Isher Micro Media: Gurbani research tool of the future!

 
Sunday 7th August, 2005
Anoop Singh – Panthic Weekly Staff
Source: www.panthic.org

(KP)

In the modern world of IT, research is done through the mode of computers and databases. Paper encyclopedias, indexes and concordances, which could be subject to human error, have been replaced by the precision of a database. What consumed enormous time a little ago, can now be done in a few seconds and a few clicks. Once the programmers have created, tested and uploaded the databases, the search would be on. The software would be available for anyone. In the field of Sikh studies, advanced research tools have been created in the last decade. Several Gurbani sites are out there, where anyone, novice or scholar, can tune in and search through Sri Guru Granth Sahib. A similar software is the Isher Micro Media.

Bhai Baljinder Singh, the man behind this project, says that basically the Isher Micro Media is a powerful search tool for Gurbani. It provides lots of utilities, such as an easy search engine for Sri Guru Granth Sahib and for the writings of Bhai Gurdas, traditionally known as the ‘first scholar of Sikhism’. Once one has downloaded the software, one can search for any words or lines found in Gurbani. Not only that, but one can also read commentaries and translations.

Three ‘teekas’ (exegesis) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Manmohan Singh’s Punjabi-English translation, Prof. Sahib Singh’s Guru Granth Darpan and Giani Bishan Singh Nirmala’s Sri Guru Granth Sahib Sateek (commonly known as Faridkot Wala Teeka), have been made available for the reader. This provides the user with a great advantage compared to the volumes, as in a simple way it is possible to read the commentaries at the same time. These three teekas, representing different interpretive schools (singh sabhait, vyakarani, nirmala), provide us with a specter of meanings, making the way for an indepth understanding of Gurbani.

The search engine includes a number of unique ‘copy-search’ functions. Also provided is a Help File that has everything a user needs to get the search started. There are two Gurbani dictionaries, Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha’s celebrated Mahan Kosh and Dr. Gurcharan Singh’s more recent Sri Guru Granth Kosh. One of the unique functions is that the user can view the meaning of any selected term from Gurbani and Bhai Gurdas’ writings by easily creating a link between the dictionaries and the original shabads. The list of bookmarks provided for Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Vars of Bhai Gurdaas makes the reading and locating shabads much easier.

Among several other functions, the very useful Karamsar typing program is also provided to make Gurmukhi typing easy. All Gurmukhi writings provided in the Isher Micro Media use the SriAngad font, which is patched with this typing program.

Apart from the Isher Micro Media, which can be downloaded to your desktop, the Bhai Daya Singh Ji Online Library provided several historic volumes such as Bhai Santokh Singh’s Sri Nanak Parkash and Sri Gurpartap Suraj Granth. Also provided is a relative index of Sri Gur Partap Suraj Granth, edited by S. Harbans Singh. The software and the PDFs from the digital library are available for download freely at www.ik13.com. A recent version of the Isher Micro Media was presented this year.

We encourage our readers to visit the site and see the treasure of Gurbani commentaries provided by Bhai Baljinder Singh of Rara Sahib. The Isher Micro Media is truely a milestone in the field of Gurbani related softwares. It is hoped that the group continues its efforts and that also others are inspired to serve the online Sikh community in similar ways.

Anoop Singh can be reached at anoop.singh@panthic.org

In the modern world of IT, research is done through the mode of computers and databases. Paper encyclopedias, indexes and concordances, which could be subject to human error, have been replaced by the precision of a database. What consumed enormous time a little ago, can now be done in a few seconds and a few clicks. Once the programmers have created, tested and uploaded the databases, the search would be on. The software would be available for anyone. In the field of Sikh studies, advanced research tools have been created in the last decade. Several Gurbani sites are out there, where anyone, novice or scholar, can tune in and search through Sri Guru Granth Sahib. A similar software is the Isher Micro Media.

 

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