Kids Corner


Church & Gurdwara Join to Sing Guru Arjan's Love Song





On Sunday, January 6, 2013, an extraordinary collaboration took place at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Massachusetts, USA.

The First Parish Choir, under the direction of Dr. Laura Prichard, sang a shabad from gurbani at the church, accompanied by the young men and women of the Gurmat Sangeet Project.

The shabad was “charan kamal prabh ke nit dhiaavoh” [GGS:806.7], a composition of Guru Arjan, the Fifth Master. It is the first shabad that all young children are taught in the kirtan program at the nearby Milford Gurdwara.

The Choir's performance was remarkable, particularly given the fact that they had had just one rehearsal prior to the event.

The shabad had been introduced to them by Mehr Kaur and Leah Raczynski a scant two days before the event.


charan kamal prabh ke nit dhiaavo

kavan sanjog milo prabh apney
pal pal nimakh sadaa har juppney
charan kamal prabh ke nit dhiaavo
kavan sumat jit preetam paavo

aisi kripa karoh prabh merey
har Nanak bisar na kaahu berey

By what good fortune can I meet my Lord?
Every moment, every instant do I remember the Lord,
Ever do I contemplate the Lord’s lotus feet.
What is the wisdom by which I may find my Beloved?

Show unto me such a favour,
O Lord of mine, that Nanak may never forget Thee.  

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January 28, 2013

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh  (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), January 28, 2013, 9:24 AM.

What a soulful, uplifting rendition of the shabad. You could feel the layers of dust falling off the soul. This is what Guru Nanak preached: "sir naanak lokaa paav hai / balihaaree jaa-o jayta tayray naav hai" [GGS: 1168.14] - "Nanak places his head on the feet of such people who remember Your names as many as there are." This is interfaith gets down to business. Not long ago, Sikhs allowed a gurdwara to be used by Muslims for their Friday prayer when their mosque could not be used due to flooding. Guru Hargobind built a mosque known as 'Guru ki Maseet' for similar reasons ...

2: Dya Singh (Melbourne, Australia), January 28, 2013, 5:21 PM.

It brought tears to my eyes. I have always dreamed to see peoples of different religions coming together to appreciate and enjoy each other's company. I wish the camera had panned out into the congregation to see the mix there. Now let us see if we can get Jews and Muslims together in a similar fashion. We have, then, the ingredients of world peace. It will appear that the 'religions' who claim exclusivity to heaven and God are the ones who are creating hell on earth. If only they could sit together and just sing! 'kaljug me kirtan perdhana / gurmukh japiyai laye dhiana' - "In this age of darkness, singing of hymns in deep reverence is the answer."

3: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), January 28, 2013, 6:46 PM.

Dya Singh jio, you have been promoting this all along. Keep spreading the Guru's word. The Guru Granth Sahib is the quintessence of all religions. Guru Nanak preached no conversion: if you are a Muslim, be a good Muslim. If you are Hindu, be a good Hindu. Dya ji, keep singing Guru's songs - the essence of all religions is to touch every heart. Awaiting your visit to Kuala Lumpur.

4: Harinder Singh 1469 (New Delhi, India), January 31, 2013, 5:52 AM.

What a unique way to get together. Whenever our 17-month-old daughter looks at any shrine or any historic structure, she always utters one word, loudly: Waheguru! So happy that such moments are happening in our lives.

5: Gurpal Singh Bhuller (Chester, Virginia, USA), February 02, 2013, 5:29 AM.

Sikh kirtan lends itself to this type of choir music and this was an excellent effort. Beautifully done. I hope there will be more of this with other congregations, but also among our own, so that more children can participate and see and feel the power of music.

6: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, USA..), February 05, 2013, 10:01 PM.

Dya Singh ji (item#2), how lucky we Sikhs are! We have four doors open in Harmandar Sahib and all other gurdwaras: any person of any religion is welcome. Guru Nanak says (GGS:357): "sooraj ayko rut anayk Nanak kartay kay kaytay vays". That is, "Just as there is one Sun and many seasons, so is there One God manifest in the multiplicity of creation". All religions come from one divine source. Jews and Muslims have to realize that God reveals Himself in diverse ways from time to time to seers or prophets. Guru Gobind Singh made it clear in Chaupayee: "aap aapni budh hai jaity barnat bhin bhin tohai taitee". That is, "Human beings, according to different understandings have given different descriptions of Thee". Due to the nature of the perceiving minds, the visions and descriptions of the seers or prophets are varied as well.

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