The sanctity of Tarn Taran sarovar

I refer to A. J. Philip’s article, “In the heartland of Sikhs” (Saturday Extra, June 24). It is a belief about the sarovar at Tarn Taran (literally meaning to swim across the worldly pool) that anyone having a dip especially on the amavasya day is relieved of all sins and illnesses.

This has high religious sanctity. A big mela along with cattle fair is held on the day every month. People especially of the Majha belt consider taking this bath akin to a dip in the holy Ganges. On Diwali people first pay obeisance at Tarn Taran, it being amavasya, and then flock to Harmandar Sahib at Amritsar for the evening show of lights and fireworks.

Tarn Taran Gurdwara also came to the rescue of lakhs of refugees coming from the other side. They were fed daily at its langar. I had myself been a recipient of this charity during those tragic days. Keeping in view its holy status, the missionaries established a leprosarium, which is almost a century old. Students from Amritsar medical college visit it regularly to learn about the treatment and vocational rehabilitation of these unfortunate victims of the disease.

Brig H.S. SANDHU, Panchkula



The writer has done commendable service to the readers as well as the Sikh community, which treats the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev as one of the greatest events on the globe. The writer, while taking about his journey to the newly created district of Tarn Taran, has tried to remove barriers between different sections of society (read migratory labourers from other states) by talking about their contribution to Punjab. The article gives interesting details of events on the roadsides too.

I appeal to the authorities to include the article in the history books for the students at the middle level to inculcate in their minds the values propagated by the Great Guru.


Nothing to beat fresh home-cooked food

This refers to "The zero-minute recipe" by Puspesh Pant (Spectrum, June 25). We fail to understand food’s contribution to our lives. Processed, frozen and fast foods are dietary villains. Considered a gift of gods, food in India is governed by weather (even month), occasion, age, work and often temperament of a person, aiming at nutrition and good health ensuring longevity, impossible to achieve by consuming processed or frozen food.

The latter doesn’t fit in with our increased awareness of good health and conscious attempt to change our lifestyles combating stress and disease. They are definitely not for invalids and infants. They only save time, killing art of creative cookery.

The Taittiriya Upanishad proclaims that the Almighty generated space (akash) from which came air (vayu) from which emerged fire (agni) further giving way to water (jal) and then to earth (prithvi). Vegetation grew on earth providing food and seed, sustaining all creatures. Even scriptural Annath Bhavanthe Bhuthani ordains that all living beings are created from food, our essential substance.

Traditionally, a person attains physical, mental and spiritual balance only if all five elements are absorbed through a balanced diet. Undeniably, there’s nothing to beat fresh home-cooked balanced food. So wither processed food?


Buckling of tracks

This is reference to “Women on track” by Ambujam Anantharaman (Spectrum, June 18). The writer says that the gang women/gang men pour water on rail tracks when they are too hot. This doesn’t cool or prevent buckling of tracks. In fact expansion and contraction of rails and even steel girders of railway bridges does occur with the variation in day/night temperatures.

To facilitate this and to prevent buckling of rails, short length rails have been provided with adequate breathing gaps at fish plate bolted joints and long welded panel rails (LWRs) have switch expansion joints (SEJs).

Similarly, minor and major steel girders of railway bridges have been provided with stepped bearings and roller and rocker bearings respectively.

Regular inspection and maintenance of track and bridges is carried out by permanent way or P-way and bridge staff, which are two vital branches of the Civil Engineering Department of Indian Railways.


Evil passion

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s “Nothing to celebrate in celibacy” (June 24). The Sikh scripture is replete with injunctions urging people to control their evil passions.

Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606) in his Sukhmani (The Psalm of Peace), Canto XII, says, “Man indulges in the enjoyment of many sensual passions, yet his craving in not appeased; he only ruins himself by hankering after them. Without contentment there can be no satisfaction. Like a dream, all such pursuits are in vain, peace—entire peace—is found only in the love of His Name.”

Citing the example of lustful staring at a beautiful woman, the Guru sermonises, the more one looks at the beauty of a woman, greater is the hunger or urge to look at her again and again. Cultivation of noble thoughts or deeds and love of God will come about only after harnessing the craving for sensual pleasures.

Brig HARDIT SINGH KAPUR (retd), Chandigarh

Card magic

This refers to S. Nihal Singh’s Card Magic (Spectrum, June 18). I cannot exactly define what was so special about this poem but it touched my heart. It appeared that each word was especially chosen and the overall impact was that I felt I was in Baghdad and playing cards. It was such a spellbinding effect.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |