Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary: Special bus carrying rare copies of Guru Granth Sahib flagged off from Punjabi University

The bus with rare manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib will travel to different parts of Punjab and tour all five takhts in the coming days.
Devotees paying obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib at Punjabi University in Patiala on Monday.(BHARAT BHUSHAN?HT)
Devotees paying obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib at Punjabi University in Patiala on Monday.(BHARAT BHUSHAN?HT)
Updated on Oct 22, 2019 06:21 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Patiala

As part of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, a special bus carrying rare manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib was flagged off from the Punjabi University in Patiala on Monday.

Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, chief principal secretary to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh Suresh Kumar and varsity’s vice-chancellor Prof BS Ghuman carried 16 ‘birs’ of the Guru Granth Sahib, a hioly scripture of the Sikhs, and placed them in the bus, which is made by an NGO ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’, at the cost of 62 lakh.

Randhawa said that the bus will travel to different parts of Punjab and tour all five takhts in the coming days. He said that preparations for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak are in full swing and will be complete well before time.

“Tension between India and Pakistan will not pose any threat to the celebrations. Opening of the Kartarpur corridor will help spread the message of Guru Nanak’s teachings across the globe,” Randhawa said. The cabinet minister announced that the state government will set up Sri Guru Nanak Bhawan and Sri Guru Nanak Chair at the Punjabi University.

Meanwhile, Suresh Kumar threw light on projects worth 3,000 crore that have been started by the state government to mark the celebrations. V-C Ghuman said that the bus will travel to different areas in district before going to Sultanpur Lodhi and Dera Baba Nanak.

TOOK 10 YEARS TO COLLECT THESE RARE COPIES

It took the Punjabi University’s department of Guru Granth Sahib Studies over 10 years to collect these rare and handwritten ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib, in their original form.

“We have a total of 62 handwritten sarups (manuscripts) that were written in different eras. The oldest ‘bir’ is around 370-year-old, while others are 150- to 200-years-old,” said Prof Sarbjinder Singh, head of the department.

He added that these ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib were collected from Sikh families with old associations with the Sikh gurus.

“These families had preserved the ancient and valuable manuscripts of the holy book in its original form. It took me 10 years to collect these and hand them over to the university,” the HoD added.

He said that these rare ‘birs’ includes Kartarpuri Bir, Damdami Bir, Khari Bir and Chitarkari (painting) Bir.

A rare manuscript on display. (HT PHOTO)
A rare manuscript on display. (HT PHOTO)

“The Kartarpuri Bir was compiled by the fifth Sikh master Guru Arjan Dev and written by Bhai Gurdas, while the Damdami Bir was compiled by the 10th Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh and penned by Bhai Mani Singh. The Khari Bir was written by Bhai Bano and compiled by Guru Arjan Dev,” he said.

He added that in Chitarkari Bir, which was compiled before the period Maharaja Ranjit Singh, colourful painting were done using gold and diamonds.

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