A gem I stumbled upon!

February 5, 2006

Gur Fateh!

I was browsing through SikhAwareness.com and I came across some rare videos( obviously related to gurmatsangeet!). I was absolutely delighted when I saw the videos. However, there were some things I noticed in the video that saddened and scared me.There are 3 videos that I will share with you today. 2 of them are video recordings of Bhai Avtar Singh Ji, 11th generation Kirtaneea doing Kirtan in Canada. And the last one is of a Muslim Rababi Kirtaneea – Bhai Ghulam Mohd. Chand.

In the first two videos there are certain things I would like to point out to you.

The video gives us a chance to see how gurmat sangeet is done in the purtaan maryada. We get an opportunity to see first hand how much of concentration and effort is needed when singing the puratan reets. Puratan reets are those that were sung in the courts of Sikh Gurus. Some reets are said to have been composed and sung by the gurus themselves.

The other thing to note in this video is that playing a tanti saaz( stringed instrument) is not an easy task. It requires a lot of practice and effort. When Bhai Avtar Singh Ji is singing see for yourself the effort that is required. In addition you will notice Bhai Avatr Singh Ji uses the Taos for the Mangla Charan and the 1st Shabad. For the second shabad he uses the Vaja. When I saw this happen I realized that Bhai Sahib is not young anymore! We need to do something about this. Its our heritage if we( Sikhs) dont preserve it who will. However, before I could realize what was happening Nampreet Singh from Canada comes to the stage and picks up the taus and start playing it! I was smiling once again =)

In each of the video there are 2 shabads being sung.

Mehervan Mehervan Sahib Mayra Meheravan – Bhai Avtar Singh Ji – 145MbAisee Preet Gobind Sio Jore – Bhai Avtar Singh Ji – 154 Mb

In the last video Bhai Baldeep Singh Ji ( grand nephew of Bhai Avtar Singh Ji and the person who revived the Taos ) talks about how during his research trips to Pakistan he was fortunate to meet some of the survinging members of the Rababi community. After partition in 1947 they most of them migrated to Pakistan and now they have no source of lively hood. Sikhs dont invite them to do kirtan as they are muslims and not sikhs. However, some of them still sing the guru’s bani.Bhai Ghulam Mohd. Chand. sings a bandish in Dhrupad. I am not too sure what he is singing though. I will not spoil the video for you watch it your self.

Bhai Ghulam Mohd. Chand.

I hope you watch these videos and realize that we are loosing our own heritage everyday. We ought to do something about it.

Guru Ang Sang Hove!

Angad Singh

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One Response to “A gem I stumbled upon!”


  1. Yes, Nampreet Singh would always play the taus after the first sabad. This occured last year during Bhai Avtar Singh jatha’s tour to Toronto. They were here for 22 days and we all attended every single kirtan divan. Sometimes they had 3 or 4 kirtan divans a day! Once or twice Bhai Sahib played the taus for the whole kirtan divan. Another time, during asa-ki-var, many other young aspiring kirtania joined Bhai Sahib’s jatha with stringed instruments.

    Regarding Bhai Ghulam Mohammed Chand. The sabad he is singing is “sajan menda chaia hab kahi da mit…”. Pg.1096. Check out my blog for a transcreation of the sabad. It’s fascinating.


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