Writers of Guru Granth Sahib

Guru Granth Sahib (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ;Hindi: गुरु ग्रन्थ साहिब;[ɡʊɾu ɡɾəntʰ sɑhɪb]), is the central religious text of Sikhism, considered by Sikhs to be the final sovereign Guru of the religion.[1] It contains 1430 Angs (pages), containing hymns of 36 saint mystics which includes Sikh gurus (6 gurus), Bhagats (15 bhagats), Bhatts (11 bhatts) and gursikhs (4 gursikhs). It is the only religious script in the world that contains views and ideology of people of other religions, castes and creeds. It also contains teachings of Sikh gurus themselves and was written by Bhai Gurdas Ji (first version) and by Bhai Mani Singh Ji (second version).

Categorization of authors

Generally, Scholars categorize authors of Guru Granth Sahib into four groups:

  1. Sikh Gurus
  2. Bhagats
  3. Bhatts
  4. Gursikhs

Sikh gurus

Philosophically, Sikhs are bound to believe in Shabad Guru but general belief is that The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism over the centuries, beginning in the year 1469. There are 6 Sikh Gurus whose hymns are present in Guru Granth Sahib:


In above list, the Bhagats (Punjabi: ਭਗਤ, from Sanskrit भक्त) were holy men of various sects whose teachings are included in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Their bani come under title Bani Bhagtaan Ki. The word "Bhagat" means devotee, and comes from the Sanskrit word Bhakti, which means devotion and love. Bhagats evolved a belief in one God that preceded Bhagat Kabir selected the writings of The Great Hindu Bhaktis and Sufi saints.

Among above, below is the list of Bhagats:[2]

Sikh Bhatts

Many Hindu Saraswat Brahmins started follow the word of Guru Nanak Dev known as Bhatts. There are 11 Sikh Bhatts whose bani is included in Guru Granth Sahib:

Individuals and their contributions

Background Details and No. of Hymns
NameTimelineNo. of Hymns
Guru Nanak15th Century974[3]
Guru Angad16th Century62[3]
Guru Amar Das16th Century907[3]
Guru Ram Das16th Century679[3]
Guru Arjan16th Century2218[3]
Guru Tegh Bahadur17th Century116[3]
Bhagat Jaidev13th Century[4]2
Bhagat Farid13th Century~134 slokas[4][5][note 1]
Bhagat Ramanand14th Century1
Bhagat Namdev14th Century62
Bhagat Trilochan14th Century5
Bhagat Parmanand14th Century1
Bhagat Dhanna14th Century4
Bhagat Bhikhan14th Century2
Bhagat Beni14th Century3
Bhagat Pipa14th Century1
Bhagat Sain14th Century1
Bhagat Surdas14th Century2
Bhagat Sadhana14th Century1
Bhagat Ravidas15th Century41
Bhagat Kabir15th Century541[3][note 2]
Baba Sundar15th Century6
Satta and Balvand15th Century1 var[4]
Bhatt Kalshar15th Century54
Bhatt Balh15th Century5
Bhatt Bhalh15th Century1
Bhatt Bhika15th Century2
Bhatt Gayand15th Century13
Bhatt Harbans15th Century2
Bhatt Jalap15th Century5
Bhatt Kirat15th Century8
Bhatt Mathura15th Century14
Bhatt Nalh15th Century16
Bhatt Salh15th Century3

Controversial authors:Mardana and Tall

There are two more writers of present recension of Adi Granth which is matter of debate among various scholars: Bhai Mardana and Bhatt Tall.

As per various scholars:

  • There are two hymns under title Mardana 1[7] is composition of Bhai Mardana but other refute the claim, as there is pen name Nanak is used inside the hymn[8] and Mardana is type of Shalok.
  • Similarly, there is a Swaiya in name of Bhatt Tall,[9] which according to some scholars is Gurmukhi Typo as it is Kal i.e Bhatt Kalshar.[10]


  1. Their authenticity is doubtful, some of these may be by his successors, rather than Farid's compositions.[5]
  2. Unlike hymns of others, Kabir's hymns are mostly very short verses.[3] Different editions show confusion of actual author. One hymn, for example, was designated as Kabir-nama, was changed by Guru Arjan to have been authored by Namdev.[6]


  1. Keene, Michael (2003). Online Worksheets. Nelson Thornes. p. 38. ISBN 0-7487-7159-X.
  2. Bahri, H.; Bansal, G.S.; Puran, B.; Singh, B.; Singh, B.; Buxi, L.S.; Chawla, H.S.; Chawla, S.S.; Das, D.; Dass, N.; et al. (2000). "4. Bhagats and Saints" (PDF). Studies. 63 (2): 169–93. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Christopher Shackle; Arvind Mandair (2013). Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures. Routledge. pp. xviii–xix. ISBN 978-1-136-45108-9.
  4. 1 2 3 Kerry Brown (2002). Sikh Art and Literature. Routledge. pp. 114–115 (Appendix II). ISBN 978-1-134-63136-0.
  5. 1 2 William Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-898723-13-4.
  6. William Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-1-898723-13-4.
  7. Page 553, Adi Granth, Translation of Sant Singh Khalsa
  8. ਇਸ ਸਲੋਕ ਮੈਂ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਮਰਦਾਨੇ ਕੇ ਪੂਛਨੇ ਸੇ ਤਿਸ ਕੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਤਾ ਅਰੁ ਮਨਮੁਖਤਾ ਕੀ ਮਦਰਾ ਕਾ ਰੂਪੁ ਬਰਨਨ ਕਰਤੇ ਹੈਂ ਔਰੁ ਦੋ ਪਰਕਾਰ ਕੀ ਮਦਿਰਾ ਮਨਮੁਖੋਂ ਕੀ ਔਰੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੋਂ ਕੀ ਕਹੀ ਹੈ॥ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਮਨਮੁਖੋਂ ਕੀ ਮਦਿਰਾ ਕਹਤੇ ਹੈਂ॥: Fareedkoti Teeka, Adi Granth
  9. ਟਲ' ਜੀ ਕਹਤੇ ਹੈਂ ਹੇ ਭਾਈ ਐਸੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੋਂ ਕੋ ਸਹਜ ਸੁਭਾਵਕ ਨਿਰੰਤਰ ਹੀ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਹੇ ਭਾਈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੋਂ ਕੇ ਦਰਸਨ ਕਰਨੇ ਤੇ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਦੁਖ ਜਾਤਾ ਰਹਿਤਾ ਹੈ॥੧੦॥: Page 1392, Teeka Fareedkoti, Adi Granth
  10. Page 1392: ਟਲ = ਹੇ ਟੱਲ! ਹੇ ਕਲ੍ਯ੍ਯ! ਹੇ ਕਲ੍ਯ੍ਯਸਹਾਰ!: Teeka by Professor Sahib Singh, Adi Granth
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