POTHI, popular Punjabi form of the Sanskrit pustaka (book), derived from the root pust (to bind) via the Pali potlhaka and Prakrit puttha. Besides Punjabi, the word poihi meaning a book is current in Maithili, Bhojpuri and Marathi languages as well. Among the Sikhs, however, polhi signifies a sacred book, especially one containing gurbdm or scriptural texts and of a moderate size, generally larger than a gutkd but smaller than the Adi Granth, although the word is used even for the latter in the index of the original recension prepared by Guru Arjan and preserved at Kartarpur, near Jalandhar.
In Purdtan Janam Sdkhi, the earliest known life story of Guru Nanak, the book of hymns which he gave to his successor. Guru Angad, is called pothi. Guru Arjan, Nanak V, probaly alluding to the Adi Granth pronounces pothi to be “the abode of God” for it contains “complete knowledge of God” (GG, 1226). At several places in the Guru Granih Sahib, pothi refers to sacred books of the Hindus as distinguished from those of the Muslims for which the words used are kateb and Qur`dn. Bb.S.N.