By Swami Harshananda
The survival of a religion depends upon its basic scripture. The survival of this scripture depends on its commitment to the writing.
When Sikhism came into existence and started becoming popular with the masses, it became necessary to compile the sayings of its founder Guru Nānak (A. D. 1469-1539). Guru Aṅgad (A. D. 1504-1552) made all the efforts to get the scripture committed to writing. He modified the Laṇḍā script, which existed at that time, by borrowing letters from other scripts like the Sāradā, the Thākurī and the Nāgarī.
The present script has 35 letters. It is called the Punjabi script. Since it was done by the Sikh Guru Aṅgad, it was also called the Gurmukhi script. The fifth Guru, Arjan Dev (A. D. 1563-1607), compiled the Ādi Granth in this script. The Gurmukhi script has 3 vowels and 32 consonants. There are no conjunct consonants. Words like ‘Bhagavān’ are written as ‘Pahagvān’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore