Larivaar Saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Baba Mani Singh Ji placed a great emphasis of learning larivaar paath. Due to the rising majority of GurSikhs doing Paath from Padd-Chhed Saroops, Baba Ji realised that if the blessing of reciting Gurbani from larivaar saroop was to disappear, it will be gone forever. This is why Baba Ji decided to make parkash of larivaar saroop a major aspect of the Sri Akal Bunga Sahib Maryada.
Larivaar is where Gurbani is written in continuous form, with no breaks in between the words of Gurbani. Padd-Chhed is the form of many Saroops we see today, where the Gurbani words are separated. Padd-Chhed is respectable and so are all Gurbani pothis but Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji's unchanged form ie. Larivaar form can be seen as most authentic as this is what Guru Arjan Sahib Ji, Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Gursikhs such as Baba Deep Singh Ji themselves scribed Saroops of Aad Guru Granth Sahib Ji in.
In the different schools of thought in the Sikh tradition, each has their own form of 'Ucharan' (Speaking style) and how to do 'Padd Chhed' of Gurbani. It must be understood that where Gurbani must be printed/written in Larivaar, the reader must do Padd Chhed (separate the words) as they do paath. Many different scholars have had different views about how to do Padd Chhed of Gurbani.
The Sampardai school of thought (i.e. Damdami Taksal, Nanaksar, Rara Sahib, Nirmala etc) will have their traditional way of Ucharan and Paath, and newer schools of thought such as the Sikh Missionary and Akhand Kirtani Jatha base their ucharan more on 'Viaakaran' (grammar) and therefore may separate some words when reading differently when reading. Some common examples are:
Sampardai Paath – Laakh Karori Bandhan Pare – Sukhmani Sahib
Other Schools of thought – Laakh Karori Bandh N Pare – Sukhmani Sahib
Sampardai Paath – Jo Mar Jameh So Kachn Kach – Asa Di Var
Other Schools of thought – Jo Mar Jameh So Kach Nikach - Asa Di Var
Where we are not saying which Ucharan is correct, as everyone is entitled to their own views, what this does show is that if we print/ write Saroops in Padd-Chhed we would be using our own Man-Mat rather then Gur-Mat. Gur-Mat is to keep the Saroop in larivaar, and then leave it to the reader (paathi) to do paath according to their understanding.
Padd-Chhed also creates a divide between the Sikhs who belong to different schools of thought, whereas Larivaar will unite the panth as there will be no confusion regarding how to separate the words of Gurbani in print/writing, that will be left to the Paathi to differentiate the words when reading.
How did Padd-Chhed come about?
Many would be surprised that 'Padd-Chhed' Saroops are a very recent invention, and up until 100 years ago only Larivaar would be used through out the panth. Until 100 years ago all Handwritten Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Dasam Granth and other pothis were in Larivaar, and also printed Saroops which were printed in 'Pathar Shaap' (using stone blocks.)
Teja 'Singh' Bhasauria (the ex-Sajjan of Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh Ji, who was ex-communicated for removing Bhagat Banee from AGGS) who has the 'distinction' of being the first person to attempt Padd-ched of Maharaaj Ji's Saroop, although this was in the form of volumes (Sainchis) of Gurbani. Apparently the actual printing press he had hired for the purpose was forcefully stopped by Gursikhs during the first print-run, before the first Sainchiyan could be completed.
Once again the issue came to the attention of Chief Khalsa Diwan and SGPC when a group of printers attempted to push forward the Padd-Chhed printing of Maharaaj Ji's Saroop. Chief Khalsa Diwan stated the following about the matter in 1945, after a meeting where both sides of the argument were put across by both lobbies i.e. pro and anti Padd-ched proponents:
"The matter of doing Akhand Path from Birs with separated-words was presented together with the opinions of advisors, it was directed that neither is it proper to do the Parkash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from such Birs nor is it proper to do Akhand Path from such Birs and it is not appropriate and it is harmful to the Panth to publish and bind separated words form (of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) in one cover. A copy of this decision should be sent to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and it should also be published in common (public) newspapers." (Resolution No. 2682; 21/1/1945 – Working Committee – Chief Khalsa Diwan).
This resolution was sent to the SGPC. After giving above resolution due consideration for over 5 year, in 1950 they said:
"Gurmatta Number 1637 dated 28th May, 1950, of the Executive Committee of the Shiromani Committee about the publication or the Parkash of the separated words form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, about which the advice of the Dharmic Salahkaar (Religious Advisory) Committee was asked, was presented and passed to the effect that until such time as the matter is decided by the Panth, any one individual or organisation should not publish separated words form Birs nor should such a Bir be placed in Parkash state (for holy sight and paying respects to ie. for darshan, and for reading)." (Gurmatta No. 7; 1/1/1950 – Dharmik Committee of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee)
It is an undisputed fact that Gursikhs from all jathas promoted Larivaar. Some examples of recent Gursikhs who promoted Larivaar are:
Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji
Sant Giani Kartar Singh Ji Bhindranwale (until now the Taksal only teaches Gurbani Santhia in Larivaar)
Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh Ji Naarangwal
Baba Nand Singh Ji themselves kept a Larivaar Saroop from which they received Darshan of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji
And many more.
Padd-Chhed Gurbani should be given the utmost respect, but the need to bring back the traditions of the Gurus, as they themselves gave us it is in dire need of re-establishment, which is what Sant Mani Singh Ji did by up keeping this tradition. Another note of interest is that all historical Gurdwaras in India, including Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, are only permitted to do Parkash of Larivaar Saroop of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
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