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Sewa


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These pictures are among some of my favourite images - They are all from the 1960s - They capture 'Sewa' in all its manifold and beautiful forms. These pictures show forms of sewa which are now quite rare or have been superseded by modern forms or technology.

These Pictures always remind me of the famous Kabitt swaya of Bhai Gurdas Ji

kabitt7pj.png

* taken from Kabitt Swayey Bhai Gurdas Ji - Bhai Sewa Singh - Singh Bros 2003 pg 392

In this verse Bhai Gurdas illustrates the paramount importance of seva - saying that Five pilgrimages to Ganga and Five pilgimages to Prayaag are the same (have the same 'Punn') as bathing - or doing ishnan sewa once of a Gursikh

Giving water to a Gursikh with love and sharda is the same as performing the Kurketar pilgrimage and to feed a Gursikh with love is like performing the Asavmedh Yag ( where a horse is sacrificed to become a Chakrvarti Raja)

Building and donating 100 Golden Temples is the same as Teaching one Sikh the Gur-Shabad

and having the Darshan of 20 Holy men has the same 'punn' as doing the 'sewa' - foot / muscle massage of one Sikh

This first picture shows 'Jal Sewa' the giving of water to all - This scene is rare as water carriers with a Mushk - animal skin 'flask' - are not seen anymore in Punjab - This picture is like the Iconic image of Bhai Kanayia Ji on the battlefield.

Anyone who has been to Punjab especially around Guru Arjan Dev ji's shahidi purb - will know that 'Shabeels' giving water, Shardai or 'mitha pani' are very common, though now they don't use a mushk but coolers and chillers - anyone who has drunk water from a mushk will know it has a very 'distinctive ' taste.

musk5hi.png

*taken from Meeting Sikhism - Owen Cole , Piara Singh Sambhi - Longman 1980 pg 20

This picture shows Pukka Seva- Fanning the Sadh Sangat - now also a rare sight - since the Green Revolution and electric fans - though can still be seen during the frequent power cuts in the Summer.

pukka5br.png

*taken from Sikhism - Owen Cole , Piara Singh Sambhi 1973 pg 25

This Picture shows an ustaad and his shagirds - the passing on of Gurmat musical knowledge - according to Bhai Gurdas Ji the equivalent to building and donating 100 Golden Temples - also a rarer sight today.

ustaad3sm.png

* taken from Holy Books - Robin Davies -Longman 1981 pg 18

This last picture shows Bhagat Puran Singh in the Pingalwara - where help is given freely to all - with Piara Singh. Bhagat Puran Singh Ji had adopted him and described him as as "The garland around my neck" - as he used to carry him around his shoulders . An exceptional Inspirational man - representing the Finest Ideals of Sikhi

puransingh7wb.png

*taken from Cole and Sambhi 1973 pg30

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh !

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Quick clarification - when I say the water from a mushk has a 'distinctive' taste - I mean it is surprisingly cold and refreshing in the Punjabi heat - with no leathery taste as you would expect - one of those punjabi mysteries like how the 'Kulfi' seller keeps his kulfi from melting without a freezer !

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