Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gurbani Calligraphy – a Lost Sikh Tradition

Gurbani Calligraphy – a Lost Sikh Tradition

Gurbani calligraphy, or the art of Gurbani handwriting, once was revered as something of high value by members of the Sikh faith. Sikhs living across Punjab and elsewhere took it upon themselves to write their own pothis and gutkas, instead of depending on others to publish Gurbani. This helped to ensure that publishing Gurbani does not become a business and at the same time, it helped keep respect for Gurbani pothis.
Centuries ago when there were no printing presses, individuals would spend good time to master the skill of calligraphy and produce pothis for their own use. In turn, this practice also helped individuals memorize Gurbani, another skill which is diminishing day by day. The toil involved in producing a simple pothi definitely helped instill one with love and reverence for Gurbani.
Historical Reference of Gurbani Calligraphy
Today, many firms are engaged in printing Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s saroops and other Gurbani pothis. This is a clear indication that the art of calligraphy has diminished completely from Sikh households. It should be remembered that this art was started and prescribed by none other than our great Gurus. Guru Arjun Dev Ji had Bhai Gurdas Ji write the first Adi Granth, while many Gursikhs present in the attendance of Guru Gobind Singh Ji also penned Gurbani. These Gursikhs included Baba Deep Singh Ji and Bhai Mani Singh Ji. Reference to Baba Hardas Singh, father of S. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, is also found in historical texts. Baba Hardas Singh was the courtly scribe of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and penned many pothis. Before the 1984 attack on the Harmandir Sahib, a handwritten saroop by Baba Hardas Singh was enshrined at the Sikh Reference Library.
Beautifully handwritten Saroop of Guru Granth Sahib Ji by courtly scribe Baba Hardas Singh Ji
Importance of Gurbani Calligraphy in Sikh Literature
Reference to how utmost importance was given to Gurbani calligraphy is found in the book “Satwant Kaur” penned by Dr. Bhai Veer Singh. In the novel, it is mentioned that some Sikhs who did not know Gurmukhi offered to pay Bibi Satwant Kaur enormous amounts of money to write them a pothi, but Bibi Satwant Kaur did the seva without taking any money.
Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh (Narangwal) narrates a very beautiful incident in the book “Jot Vigaas” that took place between him and another very high avastha (spiritual state) Gursikh from Nabha. After a discussion takes place between the two, Bhai Randhir Singh unintentionally touches the feet of this Gursikh (whose name is not mentioned in the book). Doing so immediately puts Bhai Randhir Singh in samadhi (full concentration of naam). When asked by Bhai Randhir Singh on how he attained such high avastha, the Gursikh answers that it is through the blessing of writing Gurbani.
In the same book, Bhai Randhir Singh writes the following words to condemn the printing “business” of Gurbani, stating that the Sikhs of today have forsaken the tradition of writing Gurbani and have adopted the printing press:
ਰਚਨਾ ਛਡਿ ਦਿਤੀ ਲਿਖਤ ਬਾਣੀਆਂ ਦੀਨਵਾਂ ਰਾਹੁ ਫੜਿਆ ਫੈਸ਼ਨੋਲਿਆਂ ਦਾ।
ਛਾਪੇ-ਖ਼ਾਨਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਭੈੜੀ ਰੀਤ ਚੱਲੀ
ਭੈੜਾ ਚਾਲੜਾ ਦੰਮ ਖਟੋਲਿਆਂ ਦਾ।
Composition of hand written Banis has been forsaken, a new worldly way has instead been adopted.
This has brought forth the wicked use of printing presses, the evil path of seeking profit.
Issues with the mass-printing business of Gurbani
A hukamnama from Sri Akal Takhat Sahib was issued in 1998 by Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh giving only the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee the rights to publish saroops of Guru Granth Sahib. This mandate is badly abused by many organizations across India. Organizations such as the Singh Brothers, Chattar Singh Jeevan Singh & Sons, Delhi Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee, Lachhman Chela Ram Printing Press and others have been reported to Sri Akal Takhat Sahib just in the past few years for defying the mandate.
The recent Akal Takhat Sahib management too has not taken this issue seriously despite there being huge sacrilege of printed saroops. In August 2010, over two thousand saroops were recovered from the printing press warehouse of Lachhman (Lakshman) Chela Ram in Delhi. The majority of these saroops were damaged by sewage water.
In 2007, just 3 years before the 2010 sacrilege, a large container carrying a hundred saroops of Guru Granth Sahib was found waiting to be shipped at a sea port in Mumbai. According to press reports, the container, stacked with saroops of Guru Granth Sahib remained at the shipment port for over one month before the news was leaked by the customs department about their illegal departure from Mumbai.
Lessons Learned from Past Incidents
The following verse from Guru Granth Sahib narrates truly how blessed is one who not only sings and listens, but also scribes Gurbani.

Those who chant are sanctified. All those who listen are blessed, and those who write save their ancestors.
Just recently, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee acquired land in the United States to start its own printing press. This was done to ensure there was no shortage of saroops of Guru Granth Sahib in North America. Although this move by the SGPC is commendable, it is still debatable if such a printing press is really necessary. The Akal Takhat Sahib has already passed a mandate requesting Sikhs living worldwide to abstain from constructing new Gurdwaras without prior approval from the apex Sikh body. What is more necessary is that Sikh organizations are able to hold camps for Sikh Sangat where they not only learn how to read and understand Gurbani, but also gain the skills to scribe Gurbani. If students who undergo religious training are taught how to fully comprehend the grammar of Gurbani and be able to scribe it, it will greatly help give rise to truly educated Granthis and Parchariks.
As we learn from the teachings in the novel Satwant Kaur, if all Sikhs devoted time to writing their own pothis which lived with them for the rest of their lives, Gurbani would become their life companion.
Lately, a few Sikhs have come up to save the art of Gurbani calligraphy from dying.  A few names are being mentioned here for the benefit of our readers:
Pictured left, Master Niranjan Singh from Gurdaspur/California, an active member of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and on right, Bhai Jaswant Singh Khosa from Malaysia scribing Gurbani.
Pictured left is a beautiful work in progress by Hardeep Singh and right is a shabad scribed by Kamaljeet Kaur.
Possibles Issues with Gurbani Calligraphy
Although it has been stressed that the skill of Gurbani calligraphy must not be lost amidst the mass printing businesses available today, this art must only be taken over with great care.  Writing of Gurbani requires great attention to the words, and any misspelling would also lead to ‘beadbi’ or sacrilege.  Just as there are numerous differences in the printed saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, variances are also found in hand written saroops.  For example, the verse “ਸੁ ਕਹੁ ਟਲ ਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ” appears as “ਸੁ ਕਹੁ ਕਲ…” in the saroop scribed by Baba Hardas Singh Ji mentioned above.
When starting to scribe Gurbani, one should start with small banis or shabads instead of writing their own gutka.  As one starts to understand the diacritics of the Gurmukhi script, only then should they consider scribing a gutka or pothi.  Seva of hand-written saroops should only be done by a skilled calligrapher after first performing ardas and taking hukamnama to initiate the task.  Furthermore, as one writes any Gurbani, a cross check must be done carefully with existing saroops possibly by the scribe and another person versed with Gurmukhi script and Gurbani knowledge.
Understanding the Importance of Larrivar Format
As one takes over the art of scribing bani, the importance of writing Gurbani in larrivar format should not be overlooked. Just as our Gurus ordered various scribes to pen Gurbani, they prescribed the larrivar format to be followed at all times. In the larrivar format, all words remain joined to one another and are only separated at the end of sentences with a full stop “||”.
Historically all saroops of Guru Granth Sahib were penned in larrivar format only. It was only with the adoption of printing presses that words in Guru Granth Sahib were “pad-ched” or separated. Sant Kartar Singh Bhindrawale (former Jathedar Damdami Taksal) described this as a great blunder and a horrid mistake which should not be allowed.
There are still hukamnamas in place by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib condemning the practice of pad-ched printing (printing with spaces) as it changes Gurbani from the way it was originally written.  Gurbani tells us that the Guru is the shabad. The shabad itself is the creator. Sikhs will not be able to progress if we as a Panth mistreat and even reject Gurbani in its most natural and essential forms. Jews still ensure that their holy scriptures are always handwritten and highly regarded–they do not even consider them their Guru!
We must protect our tradition and most sacred scriptures and uphold the respect of our Guru. Sikhs should bring about change by learning Gurbani and recognizing the importance of handwritten Gurbani calligraphy.
taken from

Sunday, May 22, 2011

ਸ੍ਰੀਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਹ: The ungrateful stare is the most polluted

ਸ੍ਰੀਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਹ: The ungrateful stare is the most polluted

ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੩੫ ਪਉੜੀ ੯

ਮਦ ਵਿਚਿ ਰਿਧਾ ਪਾਇਕੈ ਕੁਤੇ ਦਾ ਮਾਸੁ।
Mad Vichi Ridhaa Paai Kai Koutay Daa Maasu.
The meat of dog cooked in the wine was, along with its foul smell, kept in a human skull.

ਧਰਿਆ ਮਾਣਸ ਖੋਪਰੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਮੰਦੀ ਵਾਸੁ।
Dhariaa Maanas Khoparee Tisu Mandee Vaasu.
It was covered with a blood stained cloth.

ਰਤੂ ਭਰਿਆ ਕਪੜਾ ਕਰਿ ਕਜਣੁ ਤਾਸੁ।
Ratoo Bhariaa Kaparhaa Kari Kajanu Taasu.
Covering thus, the scavenger woman after appeasing her lust was carrying that bowl.

ਢਕਿ ਲੈ ਚਲੀ ਚੂਹੜੀ ਕਰਿ ਭੋਗ ਬਿਲਾਸੁ।
Ddhaki Lai Chalee Chooharhee Kari Bhog Bilaasu.
On being asked about why she had covered it in a blood stained rag.(An abominable covered material)

ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਏ ਪੁਛਿਆ ਲਾਹੇ ਵਿਸਵਾਸੁ।
Aakhi Sounaaay Pouchhiaa Laahay Visavaasu.
She cleared the matter by saying that she had covered the meat to hide

ਨਦਰੀ ਪਵੈ ਅਕਿਰਤਘਣੁ ਮਤੁ ਹੋਇ ਵਿਣਾਸੁ ॥੯॥
Nadaree Pavai Akirataghanu Matu Hoi Vinaasu ॥9॥
It from the sight of an ungrateful person to avoid its pollution.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top 5 reasons the Google Nexus S kicks ass

Top 5 reasons the Google Nexus S kicks ass

Build Quality
The Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung, a company that has a concrete reputation for the highest of manufacturing standards. The device just oozes quality, from the lush, vibrant display to the gentle, organic curve of the 4-inch screen, everything just feels perfectly balanced. If we were to nitpick we'd have liked the device to be a bit heavier, but that's certainly not going to seem like a problem when you tuck it into your jacket or handbag!

As we previously mentioned, the Nexus S comes equipped with a stunning 4-inch Super AMOLED display which makes watching video or surfing the web a delightful experience. The screen itself is gently curved, lending the phone a slightly unusual façade but the feature makes perfect sense when you're making calls, as the screen fits more ergonomically into your hand and against your face. If you're worried about the display being scratched or damaged, don't. It's made of Gorilla Glass, meaning it will stand up to all manner of abuse , so you won't have to handle your device with kid gloves.

As you'd expect from a pure Google device, the drive train of the Nexus S is something special. The 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, 512MB RAM and dedicated graphics processor allow the device to fly. There's no lag, no stutter just prompt, sharp response with every touch of the screen.

When it comes to storage the Nexus S has things similarly covered, via 16GB of on-board space for all your movies, music and apps – not to mention all the great pictures you're likely to snap with the 5-megapixel camera. You'll also find native support for DivX and WMV files, which is something you won't find in virtually any of its competitors. There's also the much talked about NFC (Near Field Communication) which opens the device up to a host of possibilities, not least of which being that you could one day use the phone to pay for goods and services as you would a credit card!

The Nexus S has been set-up to be the future of gaming on the Android operating system. It comes packed with a three-axis gyroscope and accelerometer which affords the user precision control over games and apps, and thanks to the aforementioned on-board GPU you'll be treated to a visual experience that's right up there with the best mobile systems around.

No, the Nexus S doesn't come with free sweets. It does, however, come with the latest and greatest version of Google's all singing, all-dancing mobile OS. There are no custom user interfaces in sight on this device, it's pure Google all the way, meaning that the OS is unencumbered by pointless widgets, transitions and other graphical flotsam - it's clean, good looking but above all else, blisteringly fast.

Thanks to the boffins at Google you'll also get a host of speed enhancements, patches and security fixes to go along with the re-designed eye-candy too. Simply put, you're getting the very best that Android has to offer, with no compromises.

The Nexus S is a staggering achievement. The hardware is exemplary, the OS sublime. If you're looking for the best smartphone experience money can buy, at the time of writing, the Nexus S is what you're after, and for all its virtues it still comes in a good deal cheaper than a certain other super smartphone which shall remain nameless!

If you're still reading this, why? Get out there and grab yourself a slice of pure, unadulterated Google goodness, you won't regret it.

taken from :

Friday, April 29, 2011

what a day

my day went well infact very  very well. To make it even better i thought lets play some football. And yeah I did go for futsal and yeah it went well but the bad thing was I lost RM50. I didnt know until I pulled up at a petrol station to fuel up and yeah at the counter I was embarassed to tell the cashier to cancel my order as I didnt have money. That guy was puzzled and pist at me because he had to call his supervisor to cancel the order as he cant do himself. So yeah who took that RM50 may god bless you man. You probably having some problem. I wont curse or anything I just hope you use that money wisely. Good night folks!!


I always wanted to learn swimming since i was young. I never attended proper swimming classes. There was a time when i used to swim in the rivers during my school days. My family has fear of water as one of my Mama jee( maternal Uncle) was drowned when i was only 1month old. So i had to go swimming without informing them. At that time i picked up swimming, but now its been like 12 years since i last went for a swim. Someday(i wonder when will it come) I hope I can take out time to pick up swimming once again. As someone said you never know when you will need it. Search for swimming

Thursday, April 28, 2011


PHEW!!!!!! What a work out it was. After almost 4 months today I played badminton with my colleagues.
It was great 2 hour work out.
hopefully i can get up for work tomorrow....hahahaa all the best to me with all the aches....Good night folks!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Female Ice Cream Truck Driver Shot In Bay Area | The Langar Hall

Female Ice Cream Truck Driver Shot In Bay Area | The Langar Hall

Amarjit Kaur, 39, was critically shot on Wednesday afternoon in Vallejo, California as she sold ice cream out of an ice cream truck near a school. The Bay Area television news reported last night that police believe the reason for the shooting was two fold. First it was a robbery by a 15-year male. Secondly, Kaur’s inability to understand that the English-speaking 15-year old was asking for money caused him to shoot her out of frustration and anger.

As a widowed mother of three and a recent immigrant to the United States, Kaur’s case highlights the struggle that immigrant woman go through to support their families. Her strength to sell ice cream out of a truck while not completely understanding English shows perseverance during adversity but also highlights the risk new immigrants take to build lives for themselves and their families in the United States.

You would imagine that selling ice cream to primarily children would not be high risk. However, Harish Joshi reported that he was held-up twice while operating an ice cream truck in Richmond (California Bay Area).

Kuldeep Malhan, Kaur’s brother-in-law said a fund has been set-up to help support the family at Bank of America, account No. 488019845001. Please donate to help with Kaur’s medical bills and other living expenses while she is unable to work because of her injuries.

taken from