Let’s face the facts — old Sikh traditions are being lost everyday as time lapses. Sikhism is one of the world’s youngest religions yet we have still managed to lose a significant amount of our heritage, generation to generation. Things will only get worse, unless the brightest Sikh intellectuals of today make an effort to preserve what we have now. There are so many vast subfields of Sikhism that are so important to do research on and work on preserving and/or reviving, that the work to be done is limitless.
We at Keertan.Org have a mission to preserve as much Keertan (Sikh Religious Hyms) that we possibly can by first collecting it, making it into a digital format (.mp3), and then distributing it via this website. We started this movement in 2005 when we started the Rare Live Recordings section, which has rare live recordings performed by late Raagis (musicians that sing the writings of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the traditional format of Raags) of the past century. This collection of rare treasures has grown substantially in 2006 as we have found many new keertan donors who also want to share their collections with the world to help benefit the international Sikh community. Puraatan (old) style keertan, also referred to as Gurmat Sangeet, is also rapidly disappearing in the world. Such recordings of Gurmat Sangeet are so rare, that they are a living form of history, and must be collected and preserved as soon as possible. This audio history of keertan is not only a valuable tool for us, but also for those future listeners, Raagi’s, and Keertanee’s (Keertan performers). If anyone reading this blog has any old cassette tapes, video cassette tapes, etc., please contact us and donate. As these tapes age, they also begin to get destroyed, which affects the sound of the recording forever. Assuming, that the old cassette you have is the only one in the world, special care needs to be taken of it so it can be transferred to digital MP3 shortly. It is essential that old recordings, like every single one that is in the Rare Live Recordings section, be converted to MP3 and shared with the public. A philosophy that we follow on this site, is to distribute all styles of Kirtan (Sikh music), Katha (discourse/lectures), and various forms of audio and video, and simply promote the principle of Keertan, irrespective of the Raagi Jatha (group of musical performers), Jathabandi (Sikh organization), or Raag vs. Non-Raag, so that Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike can value its importance largely. We believe this is a crucial step in this kind of seva to further preserve keertan as a whole, and not exclude a particular form of keertan. In conclusion, as we begin to expand this site, all forms of Sikh audio, video, and literature are important to us. Those items that are old, and therefore rare, are especially important to us. Our mission is to provide as much downloadable material to the world as possible, using cutting edge tools and technology that are available to our disposal.