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Ten Years Long Wait For `akhand Path’ At `dukh Bhanjani Beri’ At Golden Temple


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Ten years long wait for `Akhand Path’ at `Dukh Bhanjani Beri’ at Golden Temple

Punjab Newsline Network

Thursday, 29 September 2011


AMRITSAR: Want to book an `Akhand Path’ at Dukh Bhanjani Beri, one of the most sacred places at Golden Temple here. You will have to wait till 2021. So long is the `wish list’ that all dates for the `Path’ at this revered place have been booked for the next ten years. And in the long wait are commoners and mighty, including NRIs Sant Singh Chhatwal, actor Akshay Kumar and CM Parkash Singh Badal.

Amongst those who recently had `communion with God’ through path were Bollywood super star Amitabh Bachan and his family members including wife Jaya, son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachan apart from his daughter Shaweta Nanda. They got their turn after long wait, last year. Actors including Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Ambani brothers of Reliance, Bharti Mittals of Airtel, had already sought `blessings’ through path.

The family members of late Harbhajjan Singh Yogi, who is known world wide for converting Americans to Sikhism in USA recently had their `date with God’. Similarly, Chhatwal family too waited for long and their turn recently came. BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa, businessman Harpal Singh from Delhi will have to wait for long before their turn comes here and they in line with thousands would be getting prayers organized in the next a few years.

The Path at Dukh Bhanjani Beri is considered most pious, apart from three other places at Golden Temple including Har-Ki Pauri, Gumbad Path and at the Akal Takht. The wait for Path at these three places however is short and it is booked for the next two years but at Dukh Banjani Beri, one has to wait for one decade to `invoke best of the blessings’ as the sacred place existed even before Harmandar Sahib came into being in 16th century.

``The belief is that prayers here are most pious, thus long wait’’, says Dalmegh Singh, Secretary, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). ``All rich and poor, powerful and commoner are in the queue here’’, he adds, saying further that they may be influential and use easier passages elsewhere, but not here as they will have to go as per the booking order that is registered in their records.

These high profile people, `demigods of the society’ approach the organizers and settle for the date that is given and the record is maintained in registers, which are likely to be computerized soon. And what if one does not live that long and Dalmegh says the path would be held even if some one fails to arrive at the given date and the blessings for him and his family would be sought through the `special prayers’.

``There are many Army Generals, Admirals and Air Chiefs, CM’s, Ministers, rich Businessmen in the line. Usually they do not give their designation when they book the Path. Recently Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) PS Gill organized the Path and it was booked in the name of one PS Gill. There are many others by the same name. We came to know that he is DGP when he arrived for the same’’, said Manager, Golden Temple, HS Malhi.

The `bheta’ (offering) of Rs. 4100 is taken for the Path, that goes on for 48 hours and the Bhog is organized on third day by the SGPC Granthis and staff members. ``For this coveted ritual, the price is a peanut and people pay the same with happiness’’, said Malhi. Even if blessing seekers fails to arrive, the prayers are held by Granthis (priests) in the name who booked the path.

There are of influential persons booking path through back door entries. The SGPC admitted that sometimes `pressure’ are exerted and they have to ask someone if he or she wants date extended and thus the `VVIPs’ are accommodated as happened with current Army Chief VK Singh recently but that is possible at places other than Dukh Bhanjani Beri.

*Dharmendra Rataul is Deputy Director, Public Relation Department, Khalsa College Governing Council, Amritsar


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