Ardaas: the Supplication
A Sikh believes in a personal God to whom he must go every now and then because he regards Him as friend and benefactor. He recites a prayer before he starts any work or business. Even if he has no time for a full ardaas, he shall make a short prayer.
Sikh prayer can be led by any man or woman; it is congregational in the nature of its contents. It recounts the sacrifices of Sikhs but makes no mention of the enemies of the Sikhs. The basic idea is to inspire the Sikhs to similar heroic deed in any future times of need.
Prayer is a means of ridding the mind of its ills and desires and filling it with pure thoughts and noble aspirations. The prayer requires an effort of heart-searching, an effort to become more pure and noble. The mind must be emptied of all worldly thoughts so that peace may enter it
The Sikh Ardaas demands a complete surrender to Divine Will. Resignation to the Will of God will ultimately benefit the individual. Only then can God take up his problems and sort them out. The Lord will never fail him who throws himself on His Mercy. Moreover, this submission eliminates the ego- the wall which stands between man and his Creator.
The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib is itself a prayer. We seek the Guru's command. He gives us wise counsel, but is for us to obey. Merely worshipping the scripture without carrying its teaching into daily life is the very negation of prayer. True prayer is the practical living up to of the word of the Guru and a continuing effort, for spiritual development
Ardaas: the Supplication
Ardas starts with ‘Pritham Bhagauti Simar Kai’
Ardas starts with ‘Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki’ (Chandi Var- It comes after Chandi Charitar at p-119 of first part of Dasam Granth). It was originally composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The word Bhagauti in the start of Ardas has been used as Kharag and Akal Purkh both.
Sacrifices made by the Sikhs are recalled daily in Ardas (Sikh prayer)
In their daily Ardas, the Sikhs remember and respect the sacrifices made by their great Gurus. The sacrifices of the brave Sikhs who offered themselves for martyrdom to upkeep their religion and righteousness are recalled.
The Sikhs pray,
“Five beloved ones, four princes (Sahibzade), forty redeemed ones, those who have remained steadfast in suffering, those who kept constant remembrance of Waheguru, those who renounced the sensuous pleasures, those who have constantly lived in the Divine presence, shared earnings, expressed magnanimity, have preserved in their fight in the cause of justice, turned a blind eye to the faults and failings of others and did not falter, concentrate your minds on the struggle and achievements of those, O, revered members of the order of the Khalsa and say: 'Waheguru'.
The Singhs of both the sexes who courted martyrdom in the cause of religion and underwent unspeakable sufferings of being dismembered alive bit by bit , cut to pieces, scalped alive, broken on the rotating spiked wheels, sawed alive into two pieces and boiled alive and those who made sacrifices in the service of the centers of the Sikh religion, the Gurdwaras, but never wavered in their faith and remained steadfast in the cause of Sikhism to the last hair of their body and to their last breath O, revered members of the Khalsa Order, concentrate your minds on the glorious deeds of those, and utter, glory to Waheguru.”
Pray for gifts of virtues
The Sikhs pray for gift of the Sikh faith, the gift of the un-trimmed hair, the gift of the discipline of their faith , the gift of wisdom, the gift of trust, the gift of confidence, above all the gift of meditation on the Divine Name and bath in the holy pool of Amritsar.
Ardas for humility, high wisdom and Sarbat Da Bhala
Sikh Ardas is for universal welfare. It creates self confidence. The Sikhs pray for humility and high wisdom to serve the humanity and recite the Name of Almighty God.
Power of prayer
The creatures pray to the Creator. If the prayer is said from core of the heart and with full confidence, it is heard by the Almighty. It is heard if the pleader is sincere in approach, inclination and motives.
Dandaut bandan anik var sarab kala samrath,
Dolan te rakho prabhu Nanak de kar hath.
Tu Thakar tum pai ardas
jio pind sabh teri raas
(208 Gauri Sukhmani M5)
Tudh aage ardas hamari jio pind sabh tera.
(383 Asa m5)
Dui kar jor karo ardas tudh bhavai tan ane ras.
(727 Suhi M 5)
Guru Gobind Singh had full faith in God. He prayed confidently before Almighty when he said,
“If one hundred twenty five thousand come to fight with me, I will win over them.”
“Savaa laakh se ek laraon”
In the Sikh prayer, Divine grace and past sufferings and glories of the community are recalled.
“This prayer first evolved during the eighteenth century, has since undergone occasional minor amendments.”
(P260- World religions by Geoffery Parrinder)
It ends with the famous proclamation;
“Raj Karega Khalsa (Khalsa shall rule).”
After every Ardas, the Sikhs remind themselves of the perpetual authority of Guru Granth Sahib by reciting:
AwigAw BeI Akwl kI qbI clwiea pMQ ]
sB isKn ko hukm hY gurU mwina gRMQ ]
gurU gRMQ jI mwina pRgt gurW kI dyh ]
jwkw ihrdw suD hY Koj Sbd mYN lyh ]
Agya Bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth,
Sab Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth.
Guru Granth ko Manyo pargat Guran ki deh
Jo Prabhu ko milna chahe khoj sabad men leh
(g. igAwn isMG, qvwrIK gurU Kwls)
(Tawarikh Guru Khalsa by Giani Gian Singh Part-1, p-1142) (See Reht Nama Bhai Prahlad Singh)
rwj krygw Kwlsw AwkI rihh n koie ]
Kwr hoie sB imlYNgy bcih Srn jo hoie ]
Raj karega khalsa Aaki rahe na koe,
Khawar hoe sabh milainge bacheh sharan jo hoe.
(qnKwhnwmw BweI nMd lwl)
(Tankhah Nama Bhai Nand Lal)
“Under orders of the Immortal Being, The Panth was started
All the Sikhs are ordained to accept the Granth as their Guru;
Accept Guru Granth Sahib as living Guru for all ages to come.
Whosoever is desirous of seeking communion with God,
let him search through the hymns of Guru Granth Sahib.
The Khalsa shall rule, and its opponents will be no more.
Those separated will unite, and all the devotees shall be saved.”
Hymn of Sikh Patriotism
“Grant me this boon O God,
May I never refrain from righteous deeds.
May I fight fearlessly all the foes in the battle of life,
With the courage of faith to achieve victory.
May my mind be enshrined by your teachings,
May my highest ambition be to sing your praises,
And when this mortal life embraces its end,
May I die fighting in the thick of battle field with limitless courage.”
Edict (Hukamnama) for addition in the Ardas:
On partition of India, Punjab was divided into two parts in 1947. Many of the historical Gurdwaras went on to the list of Pakistan. Akal Takht enjoined upon the entire Khalsa Panth on January 25, 1952 to add the following lines to the Ardas:
“O Immortal Being, eternal helper of Thy Panth, benevolent Lord, bestow on the Khalsa the beneficence of unobstructed visit to and free management of Nankana Sahib and other shrines and places of the Guru from which the Panth has been separated.”