Sacred Literature & Sikh Studies

If Gurmukhi lipi was created by the second Guru, what lipi did Guru Nanak use? Does any of Guru Nanak’s hand-wrriten Bani exist?

While Guru Angad Sahib formalized Gurmukhi, Guru Nanak Sahib originated this script and utilized it as well. The composition entitled ‘patti’ serves as evidence for this fact. In ‘patti,’ Guru Nanak Sahib writes in a poetic form similar to the western ‘acrostic’ style, while naming the Gurmukhi letters that we still use today.

Another important point to remember is that the primary method of passing on bani was through an oral tradition. That is, things were not always written, but instead, remembered by word of mouth.

Whether bani penned by Guru Nanak Sahib himself ever existed is unknown at this point. Perhaps he never wrote anything down, or perhaps our community’s poor preservation has lost these manuscripts over time. In any case, we do not to date have any document legitimately considered to be written by Guru Nanak Sahib.