Friday, November 24, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Q114. Describe the Sikh worship.

Generally a Sikh Temple - Gurdwara - remains open throughout the day, so that worshippers can offer prayers at any time convenient to them. However, in India, two services are held daily in every Sikh temple, one in the morning and the other in the evening. In the morning Asa-di-Var is sung or recited, this is followed by the Anand Sahib, the Ardas (supplication_ and a Hukam(a random reading of a hymn of the Scripture), then follows the distribution of Karah Prasad (consecrated cooked food, made of flour, clarified butter and sugar). In the evening, Rehras and Chaupai are recited by the Granthi (reader of the Scripture) or by the sangat (congregation). Then some hymns are sung by the ragis (musicians) or recited by the sangat. After an Ardas and a Hukam, Karah Prasad is then distributed. Finally, the Guru Granth Sahib is ceremoniously wrapped up and taken to its special place for the night.

On festivals like Gurpurbs (Guru's festivals) days commemorating the birth, accession, death anniversary or other special occasions and Akhand Path (continuous reading of the Scripture for about 48 hours by the relays of readers) is held and the Ardas is offered. This is followed by programme of Kirtan (hymnal singing) and Katha (discourse). On such occasions the free kitchen - Langar - is open throughout the day.

Sikhs generally bathe in mornings before going to the Gurdwara. They take off their shoes at the gate then wash their hands and feet if suitable arrangements exist. When they enter the main hall, they kneel down and bow before the Guru Granth Sahib, they also make an offering in cash or kind. Any non-Sikhs must cover their heads with a cap or a handkerchief. They are not allowed to take any form of tobacco, alcohol or narcotics inside the temple.

The congregation sits cross-legged on the floor/carpet, the use of chairs is not permitted. In some cases, old and infirm people are allowed cushions for their comfort. There is no priesthood in Sikhism, but for the benefit of the congregation, a Granthi or Seaward (care-taker) may be employed to read the scripture, perform ceremonies or help in the Langar. Often professional musicians called Ragis sing hymns from the Scripture in the prescribed ragas (melody-pattern) and talas (rhythms), accompanied by a harmonium and tabla (pair of drums). In the absense of any musicians, the congregation sings the hymns in chorus. will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

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. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
Encyclopedias encapsulate accurate information in a given area of knowledge and have indispensable in an age which the volume and rapidity of social change are making inaccessible much that outside one's immediate domain of concentration.At the time when Sikhism is attracting world wide notice, an online reference work embracing all essential facets of this vibrant faithis a singular contribution to the world of knowledge.