⟵ Back to Articles

Sabad Structure in the Guru Granth Sahib

Thursday
,
1
September
2022

Sabad Structure in the Guru Granth Sahib

Thursday
,
1
September
2022
Sikhism
Sabad
Shabad
Guru Granth Sahib
⟵ Back to articles

Sabad Structure in the Guru Granth Sahib

Thursday
,
1
September
2022

While reading the Guru Granth Sahib, we come across various Sabad structures and forms. Some small and others long. Some have two stanzas, others three, four, or more. What do these different stanzas tell us about a Sabad or its structure?

While reading the Guru Granth Sahib, we come across various Sabad structures and forms. Some small and others long. Some have two stanzas, others three, four, or more. What do these different stanzas tell us about a Sabad or its structure?

When ‘The Guru Granth Sahib Project (TGGSP)’ team started working on the annotations and commentary of the Guru Granth Sahib, it encountered a variety of poetic forms like var, salok, pauri, chant, and compositions with different structures. We also noticed that these different structures of compositions were marked by different titles like dupade, tipade, chaupade, etc.

This variety of forms and structures was intriguing and perplexing for many of us. When we delved deeper into it, we discovered a fascinating world of a well-organized structural system that further added to the poetic richness of the Guru Granth Sahib.

The team felt that if these details are so informative and enriching for us, they are worth sharing with everyone to benefit from. Therefore, this article will discuss the structures of 'Sabads' (popularly Shabad). We will learn how the structures of the Sabads are identified and defined.

But before that, let's understand what a Sabad is? In the Sikh tradition, a short composition (comparable to a hymn) recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib is generally called 'Sabad.' However, the word 'Sabad' appears only twice as a title of compositions in the Guru Granth Sahib. The Sabads that bear this title are given below:

Examples:
sabad
. pichahu rātī sadṛā nāmu khasam kā lehi. kheme chatra sarāice disani rath pīṛe.1
jinī terā nāmu dhiāiā tin kaü sadi mile.1.
bābā mai karamhīṇ kūṛiār. nāmu na pāiā terā andhā bharami bhūlā manu merā.1. rahāu.
sād kīte dukh parphuṛe pūrabi likhe māi. sukh thoṛe dukh agle dūkhe dūkhi vihāi.2.
vichuṛiā kā kiā vīchuṛai miliā kā kiā melu. sāhibu so sālāhīai jini kari dekhiā khelu.3.
sanjogī melāvaṛā ini tani kīte bhog. vijogī mili vichuṛe nānak bhī sanjog.4.1.
ਸਬਦ ॥ ਪਿਛਹੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਸਦੜਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਖਸਮ ਕਾ ਲੇਹਿ ॥ ਖੇਮੇ ਛਤ੍ਰ ਸਰਾਇਚੇ ਦਿਸਨਿ ਰਥ ਪੀੜੇ ॥2
ਜਿਨੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਸਦਿ ਮਿਲੇ ॥੧॥
ਬਾਬਾ ਮੈ ਕਰਮਹੀਣ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਧਾ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਸਾਦ ਕੀਤੇ ਦੁਖ ਪਰਫੁੜੇ ਪੂਰਬਿ ਲਿਖੇ ਮਾਇ ॥ ਸੁਖ ਥੋੜੇ ਦੁਖ ਅਗਲੇ ਦੂਖੇ ਦੂਖਿ ਵਿਹਾਇ ॥੨॥
ਵਿਛੁੜਿਆ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਵੀਛੁੜੈ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਮੇਲੁ ॥  ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸੋ ਸਾਲਾਹੀਐ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਖੇਲੁ ॥੩॥
ਸੰਜੋਗੀ ਮੇਲਾਵੜਾ ਇਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਕੀਤੇ ਭੋਗ ॥ ਵਿਜੋਗੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਵਿਛੁੜੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੀ ਸੰਜੋਗ ॥੪॥੧॥
sabadu. sakhī sahelī garabi gahelī. suṇi sah kī ik bāt suhelī.1.3
jo mai bedan sā kisu ākhā māī. hari binu jīu na rahai kaise rākhā māī.1. rahāu.
haü dohāgaṇi kharī ranñāṇī. gaïā su jobanu dhan pachutāṇī.2.  
tū dānā sāhibu siri merā. khijmati karī janu bandā terā.3.
bhaṇati nānaku andesā ehī. binu darsan kaise ravaü sanehī.4.5.
ਸਬਦੁ ॥ ਸਖੀ ਸਹੇਲੀ ਗਰਬਿ ਗਹੇਲੀ ॥ ਸੁਣਿ ਸਹ ਕੀ ਇਕ ਬਾਤ ਸੁਹੇਲੀ ॥੧॥4
ਜੋ ਮੈ ਬੇਦਨ ਸਾ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਖਾ ਮਾਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਜੀਉ ਨ ਰਹੈ ਕੈਸੇ ਰਾਖਾ ਮਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਹਉ ਦੋਹਾਗਣਿ ਖਰੀ ਰੰਞਾਣੀ ॥ ਗਇਆ ਸੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਧਨ ਪਛੁਤਾਣੀ ॥੨॥
ਤੂ ਦਾਨਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਮੇਰਾ ॥ ਖਿਜਮਤਿ ਕਰੀ ਜਨੁ ਬੰਦਾ ਤੇਰਾ ॥੩॥
ਭਣਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਅੰਦੇਸਾ ਏਹੀ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਦਰਸਨ ਕੈਸੇ ਰਵਉ ਸਨੇਹੀ ॥੪॥੫॥

The above example, in a way, is a typical sample of a Sabad in the Guru Granth Sahib. As we can see in this example, a Sabad usually has four stanzas (padas) and a separate stanza of pause (rahau).5

In the popular Sikh parlance, a stanza of a Sabad is usually called a 'pada' (ਪਦਾ) or 'band' (ਬੰਦ). The term 'pada,' in its various compound forms, appears in the titles of the Sabads to identify and define their structure based on the number of stanzas the Sabads contain. As per this categorization, there are the following types of Sabads in the Guru Granth Sahib:

  • Dupada (ਦੁਪਦਾ)
  • Tipada (ਤਿਪਦਾ)
  • Chaupada (ਚਉਪਦਾ)
  • Panchpada (ਪੰਚਪਦਾ)
  • Astpadi (ਅਸਟਪਦੀ)
  • Solahe (ਸੋਲਹੇ)

Dupada (ਦੁਪਦਾ)

A Sabad that comprises two stanzas is known as dupada. Here, ‘du’ means two, and ‘pada’ means a stanza. Thus, dupada is a polysyllabic compound word in which the numeral 'du' (two) is combined with the word ‘pada.’ For clarity, the word ‘dupada’ is to be pronounced with the syllables distributed as ‘du-pada.’ In the Guru Granth Sahib, the word 'dupada' has appeared twice, and the plural 'dupade' has appeared thirty-six times in different titles.

Example:
āsā mahalā 5 dupadā 1.6
sādhū saṅgi sikhāio nāmu. sarab manorath pūran kām. bujhi gaī trisnā hari jasahi aghāne. japi japi jīvā sārigpāne.1.
karan karāvan sarani pariā. gur parsādi sahaj gharu pāiā miṭiā andherā candu caṛiā.1. rahāu.
lāl javehar bhare bhanḍār. toṭi na āvai japi niraṅkār. ammrit sabadu pīvai janu koi. nānak tā kī param gati hoi.2.41.92.
ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਦੁਪਦਾ ੧ ॥7
ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਿਖਾਇਓ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਬੁਝਿ ਗਈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਸਹਿ ਅਘਾਨੇ ॥ ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਜੀਵਾ ਸਾਰਿਗਪਾਨੇ ॥॥  
ਕਰਨ ਕਰਾਵਨ ਸਰਨਿ ਪਰਿਆ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਸਹਜ ਘਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਿਟਿਆ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਚੰਦੁ ਚੜਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥  
ਲਾਲ ਜਵੇਹਰ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰ ॥ ਤੋਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਜਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਬਦੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਜਨੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥॥੪੧॥੯੨॥

The numeral .2. (॥॥) at the end of the above Sabad indicates that this Sabad has two stanzas. The stanza preceding the term 'rahau'8 (ਰਹਾਉ) is counted separately from the other stanzas of a Sabad. In the Guru Granth Sahib, ‘rahau’ is preceded by the number .1. (॥੧॥), which separates the stanza of ‘rahau’ from the other stanzas. The other numerals .41.92. (॥੪੧॥੯੨॥) after the numeral .2. (॥॥), in this instance, indicate the cumulative counts of the Sabads in the series by different contributors.

Tipada (ਤਿਪਦਾ)

A Sabad that comprises three stanzas is known as tipada. Here, ‘ti’ means three and ‘pada’ means stanza. Thus, tipada is a polysyllabic compound word, in which the numeral ‘ti’ (three) is combined with the word ‘pada.’ For clarity, the word ‘tipada’ is to be pronounced with the syllables distributed as ‘ti-pada.’ In the Guru Granth Sahib, the word 'tipada' has appeared once and its plural 'tipade' has appeared eight times in different titles.

Example:
āsā. tipadā. iktukā.9
kīo siṅgāru milan ke tāī. hari na mile jagjīvan gusāī.1.
hari mero piru haü hari kī bahurīā. rām baḍe mai tanak lahurīā.1. rahāu.
dhan pir ekai saṅgi baserā. sej ek pai milanu duherā.2.
dhanni suhāgani jo pīa bhāvai. kahi kabīr phiri janami na āvai.3.8.30.
ਆਸਾ ॥ ਤਿਪਦਾ ॥ ਇਕਤੁਕਾ ॥10
ਕੀਓ ਸਿੰਗਾਰੁ ਮਿਲਨ ਕੇ ਤਾਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਨ ਮਿਲੇ ਜਗਜੀਵਨ ਗੁਸਾਈ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਮੇਰੋ ਪਿਰੁ ਹਉ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਬਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਬਡੇ ਮੈ ਤਨਕ ਲਹੁਰੀਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਧਨ ਪਿਰ ਏਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸੇਰਾ ॥ ਸੇਜ ਏਕ ਪੈ ਮਿਲਨੁ ਦੁਹੇਰਾ ॥
ਧੰਨਿ ਸੁਹਾਗਨਿ ਜੋ ਪੀਅ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਫਿਰਿ ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥॥੮॥੩੦॥

The numeral .3. (॥॥) at the end of the above Sabad, indicates that this Sabad has three stanzas.

Chaupada (ਚਉਪਦਾ)

A Sabad that comprises four stanzas is known as chaupada. Here, ‘chau’ means four and ‘pada’ means stanza. Thus, chaupada is a polysyllabic compound word, in which the numeral ‘chau’ (four) is combined with the word 'pada.’ For clarity, the word ‘chaupada’ is to be pronounced with the syllables distributed as ‘chau-pada.’ In the Guru Granth Sahib, the word 'chaupada' has appeared once and its plural 'chaupade' has appeared fifty-six times in different titles.

Example:
rāgu gūjarī bhagtā kī bāṇī
ikoaṅkār satigur prasādi.11
srī kabīr jīu kā caüpadā gharu 2 dūjā.
cāri pāv dui siṅg guṅg mukh tab kaise gun gaīhai. ūṭhat baiṭhat ṭhegā parihai tab kat mūḍ lukaīhai.1.
hari binu bail birāne huīhai. phāṭe nākan ṭūṭe kādhan kodaü ko bhusu khaīhai.1. rahāu.
sāro dinu ḍolat ban mahīā ajahu na peṭ aghaīhai. jan bhagtan ko kaho na māno kīo apno paīhai.2.
dukh sukh karat mahā bhrami būḍo anik joni bharmaīhai. ratan janamu khoio prabhu bisrio ihu aüsaru kat paīhai.3.
bhramat phirat telak ke kapi jiu gati binu raini bihaīhai. kahat kabīr rām nām binu mūṁḍ dhune pachutaīhai.4.1.
ਰਾਗੁ ਗੂਜਰੀ ਭਗਤਾ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ
ੴ  ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥12
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀਉ ਕਾ ਚਉਪਦਾ ਘਰੁ ੨ ਦੂਜਾ ॥
ਚਾਰਿ ਪਾਵ ਦੁਇ ਸਿੰਗ ਗੁੰਗ ਮੁਖ ਤਬ ਕੈਸੇ ਗੁਨ ਗਈਹੈ ॥ ਊਠਤ ਬੈਠਤ ਠੇਗਾ ਪਰਿਹੈ ਤਬ ਕਤ ਮੂਡ ਲੁਕਈਹੈ ॥॥  
ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੈਲ ਬਿਰਾਨੇ ਹੁਈਹੈ ॥ ਫਾਟੇ ਨਾਕਨ ਟੂਟੇ ਕਾਧਨ ਕੋਦਉ ਕੋ ਭੁਸੁ ਖਈਹੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥  
ਸਾਰੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਡੋਲਤ ਬਨ ਮਹੀਆ ਅਜਹੁ ਨ ਪੇਟ ਅਘਈਹੈ ॥ ਜਨ ਭਗਤਨ ਕੋ ਕਹੋ ਨ ਮਾਨੋ ਕੀਓ ਅਪਨੋ ਪਈਹੈ ॥॥  
ਦੁਖ ਸੁਖ ਕਰਤ ਮਹਾ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਬੂਡੋ ਅਨਿਕ ਜੋਨਿ ਭਰਮਈਹੈ ॥ ਰਤਨ ਜਨਮੁ ਖੋਇਓ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਬਿਸਰਿਓ ਇਹੁ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਕਤ ਪਈਹੈ ॥॥  
ਭ੍ਰਮਤ ਫਿਰਤ ਤੇਲਕ ਕੇ ਕਪਿ ਜਿਉ ਗਤਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਰੈਨਿ ਬਿਹਈਹੈ ॥ ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੂੰਡ ਧੁਨੇ ਪਛੁਤਈਹੈ ॥॥੧॥

The numeral .4. (॥॥) at the end of the above Sabad, indicates that this Sabad has four stanzas.

In the Guru Granth Sahib there are instances where, for a collection of Sabads, two terms 'chaupade' and 'dupade' have appeared together in a title.

Example:  
rāgu bilāvalu mahalā 5 caüpade dupade gharu 6
ikoaṅkār satigur prasādi.13
mere mohan sravanī ih na sunāe. sākat gīt nād dhuni gāvat bolat bol ajāe.1. rahāu.
sevat sevi sevi sādh sevaü sadā karaü kirtāe. abhai dānu pāvaü purakh dāte mili saṅgati hari guṇ gāe.1.
rasnā agah agah gun rātī nain daras raṅgu lāe. hohu kripāl dīn dukh bhanjan mohi caraṇ ridai vasāe.2.
sabhahū talai talai sabh ūpari eh drisaṭi drisṭāe. abhimānu khoi khoi khoi khoī haü mo kaü satigur mantru driṛāe.3.
atulu atulu atulu nah tulīai bhagati vachalu kirpāe. jo jo saraṇi pario gur nānak abhai dānu sukh pāe.4.1.81.
ਰਾਗੁ ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਚਉਪਦੇ ਦੁਪਦੇ ਘਰੁ ੬
ੴ  ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥14
ਮੇਰੇ ਮੋਹਨ ਸ੍ਰਵਨੀ ਇਹ ਨ ਸੁਨਾਏ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਗੀਤ ਨਾਦ ਧੁਨਿ ਗਾਵਤ ਬੋਲਤ ਬੋਲ ਅਜਾਏ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਸੇਵਤ ਸੇਵਿ ਸੇਵਿ ਸਾਧ ਸੇਵਉ ਸਦਾ ਕਰਉ ਕਿਰਤਾਏ ॥ ਅਭੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਪਾਵਉ ਪੁਰਖ ਦਾਤੇ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਏ ॥
ਰਸਨਾ ਅਗਹ ਅਗਹ ਗੁਨ ਰਾਤੀ ਨੈਨ ਦਰਸ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਏ ॥ ਹੋਹੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਦੀਨ ਦੁਖ ਭੰਜਨ ਮੋਹਿ ਚਰਣ ਰਿਦੈ ਵਸਾਏ ॥
ਸਭਹੂ ਤਲੈ ਤਲੈ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਏਹ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਾਏ ॥ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ਖੋਇ ਖੋਇ ਖੋਇ ਖੋਈ ਹਉ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਏ ॥
ਅਤੁਲੁ ਅਤੁਲੁ ਅਤੁਲੁ ਨਹ ਤੁਲੀਐ ਭਗਤਿ ਵਛਲੁ ਕਿਰਪਾਏ ॥ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਸਰਣਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਭੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਏ ॥॥੧॥੮੧॥

Under the above title, there are a total of six Sabads. In these Sabads, the first Sabad is a 'chaupada' (four stanzas long), as indicated by the first numeral at the end of the Sabad: .4.1.81. (॥॥੧॥੮੧॥). The next five Sabads (second to sixth) in this collection are 'dupade' (two stanzas long). Accordingly, the ending number series in these five Sabads ranges from .2.2.82. (॥॥੨॥੮੨॥) to .2.6.86. (॥2॥੬॥੮੬॥).

Though a chaupada refers to a Sabad comprising four stanzas, at some places in the Guru Granth Sahib, the title chaupada may also include other forms of Sabads such as dupade, tipade or panchpade.15 For example, in the following instance, the title ‘chaupade dupade’ refers to a mix of such forms.

Example:
rāgu gaürī guārerī mahalā 5 caüpade dupade
ikoaṅkār satigur prasādi.16
jo parāio soī apnā. jo taji choḍan tisu siu manu racnā.1.
kahahu gusāī milīai keh. jo bibarjat tis siu neh.1. rahāu.
jhūṭhu bāt sā sacu kari jātī. sati hovanu mani lagai na rātī.2.
bāvai māragu ṭeḍhā calnā. sīdhā choḍi apūṭhā bunanā.3.
duhā siriā kā khasamu prabhu soī. jisu mele nānak so muktā hoī.4.29.98.
ਰਾਗੁ ਗਉੜੀ ਗੁਆਰੇਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਚਉਪਦੇ ਦੁਪਦੇ
ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥17
ਜੋ ਪਰਾਇਓ ਸੋਈ ਅਪਨਾ ॥  ਜੋ ਤਜਿ ਛੋਡਨ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਰਚਨਾ ॥
ਕਹਹੁ ਗੁਸਾਈ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਕੇਹ ॥  ਜੋ ਬਿਬਰਜਤ ਤਿਸ ਸਿਉ ਨੇਹ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥  
ਝੂਠੁ ਬਾਤ ਸਾ ਸਚੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਤੀ ॥  ਸਤਿ ਹੋਵਨੁ ਮਨਿ ਲਗੈ ਨ ਰਾਤੀ ॥॥  
ਬਾਵੈ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਟੇਢਾ ਚਲਨਾ ॥  ਸੀਧਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਅਪੂਠਾ ਬੁਨਨਾ ॥॥  
ਦੁਹਾ ਸਿਰਿਆ ਕਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥  ਜਿਸੁ ਮੇਲੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਹੋਈ ॥॥੨੯॥੯੮॥

Following is an exhaustive list of eighty-five Sabads in their sequential order in the above collection with different stanza structures.

The assumption of the author of the 'Encyclopedia of the Sikh Literature' that ‘these Sabads consist of four stanzas of two lines each’18 is incorrect.

Panchpada (ਪੰਚਪਦਾ)

A Sabad that comprises five stanzas is known as panchpada. Here, ‘panch’ means five and ‘pada’ means stanza. Thus, panchpada is a polysyllabic compound word, in which the numeral ‘panch’ (five) is combined with the word ‘pada.’ For clarity, the word ‘panchpada’ is to be pronounced with the syllables distributed as ‘panch-pada.’ In the Guru Granth Sahib, the word 'panchpada' has appeared five times and its plural 'panchpade' has appeared eight times in different titles.

Example:
gūjarī mahalā 5 pancpadā gharu 2
ikoaṅkār satigur prasādi.19
prathme garabh mātā kai vāsā ūhā choḍi dharani mahi āiā. citra sāl sundar bāg mandar saṅgi na kachahū jāiā.1.
avar sabh mithiā lobh labī. guri pūrai dīo hari nāmā jīa kaü ehā vasatu phabī.1. rahāu.
isṭ mīt bandhap sut bhāī saṅgi banitā raci hasiā. jab antī aüsaru āi banio hai un̖ pekhat hī kāli grasiā.2.
kari kari anarth bihājhī sampai suinā rūpā dāmā. bhāṛī kaü ohu bhāṛā miliā horu sagal bhaïo birānā.3.
haivar gaivar rath sambāhe gahu kari kīne mere. jab te hoī lāṁmī dhāī calahi nāhī ik paire.4.
nāmu dhanu nāmu sukh rājā nāmu kuṭambu sahāī. nāmu sampati guri nānak kaü dīī oh marai na āvai jāī.5.1.8.
ਗੂਜਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਪੰਚਪਦਾ ਘਰੁ ੨
ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥20
ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਗਰਭ ਮਾਤਾ ਕੈ ਵਾਸਾ ਊਹਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਧਰਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਾਲ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਬਾਗ ਮੰਦਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਕਛਹੂ ਜਾਇਆ ॥॥  
ਅਵਰ ਸਭ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਲੋਭ ਲਬੀ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਦੀਓ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾ ਜੀਅ ਕਉ ਏਹਾ ਵਸਤੁ ਫਬੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥  
ਇਸਟ ਮੀਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਸੁਤ ਭਾਈ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਰਚਿ ਹਸਿਆ ॥ ਜਬ ਅੰਤੀ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਆਇ ਬਨਿਓ ਹੈ ਉਨ੍ ਪੇਖਤ ਹੀ ਕਾਲਿ ਗ੍ਰਸਿਆ ॥॥  
ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਅਨਰਥ ਬਿਹਾਝੀ ਸੰਪੈ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰੂਪਾ ਦਾਮਾ ॥ ਭਾੜੀ ਕਉ ਓਹੁ ਭਾੜਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹੋਰੁ ਸਗਲ ਭਇਓ ਬਿਰਾਨਾ ॥॥  
ਹੈਵਰ ਗੈਵਰ ਰਥ ਸੰਬਾਹੇ ਗਹੁ ਕਰਿ ਕੀਨੇ ਮੇਰੇ ॥ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਹੋਈ ਲਾਂਮੀ ਧਾਈ ਚਲਹਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਇਕ ਪੈਰੇ ॥॥  
ਨਾਮੁ ਧਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਖ ਰਾਜਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਸਹਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਪਤਿ ਗੁਰਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਉ ਦੀਈ ਓਹ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਈ ॥॥੧॥੮॥

The numeral .5. (॥॥) at the end of the above Sabad, indicates that this Sabad has five stanzas.

Note
There are Sabads comprising six stanzas (chhipade) also. However, 'chhipada' or 'chhipade' as a title is not used in the Guru Granth Sahib.21

Astpadi (ਅਸਟਪਦੀ)

A Sabad that comprises eight stanzas is known as astpadi. Here, ‘ast’ means eight, and ‘padi’ means stanza. Thus, astpadi is a polysyllabic compound word in which the numeral ‘ast’ (eight) is combined with the word ‘padi’ (stanza). For clarity, the word ‘astpadi’ is to be pronounced with the syllables distributed as ‘ast-padi.’

Astpadis in the Guru Granth Sahib usually has eight stanzas, but sometimes the count of stanzas is less or more than eight. The shortest available astpadi is seven stanzas, and the longest is thirty-four stanzas. Other than the typical length of eight stanzas, astpadis of the following numbers of stanzas have appeared in the Guru Granth Sahib: seven, nine, ten, twelve, fourteen, thirty-two, thirty-four.

Solahe (ਸੋਲਹੇ)

A Sabad that comprises sixteen stanzas is known as solahe. In the Guru Granth Sahib, solahe usually has sixteen stanzas, but sometimes the count of stanzas is less or more than sixteen. Under the title of Solahe in Rag Maru, the count of stanzas lies between 15 and 21.

In the Guru Granth Sahib, the word 'solahe' has appeared eleven times. Interestingly, all of these Sabads are revealed under Rag Maru. Every stanza of these Sabads has three lines each.

So, as we can see, the Guru Granth Sahib is a rich repository of a diverse range of Sabad structures. They lend to the structural diversity of compositions in the Guru Granth Sahib.

To continue this journey of unraveling rich information on various forms and structures within the Guru Granth Sahib, the next article in the series will discuss a subcategory of stanzas (pade) within the Sabad. Later in this series, we will also discuss various poetic forms appearing in the Guru Granth Sahib like var, salok, pauri, chant.

The Guru Granth Sahib Project (TGGSP)

References:

Footnotes

1 Guru Granth Sahib 989.

2 ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੯੮੯

3 Guru Granth Sahib 990.

4 ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੯੯੦

5 It is to be noted here that what is commonly called a Sabad in the Sikh tradition has been known as a 'pad/pada' (ਪਦ/ਪਦਾ) in the Braj language. But, as an equivalent of a Sabad, the word 'pada' along with its variant 'pade' has appeared only six times in the Guru Granth Sahib in various titles: gūjarī srī jaidev jīu kā padā gharu 4 (526), gaüṛī guārerī ke pade paitīs (330), rāgu gaüṛī ravidās jī ke pade gaüṛī guārerī (345), gūjarī srī nāmdev jī ke pade gharu 1 (525), gūjarī srī ravidās jī ke pade gharu 3 (525), gūjarī srī trilocan jīu ke pade gharu 1 (525).

6 Guru Granth Sahib 394.

7 ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੩੯੪

8 The literal meaning of ‘rahau’ is to pause, stay, remain steady or rest. The stanza preceding the word 'rahau' acts as a refrain or chorus which is repeated after every other stanza while singing a composition. In most cases, the stanza of 'rahau' contains the central idea of a Sabad. For further details, please check the following link: https://app.gurugranthsahib.io/tggsp/english/SignificantTermsDetail/Rahau

9 Guru Granth Sahib 483.

10 ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੪੮੩

11 Guru Granth Sahib 524.

12 ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੫੨੪

13 Guru Granth Sahib 820.

14 ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੮੨੦

15 For further information, please see: Bani Biura, Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara, part 1, page 44.

16 Guru Granth Sahib 185.

17  ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੧੮੫

18 Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, vol 2, page 1140.

19 Guru Granth Sahib 497.

20 ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ੪੯੭

21 Bani Biura, Bhai Joginder Singh Talwara, part 1, page 45.

Revised:

This Content has been made available for educational purposes only. SikhRI does not make any representation concerning the completeness of the Content. This Content is not intended to substitute research or a deeper understanding of the topic. SikhRI encourages readers to read multiple authors to gain a complete understanding of the topic.

The Sikh Research Institute recognizes its ethical responsibility to promptly correct any factual small or large errors. Please get in touch with us via email to request a correction if you have identified a mistake.

Suggest a correction →
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Written By

Research Associate

Jagtej Singh is a Research Associate at the Sikh Research Institute. He holds a Master’s degree from IISM, Mumbai. He serves as the Dictionary Lead for The Guru Granth Sahib Project.

View profile ⟶
Director, Gurbani Research

Jaswant Singh is a scholar of Sikh Studies. His immense love for Gurbani propels him to read, reflect, research, and share Gurbani’s wisdom and understanding with the wider community. 

View profile ⟶
Senior Research Associate

Surender Pal Singh is a Senior Research Associate at the Sikh Research Institute. He holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies and English. 

View profile ⟶

Share on Social Media

Latest Articles

Tuesday
,
31
January
2023

Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10

In the fourth composition of the “Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10” (popularly Shabad Hazare Patshahi 10) series, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib proclaims to the world that he seeks the protection from only the 1-Divine; his honor and dignity are with the 1.

In the fourth composition of the “Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10” (popularly Shabad Hazare Patshahi 10) series, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib proclaims to the world that he seeks the protection from only the 1-Divine; his honor and dignity are with the 1.

READ More ⟶
Tuesday
,
24
January
2023

Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10

In the third composition of the “Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10” (popularly Shabad Hazare Patshahi 10) series, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib emphasizes seeking mentorship from the 1. 

In the third composition of the “Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10” (popularly Shabad Hazare Patshahi 10) series, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib emphasizes seeking mentorship from the 1. 

READ More ⟶
Tuesday
,
17
January
2023

Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10

In the second composition of the “Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10” (popularly Shabad Hazare Patshahi 10) series, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib emphasizes union with the 1.

In the second composition of the “Sabad Hajare Patisahi 10” (popularly Shabad Hazare Patshahi 10) series, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib emphasizes union with the 1.

READ More ⟶

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed with our weekly updates, important events and more at SikhRI.

Thank you! Your submission has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.