Credit and AcknowledgementMy parents tell me that the spoken Punjabi or written Gurmukhi curriculum in India was nor structured nor vigorous for the average person from Punjab. It's affirmed that with complete cultural immersion in the language one may find it easier to converse, read, write, communicate and comprehend commonly spoken dialect as well as have the privilege of learning Gurmukhi. For others like myself whose native language includes baseline Punjabi and Hindi-learning Gurmukhi and fluency in written and spoken Punjabi may require intentional diligence a lifetime of commitment to learning.
This project was initiated in 2000 as an interest that morphed into a passion when we were looking for names for our own children. As a perpetual journey, when my own children had to learn Gurmukhi the opportunity presented itself to re-learn and sharpen my spoken Punjabi, written Gurmukhi and Hindi skills. Although blessed to have a basic literary understanding, I find that my path has been challenging yet a rewarding one with the assistance of too many to name. I have been able to attempt this gargantuan yet a very humbling project with the dedicated guidance and assistance of:
My parents for numerous collective discussions at the table, their enthusiasm, perspective on puratan and contemporary distinctions, Gurmukhi spell check, phonetics and Punjabi enunciation and last but not the least for imparting wisdom (at times it seemed like osmosis). Many thanks to other friends and family for their candid, thoughtful and logical literary feedback and unwavering support. Thank you also to the readers who continue to send in suggestions each year!
In addition to the collective experience of the aforementioned, I have also attempted to cross reference the popular resources online and provide links where indicated. This service is ongoing in small steps, yet a very worthwhile and self-enriching effort. I am grateful for the following references and consultations when available. It is interesting that many resources share the translations while others may be slightly off or very variable. In fact, I was fascinated by my own understanding as I integrated translations of others and compared to what I originally understood. My own understanding of the basic 5 daily banis has developed over time. I think back to my understanding limited by what my parents and grandparents taught me and I compare that to now and see clarity in the individual nature of one's personal relationship with bani. Back in the year 2000 when I came across a small list of a few names/words on Sikhs.org (Sandeep Singh Brar's website) naturally my interest peaked. Hence came the motivation to learn some more! The following is a list of the very insightful and invaluable cross-references relied upon in this sewa:
1. Guru Granth Sahib by Pritam Singh Chahil
2. Jaap Sahib by Harbans Singh Doabia
3. Japji Sahib by Harbans Singh Doabia
4. Asa Di Var by Harbans Singh Doabia
5. Sacred Nit Nem by Harbans Singh Doabia
6. Srigranth.org. This was step two and the dictionary is some what challenging for those who cannot understand the gurmukhi script. This was helpful in locating specific Gurmukhi words in the Guru Granth Sahib for cross links.
7. Sikhitothemax.com Again another excellent resource I gravitate towards to cross check transliterations, translations and specific pages.
8. Kaulonline.com The Indic Typewriter. I used this resource to type out the Gurmukhi (Punjabi) and Devanagri(Hindi) letters and then using a picture editor to create graphic images.
9. SriDasam.org: Another excellent resource. Translations here are some what different that the traditional ones by Harbans Singh Doabia.
10. The Gurmukhi Primer compiled by Shamsher Singh Puri: this book was a great to practice the Painti Akhri and muharnee (sounds).
11. www.SearchGurbani.com is another excellent reliable resource.
Voice artists for recorded pronunciations are:
--Dickey Singh (blog typing)
--Seva Singh (blog typing)
--Sabrina Kiren (blog typing)
Last but not the least, I would like to thank all the subscribers and readers of www.SikhNames.com who continue to send hundreds of emails and feedback. I may not be able to thank each individual for their valuable contribution but please know that your feedback is very important in delivering a product based entirely on the vision of sewa (service) that is of value to the readers. This humble sewa is free to the public with the caveat that there is a likelihood of error as I am neither a Gurmat scholar nor an expert in Gurbani translation. I too probably have unintentionally interjected my own bias and superimposed my preconceived ideas during the translation and script writing process.
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Our humble regards,
Sikh Names Team