5th Sangrur Heritage Festival 2019 , Morning Session
5th Sangrur Heritage Festival 2019, Evening Session
SANGRUR CELEBRATES DIVINITY AND HERITAGE
Sangrur Heritage Festival brought with it a new dimension of discussing the various aspects of Guru Nanak on his 550th birth anniversary which were very enlightening and the entire day of 30th November 2019 resonated with Nanak – Nanak which completely changed the atmosphere and our inner thoughts marveled at the many aspects that Guru Nanak spoke about bringing a change to our thoughts and the false beliefs prevalent during the period of Kalyug. (In this stage the world is in a state of moral decay).
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ, ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਧੁ ਜਗਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਆ ।
With the emergence of the true Guru Nanak,
the mist cleared and the light scattered all around
Sardar Bir Devinder Singh former Deputy Speaker of Punjab spoke about the period in which Guru Nanak was born which was also referred to as the dark age and he questioned many false beliefs for example while on his journey to Haridwar, which means “God’s Gate.” This place, where three holy rivers join together was said to have been blessed by the gods, Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. Huge crowds of people gathered there. They were chanting and praying. Led by so-called holy men, called Brahmins, the people were throwing water towards the morning sun to honor people in their families who had died. As this huge crowd of people chanted and threw water, Guru Nanak went into the river too and began throwing water in the exact opposite direction as everyone else. Guru Nanak looked at the Brahman and said, “Why do you throw water to the sun?” The priest said proudly, “We throw water to the sun to honor our ancestors; it gives them happiness, blessings and prosperity.” “So, how far away are your ancestors?” Asked the Guru. The Brahmins replied, “Ourancestors live thousands and thousands of miles away. Guru Nanak told them, “I have a farm in the Punjab which is in this direction and my fields need to be irrigated, especially at this time of the year. One of them asked, “How can water get from here all the way to the Punjab?” The Guru said, “Well, my farm is much closer than your ancestors. How can water reach your ancestors if it can’t even reach my farm in Punjab?” Well, it was true and a learning moment for the ignorant preachers. Guru Nanak’s earliest realization was when he was bathing in the “Vain Nadi” (a small river), he heard God‘s call to dedicate himself completely to the service of humanity. The very first sentence which he uttered when he came out of the river after three days was, “There is no Hindu, no Musalman (Muslim)”. Stating that he had been taken to the God’s court and given a divine mission, Guru Nanak then began the next stage of his life when he wrote Jaap Ji Sahib to preach this unique doctrine (Sikhi) to the entire world.
Guru Nanak after enlightenment emerging from the Vain Nadi (Vain River) painted by renowned artist Kirpal Singh
Manmeet and his troupe of ‘Fragrance of Master’ recited the first six stanzas of the Jaap Ji Sahib with his musical team consisting of a Rabab player by Gurdeep Singh, Violin by Swapan Ranu, Aar Vee by Rajesh Verma, Tabla by Vikram and Harmonium by Satt Nagar which took the audience into another realm and to experience the Guru’s beautiful verses and its poetry.
Fragrance of Master, Lead Vocalist Manmeet Singh & Gurdeep Singh on Rabab
When we speak about Guru Nanak the first person that comes to mind is Bhai Mardana Ji who was his travel companion and played the Rabab when Guru Sahib sang the holy hymns. During the four Udasis (Travels) of Guru Nanak Sahib in which they travelled 35000 miles approximately starting in 1500 A.D. They travelled to the following countries which spanned over 28 long years.
Bhai Mardana Ji
Since, the theme was based on Guru Nanak’s life we showed the beautifully made documentary ‘Noor-e-Ilahi’ produced by Dr. Sukhpreet Singh Udhoke and Vikas Prashar.
The renowned poet Dr. Surjit Patar & Manraj Patar sang the beautifully composed song on the Passage to Kartarpur Sahib which was the birth place of Guru Nanak and the borders were opened with Pakistan after the partition of 1947. The message of humanity and the concept of one true God holds universal reverence for breaking the barrier of class, caste and communities.
Honoring Dr. Surjit Patar and Manraj Patar during Sangrur Heritage Festival
Vikramjit Rooprai who is a historian and author spoke about the flute of Krishna which was explained by Guru Gobind Singh in his writings which was a treat to hear and something which is never discussed in the literary sessions we attend.
It was also enlightening to hear the views of Mr. Ram Kumar Verma, a renowned painter & documentary maker who had painted the thoughts of Guru Nanak and explained the visual he had created. In the centre of the painting is a seed which is sprouting and how subsequently we get entangled in the materialistic world of today from which breaking through is becoming increasingly difficult.
Through his work he showed us the frescos of Haryana which are so beautiful and depict the culture and period of the time they were painted in.
There is a great urgency to protect and conserve our heritage before it crumbles into dust.
Since, Sangrur Heritage Preservation Society is constantly creating awareness about our rich heritage we released three very important books on the subject. ‘A Tryst with Royalty’ by Rajeev Jindal based on the history of The Royal State of Jind, Dr. Dalvir Singh Pannu’s book ‘The Sikh Heritage, Beyond Borders’ based on his research of the Sikh shrines of Pakistan is a treat for the readers. Vikramjit Rooprai’s book ‘Delhi Heritage: Top 10 Baolis’ is his research where he has studied the water conservation system of the old times and how ahead they were then to foresee the importance of water storage.
It was a great moment to remember Punjab’s rich musical legacy and the students of Akal Degree College Mastuana Sangrur mesmerized the audience with their combination of instruments and the rhythm of the Dhol, Tumbi, Sarangi, Algoze, Kato, Vanjali, Been, Dafli, Damru, Nagada and the War Bugle setting the tone for an atmosphere that still resonates in ones ears and it was a musical treat for the audience who are going to remember this performance for a long-long time.
Students of Akal Degree College of Mastuana, Sangrur are performing traditional folk musical instruments during festival
We are truly grateful to the educational institution who along with education are continuing with these rural traditions of our which is the only way to preserve this rich musical heritage.
When the eco of the drums settled Shyada Bano from the Dainik Bhaskar took over the session on poetry in which the main theme was that these borders are manmade and that love persists on both sides like the very famous saying:
ਅਣਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਲਾਲੀ ਦਸ਼ਦੀ ਹੈ ਕੀ ਰੋਏ ਤੁਸੀ ਭੀ ਹੋ, ਤੇ ਰੋਏ ਅਸੀ ਭੀ ਹਾA |
The redness of the eyes shows that you have cried and we have also cried.
Amy Singh a very spontaneous poet and writer expressed a love for Lahore and how she continued to write to the General Post Office, GPO Shahrah-e-Quaide-e-Azam Near Anarkali, Lahore and is still waiting for her reply.
General Post Office, GPO Shahrah-e-Quaide-e-Azam Near Anarkali, Lahore, Pakistan
Salima Hashmi daughter of renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz was not able to get a Visa to visit India but using the technology she sent a wonderful video expressing her love and concern for the bonds that need to be protected and gave the example of the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor which has given hope to these ties being strengthened in the future.
The poetry of Jatin Salwan moved the crowed with its emotional content and his deep feeling and concern for nature, environment and the current trends of education and growing up of the next generation. We needs to be more connected with nature and respects the environment. In fact, he always gifts a sapling to the institutes or places he is invited to as a reminder of his concern.
Poetry session by from left Jatin Salwan, Shyada Bano and Amy Singh
Finally, the evening chill was blown away by Manmeet’s renditions of the Arti which was first sung by Guru Nanak Sahib in Jagannath Puri in Raag Dhanasri. As he stood at the temple under a star-studded sky sometime in the year 1506. In a spontaneous song, Nanak expressed his deep awe at what he saw; and the reverence to the “ultimate creator” whose glory, he said, could not be contained in anything humans had to offer.
The gist of the Aarti is that the creator’s grandeur is too much to be sung with a small set of lamps and incense; the sky itself is the grand platter; the stars are the lamps; the wind is the celestial fan; and the flower-filled forests are the scent. The beautifully lit stage and the Diyas brought in by the young girls took us back in time and we walked away into the night humming the beautiful verses from the Aarti.
ਸੰਗਰੂਰ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਨ, ਪੰਜਾਬ ਮੇਰੀ ਸ਼ਾਨ