Ki Bani, and is Pure and Flawless.


Manjeet Singh

30 December 2023.