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The Gift

by T. SHER SINGH

 

 

Prof. Darshan Singh ji was declared a tankhayyia by the Jathedars of the Akal Talkht yesterday. We respect the edict as coming from the prime institution of the Sikh Panth. Reproduced here is an article on the man who stands at the center of this development ... it was first published almost three years ago.

 

The best gifts come unexpected and unasked. More often than not,  they are also undeserved. Which makes them all the sweeter. 

I've had more than my fair share of them.

They come in all shapes and guises. And, like the latest one, from completely unforeseen quarters.

I live far from the madding crowd, in a small university town in Canada, about an hour from the metropolis of downtown Toronto.

I heard the other day that, out of the blue, a man I have long admired for his spirituality and intellectual discourse has moved from Punjab, crossed the proverbial Seven Seas, and plunked himself down in a quiet rural community, barely thirty minutes' drive from where I am. It is now his home!

The people we meet over the course of a lifetime who we really admire, and learn from, and try to emulate, are never more than a handful. I can count on my fingers, those who are living and still uppermost in my consciousness, and I find I have a few digits yet to spare.

Such individuals serve as milestones in our lives: they help give us our bearings, whenever we need them. And, at any moment in time, they help us figure out where we are, and how far it is to where we are heading.

The personage I write about today, popularly known as Professor Darshan Singh, is one of them. He is a raagi. And he is the former Jathedar of the Akal Takht.

Now, I want to make something perfectly clear: I don't get enamoured by raagis easily. I have my favourites whose work I gravitate to when the spirit moves me : Bhai Surjan Singh, Bhai Mohan Singh (of Bombay), Bhai Gopal Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh ... all, alas, have moved on. But, though I enjoy their kirtan immensely, I still do not put any of them in the same category as this wonderful man.

And, I am not a big fan of the jathedar types either. Though their position deserves much respect, not many who fill the shoes today, however, have done much to earn it.

"Professor"? I don't know why a raagi would call himself "Prof." Maybe he taught music at one point. But I've never felt it important enough to seek an answer. And I like it. It automatically obviates any room to allow anyone to append a pretentious Sant or Baba to the name. Or the fatuous stutter of a "Sri Sri Sri ..." 

I learnt a long time ago that anyone who introduces himself as "I am Mr. ..." is a bit of an idiot. The same principle applies to those who add pious titles to themselves   -  or allow others to use them  -  though I try not to be as harsh with ostentations in the realm of piety. I merely don't take them seriously.

But Prof. Darshan Singh is different.

Those of us who have heard him doing kirtan and katha, either in the local gurdwara, or on a CD or DVD, know how addictive his discourse is.

However, when I found out that he now does it live every Friday and Saturday, what choice did I have?

Last weekend, I made a beeline eastbound on the 401. Before I hit Toronto's western suburb of Mississauga, I veer north on Winston Churchill Boulevard.  Before it takes me deep through the dale and vale of Halton Hills, I jog right and then left, and I find myself on the picturesque Mississauga Road.

Signs of man-made busy-ness begin to appear, as do silhouettes of high-rise apartment buildings and industrial complexes in the distance. Mercifully, before I hit Brampton, I arrive at my destination: 10185 Mississauga Road.

It's a huge house, much of it still under construction. A residence upstairs, it appears. And a small hall downstairs.

This is the home of Prof. Darshan Singh.

But while others at his time of life retire, he has started a new career: the Guru Granth Sahib Academy. This is where he holds classes on the interpretation of the bani, through live sessions and via the internet.

The institution he has founded is a peaceful extension of the countryside I've just left behind.

It's Saturday. So, as promised, sharp at noon, the raagis, led by Prof. Darshan Singh, take their seats on the podium.

The musical instruments are basic and utilitarian: an electronic keyboard, a harmonium and a pair of tablas. From the moment we hear Prof. Darshan Singh's voice, the beat and the melody become one with it and recede into our subconsciousness.

Those of us who have heard him before know the routine: he begins with a shabad from Gurbani. He sings the verse, one syllable at a time, line by line, beginning to end. But, slowly, gentle as a brook...

He goes back and forth, syllable by syllable, phrase by phrase, rocking us soothingly with the sheer musicality of the composition.

And then, the repeated enunciations of the words suddenly begin to unfold the petals of the mind, and meaning starts to surface.

It surprises me totally. All at once, I notice that the word and phrase I've been enjoying in song has begun to reveal a core. It's the pleasure of discovering that a thing of beauty is also delicious ... and has aroma ... It's a word I recognize, I say to myself. Didn't know it was the same word. Or a derivation of a word I already knew.

The singer knows he has connected with each one of us, because he lingers on the phrase, and flits back and forth to it, until he is satisfied, it seems, that we've got it.

Several dozen of us are in the large hall, but each is engrossed in this very personal dialogue.

Once he is convinced that we understand, he moves on to the next, and then the next ...

New words and phrases appear in the vocabulary. And then, permutations and combinations of the same. He dips into other parts of the bani to bring fresh perspectives. It's like circling a sculpture, and discovering a different piece at every step.

Having played with the words until the entire verse has been opened up thus, then the voice turns to interpreting it.

I won't waste your time in trying to capture the moments that follow. Like all good things in life, they cannot be conveyed ... they need to be experienced personally.

But, I can say unabashedly that it is life-transforming. I am a wordsmith by profession, and I don't use this term lightly.

He bares Sikhi before my very eyes, in its starkest simplicity. All difficult questions sitting on my mind slowly turn into easy ones, then simply dissolve into gossamer. I gradually become aware that I've known the answer all along: all I needed to do was to open my heart to it.

He re-introduces me to the source of Sikhi  -  the total joy and fun of being alive. He takes away all the seriousness that burdens religion  -  all religion  -  and leaves me with the quintessence. Really, who needs more?

Sitting there, my thoughts turn to the early 4.00 a.m. walks I sometimes take in my own neighbourhood, when I've been writing through the night and need some fresh air and a coffee. Every time I do it, the experience consumes me so totally, and I wonder why on earth I don't do it every day. And I promise myself that I will ...

I've done this drive to Mississauga Road a few times now. Like the pre-dawn stroll at home, the discourse, too, lasts an hour. Each time, I emerge renewed, effused with clarity. Young. Proud. Humble. Ready ...

What a gift.

 

[for info: http://www.ggsacademy.com/]

Photo of tablas on this page: Courtesy  -  Charles Meacham.

[This article was published on June 3, 2007.]

Conversation about this article

1: M.K. (USA), June 03, 2007, 9:24 PM.

A gem for you - Congratulations!

2: Bakhsish Singh (Brampton, Canada), June 03, 2007, 11:40 PM.

I have no words to describe, what a wonderful piece of work you have done on a person whom I consider a GEM. I have been listening to Singh Sahib since childhood, and it's my good luck that I have got a chance to be with him. Immense pleasure ... out of this world ... It's the law of magnetism that attracts one person to another he adores and tries to emulate.

3: Roma Rajpal (Santa Clara, U.S.A.), June 04, 2007, 8:23 AM.

Absolutely wonderful article and beautifully written! The most precious and memorable gift given to me by my parents was the love for Shabad Kirtan. Ever since I can remember, I have been listening to shabads and have enjoyed them from many different raagis, but Prof. Darshan Singh Ji's kirtan and katha stands apart. His style and presentation is most unique, insightful and powerful! He makes you feel the presence of God. He was and is a source of inspiration for many people. And, yes, what a gift to all of us!

4: Parminderjit Singh (Temecula, CA, U.S.A.), June 04, 2007, 1:23 PM.

Great article on a great person. Prof. Darshan Singh is like a lighthouse of Sikhi: he offers us guidance as we sail through an ocean of distractions. I always look forward to his visits to this part of the U.S., so that I can re-charge my batteries. Last year, I drove 150 miles to see and hear him. It was worth it.

5: Jessi Kaur (Cupertino, CA, U.S.A.), June 04, 2007, 4:58 PM.

Your article has brought back memories from almost three decades ago, when my husband and I (we were just friends then) followed Prof. Darshan Singh whenever he came on a kirtan tour to New Delhi. Riding Gurjot's bike through the empty streets of the capital during the twilight hour, we would be the first ones to arrive at the Gurdwara or residence where Prof. Sahib was doing kirtan. Gurjot would set up his tape recorder and put on his head phone and I would seat myself in the very front ready to be transported. Prof. Sahib didn't merely sing. He made each precious word of Gurbani come alive. His modulations made each phrase gyrate until the meaning emanated around it like a luminous aura. We sat mesmerized by the melody, the song and every nuance of the shabad that Prof. Sahib revealed. Thank you for bringing back the memories.

6: Rajinder (San Francisco, U.S.A.), June 04, 2007, 8:59 PM.

He earned my respect right after June 84, when we all know what happened: When every politician, intellectual and gyani decided to keep quiet to save themselves from persecution by the Goverment of India, Prof. Darshan Singh stood tall and sang a very emotional shabad, "Jab baan lagyo, tabe ros jagyo", in New Delhi. I still have a recording of it, and it brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it.

7: Jaswinder Singh Anand (New Delhi, India), June 04, 2007, 10:53 PM.

I completely agree with T. Sher Singh's article about Prof. Darshan Singh ji. But I do have one concern, and it is over the fact that many of the best raagis and pracharaks from Punjab are now heading overseas. As a result, the Sikh population in Punjab, which needs them the most, especially in its current state, loses them for long periods of time, or permanently. Your gain is our loss. Is there a remedy?

8: Jasjit Singh (Leeds, UK), June 05, 2007, 3:19 AM.

Excellent article on the best Sikhi Pracharak in the world. I encourage you all to learn from Singh Sahib Ji by registering at ggsacademy.com.

9: Darshan Singh Kochhar (New Delhi, India), June 05, 2007, 3:45 AM.

Every detail mentioned in the article about Prof. Sahib is absolutely correct and so are the comments of the readers of this article. Sikhs are fortunate to have such a personality amongst us who provides us deep insights into Gurbani. I wish we have many more such scholars, and pray that he have a long and healthy life, so that the Sikh Panth can long benefit from his thoughts and efforts.

10: Manjit Singh (U.S.A), June 05, 2007, 7:49 AM.

I have been listening to Prof. Sahib since childhood. His katha and kirtan are heart-warming. Another gem I would like to mention is "Bhai Harbhans Singh Ji Jaghadariwale". I love his katha and kirtan as well.

11: Manpreet Sodhi (India), June 05, 2007, 7:54 AM.

Slow-reading Gurbani is extremely good. Gurbani is easy to understand. A few years ago, I picked up Shalok Mehal 9 and, while on a long bus journey in Singapore, read and re-read each line and contemplated on it. And discovered that this was the path for me for enjoying the fruits of gurbani. Earlier in my life, I used to take pride in reciting the Japji Sahib in 12 minutes flat. Now, I realize I have been a bit of a fool all these years. (Better late than never!) Now it takes me 45 minutes to do the Japji every day, and my goal is to spend an increasing amount on it, day by day: there's so much to imbibe.

12: Sarbjit Singh (Los Angeles, U.S.A.), June 05, 2007, 9:53 AM.

There are no words than can do full justice in describing Prof Darshan Singh. He has indeed devoted his life to Sikhi.

13: Jagwinder (Kansas, U.S.A.), June 05, 2007, 3:29 PM.

We are so fortunate that we have such an enlightened interpreter of bani amongst us. While in other fields, one has to compete against heavy odds to get into Harvard, MIT , Wharton or similar instutions in order to get prime-quality education, we have here a teacher in the same league who specializes in Gurbani. And we do not need to jump hurdles to learn from him ... all we have to do is tap into his website.

14: Gurjender S. Bedi (Gaithersburg, USA), June 05, 2007, 6:32 PM.

I agree with the article "The Gift". In India, the SGPC has missed the opportunity to learn how to promote Sikhi, especially from Prof. Darshan Singh during his stint as the Jathedar of the Akal Takht.

15: Gagandeep Singh (Mississauga, Canada), June 05, 2007, 7:53 PM.

He has truly been an inspiration to Sikhs worldwide. His service through his website is a great resource.

16: Kuldeep Singh Wadhwa (New Delhi, India), June 06, 2007, 2:08 AM.

What a description of a wonderful gift to us all. I feel fortunate to be living in Delhi; I try to avail every opportunity to listen to his kirtan every time he is in town. I have fond memories of numerous kirtan programmes by him at at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib/Rakab Ganj. I can still hear him singing shabads such as: "Harmandar soyee akhiye jitho har jata" and "Narpat Ek Singhasan Soya Supney Bhaya Bikhari". Each of his kirtan/discourse programmes serves as a mirror. I believe his string of discourses on the Japji alone are enough to make him immortal.

17: Sarabjot Singh (Mississauga, Canada), June 06, 2007, 7:49 AM.

Prof. Darshan Singh has truly been an insiration for me. His in-depth knowledge of gurbani and the ability to present it to someone who has no knowledge, is great. I hope to continue to learn from him for many years to come.

18: Sukhsatej Dhingra (Michigan, USA), June 06, 2007, 8:24 AM.

You have put into words, emotions I feel every time I hear shabads sung by Prof Darshan Singh. I have been listening to his kirtan, on tape, since I was a kid in Africa. I have heard him in person, too. He gives each word in the shabad a life of its own. His interpretation always hits home. I also admire him immensely for his strength and courage, for standing tall and proud when the Sikhs were going through one of the toughest times in recent history. Thank you, Bhai Sahib, for inspiring us to be true Sikhs. And thank you, Mr. T. Sher Singh, on the excellent article on a man who is a Sikh icon.

19: Pinky Uppal (Richmond Hill, Ontario), June 06, 2007, 10:35 AM.

Wonderful piece! Having a spiritual inspiration that can captivate you completely is a rare gift indeed :)

20: Tej Bir Singh (New Delhi, India), June 07, 2007, 2:45 AM.

Prof. Darshan Singh is an inspiration to all of us in this day and age when we face a variety of challenges. If we contemplate on his work, we'll learn what a true Sikh should do, whether it is in following the teachings of the Gurus or standing up and speaking out when necesary. We should also be honouring all of our brothers and sisters who are already doing this.

21: M Singh Ahluwalia (Markham, Ontario), June 07, 2007, 5:30 AM.

What a wonderful article on this much respected individual of Sikh community. We consider ourselves blessed as we travel over 65 kilometers, with our young children, each Saturday to immerse in and enjoy Gurbani as sung and interpreted by Prof. Darshan Singh, ever since his GGS Academy came into existence. His topics, explanations and illustrations are such that they help draw us even closer to Gurbani. We admire his strength and courage, as he is always bold but balanced in expressing his thoughts on issues of concern to the Panth.

22: Satbir Kaur (Oakville, Ontario, Canada), June 07, 2007, 2:05 PM.

Wow! I also listen to him on TV sometimes on the weekends. He's amazing. I love his facility with language when he does Gurbani viyakhya. He's ... well, I don't have the words ...

23: Rajinder (Auckland, New Zealand), June 07, 2007, 3:59 PM.

I totally agree with the article. It reminds me of when we were living in Dubai for a decade, until five years ago. Each time Prof. Darshan Singh visited Dubai, his kirtan programme used to be scheduled in both the local gudwaras on the same day. I remember the entire sangat following him from one gurudwara to the next. I always wished that his kirtan would never end. He gave us a taste of Sachkhand!

24: Harbhajan Singh (Baton Rouge, LA), June 07, 2007, 9:17 PM.

Very thoughtful admiration. I was also impressed by the mention of Bhai Mohan Singh (of Bombay), who we knew personally. He was a raagi from Sindh and had settled in Bombay after the partiton in 1947. He ws amongst the first raagis to make an appearance in the USA since 1974. His kirtan was melodious and thought-provoking.

25: Kamol Sachdev (Bangkok, Thailand), June 07, 2007, 11:55 PM.

Never heard about him before, but after reading this article, I really will make it a point to find out more about his works.

26: Davinder Pal singh (Village Khera, Jalandhar, India), June 08, 2007, 4:02 AM.

Prof. Darshan Singh has truly been an insiration for my family and I. What a wonderful article on this much respected individual of the Sikh community. We are fortunate to have such a personality amongst us who provides us deep insights into Gurbani. I wish we had many more scholars like him.

27: Ravinder Singh (Fremont, California), June 08, 2007, 1:28 PM.

Bombay. The year, perhaps 1977. My parents were visiting me, and one day my father heard that Prof. Darshan Singh was performing in someone's residence that evening. My father had a very high regard for his kirtan, and wanted me to take him there. I accompanied him that evening, and although I found the kirtan quite melodious, I didn't fully appreciate it. About seven years later, I heard a Shabad cassette being played in my cousin's house, and was simply mesmerized by it. That was Prof. Darshan Singh rendering Guru Teg Bahadar's Shabad in Raag Basant: "Kahaan Bhuleo Re" ("Where art thou lost ...?") Later, I tried to acquire a copy of it but couldn't find it. In my search, I purchased half-a-dozen of his kirtan/discourses, including Asa Di Vaar. Listening to those made me realize what a great Raagi Prof. Darshan Singh is. I particularly liked another Shabad by Guru Teg Bahadar in Raag Gauri, "Sadho Man Ka Maan Teyago" ("Let go of your pride and ego ...") Listening to the accompanying explanation gave me a true understanding of the Sikh Faith. Since then, I have tried to collect all of his renderings and also listen to him in person, whenever possible. Fortunately, after moving to the US, I have had several opportunities and have gladly availed them. He has a unique way of starting with one Shabad, and then making a beautiful garland, adding, one by one like beads, other Shabads with a similar theme, until the meaning of the Shabad gets entrenched in your soul. It would not have been possible for me to put in words my feelings towards him, but you were able to put it so beautifully in "The Gift". Thank you.

28: Bawa Singh Bedi (Brampton, Canada), June 10, 2007, 6:56 PM.

Prof. Darshan Singh is a big source of my inspiration; his kirtan encourages me along the path of Sikhi.

29: Karmjit Sanag (New York, U.S.A.), June 20, 2007, 7:07 AM.

It's a great article. Prof. Darshan Singh made a strong impression on me when I was a kid, and I remain a fan of his today. I wish we had more raagis like him. He deserves our respect ... his contribution is immeasurable.

30: Bobby Khanna (USA), June 21, 2007, 10:45 AM.

I was looking for some information on Prof. Darshan Singh when I stumbled upon this page. You have portrayed him just the way I too would have liked to portray him: he is indeed a true legend. I am one of his many ardent fans. I say this because I am just like any other, average person who goes to the gurdwara, listens to the shabad kirtan but then, in the end, says to himself: "I wish I could understand it!" When Prof. Darshan Singh does kirtan, all-of-a-sudden all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and the words begin to make sense. It's like a 'duh' moment, each time. Thank you for posting such a wonderful article and making me feel good.

31: M. S. Uppal (Delhi, India), June 21, 2007, 11:23 AM.

Really, words are not capable of explaining all the great qualities of this extraordinary man, Prof. Darshan Singh. He sings Gurbani with so much enjoyment and enthusiasm. He also selects shabads and topics which connect well with real, day-to-day events. He is clear and manages to explain the finer points of difficult topics by making them so simple. And, he displays courage and fearlessness, when it is needed. It is a pity that the community has not found a way of benefiting from him more fully. I do believe we would've done better under his leadership, instead of the ones we are suffering from today.

32: Amrit (India), June 23, 2007, 9:25 AM.

The question is not only of melody, but also of the amount of preparation one puts into the kirtan and the pleasure one derives from reciting a shabad. This difference puts Prof. Darshan Singh totally on a different plane from the others. Then, there is the question of faith in what the shabad says, and fearlessness in dealing with difficult topics. In recent times, we've enjoyed the presence of a formidable trio - Prof. Darshan Singh, Giani Sant Singh Maskeen and Bhai Jasbir Singh Khanne-wale - but never benefited from their full potential. I hope that we'll learn as much as we can from those who are still amongst us.

33: Harpreet Singh (Australia), July 22, 2007, 4:35 PM.

We need people like Prof. Sahib to guide the community. If only we had him to head the S.G.P.C!

34: Surinder Bansal (Hayes, Middlesex, U.K.), August 20, 2007, 1:37 PM.

I heard Proffessor Sahib's kathaa on the radio. I can't seem to get hold of his Japji Sahib cd's where each pauree is covered in depth. Can someone help?

35: Manjeet Singh (Punjab), September 27, 2007, 12:15 AM.

Prof. Sahib is great. The Sikh panth could certainly use, and greatly benefit from, more like him.

36: Taranjit Singh (U.K.), October 08, 2007, 4:26 PM.

Professor Darshan Singh ji's kirtan has always blown me away. I have only ever heard him live once, and it was beautiful. He truly is a heera of the panth. You are so lucky.

37: A. Sethi (Delhi, India), November 11, 2007, 9:26 AM.

I want to download all the shabads sung by Prof. Darshan Singh ji. I have been looking for his complete collection for ever. Is there a site on the internet where I can find his shabads?

38: Bakhsish Singh (Brampton, Canada), December 18, 2007, 10:08 PM.

S. Sethi, you can download shabads sung by Singh Sahib from www.ggsacademy.com. You can also find "Asa di Vaar" sung by him on www.pz10.com.

39: Ajeet Pal Singh (Unnao, U.P., India), January 22, 2008, 4:58 AM.

Prof. Sahib is the one person in the panth today who is committed to guiding it on the straight path. I think he is a "Panth Ratan"!

40: Gagandeep Singh (Mississauga, Canada), January 23, 2009, 1:16 PM.

New audio on Amrit at http://www.ggsacademy.com/shabadvichar/gurmattopics/amrit. Gur Fateh ji!

41: Jarnail Singh Gyani "Arshi" (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), March 22, 2009, 11:44 PM.

Professor Darshan Singh ji is certainly all that has been said of him in the comments already given above. And, he is more than that. He is today the 'Brave Voice of Reason' - giving direction to the Guru Khalsa Panth to bow to only Guru Granth Sahib as our One and only Guru. This stand takes great courage as the proponents of rival granths and enemies of the panth are many and powerful. I admire him for being brave and taking the bull by the horns - in 1984 he was the vocal conscience of the Sikh Panth - today, he is the voice of reason to take back our religion from the brink of sinking in the abyss of manmattism/brahminism. He definitley is a Panth Rattan. I wish him well.

42: Manmohan Singh Kohli (Chandigarh, Punjab), June 23, 2009, 6:26 AM.

Prof. Darshan Singh ji is undoubtedly an authority on Sikhism. His services to the panth are par excellence. It is difficult to add more to what you have written. May the Satguru give him a long life.

43: Gurmeet Singh Mehtab (India), June 27, 2009, 11:27 AM.

After Prof. Saheb Singh ji, I think it's Prof. Darshan Singh ji who has done so much for Sikhi ... His kirtan and discourse on Asa di Vaar will remain with me as long as I live ...

44: Jagdeep Singh (Stockton, California, U.S.A.), July 06, 2009, 12:42 PM.

The Sikh panth believes in the Guru Granth as our eternal Guru. It also has other spiritual writings that have always been held in respect by the Sikhs.

45: Arvinder Singh (London, U.K.), November 03, 2009, 2:10 PM.

Great article by T. Sher Singh. Touched me deeply and brought back some memories. I think we need to still learn a lot form this great soul who is a great source of wisdom and knowledge. Also, his sacrifices for the Sikh Nation have yet to be fully appreciated. Thanks to the Guru for Professor Sahib.

46: Binder Mandur (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), December 10, 2009, 9:48 PM.

Prof. Darshan Singh ji is certainly all that has been said of him in the comments already given above. And, he is more than that. He is today the 'Brave Voice of Reason' - giving direction to the Guru Khalsa Panth to bow to only Guru Granth Sahib as our One and only Guru. This stand takes great courage as the proponents of rival granths and enemies of the panth are many and powerful. I admire him for being brave and taking the bull by the horns - in 1984 he was the vocal conscience of the Sikh Panth - today, he is the voice of reason to take back our religion from the brink of sinking in the abyss of manmatt-ism/ brahminism. He definitely is a Panth Rattan. I wish him well.

47: Avtar Singh (Mehta Chowk, India), December 14, 2009, 6:12 PM.

A great write up dedicated to a great Sikh. Unfortunatly, some of us have moved away from gurbani and only gifted/blessed individuals of Prof Darshan Singh's kind can reverse the ongoing trend to shed our articles of faith. I really wonder if the present leadership of S.G.P.C. has the will, capacity and motivation to perform its designated role to propagate the message of our Gurus. Any individual or organization that uses public donations for advancement of personal agendas and to appease their political masters is destined to fail. Let's pray for the advancement of such beacon lights in Sikhism like Prof. Sahib and for some good sense for our present leadership.

48: Ajay Singh (Rockville, U.S.A.), January 30, 2010, 1:34 PM.

My memories of Professor Sahib start after Operation Bluestar. Prior to that, I had no particular interest in kirtan, much less raagis. But 1984 had that effect that forced many to bani, kirtan and Sikhi. The raagis were a source of such immense inspiration, motivation and hope that in my mind they are no less than mythical figures. Bhai Sunder Singh's voice from Darbar Sahib - "Kutta raj bahaliye phir chakki chattey" - still rings. Professor Sahib was at the Sarbat Khalsa Darbar in Amritsar and every kirtan sammelan in Patiala. Professor Sahib would inspire and motivate the sangat. He was jailed immediately after Bluestar ... upon release he was and still is on a mission to inspire, motivate and preach chardi kalaa. I can't understand the decision to ex-communicate him because he refused to meet the jathedars behind closed doors. This does not sit well with me; my conscience tells me that we need to challenge this decision somehow. I can't believe that the Sikh sangat at large will take this sitting down.

49: Balbir Singh (Wolverhampton, U.K.), January 30, 2010, 2:38 PM.

A truly great article on a great man. Prof. Darshan Singh ji is a brave man and we should all be equally brave and support him in his efforts to prevent the distortion and contamination of Sikhism.

50: Raj (Canada), January 30, 2010, 7:23 PM.

I normally refrain from using profanities, but this decision by morons at the S.G.P.C. brings me very close to it. We are lead by jack asses ... you have to excuse me for this. I'd rather not visit any gurdwara run by this intellectually challenged organization. I support Professor Sahib in this situation; now they can kick me out of their club too. Who the hell gave them right to kick people out of Sikhi; even the Gurus didn't do this. Are they above the Gurus?

51: Mohan Singh Ahluwalia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), January 31, 2010, 11:13 AM.

The decision to ex-communicate former Jathedaar of the Akal Takht, Prof. Darshan Singh, is an unfortunate event. I admire Singh Sahib for his deep concern for the cause of the panth, and the current situation that our panth and Punjab is facing. The community is fully aware of his courage since 1984, when he was the only one to stand tall for the panth. He is highly knowlegeable in gurbani and gurmat. His style of kirtan and katha is highly intellectual. Round the year, he travels around the world for true gurmat parchaar and he is admired by all. He is brave with profound courage to speak the truth. In October 2009, two weeks before his scheduled visit to India, he was admited in the emergency ward of the Brampton Hospital (in Canada) for his vision problem and he was advised complete rest. Just before two days of his departure to India, I met him at his academy and requested him to have some more rest for a week or so, but he expressed his concern about the current controversy around the Guru Granth Sahib and the Bachittar Natak. I spoke to him a couple of times on the phone and found him in good spirits and chardi kalaa. The unfortunate has happened, and it was bound to happen because of the dirty politics within the S.G.P.C. and misuse of the Akal Takht. Let us stand by him and support him all the way to accomplish his mission for the cause of the Sikh Panth.

52: Bakhsish Singh (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), January 31, 2010, 2:22 PM.

I fully support Prof. Darshan Singh ji. What he has done for Sikhi during the last four decades is unmatchable. I have been listening to his discourses since my childhood. He is the only Sikh parcharak with guts and tells the truth. This purported 'ex-communication' doesn't mean a thing. No one has the authority to ex-communicate another, its not part of Sikhi, and we should not be worried about this decision. The Sikh sangat is with him. We all need to support him, so that we throw these masands out of our Akal Takht. There is no place for them in our places of worship.

53: Ajay Singh (Rockville, Maryland, U.S.A.), February 03, 2010, 1:54 PM.

I think it would be a mistake to ignore the Hukamnama. The Akal Takth is one of our most important institutions that needs to be improved and maintained. The current state is as much our (Sikh Sangat) fault as it is of the S.G.P.C., the Government of India, Akalis, etc. While I don't agree with the dictum, I certainly don't want to ignore it and I am willing to bet my life neither is Professor Sahib. There has to be a way to challenge this decision that does not undermine the institution.

54: Binder Mandur (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), February 05, 2010, 8:51 AM.

I am proud to be a Sikh and I am 101% with Prof. Darshan Singh ji. He has given us the opportunity to see the real picture of the current jathedars of the politicians today. The decision to ex-communicate the former Jathedar of the Akal Takht - Prof. Darshan Singh - is most unfortunate. I admire Singh Sahib for his deep concern for the cause of the panth, and the current situation that our panth and Punjab is facing. The community is fully aware of his courage since 1984, when he stood tall for the panth. He is highly knowlegeable in gurbani and gurmat. His style of kirtan and katha parchaar is highly intellectual. It is indeed time for the summoning of a Sarbat Khalsa gathering from all over the world.

55: Manpreet Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 24, 2010, 11:38 PM.

Prof Darshan Singh Khalsa = A Living Legend!

56: Gagan (Ontario, Canada), September 29, 2010, 11:34 PM.

Yes, he did teach music. Which is why he is regarded with the prefix: "Prof."

57: Jatinderpal Singh Uppal, (Nagpur, India), January 23, 2011, 8:03 AM.

Firstly my congratulations and support to T. Sher Singh for his admiration of this great personality. I have been listening to Prof. Sahib's shabads and vyaakhya since student days. Now I am 55 and a member of Gurmat Mission. Prof. Darshan Singh is splendid, a real intellectual and master of gurbani. His love for his faith was evident in the period of Operation BlueStar and after. It was a great moment when he visited Nagpur on 15 and 16 January, 2011 and I happened to meet him. It is painful to see petty politicians involved in the denigrating this legend. I am one with S. Binder Mandur's comments above. It is time for the Sarbat Khalsa to sort out panthic issues and differences. May Akal Purakh bless the Sikh Panth.

58: Vishal Singh (India), August 06, 2011, 12:17 AM.

The job done by you is a gift for all of us in India who admire Professor Sahib. We should put efforts to have him back in the panth.

59: Kapil Melani (Pakistan), July 26, 2012, 2:20 PM.

We, the believers and followers of Guru Granth Shib, Swan Gurmukhi Pathshala, SRC Gurmukhi Pathshala and the whole community, support Prof. Darshan Singh ji. His services to gurbani and our dharam are unforgettable.

60: Sandeep Kaur Gill (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), June 03, 2016, 4:38 AM.

We love and respect Prof Darshan Singh ji. His way of explaining gurbani is undoubtedly different, as he has such a wide and deep knowledge of gurbani. May he live long and enlighten our lives with gurbani by katha and kirtan.

61: Harjinder Singh Gandhi (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), July 24, 2017, 1:47 PM.

KIndly let me know Prof. Sahib's kirtan schedule. We just moved to Mississauga and would like to attend his kirtan, which I admire immensely.

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