Date of this posting: December 11, 2005.
The distribution of Gurbani-CD started on November 14, 1995.
Although the making and duplication of Gurbani-CD is controlled by Kulbir Singh Thind, MD; its creation has been possible due to a selfless dedication of a number of individuals.
It is worth mentioning here that many individuals and organizations have been making their own efforts to do similar projects and some have produced valuable results.
One such project was started many years ago by S. Jaswant Singh-ji, an engineer by profession. He typed the text from Siri Guru Granth Sahib into the computer and is thus the main architect of this project.
S. Jaswant Singh-ji did most of the work of typing, initial proof reading and editing of the text of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. S. Jagjit Singh Karwel helped in typing the text of many hundreds of pages.
The most difficult part of this project has been to eliminate all mistakes of text entry. That required extensive proof reading, a task that may seem simple but is very difficult and time consuming. Many dedicated individuals were helpful in this regard. The names of those individuals are mentioned below.
1. Dr. Kulwant Singh-ji, who in addition to being an ophthalmologist (a retired medical doctor) is also a Sikh studies scholar and a writer of many books on Sikhism. His “Maansrovar” and some other documents are included on Gurbani-CD. He did a commendable job of ‘full proof-reading’ of the whole of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, twice. He also helped in this project in many other ways as described later.
2. In addition to the correction work done before, a very extensive correction work was done by Parminder Singh Aujla of Hopewell Junction, New York, USA; before the 2nd proof reading by Dr. Kulwant Singh.
3. Many other individuals helped in proof-reading the typed text from Siri Guru Granth Sahib and many of them edited it a number of times. Their names are: S. Jagdev Singh Beasley, Bibi Avtar Kaur Beasley, Giani Amarjit Singh-ji, S. Rajinder Singh Dhaliwal, Bibi Surinder Kaur Dhaliwal, S. Manjit Singh Sahota (with the help of his niece) and Bibi Khushdev Kaur Thind.
4. The already proof-read files have been further improved recently with cooperation from SGPC.
The text of Bhai Gurdaas's Bannies has been typed by S. Maninderpal Singh and his other family members in Delhi, India.
The text of Bhai Gurdaas’ Vaars have also been independently typed according to SGPC publication and proof read by Bhai Baljinder Singh of Rara Sahib Wale.
To achieve proper appearance of the text from Siri Guru Granth Sahib on pages, many logical formatting decisions had to be made. Dr. Kulbir Singh Thind, MD; was responsible in this regard by utilizing his word processing & other computer related technical skills. He was also responsible for all conversions of the text of Gurbani related files to Devanagari (Hindi script) and its phonetic transliteration (romanization). He has also converted Sri Guru Granth Sahib text to Unicode Gurmukhi and Devanagari fonts that are based on the industry accepted international standard. It is thankfully acknowledged that S. Piara Singh Bagri & Satwinderjit Singh Bagri from Tracy, California, USA; made valuable recommendations for improving conversion of SGGS text to Devanagari.
All the fonts on the Gurbani-CD have been made by Dr. Kulbir Singh Thind, and are his copyright. He has been making and distributing Gurmukhi fonts (free of charge) for many years. His Gurmukhi type-faces, named “Amrit-Lipi” had a wide distribution. However, Amrit-Lipi lacked some subscript characters (shown below) that were required to correctly type text from Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Dr. Kulwant Singh-ji, did a thorough search of Siri Guru Granth Sahib to list all such characters for Dr. Thind, who then developed a new font for the purpose of writing Siri Guru Granth Sahib and named it “Gurbani-Lipi”. This font was gradually perfected over time and other similar fonts were also developed.
Following eleven characters previously not found in the Amrit-Lipi were included in the “GurbaniLipi” and in all the fonts that were developed subsequently.
Conversion of the text of Siri Guru Granth Sahib from Gurmukhi to Hindi (during the earlier years) required a customized Hindi font which was then developed. Some characters found in Gurmukhi do not have equivalent characters in Hindi. Decision was made to import those characters in the custom Hindi font.
On release of Windows XP operating system, it became possible to use Unicode Gurmukhi and Devanagari fonts based on the international standard. By this time other operating systems have also made it possible to use Unicode Gurmukhi & Devanagari fonts. Dr. Thind has thus developed Unicode Gurmukhi fonts.
Phonetic transliteration (romanization) of Siri Guru Granth Sahib text in common English characters has also been completed by Kulbir Singh Thind, MD. Prior to this Conversion of Siri Guru Granth Sahib text to Roman was done with a different approach, i.e., by making a specialized font. All the search and decision making regarding the development of this font has been done by Kulbir Singh Thind who then created the font and named it “GurbaniRomanizing”. Dr. Kulwant Singh-ji made many suggestions for this font, a few of which were incorporated.
Kulbir S. Thind has also been responsible for making of "Sentence by Sentence SGGS text with Page Line Raag Author labels" document. The text in this document is arranged in an easy to use format for scholarly work. In this document each sentence from Siri Guru Granth Sahib is arranged as a single line or in a few instances in double line paragraphs. Each line/paragraph ends with the page number, line number, Raag and Author for easy reference. This file has been further developed by including Dr. Khalsa’s (see below) English translation underneath each line of Gurmukhi text. Another file also includes sentence by sentence phonetic transliteration done by Kulbir Singh Thind, MD.
Singh Sahib Sant Singh Khalsa, MD, graciously gave his permission to record his English translation of Siri Guru Granth Sahib on the Gurbani-CD. Users will find his work very valuable. We are very thankful to Dr. Khalsa for his generosity.
An additional document named “Translation Comparison” included on the Gurbani-CD is also compiled by Dr. Khalsa and compares the five available English translations of Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
"Sri Guru Granth Darpan," Gurmukhi text to Punjabi (Gurmukhi) translation of all of Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Professor Sahib Singh is included since version 2002 of the Gurbani-CD. The work of getting it typed into computer has been spearheaded by S. Avtar Singh & Davinder Kaur Dhami, 3336 Bridge Road Hayward, CA 94545, USA; who got the text typed in Amritsar, India and also paid for this task. This is all done with permission from Dr. Daljit Singh, M.B.B.S, M.S., Amritsar, India. On the internet "Sri Guru Granth Darpan" is available at http://www.gurugranthdarpan.com. Thanks to Dhami family & Dr. Daljit Singh. Dr. Thind formatted the typed text of “Sri Guru Granth Darpan” for use on the computer and on the internet.
S. Kirpal Singh Pannu of Ontario, Canada; who has been providing many coputer related linguistic services to Punjabi writers for many years has been helpful in converting Sri Guru Granth Sahib text into Shahmukhi (Urdu) and those files are made available on the Gurbani-CD. Many thanks to him.
S. Manjit Singh Sahota of San Jose, California, a computer professional, has been kind enough to contribute to the Gurbani-CD by creating (1) "All Words List" from Siri Guru Granth Sahib files (2) a “Word Index” file that indexes all words from SGGS (Siri Guru Granth Sahib) with page and line numbers (3) a “sorting” program to help users sort lines of text written with GurbaniLipi according to the Gurmukhi alphabet and (4) by sorting the “Alphabetized Sentence by Sentence SGGS Text” file according to the Gurmukhi alphabet. The sorting program created by S. Manjit Singh Sahota works under Windows 95/98 DOS and can sort up to 2000 lines of text. S. Manjit Singh Sahota has also been helpful in many other ways. He deserves numerous thanks.
Mr. Jasjeet Singh Thind, a computer software engineer, was very helpful (at that time he was a student at Cornell University) in remaking of “All Words from Siri Guru Granth Sahib” files and “Index of All Words in Siri Guru Granth Sahib” files. He did a perfect job. This work needed to be done again for following reasons: Since the making of the original “All Words List” and “Word Index”, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib files had been perfected for spellings and it was time to make new “All Words” list and “Index” files that reflect necessary changes (also some omissions regarding page & line references were discovered in the previous Index). Regarding Sikh scriptures, Jasjeet Singh Thind has also contributed in another big way, by making a web search engine available at http://www.srigranth.org.
The documents in the “PSSG Trust” folder on the Gurbani-CD are included by the courtesy of Professor Sahib Singh Gurmat Trust and have been spearheaded with the labor of love by Dr. Gurcharan Singh, Ph.D., Academy of Sikh Religion & Culture, 1 Dhillon Marag, Patiala 147001, India. The names of other individuals associated with these documents are described in the leading pages of the documents. Dr. Gurcharan Singh’s publications "SGGS Kosh", "Tuk Tatkara", “Haumai”& “Nadir” are included on the Gurbani-CD. Dr. Gurcharan Singh is a distinguished scholar of Sikhism who has devoted many years of hard labor in producing many Sikhism related reference materials. His latest addition is a marvelous dictionary (Gurmukhi to Gurmukhi Kosh) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. This is not just a repeat of what has been done before but an honest update of all similar work ever produced before. In this document, a citation for each meaning is provided with text from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. My heartfelt thanks to him for choosing Gurbani-CD a medium for making some of his reference materials available to Gurbani-CD users without any financial gain.
Bhai Baljinder Singh of Rara Sahib Wale, (16914 Lassen Street, Northridge, CA 91343, USA) who preaches the teachings of Sikhism all over the world, as expounded by Sant Isher Singh ji; has been working for a number of years to make the important Sikhism literature resources available for use on the computer. He has thus been responsible for getting important Gurbani texts typed into the computer, the ones that were not already done. He has been instrumental in creating Gurbani Search Software named Isher Micromedia Software. This search tool can search text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Vaars/Kabits Bhai Gurdas ji in a hurry. Besides this, he has provided the basic and detailed source material about Gurbani, Sikhism & Sikh History. This is being offered free of cost as a humble service to the Sikh Community worldwide. Bhai Baljinder Singh started the project of getting Mahankosh by Bhai Kahan Singh ‘Nabha’ typed into the computer in 1996 and it got completed in 1998. Mahankosh was then made available for downloading at http://www.rarasahib.com and then at http://www.ik13.com . A pdf file of MahanKosh is also included on the Gurbani-CD. Many other files relating to Sikh literature that are prepared by Bhai Baljinder Singh-ji are also included on the Gurbani-CD inside the folder “9 Files by Bhai Baljinder Singh”. He rightfully deserves thanks from the users of his files and search-engine software.
All the scanned images inside the “Photos by Nirmal Dhesi” folder have become available on the Gurbani-CD courtesy of Nirmal Singh Dhesi, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, State University, Sonoma, California. Professor Dhesi made many photographic slides of historic Gurdwaras and of associated art work in 1980s. His photographic work is very professional. Upon request from Dr. Thind, Professor Dhesi made those slides available for scanning for inclusion of his valuable work on the Gurbani-CD with a condition that the scanned images be not used by anyone for any publication or commercial exploitation. Dr. Thind is happy to scan those slides and make those available for viewing purposes. Professor Dhesi deserves many thanks for this generous contribution.
Many a photographs in the "Gurdwara Photos" folder are provided by Rajinder Singh Dhaliwal from Fishkil, New York. Thanks to him.
Permission has also been obtained from “Sikh Missionary Center, PO BOX 62521, Phoenix, Arizona 85082” to include on the Gurbani-CD an approximately 263 page document on “Sikh Religion” written in English. The Sikh Missionary Center (responsible individual: S. Jaswant Singh) deserves sincere thanks.
We are thankful to Dr. Harbans Lal Ph.D., who has retired as Chairman of Department of Pharmacology, University of North Texas, and the founder of ‘Academy of Guru Granth Studies’ for providing moral support and for his participation in some decision making processes, in the initial stages of the making of Gurbani-CD.
The documents in the “Gahir, Avtar” folder on the Gurbani-CD have been formatted with the labor of love by: Avtar Singh Gahir, President, Kingston Sikh Cultural Society, Ontario, CANADA. Thanks to him for his contribution.
The document “Ardaas” inside the folder “Randhawa, Joginder” on the Gurbani-CD has been written by: Dr. Jogindar Singh Randhawa, MBBS, England, UK. Thanks to him for his contribution.
No funds were ever collected for the completion of this project. All individuals who helped in the project did it with the understanding that this was a free “Sewa” (voluntary service) and that the project was a non-commercial one for “Sewa” (community service) only.
Many other individuals including a number of friends and relatives of Sewadars (volunteers) have offered their support and help for the completion of the project and deserve thanks.
When the distribution of the Gurbani-CDs was started in Nov. 95, we expected to distribute only a few hundred of these. However, the experience proved otherwise. By the end of February 96, we had already recorded (at home) and distributed more than 550 of Gurbani-CDs and the demand seemed to be increasing. By then it became obvious that the distribution of Gurbani-CDs by recording at home was not an efficient method for the given demand. Subsequently, many thousands of professionally made Gurbani-CDs have been distributed and over the years a number of different versions of Gurbani-CDs have been released.
Dr. Tarlochan Singh of the Sikh Center of Orange County (a Gurdwara in Southern California) was very enthused about the Gurbani-CD. The Sikh Center has contributed significantly towards the manufacture of compressed CDs and offered its services for the distribution of the Gurbani-CDs. It may be noted that subsequently the name of the organization involved in the distribution of Gurbani-CDs has changed to "Shri Guru Granth Sahib Foundation, Inc." Thanks to Dr. Tarlochan Singh and other involved in this service, especially Bickey Singh. However, currently Dr. Tarlochan Singh and Bickey Singh are not active in the distribution of Gurbani-CDs.
Dr. Thind is personally indebted to the following individuals who provided their support during early days of the making of the Gurbani-CDs by supplying significant number of recordable CDs and helping in the distribution: Dr. Gurpal Singh Bhuller, MD, Virginia; Dr. Pritam Singh, Ph.D., Texas; S. Surinder Singh, California; Dr. Baljit S. Sidhu, MD, Virginia; S. Shamsher Singh Puri, Georgia.
We are also indebted to S. Charanjit Singh Anand of Massachusettes & S. Kirat Singh Sethi of New York who provided valuable support and contact with S. Maninder Singh Sethi of New York that led to the initial manufacture of stamped Gurbani-CDs.
Dr. Harbhajan Singh Chawla, MD; of New Jersey provided many recordable CDs as well as $2500 for the manufacture of professionally compressed Gurbani-CDs.
Dr. Thind is also thankful to Dr. Jasbir Singh Mann, MD; Dr. Bhupinder Singh Waraich, MD; Dr. Prabhjot Singh Khalsa, MD; and late Dr. Sunder Singh Saluja, Ph.D. for their support in the project.
Dr. Jasbir Singh Mann, MD from Orange County, California, USA, is very active in the Sikh community and is involved in many activities in the promotion of Sikhism. He has also been very helpful in the making and distribution of Gurbani-CDs.
Our thanks are due to numerous other individuals (not listed here) who provided monetary or other help in the manufacture and distribution of the Gurbani-CDs. Many of them have provided support directly to the Sikh Center. We are very grateful for their kindness.
All users of the Gurbani-CD deserve our special thanks. It is mainly their enthusiasm and love for learning from Gurbani that has made this project such a huge success.