Some important requirements in a Gurdwara
A Gurdwara should have the following facilities –
It should be well maintained to keep the book-log. A library is very important. The Gurdwara should have a good, well library. There should be a good collection of Sikh literature and help books particularly suitable for children and the youth. It is important to avail the help of electronics, including Internet, and of the recording facilities.
A Gurdwara should have a nursery for better control of small children, and freedom to parents to attend worship. The duty in turn can be assigned to Sangat (congregation). Children should not be allowed to run around in the prayer or Langar halls. It is responsibility of the parents to take care of their wards, and to keep them quiet. No one should create any disturbance.
The Gurdwara should have a school to impart education of the faith including Gurbani (Scriptures, the Holy Hymns), history, and the Punjabi language. It should also teach the devotional music to children, youth, and also to the adults.
Guru Granth Sahib is originally written in the Gurmukhi script. Learning this script is important for correct phonation of Gurbani, and to go deep into its meanings. Without this, and from translations in other languages, we usually get only approximations to the meanings.
Gurbani - Reading
Reading Gurbani –
To learn correct reading (recitation) of Gurbani is very important.
Phonation of Gurbani.
It is very important to learn phonation for correct recitation of Gurbani. Every Lagg (addendum– attachment) linked to a Gurmukhi letter effects phonation of the word, and modifies its meanings.
Phonation is best learnt from someone who knows it. Where such a person is not available, the electronic media, visual aids, video and audio recordings can help.
To teach reading and phonation of Gurbani
For this purpose, the sequence of teaching to a student is -
* To teach Gurmukhi (Punjabi)
* Study Panj-Granthi - Book containing the following Banis –
i - Jappu ji Sahib ii - Shabad Hazare (Patshahee - V)
iii – Rahras iv - Kirtan Sohela vi - Dakhnee-Oankar
vii - Sidh-Gosht. viii - Anand Sahib. ix - Bawan Akhri.
x - Sukhmani Sahib xi - Asa Dee Vaar
* Study Dass-Granthi: the Bani of the Tenth Guru – i - Jaap Sahib,
ii - Shabad Hazarae iii - Patshaahee Dassveen v - Akal
Ustat vi - Bachittar Natakk vii - Chandee Charittar
viii Gian Parbodh
* Study Bhagat Banee
* Study Vaaran by Bhai Gurdas
After this, the student is put to learn Guru Granth Sahib. This is called “Guru dae charnee lagnaa”- to put at the feet of the Guru.
The students learn recitation of Nit Nem, and many recite it by heart. Presently (2003 AD.), the prescribed Banis of Nit Nem are –
i - Jappu ji Sahib (Guru Nanak) ii - Jaap Sahib (Tenth Guru)
iii - Savai-ae Pateshahee Dasveen, “Sravag sudh smooh
sidhaan kaae ..... ) iv - Rahras v - Kirtan Sohela.
Facility for learning Guru Granth Sahib - the Holy Book, in the proper sequence, may not be available everywhere, especially in the overseas countries. At such places, help of someone who knows it, may be availed to learn Gurmukhi, Nit-Nem, and Guru Granth Sahib.
In the present age, electronics has become very important for education of the faith, and for its promotion.
Audio and video system to record and play back the Gurdwara programs.
It is needed for educating children, promoting the faith, and for communication. As well, the Gurdwara records can be maintained on it. It is need of the time.
To enhance the interest in general, to educate adults and children, and to promote the faith, various projection systems for videos, home films, discs, slides, and documents (papers), are necessary. As well, the talks delivered now, avail of these gadgets. Digital systems have their own significance.
It is extremely important for the Gurdwaras to start publishing singly or jointly, very easy literature of the faith in Gurmukhi, English, Hindi, and other languages, to provide all needed literature especially for the children and youth, and to promote the faith. There is great shortage of such literature, and one can hardly afford to purchase it.