Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Jio,
Upon following the holy command and service of Sri Maan Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji (Reru Sahib Wale), Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji Maharaj (Rara Sahib Wale) performed kirtan nationwide throughout India and worldwide.
The style in which Sant Ji Maharaj performed kirtan is known as Dharna. Dharna is the translation of Gurbani performed on a sweet, high-pitched harmonium and with dholki and chimte. It involves Gurbani being sung in simple Punjabi making it easier for the sangat (congregation) to understand the meanings of Gurbani, and requires the whole sangat to get involved. It also involved katha (spiritual discourse) regarding Gurbani and Sikh history.
This style of kirtan was first sung by Sant Attar Singh Ji Maharaj (Mastuana Sahib Wale), not to be confused with Sant Attar Singh Ji Maharaj (Reru Sahib Wale). Sant Attar Singh Ji Maharaj (Mastuana Sahib Wale) are often considered to be the first Mahapurkh (blessed being) to have the blessing of being called ‘Sant’.
Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji Maharaj (Rara Sahib Wale) really revolutionised this style of kirtan and made it known worldwide. Through the technology that was available at the time, a lot of people were given the opportunity to listen to audio and video recordings of Sant Ji Maharaj’s kirtan and katha. Today, a lot practise the art of dharna, yet however, it’s accepted by everyone that knows of this art, that till today, no-one has been able to have such a sweet voice as Sant Ji Maharaj or to produce the same sound from the Harmonium. Many have tried and deserve respect for this, but unfortunately none can compare to Sant Ji Maharaj.
Someone once asked a question to Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji (Pehowa Wale). “Is it possible for anyone to do kirtan better than that of Sant Ji Maharaj?”
Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji replied: “Of course, but it’s not an easy task!”
“How so?” the Sikh asked.
Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji replied: “It’s possible for someone to do better kirtan than Sant Ji Maharaj, but only someone who has more kamaiee (spiritual wealth and earning gathered during meditation) than Sant Ji Maharaj will be able to perform this task!”
Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji at one point done a request to Sant Ji Maharaj that they wish to learn kirtan. Sant Ji Maharaj replied: “There is no need to learn kirtan, make a jeevan (spiritual living), and you will learn kirtan automatically, it will come natural to you.”
Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji through spending time with Sant Ji Maharaj gathered a lot of information and personal experiences. Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji often narrates in katha: “In Duaapar Jug (third age), it’s believed that the Baansri (flute) of Krishan Ji was the best played instrument of that age. In Kalyug (fourth and dark age), it’s believed that the Rabaab (string instrument) of Bhai Mardhana was the best played instrument of that age. But dhan (blessed) is the Vaaja (harmonium) of Sant Ji Maharaj, who joined all these 3 instruments into one and spread the message of Waheguru and Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj to the masses!”
A lot of us take the blessing of kirtan for advantage. Sant Ji Maharaj gave bachan: “If one wishes to do kirtan on stage for 1 hour, he must have 8 hours of Gurmantar (recitation of the name Waheguru) to back it up.”
In this edition, daas has tried to share some bachans (holy words and commands) of Sant Ji Maharaj regarding kirtan. Kirtan is regarded as a bhagti (a type of meditation). Maharaj says:
In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, the Kirtan of the Lord’s Praises are most sublime and exalted.
Become Gurmukh, chant and focus your meditation.
Kirtan is a jugti (a method) that Guru Maharaj has given us in order to easily focus our minds upon Gurbani and the eternal Lord, Waheguru. How so? It’s taught in katha, that it’s easier for one to focus their minds upon anything through sangeet (music). The instruments and the singing contribute towards making one’s mind easier to focus on the Lord. It doesn’t and shouldn’t matter to whose kirtan one listens to, or how the kirtan is performed. Kirtan is the praise of the almighty Lord; it’s not associated with anything – just devotion and love! Kirtan shouldn’t be done in regards to the amount of sangat there is or as to whether who’s listening or not and instead should be done for love and devotion of Guru Sahib!
If we have said anything wrong in this blog, please direct us where and guide us on to the right path.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Jio