How Kirtan Lives Forever (Story of Heera Singh)

How Kirtan Lives Forever (Story of Heera Singh)

Sukha Singh tells the beautiful story of an amazing ragi, Heera Singh, and his approach to kirtan.

Bhai Sukha Singh ji:

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.

I’d like to speak to you today about one line from Gurbani which I always think about whenever I hear the word “kirtan.” And it is:

Aisaa keertan kar man mayray. Eeha ooha jo kaam tayrai.

(Guru Arjan Dev ji. Ang 236.)

Sing kirtan in such a way - that it’s with you in this world and the next.

There is a little story which shows someone who sang kirtan in that way. It affected people in this world, and it definitely affected his journey into the next.

About Bhai Heera Singh. Bhai Heera Singh was an amazing Ragi, an amazing Kirtani. The power in his voice was just beyond words. And it would attract people from far and wide. So there was something magical about Bhai Heera Singh. Bhai Heera Singh would sit for hours on end, no sangat, no tabla, just him in front of the Guru Granth ji at home. For hours he would sing - just him and Guru Granth Sahib.

Someone came and asked once, “Bhai Sahib - kirtanis usually sing for sangat, they usually sing for congregation. They are singing to people. Who are you singing to? You are sitting for hours in front of Siri Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj.”

Bhai Heera Singh ji said back to him, “People sing for the world. I am singing to the One who blessed me with kirtan. The One who blesses all with kirtan. The One whose kirtan resounds through the whole world and the whole Universe. That is who I sing to.”

I think when we start singing kirtan like that, not wondering about our voice, not wondering about who is sitting in front of us, not wondering about what affect it has. But actually singing to the Guru. Whether we are there physically in front of Guru Granth Sahib ji, to sit there in a room with an instrument, without an instrument - take a shabad or two lines or one line or one word that you know. And to repeat them again and again with love. And knowing that Guru Nanak Sahib Maharaj is there listening to you. That I think is how you can achieve:

Aisaa keertan kar man mayray. Eeha ooha jo kaam tayrai.

(Guru Arjan Dev ji. Ang 236.)

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