SGGSonline.com humbly attempts to earnestly contemplate, reflect upon and translate in plain understandable English language, the infinite wisdom embodied in Gurbani verses enshrined in Shri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). Any translation work cannot be completed without surmounting certain foreseen and unforeseen challenges. The associated responsibility of undertakers of such a venture indisputably increases multifold when the source being translated is as important and as unique as SGGS. The script of Shri Guru Granth Sahib is in Gurmukhi but the actual languages used are many. The terminology comes from most of the languages prevailing in India at that time, including Arabic, Persian, the scholarly language of Sanskrit, the language of poetry Braj Bhasha and, of course, Punjabi – the native language of Punjab, which itself is a captivating assortment of the languages of the many invaders who found their way into Punjab.
Much of the Sikh teaching is adorned in the metaphoric framework of Indic mythology. Although this mythology is not intrinsic to the Sikh message, nonetheless, for a student to derive proper meaning, the teaching was justly presented in the contextual fabric of the language, vocabulary, and culture of the times. Another unique facet of SGGS is that the entire teaching is in the form of inspired, divine poetry, and like all good poetry that is not entirely rhyming, the reader needs to pause briefly to make sense of the metaphoric language, along with its many possible meanings and applications. A literal translation will just not work.
Further, let us not forget that SGGS deals with eternal themes like the nature of God, the sense of self, the Creator and Creation and mankind’s delicate but pivotal place in it. Now a genuine seeker, who has no firsthand assimilation of such deep and ostensibly abstract concepts, cannot grasp them easily. However, by making use of similes, allegories, metaphors, analogies, hyperboles, and personification, it becomes relatively easier to make a good sense of it. That’s why one finds their extensive use in the verses of Sri Guru Granth Sahib