| Opinion | Malaysia | 11 June 2017 | Asia Samachar |
By Dr. B. S. Bains (Malaysia)
If we speak about reverence (Sharda or Bhavanna), then it’s nothing like reading and enjoying Gurbani ourselves.
The legendary Truth left behind by our beloved Guru in Shabad Form is unparalleled by any living scriptures of the world. The system in recital in the form of Akhand Paath has its specific place if done at home within a family.
Unfortunately, when done in the Gurdwara, the original charm and reverence has somewhat become distorted and today it has become a ritual. There is no longer a personal touch to Akhand Paaath in Gurdwaras.
Truly this system has lost its purpose and charm, as also mentioned by Mr.Gurcharan Singh Ji, a columnist of Asia Samachar and few like minded Sikhs. Many reading this article will agree with me.
I personally feel, that Akhand Paath should now be a very personalized activity or prayers just for homes and amongst the immediate families.
To go back into history, continuous reading of SGGS was initiated by saintly people much later in the 16th Century and beginning of the 17th Century. The Sikhs who fought accompanying Banda Singh Bahadur, in Sarhind, Punjab, had by then retired into their villages. Reading of SGGS became an activity among them. The aim was primarily to remember and be in tune with the Master Guru Gobind Singh Ji and revise reading the *baanis* of all the Gurus and the Bhagats to remember them by-heart. This was also to avoid the budding of devil’s workshop amongst them, idling doing nothing in their homes while inspiring upon the then youth to revere SGGS.
Later, it became a platform to practise speed reading of SGGS. This became eventful as it was not a luxury to have SGGS in homes as there were only very limited handwritten versions of SGGS then. This event slowly became a fashion and a trend. Over generations, down the line, this became a ritual in Sikhism. The form of reading too transformed from Sehaj Paath to Akhand Paath.
Today the Sikh young Diaspora with diluted spoken Punjabi have constantly raised questions about this ritual of Akhand Paath. A question that is getting very difficult to answer this present generation.
Sehaj Paath is definitely a Sangat involvement, where we would find sincerity, love towards reading and understanding Gurbani, joy and a feeling of participation with reverence (Sharda & Bhavanna).
Gurdwaras around the world should sort to Sehaj Paath rather than Akhand Paath and get the Sangat to understand the essence behind it.
This practise will surely eliminate the element of Business, Greed, Expectations, Demands, Ill-Feelings, Suspicions and more so the anxiety rushing to complete reading on Time…..All these aspects actually deviates from our Guru Ji’s Teachings. The Gurdwaras unfortunately are in tune and seem to encourage these aspects by organising Akhand Paath at Gurdwaras. Most of us would agree with this. We need to revise this practise because the Sangat have a choice to collectively participate. (Please Refer: Rehet Maryada Chapter VII Article IX – requisite for Akand Paath.)
I wish to introduce to our fellow Sikhs “e-paath Maala”– A Sehaj Paath on our Android hhones.
All you need to do is download an app called “Dhur Ki Baani” and Join our group and read Gurbani in Gurmukhi or in the Romanised version and indulge in reading at your convenience at any time of the day and wherever you may be. Just at the click of your finger you open to the world of Gurbani.
As you read you may refer to the meanings and translation at your own pace and convenience while contributing to a Sehaj Paath directed for the Peace of this Planet Earth.
You may be anyone and from any background, and may not be born to a Sikh Family even….
Guru Ji is omnipresent, beyond Time and Space. So long as one longs to read Gurbani, you simply click on the phone and get connected at any time.
e-Paath Maala – This is how it works: at any time, if a member on this Whatsapp Group wishes to read SGGS, he or she will type “Paath in Progress” on this group. (This would mean that no other member would read to duplicate or interrupt the ongoing reading). Proceed by opening to the page last read and just start reading. As soon as the reader stops, he or she would then write the page number (Ang) and the sloka of the Baani last read.
The next person, who may be sitting anywhere in this world, amongst the group, could then continues from this point whenever he or she may wish to read. (There can be a gap of hours or days even between two readers.) (Provision in Rehat Maryada: Chapter VII Article VIII(d).
Those interested may join this group by following this link that would list you on e-paath Maala WhatsApp group. [Invite Link: Click this link to join the group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/0mixvMtJ2bo0suUKv1QEDQ]
We have gone about reading SGGS the second time. The Completion Celebration would be a get-to-gather. A venue will be chosen at any Gurdwara Sahib. I wish to see many groups doing this country wise.
Reading SGGS has become fun with reverence. You may be a part of this Joy. SSA Ji.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Lord Singh: The importance of the Guru Granth Sahib to Sikhs (Asia Samachar, 15 Jan 2017)