PAÑJ GRANTHĪ, a pothī or small book containing five chosen texts, from the Gurū Granth Sāhib. The word pañj means ‘five' and granthī is the diminutive form from granth (holy book). The Gurū Granth Sāhib is a large volume and can be enthroned and opened for recitation only in the prescribed ritualistic manner in gurdwārās or in-groom especially set apart in a private house for this purpose. To facilitate private recitation or study of selected bāṇīs, small anthologies began to be prepared. The origin of the guṭkā (lit. a casket of gems; a breviary) is traced to the time of Gurū Rām Dās. A guṭkā comprising the text of the Japu in Gurū Rām Dās' own hand is still preserved in a descendant family at Kartārpur, in Jalandhar district of the Punjab. A guṭkā as a rule contained one bāṇī, mostly Japu, but later it took the form of the Pañj Granthī incorporating five of the bāṇīs.

         The Pañj Granthī, as it first appeared, included the Japu by Gurū Nānak; So Daru and So Purakhu, collectively known as Rahrāsi and containing verses by Gurū Nānak and by Gurū Rām Dās, Sohilā verses by Gurū Nānak, Gurū Rām Dās and Gurū Arjan. Also, sometimes Asā kī Vār by Gurū Nānak, and Anandu by Gurū Amar Dās. As the number of professional copyists multiplied, guṭkās and pañj granthīs began to have enlarged texts. In course of time, Pañj Granthī, as a title, became a misnomer, for the anthology no longer remained confined to the initial five bāṇīs. The name did survive, though more in the symbolic sense. A current Pañj Granthī gathered by Bhāī Vīr Siṅgh (1872-1957) comprises ten bāṇīsJapu, Jāpu, Shabad Hajāre, Rahrāsi, Sohilā, Sidh Gosṭi, Anandu, Bāvan Akharī, Sukhmaṇī and Āsā kī Vār. Japu, Jāpu, Rahrāsi, Sohilā and Anandu are usually the five daily prayers of the Sikhs. The devout also include in their daily regimen Shabad Hajāre and Sukhmaṇī in the morning. Asā kī Vār is sung in the gurdwārās in the early hours of the morning. For its constituent texts, Pañj Granthī continues exclusively to draw upon the Gurū Granth Sāhib, whereas the guṭkās now include bāṇīs from the Gurū Granth Sāhib as well as from the Dasam Granth.

Tāran Siṅgh