Saturday, July 22, 2006

End Of An Golden Era As Nightingale Surinder Kaur Passes Away

The Nightingale of Punjab will sing no more. After playing hide and seek with death for over a month, the legendary Surinder Kaur finally passed away late last night.

According to family sources, Padma Shree awardee Surinder Kaur, who had gone to the US for treatment of multiple ailments, breathed her last at a New Jersey hospital after a prolonged illness.

Surinder Kaur was born in Lahore on November 25, 1929, and she recorded her first song with elder sister Parkash Kaur in 1943. Among her memorable numbers were 'Lathe di chadar', 'Kala Doria', 'Nach lain de ni menu deyor de viah vich' and 'Ik meri akh kashni.'

She is survived by two daughters, including singer Dolly Guleria whose 'Ambarsare de papad' has been a major hit among Punjabi songs in the recent years.
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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Virsa Sambhal Vishav Sikh Sammelan

A new organization called 'Darbar -e-Khalsa' is in the planning stage. Its purpose would be to guide the Sikh community in creating social, religious, political and economic awareness among Sikhs. This announcement came during the 'Virsa Sambhal Vishav Sikh Sammelan' held at Grain Market, Sirhind, under the patronage of Damadami Taksal and Sant Samaj.
Sikh scholars from around the world, under the patronage of the Chairman and President of Sant Samaj, would form the organization. Former Akal Takht Jathedar Jasbir Singh would coordinate the formation of the organization. The constitution and jurisdiction of the organization would be made available for public contribution till Baisakhi, 2006.
During the function, various representatives of the Sant Samaj stressed that all efforts should be made to bring about improvement in social, economical, educational and religious spheres. A call was also given to Sikh leaders to sink their petty differences and to join hands for the cause of Sikhism. During the function, various members of the Sant Samaj read out twenty-one resolutions.
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Classical Revival at Sri Darbar Sahib

The Golden Temple ambience today resonated with Gurbani kirtan performed with ancient and traditional musical instruments for the first time after partition. The tradition of performing kirtan accompanied with tanpura, rabab, swarmandal was revived in the gurdwara.
Prof Kartar Singh, Director of the SGPC-run Sangeet Academy at Anandpur Sahib, performed kirtan with the traditional instruments, including two tanpuras, taus, swarmandal and harmonium. He sang four shabads of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh, including ‘Mitar piare nu’, and of Bhagat Kabir and Bhagat Ramanand in basant raag. He said shabad kirtan and Gurbani had a classical base. However, he rued that we had lost the classical base and by using modern instruments which was against the Rehat Maryada. Due to this, the sangat did not attach with the shabads and Gurbani, he added. He praised the SGPC initiative of reviving the tradition.
The students were being trained at Punjabi University and the SGPC-run Sangeet Academy at Anandpur Sahib on traditional instruments.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Prince Charles to visit Anandpur Sahib

Punjab might have missed its date with US President George W. Bush but the state is not giving up its efforts to host a celebrity. The prosperous northern state is already looking to host another important international figure - Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne.
The future king of Britain has on his agenda a visit to Sri Keshgarh Sahib - popularly known as Gurdwara Anandpur Sahib - 80 km from here. According to senior Punjab police officials, a team of British officials and security personnel was in Punjab recently to work out plans for Charles' visit. The details are likely to be finalised over the next week.
Anandpur Sahib is the second most important Sikh religious place after the Golden Temple in Amritsar as it was here that the 'Khalsa' or the Sikh faith was founded on April 13, 1699, when the tenth Sikh guru - Gobind Singh - baptized the first five Sikhs.
Charles, who has been involved in activities of Sikhs and Punjabis living in Britain, has indicated that he wanted to visit the shrine. Charles may also stopover at the erstwhile princely city of Patiala. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who hails from the erstwhile princely family of Patiala, may host Charles for dinner and an overnight stay at his new Moti Bagh palace.
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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Britney turns to Sikh yoga guru

Pop diva Britney Spears was in the news last month for visiting a Hindu temple in Malibu, California to seek blessings for her four-month-old son. Now, there is another Indian dimension to her pursuits - yoga for "sound healing." The Toxic singer has reportedly turned to Singh Khalsa, a Sikh yoga master in Los Angeles, for a course of sound healing before proceeding with her plans for a spectacular career comeback.
Online sites tracking Britney say she has been spotted visiting yoga master Singh Khalsa for therapy sessions, based on the kundalini yoga practice. During these sessions, clients are exposed to sound vibrations as they lie on a special couch.
Singh Khalsa is associated with 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy rganisation), founded by the late "Yogi Bhajan," who built up a considerable following in the US over the past three decades.
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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sri Guru Granth Sahib to be translated into Urdu

The Academy of Guru Granth Studies, USA, will help establish a research section in the Dyal Singh Library here. This was stated by academy president Dr Harbans Lal at a press conference at Lahore.

He said that the holy book of Sikhs would be translated into Urdu while research material would also be donated to the proposed section. The step, he said, was being taken to improve understanding between Muslim and Sikh communities. He was critical of historians who, he said, had committed blunders while reporting the Sikh history.
Denying that Sikh Gurus and Moghul rulers had enmity between them, he recalled that Akbar the Great had donated land for constructing the city of Amritsar whose foundation stone was laid by Hazrat Mian Mir of Lahore.
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Faridkot Fort: A reminder of Punjab's royal past

Today, they may exist only in name, but the royal families of Punjab, that trace their roots to the mid 16th century, in their magnificent palaces still hold a reflection of the erstwhile grandeur of the past. One such fort is the palace and fort of the 'Barar Sikh Dynasty' at Faridkot. The Faridkot Fort and Palace that stand as a testimony of the Barar Sikh Dynasty, which reached the pinnacle of its glory under Raja Hamid Singh, are known to have been built between 500 and 700 years ago by the Kapuras who trace their lineage back to the Phulkian chiefs of the region around the 13th century.
Though several parts of the magnificent fort are today in a state of decay, the palace still houses ancient artefacts that have been collected and preserved that bear witness to the days when Indian royalty lived in opulence and grandeur.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

NANAKSHAHI CALENDAR - Gurpurab dates fixed for all years

Starting in 1999 all religious holidays are being observed according to the new Nanakshahi Calendar. Nanakshahi calendar starts with the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in 1469. The Sikh New Year begins with Chet 1, which in the regular calendar is March 14 and in 1999, it was the year 531 of Nanakshahi calendar. The modification is that now the calendar is based on the solar year instead of the lunar cycle, which means that the dates would not fluctuate from year to year as they did previously.

Guru Sahib / Birthdate / Gurgaddi Date / Jyoti Jot Date
Guru Nanak Dev Ji / 1 Vaisakh (14 April) / From birth/praksah / 8 Asu (22 Sep)
Guru Angad Dev Ji / 5 Vaisakh (18 April) / 4 Asu (18 Sep) / 3 Vaisakh (l6 April)
Guru Amar Das Ji / 9 Jeth (23 May) / 3 Vaisakh ( 16 Apr) / 2 Asu (16 Sep)
Guru Ram Das Ji / 25 Asu (9 Oct.) / 2 Asu (16 Sep) / 2 Asu (16 Sep)
Guru ArjanDev Ji / 19 Vaisakh (2 May) / 2 Asu (16 Sep) / 2 Harh (16 June)
Guru HarGobind Ji / 21 Harh (5 July) / 28 Jeth (11 June) / 6 Chet (19 March)
Guru Har Rai Ji / 19 Magh (31 Jan.) / 1 Chet (14 March) / 6 Katik (20 Oct)
Guru Har Krishan Ji / 8 Sawan (23 July) / 6 Katik (20 Oct) / 3 Vaisakh (16 April)
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji / 5 Vaisakh (18 April) / 3 Vaisakh (16 Apr) / 1 Maghar (24 Nov)
Guru Gobind Singh Ji / 23 Poh (5 Jan) / 11 Maghar (24 Nov) / 7 Katik (21 Oct)
Guru Granth Sahib Ji / 17 Bhadon (1 Sep) / 6 Katik (20 October) / Everlasting Guru

Completion of Granth Sahib Ji : 1 Bhadon (16 August)
First Parkash Granth Sahib Ji : 17 Bhadon (1 September)
Gurgaddi Guru Granth Sahib Ji : 6 Katik (20 October)
Creation of the Khalsa : 1 Vaisakhi (14 April)
Hola Mohalla (New Year Day) : l Chet (14 March)

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Sachkhand Gurdwara's 300th anniversary.

The tercentenary (300th) celebration  of Gur-Ta-Gaddi to be celebrated at the Sachkhand Gurudwara at Nanded is of great relevance to the Sikh Community. This involves the remembrance of the 300th year of the consecration of Shri. Guru Govind Singh Maharaj as eternal Guru of Sikh community by Guru Gobind Singhji. The event will also commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Parlok Gaman of Guru Gobind Singhji. The event will be of 8 days duration and will be celebrated in the month of October, 2008. The event will attract estimated pilgrims of 25-30 Lacs from all over the world.

Built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the gurdwara holds as much significance for Sikhs as Amritsar's Golden temple. Nanded's Sachkhand gurdwara holds special significance for the Sikh community as this is the place where Guru Gobind Singh first put forth the Guru ki gaddi or the Granth Sahib as the holy book of worship.

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Gurudwara opens near White House, USA

The Sikhs of the US capital of Washington opened the National Gurduwara to public this Sunday with the completion of the Akhand Paath or non-stop recitation of the holy Granth Sahib. Situated on Embassy Row, the National Gurdwara sits just next to the American seat of power.
The National Gurdwara became fully operational this week, though some parts such as the holy Sikh flag of Nishan Sahib and the central dome of the structure are yet to be completed. Built over a quarter acre of prime land at a cost of $2.5 million, the National Gurdwara serves as both a spiritual and a cultural centre for the Sikhs. It has three and a half stories, at the basement is a parking lot. On the ground floor, there are six rooms. On the first floor is gurdwara. The second floor is spiritual hall and on the third floor lays gallery.
When the construction work on the site began six years ago, it made headlines because white residents opposed it.
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