Sunday, February 02, 2014

Australia Trip (Part 2)...


I had the privilege and good fortune to stay at the house of Giani Gurdev Singh jee in Sydney and do his Sangat for a few days. Giani jee is famous for doing keertan worldwide and at Sri Harimandir Sahib. Over the few days I stayed with Giani jee it was great to do vichaar with him regarding keertan, Gurbani, jeevan of great Gursikhs and Gursikhi jeevan. 

Giani jee is from Gurdaspur district and his village was not very far village Mehta, which is well known for Damdami Taksaal. Giani jee shared some information about his background. His father was a Rehitvaaan Nihang Singh. He was a great Abhiyaasee, reciter of Gurbani and also did Keertan. His mother was also Rehitvaan and wore a Keski. Although she was illiterate, she was always woke up at 12am to have a shower and sat in Samaadhi to do Naam Abhiyaas for three or more hours. 

At a young age Giani jee's father would take him to Rainsbaaee (all-night) Keertans organised by the Akhand Keertani Jatha. Bhai Sahib's Nihang Singh father would do keertan in the programmes of the Akhand Keertani Jatha. At the age of six years old, Sant Kartar Singh jee Bhindranwale visited their village and Giani jee wished to take Amrit. Sant jee said that he is too young to take Amrit, however at the age of six, Giani jee insisted that he wanted to take Amrit and would adhere to all the Rehit that the Panj Pyaare instructed. Giani jee was blessed with Amrit. As a result of taking Amrit and the blessings of Sant jee, Giani jee memorised Nitnem and Aasa Ki Vaar at the age of 7 or so. 

Sant Kartar Singh jee asked Giani jee near the time he had taken Amrit whether he knew Keertan. Giani jee said he did. Sant jee said he wanted him to do keertan at Mehta, however before he did he wanted to hear him first. Giani jee, unaware of what keertan was then, instead recited a poem. Sant jee told Giani jee that this is not keertan and that only singing Gurbani is keertan. Sant jee told Giani jee that he should only sing Gurbani, and was against singing Kachee Bani (i.e. cutting, modifying or adding lines to Gurbani when singing). I was told throughout the time of early Mahapurkhs up until Baba Thakur Singh jee passed away, only the keertan of Gurbani has sung at the Gurdwara in Mehta.

Giani jee trained for four years at Mehta, studying Gurbani and then later on went to learn Gurmat Sangeet at Shaheed Sikh Missionary College in Amritsar for four years. From a young age, Giani jee continued doing keertan at Akhand Kirtani Jatha programmes, along with his father. He later became a Raagi Singh and did keertan at historic Gurdwaras managed under the SGPC and also did keertan at Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar. He then did Sangat of Baba Sucha Singh jee from Jawaddi Taksaal in Ludhiana. Baba jee gave Giani jee blessings.

Giani jee moved to Australia to serve as a Head Granthi and Raagi Singh at Glenwood Gurdwara in Sydney. After ten years or so service, Giani jee left the Gurdwara job to teach keertan full time.  He is always busy either teaching keertan or traveling around the world to do keertan.

Throughout Giani jee's life, Baba Thakur Singh jee has been very close. Baba jee used to visit Giani jee's home and also came to visit him when they came to Australia. More recently Giani jee began doing Sangat of Baba Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale after Baba jee visited Australia for the first time. Giani jee went to India to teach Baba jee keertan. Both have a lot of pyaar for one another. It was great to hear about the different life experiences and the different things learnt from various Gursikhs and Mahapurkhs over the time.

Bhenji Mandeep Kaur jee, who also went from the UK as a speaker for Khalsa Camp Australia, took benefit of Giani jee's Sangat to learn some things about Gurmat Sangeet.

During our stay, Giani jee gave us Darshan of a small Saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee that they have. The Saroop is from World War II most likely and is printed by Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan. Giani jee does Parkaash of this small saroop on a weekly basis. It is very small and needs great attention to read from it.
Saroop's Tatkara (contents pages)

The opening of the Saroop has a printing of a handwritten Mool Mantar and underneath states that this Mool Mantar is written by Guru Arjan Dev jee.

Darshan of the Saroop. As you can see the writing is very small.

The last few days before Khalsa Camp Australia were spent in Melbourne. Veer Harpinder Singh jee kindly arranged the programmes. It was great to have darshan of the Sangat from the Melbourne area.

Beautifully built Cragieburn Gurdwara in Melbourne

Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!

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