In 1958, the Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan was established in Delhi, India. They made a concerted effort to collect his letters, thereby preserving them in three books: Hamdardi Pattar of Bhai Sahib, Vir Pattravali, and Vir Sunehare. These letters written in Panjabi have a unique relevance and enhance the genre of modern Panjabi literature.
While reading Vir Pattravali, I was drawn to a particular letter, for it spoke to me. In my twenties, I met a Fakir whose simple words made me focus inwards, and the cleansing began. Not a day goes by, when I do not think of him. His magnetic energy and fragrance lingers. Will he ever know the profound effect he had on my life.
Being a wordsmith, I delve into the etymology of fakir. Fakir is derived from the Arabic word ‘faqir,’ – a poor man. In the Hindu context, fakir is an ascetic (i.e. guru, sadhu, swami, yogi).
Known as the Sixth River of Panjab, Bhai Vir Singh gave style, rhythm, and flow to the modern Panjabi language. His writings, spiritual in nature, stimulate the soul and open our eyes to the Beloved.
The purpose of the series is to introduce poems, letters, and essays of Bhai Vir Singh in new translations as a way ofconnecting his work with the audience at large.
The translator Inni Kaur is the CEO of the Sikh Research Institute. She is also the author of ‘Journey with the Gurus’ series, ‘Sakhi-Time with Nani ji’, and ‘Thank You, Vahiguru.’
This series is supported by the generosity of an admirer of Bhai Vir Singh’s writings.
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