Basant..

January 31, 2006

Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur have written shabads in Basant Raag. Basant is a raag traditionally associated with the spring and many of the shabads that the Gurus composed in this raag use the metaphor of spring (the blossoming of flowers, the forests awakening in energy and so on), to express the beauty of the spiritual union with Waheguru. It was once a tradition that, during the spring, Raagis would sing the first shabad in Raag Basant.In the Guru Granth Sahib Ji there are 2 main seasonal Raags: Basant and Malahar. Basant raag can be sung at any time in Basant season. Shabads with the theme of happiness are clustered under this raag in Guru Granth Sahib. The same applies to Malhar Raag. Malhar is the monsoon season. As you know the Guru Granth Sahib has been arranged according to Raags. The bani written in raag basant starts on page 1168 of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib.

There are some variations of the Basant Raag such as Basant Bahar, Budhha Basant, Basant Hindol etc..

Sarbpreet Singh Ji of the Gurmat Sangeet Project Wesbsite has written about the tradition of Basant Ki Var and some of the traditions associated with Basant Raag.

Some Shabads being sung in puratan reetan in basant raag

Dek Phool Phool Phoole

The shabad was sung by Amrit and Mehr Kaur in Basant Bahar. They sang in Partal ( Chartaal- 12 beats, Iktaa- 12 beatsl, Tintaal- 16 beats, Soolfak- 10 beats). Before they start singing they talk about the tradition of singing this particular composition.

To read the explaination of the Shabad by Prof Sahib Singh Click here

Pahal Basanti Agaman

The shabad is sung by Sarabpreet Singh Ji in budha Basant in 16 beats( Teentaal). Before he sings Sarabpreet Singh talks a little bit about puratan reets and Gurmat Sangeet.

Basant Ki Var with shabads:Tum Sach Dhiavoh Mughad Manaa and Teri Kudrat Tuhi Jaane

These two shabads are sung by Nampreet and Jaswinder Singh. The instruments they are using are Dilruba and the Taoos. They start with a Mangla Charan. Then they sing the pauri of Basant Ki Var followed by the 1st shabad. After which they sing the 2nd pauri of basant ki Vaar. Then they sing the 2nd shabad. They then complete the Basant Ki Var and then end off by reading a salok. This was the way kirtan was dones in the Courts of our Gurus..

To download more shabads sung in Basant Raag

Toronto Basant Gurmat Sangeet Darbar

Kirtan Darbar at Bridgewater, NJ March 2, 2005

Bhai Gurmej Singh’s recordings on Gurmat Sangeet Website

The documenting of an oral tradition
To read about the documentation of Gurmat Sangeet and list of books on Gurmat Sangeet.

In a day or so I will post Shabads sung in Raag Basant by Bhai Avtar Singh Ji. In the mean while please download and listen to the shabads in Basant Raag and try to read the meanings as well. If reading in punjabi is difficult for you. I would suggest you still read from Darpan and not the english translations as there are numerous cases of literal translation of the shabad and that results in an incorrect message. Gurbani is poetry and cant be directly translated.

Guru Ang Sang Hove

Angad Singh

Ps. I have not been able to find the last 3 shabads on darpan I will do so and will put up the links.

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January 25, 2006


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January 25, 2006


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I REMEMBER….

January 24, 2006

Sadh Sangat jio
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Kee Fateh!!

They say do not write..
They say do not speak..
They say forget about it..
If I agree — then
In my silence lies my guilt.
As long there is breath
As long as there is strength
I will write; I will speak
For I remember …….

I Remember….

The year is 1739
Hindustan is in terror
The cruelty of the Mughals
Is felt everywhere.

Nadir Shah is in Delhi
Looting the treasures.
Carting 2200 Hindu women
For his private harem.

The news spreads like wild fire
Across this great land
Helplessness and confusion
Reign supreme.

Sardar Jassa Singh
Commander of the Sikh army
Hears of this atrocity
Vows to take a stand.

The Sikhs are a minority
The Mughals have the upper hand
Despite this disparity
A midnight attack is planned.

The Mughal camp is asleep
The Sikhs wait in silence
At the stroke of midnight
They begin the attack.

Talwars
are in the air
The Mughals are caught off-guard
The women are freed
And safely brought back.

In Hindu households
A sign of relief is heard
As the women rush back
To the arms of their loved ones.

There are Sikh casualties
But there are no tears;
To uphold a woman’s honor
Is the Sikh dharam.

From that day on
A pattern emerged;
The Sikhs struck at midnight
To free the captured women.

Every night, the women prayed
For the safety of the Sikhs
Mothers told their daughters
Trust only a Sikh.

Hindu mothers with love
Made their first-born sons Sikhs;
A sacred trust existed
Between a Hindu and a Sikh.

Through the centuries
This trust and love continued
Until the forces of evil
Raised their ugly head.

The year is 1984
The unthinkable happened
Our Hindu brothers
Turned on us.

Sikh women were raped
Their fathers, husbands
Sons and brothers
Butchered in-front of their eyes.

The country is in shell-shock
At the brutality of this massacre;
Yet no voice rose
To speak against this massacre.

I ask my Hindu sisters
Where were you?
Did your hearts not bleed?
At the rape of your sisters.

Twenty years have gone by
But the pain has not diminished
There are no answers
To what happened in 1984.

To my Hindu sisters
I have one request.
Tell your sons, husbands and brothers
The sacrifices of the Sikhs.

To my Sikh veer
I need not remind you
You are bound by your Guru
To protect the weak.

No Sikh hand will rise
Against any women;
Be she a Hindu or a Muslim
She has the protection of a Sikh.

My Ardaas:

Let the winds be gentle
Let there be peace on this land
Let this shattered trust
Be given a chance to grow.

But ask me not to forget
For I remember….

Inni Kaur
Innid@aol.com
©2004

Hello world!

January 23, 2006

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Salok Mehla 9

January 18, 2006

Gur Fateh!Salok Mehal 9 is the last Salok written in the Guru Granth Sahib. It was recited by Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji.

This bani is reffered to as Viragmai bani. Virag means detachment. I have been very fortunate to have read this bani numerous times and I try to read english explaination as well.Guru Ji’s talks about how we are wasting our time and not doing bani and we dont realize that each moment we dont recite bani we are dying. He adds that only God will be with you for ever; every thing else is temperory. Guruji’s finally says that everything happens in God’s will.

Salok Melha 9 is not written in any particular raag. Thus different people sing it in different ways. I particularly like Bhai Amrik Singh Zakhmi Ji’s rendition of Salok Mehla 9. If you listen carefully you will hear the dilruba being played in the background.


Click here to download.

Click here to read Salok Melha 9 along with the explaination done by Prof. Sahib Singh

Hope you like it.

Guru Ang Sang!

Angd Singh

Pushing the Envelope

January 16, 2006

Gur Fateh!

One of my friends sent me an article which her brother got from the Indiatimes website..A person wrote about his view of Sikhism and posed some questions. The questions have been aswered by Jagwinder Singh who is one of the sewadars at the GSGAcademy. And some points have been added in by Amardeep Ji.

The questions are in black.

Jagwinder ji’s comments are in green

Amardeep ji’s comments are in red.

Click to read the article

Guru Ang Sang!

Angad Singh
_______________________________________________________

Does divine inspiration seem any longer necessary when reason can provide what, in the granthical view, can be taught only by the prophet?

Depends on individual, if you have all the answers that you need, good for you and then there is no pressure and obligation for you to be Sikh,.

Since that person has all answers , the following is not for him but just my attempt so that we do not get confused by someone else. Again this is attempt only, do not take it as verict2) The Sikh religion emphasized the equality of men and woman, no doubt, why were then all the Sikh Guru’s MALE ?? And why did they all belong to the High caste’s ??

No, Sikhism did not emphasized in the equality of men and women, neither Sikhsism gives any gender any special status or reservation. There is fine line in equality and respect, Equality means What women can do men can do also, and vice versa, that is not what Sikhism believe in . What Sikhism believes is in respect for women which was much missing in 14 th century and as well as is missing today. Since GOD choose women to give birth to children to keep his creation moving, Women was/ is naturally more inclined and busy in raising children, which is by no mean an easy task, where as men working outside home get more time to read , engage in exploring more things in society so naturally most of reformers, leaders, warriors were Men. In Sikhism there is no caste by birth.

Sikh Gurus did not belong to the HIGHEST Hindu caste, which is the custodian of their religion. They were not Brahmins. Guru is Bani and not the physical body. The bani of the lowest caste Bhagats is enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib. The Pan jPiares (physical embodiment of Guru for decision making) were from all four castes. Surely the author is not well read and is looking for publicity!!!!

3) Did the Guru’s possess a political agenda? There is an evident power struggle.

There was no hidden or open political agenda to start their own kingdom. Since the economic and human rights are related to the policy of kings, Guru Sahib openly advocated better living standard, economic and human rights for masses along with spiritual enlightenment. It is much irony that Brahmins or upper caste Hindus have always played opportunistic politics whether it is today or centuries back, whether it was complaining about Guru’s to Moghual’s , Attacking Guru Gobind Singh, or later Lakhpat Rai etc in massacre of Sikhs in Holocaust.

4) After the first five Guru’s, did not the Sikh faith become a dynasty?

Sikh faith did not become dynasty but since there were no internet, publications etc, and transportation was limited, and on top after Guru Arjan DEv ji martyrdom at Lahore, there must be atmosphere of terror, much like today in Punjab where after 13 years of Police encounters of 25,000 Sikh youth no body wants to talk about it. So most of the time the people who were close to Guru Sahib was there only family members , so naturally they were the ones who gained and understand philosophy of Guru Nanak’s House and become next lights of Nanak.

5) Why did the Guru Gobind Singh stop the line of Guru’s? Did he actually think the faith was complete? In a way didn’t Guru Gobind Singh inhibit and paralyze this faith to expand upon the gurbani?

Guru was never physical body, but Gyan in inside the Body, Bani is Guru. All tenth master did was change physical saroop, instead of body it become in form of Granth. Faith has been growing for last several centuries so the second part of question makes no sense.

6) What was the significance of Guru Harkrishan ji to Sikh scripture or for that matter Sikh psyche? Didn’t Guru Harkrishan ji pass away from the great small pox pandemic that struck New Dehli. The scripture says that he was out curing people of the disease but in the end contracted it himself?

Wisdom doe not depend on age, Many times we see people in our own societies fight over because they do not know how to share, something that 3 year old children knows. One example that can be quoted to negate above question is , Since Guru Harkrishan ji was able to choose able successor that means even as a child he had complete wisdom about strategy and know what is good for Sikhs. There is no reference of small pox incident in Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Sahib must have gone to Delhi where there was small pox pandemic, he must have gone to houses of those suffering, there is popular story that he cured many which may or may not be true.

7) Were our guru’s not men? Why does the majority of the Sikh population worship them as mythical heroes and non-human deities? (This is something we should definitely change in our faith; its an insult to our own reason)

Answered himself.

Point 7 :

Philosophy of Sikhism and Guru Granth Sahib is not necessarily the same as one sees the mass practicing. Non Human Deities are a by-product of the pictures of Gurus that are now unfortunately even sold from the shops rented by SGPC in the Darbar Sahib premises. Do you remember hearing the Chardi Kala Jatha in Kuala Lumpur talking about the HALO behind the head of the enlightened souls pictures and therefore the justification of one of the CHAKRAS. The physical lightbehind the heads of the Hindu Gods/Goddesses is an artists way of representing an enlightened soul and nothing more. The Hindus believe their religion to be Ramayan/Mahabharat only. Ask any Hindu if he has even heard of a very important Text called “Yog Vashisth”. I have never hear anyone.

Interestingly Guru Granth Sahib mentions the name of the author of this text in the shabad (see how well researched our Gurus were):

Gumukh Prahlad Jap Har Gat Payi

Gurmukh Janak Har Nam Liv Layi

Gurmukh Basisth Har Updesh Sunai

In all Gurbani only three individuals are attributed to the name “Gurmukh”. The first 2 in above achieved for themselves but Basisth achieved for others. So what was his writing. Basisth is the Rishi Vasisth who wrote “Yog Vasisth”. If you read this text, it tells you that Ram was no more than a King, who having understood the principles taught by Vasisth became a Gurmukh oriented person and thereby a respected King. That’s the power of a GURMUKH. The texts also shuns IDOL worship extra.

Why I am bringing this to your attention is that the Hindus themselves don’t know of their core values and in turn their philosophy has entrenched into Sikhism and confused the masses. If they can worsh Ram and have their idols, then yes they have succeeded in doing the same for Sikhs through idols, pictures. Who else to blame but us Sikhs themselves who don’t read Bani and have started to believe these things have a place in sikhi. The body of Sikh Gurus have not much importance. It’s the Jot (which in other words means the PHILOSOPHY of th Gurus) that transitioned from 1st to the 10th Guru and now resides in the Guru Granth Sahib.

I know of many friends for whom Sikhi today is only bowing to the picture of the Gurus in their houses in the morning before leaving to work. To them the picture of the Gurus makes them believe the Gurus were demi-gods. Till such time we don’t make Bani as our fulcrum the mass of Sikhs will keep waivering.The author of the note is just one of the many confused Sikhs. Instead of investing time in writing these notes, he should be advised to read Gurbani and find answers himself.

8) Were not the guru’s products and derivatives of their own society?

Guru SAhib was born in Society , lived and practised religion in society unlike mythological deities or supernatural births etc.

9) Guru Gobind Singh used to hunt! Yet at the same time prohibit the consumption of animals, or was this tradition adopted after? Is there hypocrisy at hand?

There is no prohibition of eating meat in Sikhi, rather some Sikhs may be forced to start beef langar by RSS in near future.

Sikhism is a very modern religion and the philosophy of Guru Granth Sahib can be adapted to any situation. Sikhism believes in a balanced approach to life. The need of the hour was to have the dormant spirit aroused and self defence was an important aspect of Gurus training. Hunting was an aspect of training and not undue exploitation of other species. Meat eating/not eating are ir-relevant. As one grows spiritually if one doesn’t like to eat meat then it’s one’s personal choice but no one is better or worse because I know that having become a Vegetarian myself, I can never claim to be one in totality. I eat meat products in medicines, I breathe bacteria, I drink Amoeba!!!! When I took Amrit at Takhat Keshgarh Sahib, I was told that eating meat for the taste of tongueis not accepted (Gurbani talks about balance) but if the need arises then aSikh is not to shy from eating meat if it’s for the purpose of survival. Surely the author of the note is not well read on Sikh History and has definitely not read the Guru Granth Sahib.

10) Guru Gobind Singh practiced polygamy? Is there hypocrisy at hand?

Historians have proved that Guru Sahib had only one marriage that too with Mata Sundri ji or jeeto jee one and the same name. There is school of thought that Mata SAhib Kaur was involved in Khanda Di Phual ceremony but there is no reference of her past association with Guru Sahib, neither she appeared in history later after Guru Sahib lef Anandpur Sahib.

Point No. 10 on Polygamy :

Before I attmpt to clarify, think why only Guru Hargobind Ji and Guru Gobind Singh are associated with polygamy? Just because they challenged the rulers with force and did not shy from dressing like kings (Sikh is an active religion and not passive – their dress code was representation of the right of an individual), the mis-guided authors associated multiple wives with them because this represented the display of power for worldly kings. So how could the Sachey Padshah be kept away from this practice. Nonsense indeed!The wrong impression that the Guru had more than one wife was created by those writers who were ignorant of Punjabi culture. Later authors accepted those writings indicating more than one marriage of the Guru and presented it as a royal act. During those days kings, chiefs, and other important people usually had more than one wife as a symbol of their being great and superior to the common man. Guru Gobind Singh, being a true king, was justified in their eyes to have had more than one wife. This is actually incorrect.

In Punjab, there are two and sometimes three big functions connected with marriage, i.e., engagement, wedding, and Muklawa. Big gatherings and singings are held at all these three functions. In many cases, the engagement was held as soon as the person had passed the infant stage. Even today engagements at 8 to 12 years of age are not uncommon in some interior parts of India. The wedding is performed a couple of years after the engagement. After the wedding, it takes another couple of years for the bride to move in with her in laws and live there. This is called Muklawa. A dowry and other gifts to the bride are usually given at this time of this ceremony to help her to establish a new home. Now, the wedding and Muklawa are performed on the same day and only when the partners are adults.

A big befitting function and other joyful activities were held at Anand Pur, according to custom, at the time of the engagement of the Guru. The bride, Mata Jeeto Ji, resided at Lahore, which was the capital of the Mughal rulers who were not on good terms with the Gurus. When the time for the marriage ceremony came, it was not considered desirable for the Guru to go to Lahore, along with the armed Sikhs in large numbers. Furthermore, it would involve a lot of traveling and huge expenses, in addition to the inconvenience to the Sangat, younger and old, who wished to witness the marriage of the Guru. Therefore, as mentioned in the Sikh chronicles, Lahore was ‘brought’ to Anand Pur Sahib for the marriage instead of the Guru going to Lahore. A scenic place a couple of miles to the north of Anand Pur was developed into a nice camp for the marriage. This place was named Guru Ka Lahore. Today, people are going to Anand Pur visit this place as well. The bride was brought to this place by her parents and the marriage was celebrated with a very huge gathering attending the ceremony.

The two elaborate functions, one at the time of engagement and the other at the time of the marriage of the Guru, gave the outside observers the impression of two marriages. They had reason to assume this because a second name was also there, i.e., Mata Sundari Ji. After the marriage, there is a custom in the Punjab of giving a new affectionate name to the bride by her in-laws. Mata Jeeto Ji, because of her fine features and good looks, was named Sundari (beautiful) by the Guru’s mother. The two names and two functions gave a basis for outsiders to believe that the Guru had two wives. In fact, the Guru had one wife with two names as explained above.

Some historians even say that Guru Gobind Singh had a third wife, Mata Sahib Kaur. In 1699, the Guru asked her to put patasas (puffed sugar) in the water for preparing Amrit when he founded the Khalsa Panth. Whereas Guru Gobind Singh is recognized as the spiritual father of the Khalsa, Mata Sahib Kaur is recognized as the spiritual mother of the Khalsa.
People not conversant with the Amrit ceremony mistakenly assume that Mata Sahib Kaur was the wife of Guru Gobind Singh. As Guru Gobind Singh is the spiritual but not the biological father of the Khalsa, Mata Sahib Devan is the spiritual mother of the Khalsa, Mata Sahib Devan is the spiritual mother of the Khalsa but not the wife of Guru Gobind Singh.
From ignorance of Punjabi culture and the Amrit ceremony, some writers mistook these three names of the women in the life of Guru Gobind Singh as the names of his three wives. Another reason for this misunderstanding is that the parents of Mata Sahib Devan, as some Sikh chronicles have mentioned, had decided to marry her to Guru Gobind Singh. When the proposal was brought for discussion to Anandpur, the Guru had already been married. Therefore, the Guru said that he could not have another wife since he was already married. The dilemma before the parents of the girl was that, the proposal having become public, no Sikh would be willing to marry her. The Guru agreed for her to stay at Anand Pur but without accepting her as his wife.

The question arose, as most women desire to have children, how could she have one without being married. The Guru told, “She will be the “mother” of a great son who will live forever and be known all over the world.” The people understood the hidden meaning of his statement only after the Guru associated Mata Sahib Devan with preparing Amrit by bringing patasas. It is, therefore, out of ignorance that some writers consider Mata Sahib Devan as the worldly wife of Guru Gobind Singh.Note that because of rampant persecution of Sikhs, the historical events were never captured by Sikhs themselves and written many years later by others. We as a community are facing the consequences of these emotional and mis-guided authors (not historians). Sikhism was influenced by Brahmanism and one only needs to give one proof. The Mahants/Udasis who maintained the Darbar Sahib when there was a price on Sikhs Heads (forcing them to live in jungles) had succeeded in placing idols of Hindu Gods/Goddesses around the Parkirma as a means of incremental revenue generation. These were removed in 1890s during the Singh Sabha movement.
Clearly the author of the note is not well read on customs, practices or history.

11) Would the Guru’s have been more effective in implementing more peaceful measures with the Mughal rulers? (Someone only with a strong historical background should attempt to answer this question) Was such extreme Sikh militarization absolutely necessary? Was the militarization of the Sikhs part of Guru Gobind Singh’s political agenda? Again how was the 10th guru’s struggle any different from that of the struggles of elites today?

There was never ever miltarization of Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Sahib never attacked anybody or set up any empire , but self defense is right of every honorable person of society, except few in India who accepted slavery by selling conscious to Mughals , Asa Di Waar refers to such people who are practice duality in home at court of Moghuals. Sorry, Sikhism does not believe in such means or Chankays policy of treachery or what we call Bipran ki reet.

GGSacademy.com

January 9, 2006

Not too long ago I received an email from Amardeep Ji. I would like to share it with all of you so i am posting.

I have signed up. It is one thing to read and agree with what professor ji says. But when it comes to trying to apply it or realize it for yourslef. Its tough..

Gur Fateh!

Here is an excellent opportunity to understand correct principles of Gurbani ata manageable pace.

Visit GGSacademy.com to register yourself. You will then be given a password which will allow you to access the weekly course material.

This site is managed by a group of youngsters from Ontario, Canada and theexplanations is from none other than but Professor Darshan Singh Ji himself.Every week Professor Sahib explains one shabad in Punjabi and English (writtendocument is available) on this site and also its corresponding audio recording is also made available for download.

Professor Sahib himself supervises all the course material.We may have missed a lot (e.g. the Full Sukhmani Sahib, etc) in the past but Iwould encourage you to get on the bus right now. The current topic is BhagatKabir Ji’s bani. The aim is to cover all his shabads in the coming months bytouching one shabad every week. The site still has first 6 shabads of BhagatKabir Ji. So do catch up by reading and hearing these at the earliest, beforethey get removed and then you can keep a weekly track at a manageable pace.And for those who are motivated by certificates!!!! The academy conducts a testevery 6 months and those who participate and clear are also awarded a Gurmatcourse Certificate.

Hope this helps.

rgds

Amardeep Singh

113651709648811499

January 6, 2006


Something I really cant do.. Posted by Picasa

GurFateh!

Here it is..

Prof. Surinder Singh and the members of the Raj Academy singing Tum Gavoh Mere Nirbhav Ka Sohila

This is the shabad which I was talking about in my previous post..

Guru Ang Sang

Angad Singh
Singapore

Thanks to RSingh ji for posting this on his blog Gurbani Khajana.

On Christmas Day I heard Prof Surinder singing Sohila in the nirdharit Raag Ghori Deepki. The raag is an evening raag. It was a real lullaby..I found a recording of the same shabad being sung in the nirdharit Raag Ghori Deepki and its being sung by Dr Gurnam Singh ji and a tanti saaz is playing in the back ground. I am not too sure which instrument is playing though. The way Dr. Gurnam Singh ji sang the shabad is quite close to the way Prof Surinder sang.

Click here to download the shabad.

Do enjoy the lullaby..I hope an increasing number of people can begin to appreciate what the Guru’s have done for us…not only in the field of music..

Some of you might wonder why do I keep going on and on about kirtan/gurmat sangeet.. close to 95 % or more of our bani is written in Raag..and even the raags have been arranged in a particular manner. I believe our gurus are sending a message to us that Kirtan is extremely important. In addition I am of the opinion that if kirtan is so important we ought to make sure we do it properly and that is why I am so passionate about this topic.

Guru Rakaha
Angad Singh
Singapore

Happy New Year

January 1, 2006

Dear All,

Gur Fateh!

I wish all my readers a Wonderful and Properous Year Ahead.

My God Be With You

Angad Singh