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Two Historic Volumes of Guru Granth Sahib in Kashmir

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | September 21, 2021 12:43 PM

By Dr Jasbir Singh Sarna
During the course of third Udasi from 1515-1517 C.E., Guru Nanak Sahib visited Kashmir. From Baltal, following a dangerous snow covered mountainous route through Pahalgam, Amarnath and Ashu Muqam, Guru Sahib reached the city of Mattan. Mattan has been very famous for the ancient ruins of Martand and connected springs. It is here that Guru Nanak had a meeting with Pandit Brahm Dass and Kamal Faqir.

The Sunehri (golden) Bir at Mattan Sahib: Gurdwara Nanaksar Mattan is situated near Anantnag at a distance of 57 kms from Srinagar. Guru Sahib had stayed at Machh Bhawan near connected springs. In the midst of the springs was a big stone platform on which Pandit Brahm Dass met Guru Sahib. It was here that Pandit Brahm Dass shed his pride and he became Guru Sahib's Sikh (Disciple). At Guru Sahib's command, he set up a Dharamsala. The word Dharamsala can still be found written in revenue records. The building of this Gurdwara was constructed in 1766 C.E. by S. Gurmukh Singh, special member of Afghan Governor Nur-u-din Bazmi's Cabinet. In 1821 C.E., during Khalsa Raj S. Hari Singh Nalwa, Governor Kashmir had got seven small gurdwaras constructed on three sides of the connected springs, where seven volumes of Sri Guru Granth Sahib were installed and opened daily. About seven dozen rooms were also constructed with these gurdwaras.

During Dogra Maharaja Partap Singh's reign (1905-1909).these seven gurdwaras were demolished as part of a deep rooted conspiracy. On the stone platform in the midst of the springs was constructed a temple in 1914. The Sikhs had to construct a gurdwara on the right side of the spring, near the sun temple. According to Mahan Kosh, this historic gurdwara had a jagir (cash grant) of Rs.50/- attached to it, which was stopped during Dogra rule. The Kashmiri pandits regard this gurdwara as their property; because of this reason, there have been many quarrels over it and the Sikhs had to launch an agitation also. The case is still pending in the supreme court.

The existence of seven hand written volumes of Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara also go to prove that during Sikh rule there were seven gurdwaras here. In 1962 C.E. some officials of the SGPC Amritsar had come, who took away two volumes of Sri Guru Granth Sahib with them. Now only five volumes of S.G.G.S. are left, which include Sunehri Bir. The SGPC also wanted to take away that Bir, but the local Sikhs did not permit them to do so. These volumes belong to the seventeenth century. Some lines on the first two pages of the Sunehri Bir are written in golden ink and art work is excellent. The beautiful calligraphy of this volume charms every one.All pages have deep yellow margins and the ink used is jet black. On the last page of this volume is written the numeral 737. The Rag Mala is written at the end. However, the number of pages comes out to be 1472. Two leaves in the middle of the volume carry the same number. The volume is in very good condition. The five volumes have been kept on wooden based Chowkies. Once a month, these volumes are placed in the sun and scent is sprayed on them. The SGPC Amritsar should arrange for the safety of these volumes so that precious heritage of the Sikh panth could be preserved.
Persian Script Bir of Guru Granth Sahib:

Recently, I have traced one Guru Granth Sahib Bir in Persian Script at Srinagar. The volume had a total of 2220 pages. The calligraphy on the first page depicted around the words "Guru Granth Sahib ji Aad" was written by Bawa Udham Singh Giani is of fine quality. Date of printing is 1916 C.E., published from Union Press Lahore. On the cover page one more line is seen H.M.D. And Sons, Bhai Darwaza, Noor Mohala, Lahore. The index of the Bani covers 54 pages; inside the number of lines varies from page to page between 19 and 20.This volume was with S. Kulwant Singh of Balgarden, Srinagar, who respectfully handed it over to S. S S Bali of Gundi Village in 2000 C.E., which is still preserved in Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Bemina, kashmir . If the SGPC Amritsar takes care of this rare volume and publishes in two volumes the teachings of Gurbani could be disseminated widely.

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