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Gurmukhi Primer For The Beginnners - Book By Shamsher Singh Puri
Introduction to the Book
To save the most precious wealth of our nation, we must teach our children, our ancestral language and language of our holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib.
Punjabi is an ancient language of Indo-Pakistan sub-continent of Punjab and is spoken by all inhabitants of that area irrespective of their ethno religious affiliation. Punjabis of Indian side write it in Gurmukhi script, while the speakers of Pakistani Punjab prefer to scribe it in Persian script. Nowadays some Punjabis settled in western countries use Roman script for Punjabi language too for their convenience. But it is an estab1ished fact that Gurmukhi is linguistically the most scientific and suitable script for scribing the Punjabi language. Guru Angad Dev Ji, second Guru of the Sikhs introduced Gurmukhi script and our holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib, though comprising of many languages, is written in Gurmukhi script.
Every Sikh believes in Akalpurkh, God. Like the rest of humanity, Sikhs too are the seekers of the Almighty, for the instinctive desire to return to our Creator is ingrained in the human soul. But our search is like that of a blind man. We continue to swim in this great ocean of the world (Bhaujal) without direction and the seashore remains a distant dream, to be realized in our next life or may be the next thereafter.
Millions of Sikh children and the youth grow up without learning Gurmukhi. If we have to pass this noble life and cross this ocean of life successfully, we need someone to guide us. Someone who has already landed at the shore having undergone sublime experience. Our Guru is the guiding star. Guru's spoken word has come to us through Gurmukhi (lit. articulated by the Guru) script. Until we can speak Punjabi and read Gurmukhi, we cannot fully comprehend the precept of the Guru in its true spirit.
Life shall pass away without even being able to read Guru Granth Sahib, our Eternal Guru, One's mind shudders at such a possibility.
So learning Gurmukhi (Punjabi) is of most utmost importance.
By teaching our children Gurmukhi we will enable them to read Guru Granth Sahib and other literature about Sikh Theology and our (Sikh) faith. By doing so we will give them the greatest gift...THEIR HERITAGE. Since Punjabi in Gurmukhi script is the language of our holy scripture, it is essential that our children know this.
The need for teaching Gurmukhi to Sikh children is being realized and modest efforts are being made by concerned parents and community leaders to start the process by organizing Sunday schools in Gurdwaras with the help of volunteer teachers. To do so we are bringing books and other material from India, themes and contents of which are neither suitable nor appealing to children born and brought up in this part of the world (USA and Canada). Efforts of volunteer teachers who devote their precious time to teach are appreciable but forty minutes _ to one hour classes once a week are not enough. It is suggested that Gurdwara Management. Committees and volunteer teachers should plan to have at least two to three hour classes once a week, where children may be able to mingle and learn the language. We must keep in mind that typically language is best learnt in its own environment, where it is the medium of everyday speech and is difficult to learn it outside its natural venue.
We, here at Academy of Sikh Studies Inc. with Satguru's blessings and ability and strength given by HIM to all those who worked on this project have compiled a Gurmukhi Primer, with the hope that it will serve the purpose.
First it was published in four parts beginning with alphabet (Painti Akhri) and ending with reading practices to enable the learner to read our religious literature in Gurmukhi script. On consistent demand of our patrons we are now presenting a small version of one volume only comprising only of Painti Akhri with writing practices) some grammar, word building, how to write Gurmukhi. We are sure this will be helpful to the beginners.
My special thanks to Dr. Gurinderpal Singh and Sardarni Pushpinder Kaur for their guidance and allowing us to use graphics and material produced by them. I am grateful to Dr. Gurvinder Singh Rekhi, Kanwaljeet Rekhi and S. Rajinder Singh Dhada for reviewing the whole work and their suggestions for its improvement.
My special thanks to all those whose moral and financial support made this publication possible.
It would not have been possible to bring this humble work without support and hard work of S. Gursagar Singh, S. Kuljit Singh and all other members of Singh Bros. family whose hard work has made this publication "possible.
Shamsher Singh Puri