Paath – Bhog Ceremony
Bhog ceremony of Paath – It is culmination i.e. completion, of the recitation of Guru Granth Sahib. Almost all Paaths are completed before the noon. Bhog of Paath as the last ceremony on death is commonly performed in the afternoon, but it is not necessary. Akhand-Paath even on a sad occasion is mostly completed in the morning hours. The modern man has become very busy and now, no such precedence is observed.
Paath – Bhog of Paath
Bhog of Paath is the end of reading i.e. completion of Paath. Bhog of Paath is started from “Slok Mehlaa Nauvaan” at Guru Granth Page No. 1426. After reading the Sloks, mostly, Raag-Maala is read. It is continued with the end of Sloks at Guru Granth – Page 1429. Most of the Gurmukhs, read starting five Paurrees of Jappu ji Sahib, after reading Chhota Anand Sahib. As a final step, the last Slok of Jappu ji Sahib is read. Thereafter Chhota Anand Sahib is recited, or sung. It is followed by Ardas to thank the Lord for successful completion of Paath.
Chhota Anand Sahib is first five and the last Paurree of Anand Sahib. Complete Anand Sahib – 40 Paurrees, is at Guru Granth – Page 917.
Variations in the Bhog of Paath
Some variations are made for different types, and purposes of doing Paath.
Paath – Madh of Paath
The middle of Paath
Parshad on reaching the middle of Paath
The Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib, has 1430 pages. Its middle is considered at page No. 705, with recitation of Shabad at the bottom of the page, “Aade pooran madhe pooran ante pooran Parmaesurah.”
In every type of Paath, before reaching this Shabad, a fresh Parshad is prepared, Ardas (full) is said on reaching this Shabad, and it is distributed after Kirpan Bhaet.
Paath – Langar After Paath
Langar is the community food
Mostly, after Akhand Paath and Sampat Paath, Langar (food) is served to the Sangat. Langar is served may be it is the occasion of joy or sorrow, but it is not necessary and is a personal choice. Some may serve snacks, cold drinks, tea, or coffee. Langar or snacks may be served after any Paath. There is no set rule for it.
A Pathee should learn Paath-recitation of Guru Granth Sahib, and Gurbani e.g. Nit Nem. Paathee is anyone who recites Paath (Scripture). It should be a must that Paath, including recitation of Guru Granth Sahib, has been learnt from some individual, institution, through live instructions.
Anyone else, may derive some benefit from audiotapes, videotapes, CDs, computers etc.
Paath – Who Can Do Paath?
Reading the Holy Book can be done by anyone who can and desires to do it. No restrictions. Amritdhari or not, a Sikh or anyone else, everyone can read the Holy Book. The body and clothes should be clean. Mostly, the people open the Holy Book after taking a bath, and changing to the clean clothes. If one is not well, the one may go to the Holy Book after washing the face and hands (feet), provided the body and clothes are clean. Even today, many sit down for the Raul – turn, to do Akhand-Paath, after washing the hair, taking bath and changing to the washed (clean) clothes.
When doing any type of Paath (Guru Granth Sahib, Nit Nem, any other Bani), one should not be under the influence of intoxicants (including alcohol and tobacco), must not have used these that day before Paath, and must not carry any such thing on his or her person.
Paath and women
A woman can do Paath – read Guru Granth Sahib, whether she is in menses or not. She also can recite Nit Nem or any type of Gurbani without any restraint. She can do every type of Paath including random reading of Guru Granth Sahib, Sehj-Paath, Akhand-Paath, Saptahak Paath, or Sampatt-Paath etc. Also, she can take Vaak – Hukam. The only thing is, man or woman, the body and clothes should be clean. Gurubani instructs everyone to do Paath (woman or man), as well as he or she may be of any caste, color or faith, no discrimination of any sort.