Monday, December 05, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Gurdwara - Evening Routine

Sodar Dee Chaukee

Sodar Dee Chaukee – In this, Rahras is recited in a Kirtan-style.
After Rahras, Kirtan Sohla is also recited, while closing the Holy Book.
See more pages in index.

Sukhasan

Sukh-Asan – Closing Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib Santokhna - closing Guru Granth Sahib for its rest.

Guru Granth Sahib should be closed after Parshad has been distributed and not before it.
Guru Granth Sahib must be closed, and should not be left open in the day, or overnight, unless someone will read or is reading it e.g. in doing Akhand-Paath.
{May be at any time, when Panthik Ardas has been said, Hukam taken, Guru Granth Sahib covered with sheets, Parshad distributed, and program for the day completed for the day (no more any program including Sodar Dee Chaukee etc.), in Gurdwara or elsewhere, Sukhasan is done.}.

Santokhna – Sukhasan

* For a few times, a few quotes of Gurbani are recited, Chaur is worked over the Holy Granth, and covers are calmly removed.
* Hukam is taken without involving others. For Hukam, a Shabad (Hymn) is recited from the Holy Book from its left top (If a Shabad starts from the previous page, start reading it from there).
Mostly, the same Shabad is recited that was got as Hukam in the morning, but it may not be essential to do so, and a new Hukam may be taken. Some sects may practice a variation about selecting the location of Shabad. This recitation is done in low and soft voice, and the Holy Book is respectfully closed, and wrapped in sheets, while reciting Kirtan Sohela.
Recitation of Kirtan Sohela, is mostly done by the person in Tabeaa (doing this service - one who took Hukam). It may be read out or recited by someone else.
closing the Holy Granth -
* Palkaan - the cloth pieces hanging on two sides (right and left) of the Holy Book, are removed, folded and kept aside.
* If there are extra cloth strips of the short width on front (side of the person doing it) and back (side farther away towards Sangat) of the closed Holy Book, coming from the binding, these are wrapped over the front and back of the closed Book held up (wrapped around the edges of the deck of pages).
* If the binding itself has a flap, it is turned over to cover the top of the Holy Book held upwards on closing (it is not tucked inside its binding).
* The Granth is wrapped in nicely smoothed cloth sheets.
* Any extra cloth sheets are folded and kept aside.
* Pillows are usually removed and kept on one side.

Taking Granth to its Room

* The Sangat stands up, Chhotee Ardas - a short prayer (first Paurree – first step of the full Ardas) is said, and a request is made to the Guru to permit taking it to the place of its rest. This Chhotee Ardas is the same as said at the time of opening the Holy Book, and only the supplication at its end is for permission to take it for rest.
See in index for more page on Chhotee Ardas
* After Chhotee Ardas, Sangat keeps standing, the Holy Granth is carried on the head, going around the cot (platform) from the left (anti clockwise). It is done in the form of a small procession, singing together Gurbani (mostly “Jithae jaa-ae bahae maeraa Sat.t.eguru so thaan suhavaa Ram Rajae”- (the place is blessed to which my Lord retires), Guru Granth-M: 4-P 450-L 17), or saying “Waheguru, Satte-Naamu” etc. and working Chaur (moving wisp) over it.
* A few others join in and it makes a small procession walking behind the person carrying Guru Granth Sahib. The Holy Granth is moved to its room for Sukh-Asan – its retiring i.e. resting. Throughout, the Sangat keeps standing and singing. As the Holy Granth passes by the people, they reverently bow to it.
* The holy Book is placed on the cot in the room for retiring. Jaikara, “Jo Bolae so nihaal, Satsri Akaal,” – He is blessed who says God is great, is shouted. After bowing to Guru Granth Sahib, Sangat comes out of the room, and door is closed.
If the Langar is arranged, everyone moves to the Langar hall to take snacks or food, whatever is served.

The Place for Rest

After Gurdwara session, the Holy Book should be removed to the separate room used only for it's resting, and it is placed on a dignified. The room should be clean, and well ventilated. It should be especially for this purpose, and for nothing else. No other thing should be kept in this room. The bed should have a canopy above it. A night-light should be left on.
In a Gurdwara, the Holy Granth should not be left on the cot, or in Palki – palanquin, and must be taken away to the room for its rest.
The Sikh homes usually have a separate prayer room. At homes, usually a nice closet or bookshelf is used for resting the Holy Book. May be, it is left on the cot. It depends on availability of the space and facility.

Sohela

Sohela or Kirtan Sohela
This is the last Sikh prayer for the day. It is recited as the last thing at the night before going to bed, and takes a couple of minutes. In a Gurdwara, the person closing the Holy Book in the evening, recites it while closing and wrapping up the Holy Book, provided he or she knows it by heart. He or she may recite or read after closing the Holy Book. If need be, another person may recite or read it.
At home, if recitation of Rahras gets late, Sohela may be recited along with Rahras, after it. Otherwise, it is recited before going to sleep.

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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