Preserve rare Sikh manuscripts: historian

Amritsar, Punjab: Rare manuscripts, documents and Pothis relating to the compilation of Guru Granth Sahib, now scattered across India, need to be preserved through digital technology to protect Sikh heritage, is the opinion of historian Mohinder Singh.

The historian, who is also member of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, was on Tuesday at Khalsa College here to speak during a seminar on “Conserving Rare Guru Granth Sahib Manuscripts”. In a PowerPoint presentation, Mohinder Singh, who has documented Birs and manuscripts from all over India, said the written history was a treasure trove of information about the Guru’s times and the later compilation of the Granth.

“We should be proud that a vast material is available to speak about the history,” he said, showing pictures of the manuscripts written in Gurus’ hands. At places as distanced as Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, the manuscripts are in the hands of devout families and individuals, and will die if not preserved. Khalsa College governing council honourary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, finance secretary Gunbir Singh, and principal Daljit Singh welcomed him.

Chhina appreciated the historian’s efforts in spotting and preserving the manuscripts.

Seminar on music in Guru Granth Sahib:

Amritsar: A two-day seminar on “Finalisation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and its Musicology” on Tuesday concluded at Guru Nanak Dev University here. The seminar was dedicated to the first installation of the Sikh holy scripture at Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, in 1604, and its final canonising by Guru Gobind Singh at Takht Damdama Sahib, Tawandi Sabo, in 1706. The university’s Centre for Studies in Sri Guru Granth Sahib was the event’s organiser. Former university professor Jasbir Singh Sabar led the proceedings at two academic sessions; and Balwant Singh Dhillon, director of the host centre, presented the vote of thanks. In the first lecture, speaker Gurmel Singh talked about indentifying manuscripts and their era. In the second lecture, principal Amarjit Singh discussed Vanjara Pothi and the history of its compliation. Kulwinder Singh Bajwa, Rai Jasbir Singh, Balwant Singh, Surjit Kaur Chahal, Tajinderpal Singh, Mohabbat Singh, Bhai Aridaman Singh and Rajwinder Singh presented their research papers. Vice-chancellor Ajaib Singh Brar assured the scholars that the university would develop the centre into an excellent place of research on Guru Granth Sahib. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar presided over the seminar, Gurnek Singh delivered the keynote address, and Bhai Ashok Singh Bangrian was the inaugural speaker. The centre also ogranised an exhibition of the musical instruments of Sikh Gurus, which also showcased the revival of Gurbani Sangeet instruments by Bhai Baldeep Singh of 13th generation of Kirtanias. Renowned scholar Bhai Ashok Singh Bangrian underlined the prominent features of Guru Granth Sahib and its ideology. Gurnek Singh, former vicechancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Vishav University, Fatehgarh Sahib, talked about the editorial scheme of the Sikh scripture. SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar announced a grant of R5 lakh to the centre for promoting Gurbani. In the afternoon session, Bhai Baldeep Singh, visiting professor of musicology in the Centre, presented 31 ragas as were sung in the times of the Sikh Gurus.

Source: The Tribune

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