Musical <i>Chaunki</i>s at the Darbar Sahib

Pashaura Singh

in Sikhism in Global Context

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780198075547
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082056 | DOI:
Musical Chaunkis at the Darbar Sahib

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This chapter explores the eight ‘sittings’ (chaunkis) to sing kirtan as part of daily liturgical routine at the Darbar Sahib (n Amritsar) in its historical context, concentrating on contemporary religious and secular musical traditions. The author establishes the religious context of the eight musical chaunkis at the Darbar Sahib through the lens of the ‘eight orders of darshans’. These sittings include Asa di Var di chaunki (early morning), Bilaval di chaunki (after sunrise), Aanad di chaunki (before noon), Sarang di chaunki (noon), Charan Kamal di chaunki (afternoon), So Dar di chaunki (sunset), Arti/Kalyan di chaunki (night), and Kirtan Sohile/Kanare di chaunki (late night). All these chaunkis are organized around Sikh worship since music is regarded as the manifestation of the Divine. The mystical meaning of the Granth Sahib is evoked by the singing and listening of sacred hyms which are set to the ragas of north Indian classical music. Spiritual discipline is the primary objective of Sikh kirtan. The singing of hymns in processional chaunkis is also discussed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Kirtan chaunkis in Sikh literature and their evolution in history.

Keywords: musical chaunkis; Sikh kirtan; daily liturgical routine; Darbar Sahib; musical traditions; ragas; darshan; Sikh worship

Chapter.  11541 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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