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A Celebration Of Gurmukhi.

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ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥

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(From Fareedkot Teeka)

Blessed is the paper, blessed is the pen, blessed is the ink.

Blessed is the writer, O Nanak, who writes the True Name. ||1||

(Guru Nanak Sahib. Raag Malaar Ang 1291)

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ

ਵਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ॥

This year sees the celebration of the 300 year Gurgaddi Divas of Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaaj, to mark the occasion I have put together an extended photo-essay.

This photo-essay is a celebration of Gurmukhi calligraphy and typography, it is my hope to show just a little of the rich and beautiful varieties of Gurmukhi calligraphy and typography.

The collection of images is fairly wide ranging and personal, I have tried to post the pictures in some semblance of a chronological order , but as I have said it is a very personal collection of images and examples that have moved me in someway.

The pictures are culled from a number of sources, some of these sources are highly contentious. The aim of the post is to celebrate Gurmukhi - I have avoided any critique, commentary or evaluation of the material. The traditions surrounding the particular 'Pothis' or 'Saroops' has not been challenged and a non judgemental approach is taken with regard to any issues about 'Authenticity'.

This post is a celebration - it is my hope that readers will take this on board and make any responses in that vein.

The post includes images from controversial groups and literature - as well as 'saroops' which include 'raagmala' and 'saroops' which do not, as well as 'saroops' which have 'non traditional' material.

It is not my aim to upset or cause controversy - I am in no way endorsing any particular viewpoint - infact all viewpoints will find much to bolster their own particular views - I have chosen not to comment and keep this post a 'Celebration' of the wealth, diversity and beauty of Gurmukhi in all it's forms, from the 'Nisans' and 'hukumnamey' of the Guru Sahiban to 'Saroops' of Guru Sahib, to everyday examples of 'Gurmukhi'.

I hope you all enjoy this extended photo-essay - I am very aware it is a huge collection, I have tried to prune it and edit it , even so it is still huge. I hope you will persevere to the end, your patience will be rewarded with a veritable feast of wonderful images.

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Traditionally two manuscripts lay claim to being the earliest Sikh manuscripts, these are in the possession of the family of Prithi Chand (eldest brother of Guru Arjan Dev ji) and the family of Baba Mohan, the son of Guru Amar Dass ji.

The Guru Harsahai Pothi

The Guru Harsahai Pothi was in the custody of the Sodhi Family, descendents of Prithi Chand, the eldest brother of Guru Arjan Dev ji, until it was lost in 1970.

The Sodhis claim it is the Pothi of Guru Nanak Sahib - scribed during their lifetime and given to Guru Angad Sahib as a signifier of the 'Gurgaddi'.

From a purely textual viewpoint Mann (2001) has argued that the script is of a very early type, the 'kanna' vowel sign is not present, and many 'Gurmukhi akhar' have not attained their standard form.

The 'Mangalcharan' of the Guru Harsahai Pothi - ' (Ek) Oankar Sachnam Kartaar' 'Baba Nanak' - the lack of the 'kanna' and the form of the letters suggest it is a very early manuscript.

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The Guru Harsahai pothi

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The Goindval Pothis

The Goindval Pothis are in the custody of the Bhalla Family , descendents of Baba Mohan, son of Guru Amar Dass ji, hence they are also called the Mohan Pothis. Tradition says that these pothis were scribed during the Guruship of Guru Amar Dass by Sahansram, son of Baba Mohan. One pothi is in the custody of the Bhallas at Jalandhar and the other is with the Bhallas of Pinjore.

The Gurmukhi characters in these pothis, like those of the Guru Harsahai pothi are of an early type as are the vowel sound signs. If we look at the opening pages we see 'minakari' , decoration and illumination , also note how the pothis are bound 'portrait' book style, not in the classically Indian Pothi 'landscape' style.

In this image we can see the Gurmukhi characters as recorded in the Goindval pothis.

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The following images are from the Pothi at Jalandhar ;

The '//' (blessing) and date

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Raag Suhi

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Sample of the handwriting of the second scribe of the Jalandhar pothi

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Images from the Pothi at Pinjore

Raag Raamkali

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Raag Sorath

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Raag Sarang

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The Kartarpuri Birh

The Kartarpur Birh Manuscript is traditionally agreed to be the 'Pothi Sahib' scribed by Bhai Gurdas as Guru Arjan Dev ji dictated. The birh is in the custody of the Sodhis of Kartarpur , descendants of Dhirmal, the great grandson of Guru Arjan Dev ji.The descendents of Dhirmal and those of Prithi Chand are part of the 'Panj Mel' known as 'Minas' ('scoundrels') groups ostracized by Sikh Sangat, as enshrined in 18th century Rehatnamey, because of their contention that they constituted a separate 'Guru' lineage. It is for all these reasons (and many other reasons) that much intense debate, arguement and disagreement has surrounded this birh.

As I have said we are celebrating Gurmukhi - so will look at this aspect. The Kartarpuri Birh shows how Gurmukhi was standardized by Guru Sahib - the elements, early character forms and vowel sounds such as the lack of the use of a 'kanna' or the use of a 'bindi' in it's place, that can be found in the Goindval and Har Sahai pothis, have become more familiar and standardised in this birh.

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Nishans and Hukumnamey

Here we have examples of the handwriting of the Guru Sahiban (many of these were lost in the army attack on Amritsar in 1984)

The nishan of Guru Arjan Dev ji from the Kartapuri Birh

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Penti Akhari - Gurmukhi alphabet in the hand of Guru Arjan Dev ji

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The Nishan of Guru Hargobind Sahib in a pothi in the Central Sikh Museum

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The Nishan of Guru Har Rai Sahib - from a saroop of Guru Sahib at the Ram Rai Darbar , Dehra Dun

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A hukumnama sent by Guru Har Krishan ji to the Sangat of Pattann (Fareed ke)

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text of hukumnama

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The Nishan of Guru Tegh Bahader Sahib from a Saroop in the Patiala Archives

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The Nishan of Guru Tegh Bahader Sahib from a Saroop of Guru Sahib in the Reference Library Amritsar

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a 'Hukum Khaas Furman' from Guru Tegh Bahader Sahib to the Sangat of Patna - thanking them for their assistance at the birth of Guru Gobind Singh ji.

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text;

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Hukumnama from Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib to the Sangat of Mirzapur

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Here is a very interesting Hukumnama sent by Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib - to the Sangat of Pattann - it is interesting for two reasons first is the line "Sarbat Sangat Divali no darshan aavana" - confirming the tradition of seeking Darshan at Divali and the second extremely interesting reason is Guru Sahib's use of the term "Khalsa" in the line "Pattann di Sangat Sri Guru Ji da Khalsa he"

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Hukumnama from Guru Gobind Singh ji to the Sangat of Banaras

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Continued from Celebration 1 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37202

Hukumnama from Guru Gobind Singh ji to Bhai Triloka and Bhai Rama from the fanily of Phul - also known as the Patiala Hukumnama - includes the line 'Tera ghar mera assey' - later used as the 'Motto' on the crest of the Patiala Maharajas

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Nishan of Guru Gobind Singh Ji - from an illuminated folio of Sri Aad Granth Sahib, Patna

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Nishan of Guru Gobind Singh - from a gutka in the possession of the Bagrian Family

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Hukumnamey of Mata Sahib Devan

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Hukumnama from Banda Bahadar to Bhai Dharam Singh & Param Singh of Village Bhai Rupa - includes the line "Panj Hathiyaar badh aavana" and his 'Stamp' or 'mohur' - 'Degho Tegho Futteh u Nusrat be dirang Yaafat az Nanak Guru Gobind Singh' in Persian - Also noteworthy , though it is not very clear, is that the Hukum begins with 'Ek Onkar Fateh Darshan' - The Bandai Greeting.

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In this hukumnama from Banda Bahada the 'mohur' is clearer, as is the 'Fateh Darshan' greeting - Also note the interesting injunctions in the 'Rehat'

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text;

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Hukumnama from Mata Sundari to Bhai Rame village Bhai Rupa

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Continued in Celebration 3 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37204

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Continued from Celebration 2 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37203

Puratan saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib

The British Library Saroop of Aad Granth Sahib - a very early manuscript illuminated in a characteristic Persian style. This manuscript dates in part from the middle of the 17th century (c.1660-75), and is therefore one of the twenty oldest known copies in existence. It was purchased by the British Museum in 1884 from the Reverend A Fischer, who had been the principal of a missionary school in Amritsar, Panjab.

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This saroop of Sri Aad Granth Sahib is in a private North American collection - it is dated 1673 CE , though this has not been corroborated. The Birh contains the Nishan of Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib - the calligraphy is beautifully crisp, clear and easy to read.

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The Baba Ala Singh Burj 'Khas Birh' - it includes the nishan of Dasmesh Pita - the pictures shows the closing 'ang'.

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This Birh of Sri Dasm Granth is said to have been scribed by Bhai Daya Singh Ji ( the first Panj Piara) - it is housed at the Aurangabad Gurdwara in Maharashtra

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This Saroop of the Damdami Birh was scribed by Baba Deep Singh Ji - it is housed at Gurdwara Chhevin Padshahi, Dist. Jalandhar.

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Hazoor Sahib birhs -

This birh has illustrations of the Guru Sahiban

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'Barhe Baba ji'

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It is said this bir was scribed by Bhai Mani Singh

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Continued in celebration 4 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37205

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Dasm Granth Birh

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A Saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib dated CE 1795 from the Collection of the Guru Nanak Museum Leicester

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The Patiala 'Sunehri Birh' , the closing angs of this birh .

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A 'birh' scribed in Kartarpur in 1799 (CE 1742)

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Patna Sahib Birh - the calligraphy is exceptional - the picture shows a note by the scribe saying the birh has been copied and checked against the Aad Granth birh scribed by Bhai Gurdas ji.

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The Wonderful calligraphy of a Patna Sahib birh - the flowing vowel signs and perfectly formed gurmukhi 'akhar' are hypnotic.

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The 'tatkare' - 'contents page' of a birh in the possesion of the family of the Late Dr Chanan Singh Chan of Coventry UK. The birh is dated 1749 (CE 1692) - If you look at the top line you will see, after the mangalcharan, the line 'Sri Guru Granth Sahib' - this is extremely rare as such a description is not found in most 'hath likht' saroops

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Puratan Saroops from the collection of Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi in Una.

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Spectacular calligraphy of a Puratan Saroop housed at the Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Hounslow. UK

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Illuminated saroops decorated in Kashmiri Style

From the collection of the Punjabi University Patiala - dated circa 1820

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From the collection of Sikh Dharma Espanola USA

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From the collection of the British Library dated circa 1859

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From the Sikh Reference Library Amritsar

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Continued in celebration 5 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37206

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Decorated Dasm Granth From the collection of the British Library

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The decorated Saroops are from the Collection of the National Museum , New Delhi.

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When examining puratan saroops it is difficult to ascertain dates and build up any information about the scribes, the lack of provenance means their study is a very difficult task. One Saroop which has received much attention is housed in the collection of the National Museum , New Delhi. Not only is the patron of the Saroop known the scribes and dates are also known as they are part of the manuscript. This Saroop is a profusely decorated copy of the Damdami Birh - lavishly illuminated in Kashmiri style. The saroop was commissioned by Sodhi Bhan Singh of Haranpur (district Jhelum) between 1839 and 1843, it was produced by Kashmiri artist Miha Singh and the scribe Misar Prakas. Bhan Singh was a Sodhi decendent of Prithi Chand (boycotted as 'Minas') some have argued the production of this birh was an attempt to show the real or imagined postion of Bhan Singh - he is shown at the centre of many illustrations, in one he is worshipping Mahakaal and in another performing a 'Havan' . The Sodhis regained some standing and prestige during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh - it is thought this birh was intended to be presented to Ranjit Singh - the birh is of a very large format - intended to be on 'display'.

The birh also has a number of very interesting elements - Indic deities such as the incarnations of Vishnu are shown in 'dvadashakamalas' - twelve petalled lotuses, perhaps the most striking element is the 'Onkaars' that head the 'raag' sections and the 'tatkara' - they are composite illustrations showing Devi, Brahma, Vishnu and Lakhsmi - sometimes the 'Oankaars' are flanked by Ganesh and Hanuman. The 'Formless' made from Indic deities.

One image stands out for me above all others, that is the illustration on the 'Tatkara' - the contents page. Here we see the tradition of Bhai Banno, it is said that when Guru Arjan Sahib finished dictating the Aad Granth to Bhai Gurdas the scribe , he sent Bhai Banno to Lahore to have the Pothi bound. Bhai Banno made a copy of the pothi which he also had bound. He presented both the volumes to Guru Sahib. In the illustration from this birh we can see Bhai Banno and Bhai Gurdas standing by their respective 'birhs' and Guru Arjan Dev Ji is pointing to the birh scribed by Bhai Gurdas as the accepted birh.

There is another tradition which claims that Guru Sahib accepted both 'birhs' - terming Bhai Banno's birh the 'Khari Birh' - this tradition claims that Guru Sahib had wanted there to be only one birh - which Sangat would seek out and gain 'Mukti' - but as Bhai Banno had created a copy - this would start a tradition where copies would be available to all and all who sought their darshan would gain 'mukhti'.

I will leave it to the reader to make their own minds with regard to the reasons the illustrations of deities and other subjects are present in this 'birh' - here are some illustrations;

Contents page and Bhai Banno Illustration and the 'First Oankaar'

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The images of the Guru Sahiban and Indic Deities and Heroes - surrounding Bhan Singh worshipping Mahakaal

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Continued in celebration 6 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37207

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Continued from Celebration 5 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37206

Japji Sahib

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Havan

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Raag Raagnis

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Janamsakhis

The B-40 Janamsakhi - dated 1733

Baba Nanak speaks to Shah Rukn-ud-Din of God - in thirty verses of 'Koranic pattern' expounding Sikhi

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Baba Nanak , Guru Angad and Mardana

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episodes from the life of Guru Nanak

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Janam sakhi from 1777

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Bhai Bala Janamsakhi early 19th century - Punjab State archives

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A lavishly illustrated Janamsakhi in the archives of Sikh Dharma Espanola USA

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The Janam Sakhies of Bhagat Kabeer Ji and other Bhagats - from the Guru Nanak Museum Leicester UK.

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Continued in Celebration 7 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37208

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Continued from celebration 6 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37207

Janam sakhies from the National Museum New Delhi

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Janam sakhi from the Sikh Reference Library Amritsar.

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Hath Likht Granths

18th century Sri Sarbloh Granth Sahib

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Prem Sumarg Granth

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Hanuman Natak

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Yog Vashishat (Nirban Prakaran)

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Asv Medth Granth (Vedic Philosphies)

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Waphae Dil Jawahar Panjabi Translation of a Persian Granth on Medicine by Hakime Misari Maharaja Sansar Chand

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Hakim Balwinder Singh - a village doctor who uses ancient prescriptions of Unami and Ayurvedic medicines

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Continued in Celebration 8 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37209

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The decorated 'Kavach' or Char Aina armour of Guru Gobind Singh Ji - in the possession of the Royal House of Patiala

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A decorated Chakar

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Sikh Raaj

Gutka of Rani Jindan

The exquisite Gutka of Rani Jindan - in the collection of the British Library - Sri Sukhmani Sahib in gorgeous calligraphy, white letters on a black background with gold decoration

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The Seal Ring of Maharaja Ranjit Singh - carved emerald set in gold - reads " Akaal Sahai Ranjit Singh 1869 "(CE 1812) - in reverse as it would be used as seal.

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reverse;

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I recently had the incredible good fortune to acquire some hand written Gutkas - the gutkas include a large amount of Gurbani all arranged by Raag and include Bhagat Bani - The calligraphy is so beautiful.

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Continued in Celebration 9 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37210

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A document dated 1934 (CE 1877) bearing the Mohur of Sri Takht Sahib Akaal Bunga - giving the authorized method of preparing "Amrit" and giving rehat.

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The Large Birh - Sri Amritsar - scribed by Bhai Pratap Singh (completed in CE 1908)

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Tiny manuscripts

A small Chaupai Sahib gutka

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A tiny Gurmukhi manuscript in the Field Museum Chicago USA

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Continued in celebration 10 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37211

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Frescoes, Inscriptions, & Darvaaze.

Mural from the walls of the Ram Rai Darbar, Dehra Dun (Murals date from the 17th to the 19th century) - depicting Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana - note the Gurmukhi Script and the depiction of the instruments

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Mural from the 'Akhara' of Bala Nand, Amritsar

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The Murals from Gurdwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib - the 'later' style of Gurmukhi calligraphy was a factor in helping to date these murals

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Inscriptions on the Gold panels of Sri Darbar Sahib. Amritsar ;

Above the main western door ;

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The northern door

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The southern door

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The original panel in storage

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The opening slok from Sri Sukhmani Sahib - Darshani Deori

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Darshani Deori - ਸਿਰ ਮਸ੍ਤਕ ਰਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੰ ਹਸ੍ਤ ਕਾਯਾ ਰਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾ ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰਹ ॥ Guru Arjan Sahib ang 1358

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The 'Dhup Ghari' - Sundial, next to the fifth lamp post of the northern side of the causeway that leads to Darbar Sahib - built by Sardar Lehna Singh Majithie in CE 1852

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Window on the first floor of Sri Darbar Sahib

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Walls of the First floor

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naqqsh work - "ਬਹੁ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤੀ ਪੇਖੇ ਸਰਬ ਢਢੋਲਿ ॥ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਮੋਲ ॥" Mahalla 5 ang 265

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Panel from the Gold Doors of Sri Darbar Sahib - Showing Guru Ram Das Sahib - excavating the Sarovaar - and the 'Dithey Sabhe Thaav' Shabad

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The Memorial erected by The 35th Sikhs battalion in 1894

"Eh chakar paltan number 35 Sikh ne tareek 16 (?) April 1894 mutaabak 5 Vasaakh san 1952 Nu Siri Darbar Sahib Amritsar da darshan karan di ar Ishnaan karan di yaadgar vich Ardass karaiya "

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Saragarhi Memorial

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Continued in celebration 11 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37212

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Continued from celebration 10 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37211

Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib - Aj da Furman - Mukh Vaak

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memorials on the marble

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Inscription at Mukhtsar Sahib

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Inscription on the Palki /Canopy above Guru Sahib in Darbar Sahib, Dera Baba Nanak - shabad from raag Bilaval M1 ang 795 " ਭਗਤਿ ਹੀਣੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜੇ ਹੋਇਗਾ ਤਾ ਖਸਮੈ ਨਾਉ ਨ ਜਾਈ"

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Inlay work from Sri Hazoor Sahib

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Mukh Vaak Sri Hazoor Sahib - Guru Granth Sahib and Sri Dasm Granth Sahib

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The Darwaza - door to the room that houses the shastar of Guru Gobind Singh at Takht Kesgarh Sahib

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Door at Harian Velan Gurdwara (Hoshiaarpur)

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Main Darwaza Panja Sahib (Pakistan)

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Foundation stone Panja Sahib

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Panja Sahib

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Multi Lingual Road Sign showing way to Kartarpur Sahib Pakistan

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Door panel from Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib - Sacha Sauda - 'Nanak Ke Ghar Keval Naam'

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continued in celebration 12

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Continued from celebration 11 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37212

These next images are distressing pictures of Gurdwaras in Pakistan , abandoned since partition.

This wonderful early 19th century Gurdwara was built by Baba Nath Singh - in Sialkot, to commemorate the Stay of Guru Nanak . Note how the Marble Slabs have been covered in Koranic verses .

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A particularly upsetting picture of a Gurdwara in Abottabad - the abandoned 'sukhasan asthan' full of debris particularly so.

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Gurdwara Shahid Ganj - Lahore in around 1949

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Singh Sabha, ManSehra - now a library but still bears it's Gurmukhi name plate

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The arrival of the British in India saw the development of the Punjabi printing press - as early as 1808 Prof. William Carey had developed Gurmukhi printing characters and published a Punjabi Grammar in 1812. With the spread of Christian missionaries in Punjab,after the Fall of the Sikh Empire, the New Testament was translated and printed in Gurmukhi letters and dictionaries were produced.

Gurmukhi Printing akhar produced by Carey

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The 'father' of Gurmukhi printing is seen as Dhani Ram Chatrik - a famous Punjabi poet - he was the first to print saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at his Sudarshan Printing Press.

Initially Saroops of Guru Sahib were lithographed - 'stone printed' or 'pathar chhaap' and gradually were printed using characters made from metal.

Lithographed Saroops and other literature

Lithographed saroop from the collection of the British Library - published by Matbai Aftaab Press in 1868 at Lahore

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from the collection of the Guru Nanak Museum, Leicester. UK

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A lithographed copy of Giani Gian Singh's 'Twareek Guru Khalsa'

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Vichar Sagar

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A printed Gur Partap Suraj Granth

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Printed saroops

A Miniature saroop

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Sri Dasm Granth Sahib

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continued in celebration 13 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37214

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Continued from Celebration 12 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37213

Modern Hath Likht Saroops

Gurmeet Singh

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Beautiful pictures of Keertani Master Niranjan Singh performing the sewa of writing a saroop of Guru Sahib.

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Hath Likht Saroop

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Chaupa Singh Rahit Nama

The first page of a handwritten copy of the 18th century manuscript of the Bhai Chaupa Singh Rahit Nama - that was, up until the 1984 attack, in the Sikh Reference Library Amritsar.

The exceptionally clear handwriting is that of W H Mcleod.

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Laridaar Gutka - printed by the Satnam Trust, Canada

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Some unusual Gurmukhi typefaces

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Continued in Celebration 14 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37215

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Continued from Celebration 13 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37214

Some 'Durlab' paintings

a late 18th century pahari brush drawing from the workshop of Nainsukh - Guru Nanak Sahib with an opened Pothi Sahib - on a slok from Sukhmani Sahib - 'Gian Anjan Gur Diya Agian Andher Binaas'

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Sri Japji Sahib

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An embroidered Japji Sahib

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Continued in Celebration 15 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37216

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Continued from Celebration 14 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37215

Learning Gurmukhi

Santhia / Paath Bodh

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Adorable pictures from the Punjabi School, Nanakana Sahib, Pakistan. How blessed are these girls to walk on the same ground walked on by Guru Nanak Sahib , to go to school where Guru Sahib went to school. The pictures remind me of 'calendar' prints which depict Guru Nanak Sahib at School , also with 'fatti' in hand. The 'dawat' in the girl's hand also reminds me of my own time at Gurdwara Punjabi school - being kids growing up in England, we didn't know what a 'dawat' was - but the 'kaidey' books we used to learn the 'Penti' (Oora Aira,) always had 'Daddaa Dawat' - in the same way, despite being from pendu Jatt zamindaar families, none of us knew that 'thaththaa thann' referred to a cows udders !!!

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Guru Nanak at school

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Mural from the Baba Atal Tower

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'Dawat and Thann'

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Talking of Calendar prints here is one of my favourites as a child - 'Waheguru Naam Jahaaz He - Charey so utharey paar'

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The lost art of writing letters

Growing up I remember the utter joy on my parents' faces when they received those blue airmail letters from family in Punjab - nowadays no one sends letters, I still remember wonderfully penned letters sent by my mother's family - written in hard to decipher larivaar gurmukhi.

I remember being about 7 and asking my Mum - how come no one sends me any Punjabi letters. She wrote one and posted it to me - I still have it - here it is ;

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Here is a letter sent by Awtar Singh Johal of Coventry in 1950 - it is written in verse (dohra) - describing his journey to England by ship, to his wife in Punjab

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Continued in Celebration 16 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37217

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Continued from Celebration 15 http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=37216

My 'O' Level Punjabi examination paper - taken when I was at school. I got a 'B' - my teacher was not happy - I fluffed the oral exam !

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Engraved Karas

A kara with the Chachri Chhant from Jaap Sahib in gold koftgaari

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My 'budget' version in stainless steel

chachri cchant

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opening slok from Sukhmani Sahib

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Some more examples of Gurmukhi from 'our house'

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To finish - or more correctly where it all begins - Gurmukhi Akhar, the 'penti' magnets on our fridge.(available from https://www.sikhlink.net/)

In order to tap into the treasure house of Gurbani - we all need to make an effort to learn to read Gurmukhi .

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The photo essay ends here - get right clicking & saving and share the wealth - with everyone !! - I hope you enjoyed this mammoth post.

It is my little homage to Gurmukhi - and Jugo Jug Atal Sahib SatGuru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee Maharaaj.

* Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji * Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji * Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

Pyaar Naal,

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !!

Ranjit Singh Chohan (Freed)

************************************************************

* Picture Sources and References

Aadi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Steek. Faredkot Wala Teeka. Bhasha Vibhag Punjab. Patiala. 1989.

Arshi, P S. Sikh Architecture. I P H . New Delhi. 1986

Bharadia, Seema. The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms. The Canadian Collections. ROM. Toronto 2000.

Daljeet, Dr. The Sikh Heritage. A Search for Totality. Prakash Books. New Delhi. 2004

Daljeet, Dr and Prof P. C Jain. Sri Harimandir Sahib. The Body Visible of the Invisible Supreme.Prakash Books. New Delhi. 2006

Deol, Jeevan Singh. Illustration and Illumination in Sikh Scriptual Manuscripts. Marg. Vol 54 No. 4 June 2003. Mumbai 2003

Goswamy, B. N. and Caron Smith. I See No Stranger. Early Sikh Art and Devotion. New Jersey. Mapin 2006

Goswami, Sandeep and Malkiat Singh. The Great Glory. Sikhism. Rupa. New Delhi 2006.

Hans, Surjit. B-40 Janamsakhi. GNDU Amritsar

Kalra, Surjit Singh. Punjabi Book II. Punjabi Language Development Board. Birmingham. 1984

Khalsa, SS Shanti Kaur.The History of the Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere. Sikh Dharma. Espanola. 1995.

LaFont, Jean-Marie. Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Lord of the Five Rivers. Oxford . New Delhi. 2002

Madra, Amandeep Singh And Parmjit Singh. Warrior Saints. Three Centuries of the Sikh Military Tradition. I B Tauris London. 1999

Mann, Gurinder Singh.The Goindval Pothis. Harvard. Cambridge.Mass. 1996

Mann, Gurinder Singh. The Making of Sikh Scripture. Oxford. New York . 2001

McLeod, W.H. The Chaupa Singh Rahit Nama Univ. Otago Press. Dunedin NZ. 1987

Mitra, Swati. Walking with the Gurus. Historical Gurdwaras of Punjab. INTACH. Good Earth. New Delhi. 2004.

Paul, S. And Dheeraj Paul, Vijay N. Shankar and Ranvir Bhatnagar. The Golden Temple. A Gift to Humanity. R Bhatnagar. India. 2004.

Randhawa, T. S. The Sikhs. Images of a Heritage. Prakash.New Delhi. 2000.

Singh, Amrik and Sandeep Shankar. Sikh Shrines in Delhi. NIPS New Delhi. 2003

Singh, Ganda. Hukumname. Punjabi Univ. Patiala. 1999.

Singh, Gurbachan and Sondeep Shankar. The Sikhs. Faith, Philosophy & Folk. Tiger. Twickenham. 1998.

Singh, Giani Gurdit. Mundavani. Sahit. Chandigarh. 2003.

Singh, Prof. Jagdeesh. Nikkian Jindan Vadda Saka. SGPC Amritsar 1977

Singh, Prof. Jagdeesh. Saka Chamkaur. SGPC. Amritsar. 1979.

Singh, Khushwant and Raghu Rai. The Sikhs. Roli Books.New Delhi. 2001.

Singh, Sahib Giani Kirpal Singh. Sri Harimandir Sahib Da Sunehri Itihaas. Dharam Prachar Committee, SGPC. Amritsar. 1991

Singh, Mohinder and Sondeep Shankar. Maharaja Ranjit Singh. NIPS New Delhi. 2002

Singh, Mohinder and Sondeep Shankar. The Sikh Wedding. NIPS New Delhi.2004

Singh, Mohinder and Sondeep Shankar.Gurdwaras in India and Pakistan. NIPS New Delhi 2004

Singh, Pashaura. The Guru Granth Sahib. Canon, Meaning and Authority. Oxford. 2000

Singh, Patwant and Gurmeet Thukral. Gurdwaras in Indian and around the World. Himalayan Books. New Delhi. 1992

Singh, Patwant. The Golden Temple. ET. Hong Kong. 1989

Singh, Principal Satbir. Album Central Sikh Museum. SGPC Amritsar. 1991.

Virdee, Pippa. Coming to Coventry. Cov. PCT & The Herbert. Coventry. 2006.

Websites

Guru Nanak Sikh Museum. Leicester. UK. http://www.thesikhmuseum.com/home.htm

Western Sikh Students' Association http://www.westernssa.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=19

Sikh Heritage UK http://www.<banned site filter activated>

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/

If I have used your picture and not given you credit please post your details and I will give you a credit or remove the picture if you wish.

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Balle teray!!

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Here is a small update - 2 contrasting images of Gurmukhi.

The Chillianwala memorial - raised by the British to commemorate the Battle of Chillianwala, Second Sikh War, 13th January 1849. .

Note how both armies are described as 'Soorbeer' on the monument and the hope that God ensures their memory lives on.

Battle of Chillianwala

12,000 British and Bengalis with 66 guns against 35,000 Sikhs with 65 guns. Gough’s Army of the Punjab withdrew to its camp at Chilllianwalah, while the Sikhs fell back no further than the hills around Rasul. The battle was not won by either side, although it is said that the Sikh missed an opportunity to defeat the British outright.

(http://www.britishbattles.com/second-sikh-war/chillianwallah.htm)

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And in total contrast ...... here is an ATM in South Riverdale Canada - I doubt ATMs in Punjab have instructions in Gurmukhi Lipi !

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Enjoy

Freed

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