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India First Sikh Woman Preacher To Study Meeting Of Guru Nanak And Srimanta Sankardev In Barpeta 1505

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Guru Nanak and Sankardev said to have met in Barpeta in 1505

Dhubri, Dec. 10: Harpreet Kaur Khalsa still finds it hard to believe that two great saints separated by thousands of kilometres could have met five centuries ago. She is referring to Guru Nanak Dev and Srimanta Sankardev, who are said to have met at Barpeta in 1505.

“How did it become possible for the two great saints, who were thousands of miles away from each other, to meet and discuss the prevalence of superstitions, ways to get rid of these and a classless society. This is simply unbelievable and calls for a study,” she said.

Harpreet is the first woman preacher appointed by Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, the highest organisation of Sikhs in the country. She was here to attend the three-day-long celebration of the 335th Swahidi Divas of Guru Teg Bahadur, which began on December 8 and ended with nagar kirtan (procession in the town) today.

The 29-year old preacher (she was ordained a preacher when she was 22) is trying to redefine a woman’s role as mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib in Sikh society.

Before taking the plunge to spread the teachings of Guru Nanak, Harpreet completed her masters in religious studies, political science and sociology from Patiala University.

She is now doing a PhD on the concept of woman in Guru Granth Sahib and is also making a documentary, Nanak Lama — Footpath of Guru Nanak Dev Ji on Himalaya, taking the Gurudongmar Gurdwara located in Sikkim as the base.

Talking to The Telegraph here in the office chamber of Dhubri Gurdwara Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji, she said the documentary would be on the philosophical approach of Guru Nanak and Buddhist lamas.

“This is my first work in the Northeast and gradually I will work in all the states of this region, which will help the people of other parts of the country understand each other more closely,” she said.

Harpreet said she had heard about Dhubri being a confluence of several religions like Hindusim, Islam, Sikhism, Sufism, Jainism, Vaishnavism and Buddhism and would like to go for a deeper study into this aspect, particularly about how the preachers of all these religions had visited this area and preached their religions without imposing themselves on the local populace.

“There is no end to being a shishya in our lives. Shishya means the true Sikh. Sikh, the very word is derived from Sanskrit. So more we read and study the comparison between one religion and another, more we learn about a natural way of life free from all dogmas,” Harpreet said.

She was all praise for the Dhubri Gurdwara and its location on the bank of the Brahmaputra. “It is unforgettable and in the words of John Keats — ‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever’,” she said, adding that she would return soon as she was planning to organise a camp next summer.

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1101211/jsp/northeast/story_13285780.jsp


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