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Annual Akhand Keertani Jatha Youth Smagam & Amrit Sanchar (uk)


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Waahegurooo!!! :WW:

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The annual youth smagam gives the youth a chance to do all the seva of a smagam wether it be taking hukumnama, doing keertaan, langar seva, degh,ardas etc... With the 4 Shahibzade shaheedi as our focus we seek to improve our jeevans and encourage as much youth as possible to come and take part in the sevas.

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I LOVE AKHAND KIRTANI SMAGAMS, ITS AWESOME DOING SANGAT WITH THE GURMUKHS AND IT INSPIRES ONE TO LIVE A NAAM ABYIASY LIFE!!

THEY DAY STARTS WITH 2 HOURS NAAM ABYIASS, THEN NITNAAM, THEN SUKHMANI SAHIB AND ASA KI VAAR. THEN SUKHMANI SAHIBS, NAAM ABYIAAS AND VEECHARA WITH GURMUKHS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. THATS JUST AWESOME!! MAY GURU JEE BLESS ALL TO ATTEND!!

2 DAYS TO GOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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"In recent days, the SGPC has made some very positive moves that should be noted and welcomed.

S. Avtar Singh Makkar has sent a directive to all managers of historical gurdwara sahibs that henceforth, parkash of laridaar saroop should be done. This is a good step in returning laridaar saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib to the Panth after Maharaj's true saroop was almost forgotten and ignored. This is a befitting way of celebrating the 300th Gurgaddi Divas of Sri Guru Granth Sahib."

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Poh Sude Saptmee smaagam

The love with which the invitation for the Poh Sude Saptmee smaagam was sent, resulted in a thirst within the Gursikh families to arrive at the Smaagam. Slowly the day would arrive and the Singhs and Singhnees would depart for Narnagvaal with enthusiasm. From Ludhiana, the Sangat would arrive at Kila Raipur Station. Old Baba NaraiN Singh jee would have arrived in the dark of night with a lamp. He would take the Sangat to his house which was near the station and the old couple would by hand serve the Sangat. Mata jee would wash the dishes, Baba jee would pump water for the Sangat's baths, and then he would lead the Sangat to Narangvaal.

The Gurmukh friends would proceed singing the praises of the Husband-Lord and sing to please him. On the other side (in Narangvaal) there was no less thirst to meet.

When the slightest sound of keertan could be heard, Bhai Sahib and other darshan-thirsty Gursikhs would go to meet the Jatha with a vaja and dholkee. The two groups would stand before each other and keertan filled with vairaag would echo. Bhai Saahib would sing such shabads as "DhooRee vich luDandRee sohaa(n) Nanak tai shah naalay" and others. An ardaas would be performed. After doing a dandaut, Fateh would be said. The Sangat would meet each other with teary eyes in way that is hard to describe. The way Gursikhs met was a very notable and unparalleled thing. In tight embraces, both sides would rattle the Khanda of Naam and by themselves, naam abhyaas would automatically make their souls blossom.

Beginning of the Smaagam

The Sangat was given a place to stay in nearby houses or the school. In the middle of the night, Gursikhs would bathe in their respective homes and then while doing nitnem arrive at Bhai Saahib's fortress-like house. In the big upper room of the house, the rain of Amrit Keertan would begin from Amrit Vela and echo till 11AM in a great bliss in the joy of Guru Saahib's birth. Then the Sree Akhandpaath would begin. Baoo Mul Singh jee would perform the ardaas which would last at least half an hour. He would use such piercing shabads in the ardaas that it was not possible for anyone to grow tired of it. Then the Akhand Paath Saahib began with Bhai Daleep Singh jee Fulaa(n)vaal. The paath began like a constant rain and it seemed as if all the baaNee had been memorised.

All the Paathee Singhs seemed to do paath in one breath. No one could see them take a breath at all. With glowing faces, half-closed eyes, clasped hands, the paath continued in great colours. All the Akhand Paathees and Japjee Saahib Paathees were sitting near Guru Saahib. Near Bhai Daleep Singh sat Bhai Atmaa Singh Panjokharaa, Bhai Joginder Singh BaRoondee, Bhai Darshan Singh GaRguj, etc. Bhai Saahib was also sitting itn the Sangat. Sometimes Bhai Saahib would hit his KaRas together to join the beat of the paath, which was an unspeakable sight. The entire paath was conducted in a high pitched and sweet voice.

The amazing and spiritual effects of Akhand Paaths were also seen here. On one side the listeners, wrapped in shawls and blankets would sit in deep meditation and on the other, the beloved, divinely imbued Pathees would recite paath in such wonderful ways that the arrows of BaaNee kept piercing the listeners' hearts. During the Akhand Paath, no other keertan smaagam took place. All were earning the true profit by listening to the Paath. The Amrit BaaNee had such an effect that no one grew tired or bored. Those who wanted to receive Amrit were especially encouraged to try and listen to the entire Akhand Paath from start to finish with attention, so that at the time of receiving Amrit they get the most grace from Guru Saahib.

Langar

No organisation of langar was better than at Narangvaal. Humble, and fully devoted tyaar-bar-tyaar sevadaars did seva here. They were simple and fearless Gursikhs with no other interest but service and they considered the Sangat to be the Guru's own form. They did everything to get the happiness of the Guru. All things needed for the langar were naturally available there, but do not say anything but naam or baaNee in the langar. Like Nitnem, Sukhmanee Saahib, Sodar, and other paaths happen at a gurdvara, all took place here in the langar, with ardaas. The main organisers of the langar were Bhai Naahar Singh jee and Bibi Anand Kaur jee. From Amrit Vela 3AM to 10PM at night, the langar continued without stop.

After the Bhog of the Sree Akhand Paath Saahib, Bhai Saahib would begin the keertan in the enthusiasm for Sree Guru Gobind Singh jee's birth. At that time, Bhai Saahib would have a yearning to meet Dashmesh jee that would come out from his glowing face. Right away after the start of the keertan, the entire atmosphere would change and the darshan-thirsty souls would cry out from within in such a way that entire sangat would have a divine current race through them and would become drenched with tears of bairaag and savour the feeling.

In this bairagee Sangat, Bhai Saahib was in such a glowing state that it seemed as if he was lost within the darshan of Dashmesh Pitaa Jee, and was singing every line of baaNee in the love of Kalgeedhaar jee. He would cry out:

"Mohi giyaa bairaagee jogee. Ghat ghat kinguree vaiee…."

From each line of this shabad, he would get darshan and see Patshaah upon his true throne.

RaN Sabaaee

At 7/8PM, the RaN Sabaaee would begin, which would last till day and then continue with the Divas Suhaylaa which would conlcude the following evening at Rehraas. This was 24 hour keertan. Sometimes it would happen that the keertan started on the morning of the Gurpurab would go till Sodar and then become attached to the RaN Sabaaee and Divas Suhaylaa. So like this, for even more than 36 hours the sangat would sit uninterrupted.

The RaN Sabaaee would take place in the open yard. From the Langar veranda to the outter gates, the Sangat would sit according the words of baaNee: "Satsangat mil raheeyai madho jaisay madhum makheeraa"

The Ran Sabaaee would be even more amazing than the amrit vela keertan. The effects of keertan and baaNee would become even deeper as they continued from the first smaagams (i.e. 1st keertan, akhand paath, nagar keertan, and amrit vela keertan). Some souls were so intoxicated that like a wind up clock, their Naam Khanda kept going and wouldn't slow down or stop. They were so senseless in this state that they would even have an effect on those around them. The keertan in its own amazing way would continue. All keertanee Gurmukh brother and sisters would enjoy bliss in the keertan from start to finish. No one had even the thought of asking for a turn to do keertan. No one had any need to stand or sleep. All were so immersed that no one had any awareness of their bodies. Only by breaking from the nectar can boredom, fatigue and sleep attack. Keertan was not recited for others but to please the Guru. No announcement took place during the keertan, and when the keertanee was to be changed, it happened through hand motions alone.

A lot of Naam loving brothers and sisters arrived at the Narangvaal Smaagam. No flashy clothes or individuals with unfocussed consciousness were seen

The absence of fatigue, and sleep and the ever-increasing immersion in divine colours has one important reason and that was that during the RaN Sabaaee and Divas Suhaylaa, for 24 hours, no Langar besides water was consumed. The enjoyment one can take from naam and baaNee without food cannot be enjoyed after eating and being totally full.

After listening to keertan for 24 hours, after the bhog, the hunger for more keertan increased. Singhs would go to their homes and continue with more keertan or naam abhyaas. There was no question of sleep or hunger. All bodies were light and it felt as if they were floating on air. The echo of keertan would last for many days in each person's ears.

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Maybe you could print the below and give out at the rensbai, regarding the ithaas of the shahibzade

1

Brave Shaheeds of Chamkaur Sahib

The following extract is taken from the "Game of Love" Edited by Harjinder Singh, available at

www.akaalpublishers.com This short extract from the book sheds light on Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee

and the battle of Chamkaur Sahib, where about 40 Sikhs bravely fought an army of 1 million (read on to see this in Guru Jee's own words). The Shaheedi/Martyrdom of the Sikhs who laid down their lives and the older sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Baba Ajeet Singh Jee & Baba Zorawar Singh Jee will be celebrated the world over on the 21st December 2008. Please read on to learn of this glorious history. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee led a peaceful life until 1689 AD when he defended Anandpur Sahib in his first battle, the battle of Bhangani. This battle was against the Hindu Hill Rajas (Kings) who despised the Guru for raising all castes on a common platform and also wanted to dislodge the Sikhs from Anandpur. They were successfully routed and rebuffed by Sri Guru Gobind Singh and his brave warriors. The Hill Rajas called on the Mughals to support them to defeat Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee who was branded as a common foe to the Muslims and Hindus by the respective rulers. In 1704 the combined forces attacked the Sikhs but knew that they could not defeat the Sikhs in open battle, as they had been rebuffed once again. Thus they laid siege to Anandpur in the summer of 1704, the Sikhs and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee were in a fort called Anandgarh for months during this siege. There was a deadlock, the opposing forces could not draw the Sikhs out of Anandgarh and could not see any breaking of the impasse. Thus, after solemn oaths taken upon the Cow and Quran by the respective enemies that no attack would be launched, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee agreed to leave the fort. This was on the 20 December 1704, but the treacherous enemy forces broke their ‘solemn oaths’ and attacked the Sikhs, but the Sikhs tactfully rebuffed their attacks once again and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee reached Chamkaur on the 21 December 1704 after crossing the Sirsa stream. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee and forty surviving Sikhs raised a defensive position in a raised mud house (Garhi). The Sikhs showed exemplary bravery in battle from the Chamkaur Garhi, but many of the Sikhs were martyred, but Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee still managed to escape unscathed. In His own words Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee narrates victory in letters to Aurangzeb the Mughal Emperor, these are called Fatehnama and Zafarnama, namely meaning prose of victory. Firstly I will quote the whole of the Fatehnama and provide commentary where necessary:

In the name of the Lord who manifests Himself as weapons of war viz (through) the sword, the

axe, the arrow, the spear, and the shield. The Lord is with the brave warriors who, mounted

on their horses, fly through the air. The Lord who has bestowed upon you the kingdom1, has

granted me the honour of protecting the faith. Where as you are engaged in plunder by deceit

and lies, I am on the path of truth and purity. The name “Aurangzeb” does not befit you, since

a king who is supposed to bring honour to the throne, will not indulge in deceit Aurangzeb!

Your rosary is nothing more than a bundle of beads and thread. With every move of a bead,

you entrap others in your snare Aurangzeb! By your grisly act, you have put your father’s

name in the dust; by murdering your own brothers, you have added (to the list of your evil

deeds) and from that (by imprisoning your father and murdering your brothers) you have laid

a weak foundation of your kingdom. Now by the grace of the Lord, I have made the water of

1 Referring to Aurangzeb 2 steel (Amrit for my warriors) which will fall upon you like a torrent and with this (torrent of Amrit), your sinister kingdom will vanish from this holy land without a trace. You came thirsty (defeated) from the mountains of South; the Rajputs have also made you drink the bitter cup (of defeat). Now you are casting your sight towards this side (Punjab). Here also your thirst will remain unquenched I will put fire under your feet when you come to Punjab and I will not

let you even drink water here. What is so great if a jackal kills two cubs of a tiger by deceit

and cunning?2 Since that formidable tiger still lives, he will definitely take revenge (from the

jackal). I no longer trust you or your God since I have seen your God as well as his word. I do

not trust your oaths any more and now there is no other way for me except to take up the

sword3. If you are an old fox, I will too keep my tigers out of your snare. If you come to me for

detailed and frank talks, I shall show you the path of purity and truthfulness. Let the forces

from both sides array in the battlefield at such a distance that they are visible to each other.

The battle field should be arranged in such a manner that both the forces should be separated

by a reasonable distance (of two furlongs). Then I will advance in the battle field for combat

with your forces along with two of my riders. So far you have been enjoying the fruits of a

cosy and comfortable life but never faced the fierce warriors (in the battle field). Now come

into the battle field with your weapons and stop tormenting the people who are the creation of

the Lord. (Fatehnama, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, translation from www.zafarnama.com )

This challenge from Sri Gobind Singh Jee of an open and face to face battle was never taken up by

Aurangzeb. From the wording of the Fatehnama, one can see complete defiance and the spirit of

victory of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, even though he had at this time sacrificed his beloved close

associates in Chamkaur and his four sons and mother. This is the greatness of the Father of the

Sikhs, an undying rising spirit. I will now quote directly from Zafarnama of how Sri Guru Gobind

Singh narrates the events of the battle of Chamkaur:

“What can forty hungry men do, when suddenly ten-lac4 strong army pounces upon them?

That the promise breakers launched a surprise attack with their swords and arrows and guns.

It was out of sheer helplessness that I came in the battle field. (Having thus decided) I came

with all the battle plans and munitions. When all the stratagem employed for (solving) a

problem are exhausted, (only) then taking your hand to the sword is legitimate.5 What trust

can I have on your oath on Koran? Otherwise you tell why I should have taken this path (of

taking up the sword). I do not know that this person (Aurangzeb) is cunning like a fox.

Otherwise I would never have come to this place i.e. Chamkaur (by vacating AnandGarh on

the false oaths of Aurangzeb and his men). If any person believes an oath on Koran, he

should neither be tied (arrested) nor killed. They (the enemy) dressed in black and like flies

came suddenly with great uproar. Any person who came out from behind the wall, took one

arrow (on his body) and was submerged in blood. Any person who did not come out from

(behind) that wall, did not take an arrow and (hence) did not become miserable (die). When I

2 It is unclear if Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee is referring to the older or younger Sahibzadas (His sons) here, but regardless of this the Sahibzade were all martyred due to treacherous false oaths taken by the Mughals & Hill Rajas in battle. 3 All the battles that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee was victorious in were all defensive, in that the Sikhs were attacked and the Sikhs (in the times of Sri Gobind Singh Jee) never made any territorial land claims even when they were victorious in

battle – this is unparralled in history. 4 1,000,000 5 This is the most quoted verse of Zafarnama. 300 years ago, Guru Gobind Singh Ji had laid down the circumstances when a person or a nation can pick up the sword against the other. (Comment taken from original translation)

3 saw that Nahar had come out from behind the wall for battle, he immediately took one of my

arrows on himself (and died). Many Afghans who used to tell tall stories (about their bravery) also ran away from the battlefield. That large number of other Afghans came for the battle like a flood of arrows and bullets. They launched many a brave attacks. (However) some of these (attacks) were

intelligently launched but some were sheer madness. They launched many attacks and they

took many wounds upon themselves. They killed two (of my) men and also gave their own

lives as well.

That coward Khawaja (who was hiding behind the wall) did not come out in the battlefield like

a brave man. Alas! If I had seen his (Khawaja’s) face, I would have sent him to the other world

just with one arrow. In the end many fighters from both sides died quickly after being

wounded by arrows and bullets. The battlefield was full of (severed) heads and legs, which

gave the impression as if these were balls and sticks.6

The whizzing of arrows and vibrations of the strings of bows produced huge commotions.

And cries of “hai-hu” were coming from the whole battle field. And the dreadful noises of

weapons had their affect on the bravest of brave men who gave the impression as if they had

lost their mental balance. And finally what could the bravery of my forty warriors do in battle

when countless of these (Afghans) fell upon them.” (Zafarnama – verses 19 - 41, Sri Guru

Gobind Singh Jee, translation from www.zafarnama.com)

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee shows no relenting even if his sons have been sacrificed,

What happened that you have killed four children (my sons), the coiled snake (in the form of

my Khalsa) still remains. What manliness you have shown by extinguishing a few sparks

(Sahibzadas). You have made the conflagration brighter and more furious. How nicely the

sweet-tongued poet Firdosi has said that “to act in haste is the work of a devil.”7 When I meet

you in the court of your Lord, you will appear as a witness there (and answer all the crimes

committed by you).” (Zafarnama – verses 78-81, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, translation from

www.zafarnama.com )

One final comment on the Chamkaur battle that needs to be noted is that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee

is a truly a unique Father, who could have saved his older sons from being sacrificed in the battle.

Yet, He happily let them enter battle and attain martyrdom. He truly treated all Sikhs as his children

and when leaving the Chamkaur Garhi he took his shoes off so he would not step on any of the

martyred Sikhs with his shoes on. This was the love He had for His Sikhs.

Another misconception about the Sikhs and especially the battles of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee that

needs to be clarified is that the Hindu Hill Rajas were as much against the Muslim Mughals,

sometimes the Islamic element is over-emphasised and the Hindu Hill Rajas are given a convenient

oversight. In the Guru’s words, 6 If the battle field was full of severed heads and legs (which could not be counted), it again reflects on the heavy price the Mughal forces had to pay at the hands of the defenders of Chamkaur. (Comment taken from original translation) 7 Guru Jee is referring to the summary execution of the young Sahibzadas at Sirhind which he has termed as an act of a

devil. (Comment taken from original translation) 4 “I am also the annihilator of the hill rajas, the idol worshippers. They are idol worshipers and I am engaged in defeating “the very concept” of idol worship.” (Zafarnama – verse 95, Sri Guru

Gobind Singh Jee, translation from www.zafarnama.com )

I would like to also clarify that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee fought against tyranny and did not

undertake battle to attack any faith or faithful. Sikhs in their zealous nature sometimes refer to the

battles of the Guru as being against Muslims, but this is mistaken. The battles were to uproot tyranny

regardless of faith allegiance of those being fought.

I think it would also be befitting to quote how Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee narrates that the faithful are

protected by the Almighty in battle and dire circumstances:

In time of need, He blinds the enemy and takes out the helpless without an injury to him, even

from a thorn (a thorn cannot prick him if God does not ordain it).8 The Compassionate Lord

always showers mercy upon any person who follows the path of truthfulness. Anyone who

serves the Almighty with total devotion is blessed with peace and tranquillity. What deception

can an enemy inflict on a person who is under the protection of Lord Himself. (Zafarnama –

verses 100-103, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, translation from www.zafarnama.com )

The above lines are universal and apply to the faithful, regardless of their religious allegiance. I

thought it would be befitting to finish this chapter with the narration of the story of the final martyr of

Chamkaur battle – Bibi Harsharan Kaur,

”G in village Khroond, a daughter of Guru Gobind Singh, Bibi Harsharan Kaur, asked for her

mother’s permission to perform the final rites for the Shaheeds. Her old mother replied, “it is total

darkness outside and soldiers are everywhere around the fort, how will you even go near?”

Hearing this, Kalgeedhar’s9 lioness daughter replied with resolve “I will avoid the soldiers and perform the cremation, and if need be, I’ll fight and die.” The mother gave her courage and hugged her daughter and then explained the maryada10 to follow for the cremation. After performing Ardas, Bibi Harsharan Kaur left for the Chamkaur Fort.

The battlefield which saw iron smashing against iron, the bellows of elephants, the trotting of hooves

and calls of “Kill! Capture!” was now totally silent and enveloped in complete darkness. In such a

situation, the 16 year old girl Bibi Harsharan Kaur avoided the guards and arrived at the Fort. She

saw that bodies were lying everywhere and distinguishing between Sikh and Mughal was very

difficult. She still had faith and began to find arms with Karas and torsos with kachheras and heads

with long Kesh. As she found a body, she would wipe the face of every Shaheed. Both Sahibzadas

and about 30 Shaheeds were found and then she began to collect wood. Fearing the approaching

light of dawn, Bibi Harsharan Kaur worked very quickly and soon prepared a pyre. She then lit the

fire. Seeing the rising flames, the guards were shocked and advanced towards the pyre. Bibi Harsharan Kaur was seen in the light of the flames sitting beside the pyre. She was quietly reciting Kirtan Sohila. 8 Guru Ji is referring to his escape from Chamkaur. (Comment taken from original translation) 9 The plume wearing Sovereign – reference to Sri Gobind Singh Jee

10 Rites The guards were shocked and confused as to how a lone woman could come into the fort on such a dark night.

The guards asked in a loud voice,

“Who are you?”

Bibi Jee: I am the daughter of Guru Gobind Singh

Officer: What are you doing here?

Bibi Jee: I am cremating my martyred brothers.

Officer: Don’t you know about the order that coming here is a crime?

Bibi Jee: I know it.

Officer: Then why have you disobeyed that order?

Bibi Jee: The orders of a false king do not stand before the orders of the Sachay Patshah (True

King)

Officer: Meaning?

Bibi Jee: Meaning that I have respect for the Singhs in my heart and with the Guru’s grace I have

done my duty. I don’t care about your King’s orders.

Hearing such stern answers from Bibi Harsharan Kaur, the infuriated Mughal Soldiers attempted to

capture her and attack. Bibi Jee grabbed her Kirpan and fought back with determination. After killing

and maiming many soldiers, Bibi Harsharan Kaur was injured and fell to the ground. The soldiers

picked Bibi Harsharan Kaur up and threw her into the pyre, burning her alive.

The next day the cordon around the Fort was lifted because it was clear that the Sahibzade and most

of the Shaheed Singhs had been cremated. The ancestors of the Phulkiaan family, Rama and

Triloka, then cremated whichever Singhs remained. The story of Bibi Harsharan Kaur reached Guru

Gobind Singh Jee Maharaj in Talvandee Sabo (Damdama Sahib).

Upon hearing of her daughter’s martyrdom, the old mother thanked Akhaal Purakh. She said, “My

daughter has proven herself worthy.” The story of the cremation of the Chamkaur Shaheeds will

forever serve as a glowing star of inspiration for all Singhs and Singhnees.”

(Account of Bibi Harsharan Kaur, adapted from Mahinder Singh ChachraaRee in Soora December

1997 Translated by Admin www.tapoban.org)

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