Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dhan Guru Dhan Guru Pyaarai !

These two octogenarians remember Guru Granth Sahib by heart
Source: Times of India
Publication: Times Of India Chandigarh
Date:Oct 27, 2008
Section:North India
Page Number:4

IP Singh TNN

Jalandhar: When others are busy in the hustle-bustle of the celebrations of Guruta Gaddi Diwas, there are two octogenarians, with rare glow on their faces, who are quietly engaged in the recitation of Gurbani. The astonishing part is that they remember by heart almost the entire holy book spread over 1,430 pages. Just consider the vastness of the scripture. According to SGPC website, Guru Granth Sahib contains 5,894 hymns and the number of stanzas are 15,575.

The first one is Bhai Jiwan Singh, who lives near the Golden Temple and gets the oppotunity to listen to the continuous kirtan and the second one is Bhai Surat Singh, known as “Pooran ji”, who starts his daily routine of “path” just around midnight.

“It is not yet known about any other surviving member of the community who has been able to memorize the vast holy book. There were some more such persons but they were not alive,” says Balwinder Pal Singh, editor of a journal.

Remaining reticent and epitomizing humility the two prefer not to make any such claim or even discuss it but those who know them reveal their accomplishment. “Just read out one line from any hymn and both will complete it,” says Ranjodh Singh, co-editor of another journal, who knows the two quite well.

A revered spiritualist in the Sikh community, Bhai Jiwan Singh has travelled extensively around the world. However, for the last couple of years, as age took over him, he remains confined to his house.

“In which ever house he went kirtan started emanating,” says Jaswinder Singh Khalsa, an NRI living in UK, who is also chairman of the Sukrit Trust and owes change in his life to the spiritualist.

“He not just transformed lives but also played a role in starting several welfare projects,” reveals Harkirat Singh, former GM of Coal India and now trustee of Satnam Sarb Kalyan Trust, which was got started by Bhai Jiwan Singh.

About Pooran ji, who retired as district manager of the FCI, his son-in-law Kuljit Singh revealed that after retiring to his bed at around 7.30 pm he gets up at 10.45 pm. Then after a bath he goes to Darbar Sahib around 11.45 pm and just after midnight he along with some other devotees starts recitation of Gurbani at the “parikarma”. “Then he goes to the sanctum sanctorum when its doors open after 2 am and after listening to kirtan he returns. He remains engrossed in reciting “path” in the day also,” he disclosed, adding that “he can listen to kirtan for continuous 12 hours.”

FAITH ON MEMORY: Bhai Jiwan Singh Jee (left); Bhai Surat Singh Jee (right)

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