PRAYER HALL ROUTINES
We maintain our life and health by continuously doing numerous things. We do not know much about them. We only know that these are essential. These are not rituals. We drink water daily many times, and take food two to three times every day, without knowing much scientific about water and food, but know that these we need to live. These are not rituals. We take bath every day without any scientific knowledge of its physiology, but know it is needed for good health. Taking bath every day is not a ritual.
We may recite Gurbani, and do Naam-Jaap every day, without knowing much about them, but we know and have a faith that merely doing these lead us to yarn for an elevated life. These do good. These are not rituals. Knowing about Gurbani and Naam-Jaap, will boost the faith hundred times and will make them much more effective. We know, this too.
It is not a ritual if we do something producing good results, although we do not know much about it. Ritual is something that we keep on doing without any purpose – nothing good coming out of that.
Doing Paath, may be as a routine, and doing Naam-Jaap, even without understanding it, produces wonderful results. Lives of the saints very strongly support it. For such results, faith is needed and not any knowledge. Just ask those who do such things.
We do nothing, but keep criticizing without doing and knowing any thing. We have no right to hurt anyone’s faith and damage the path of spirituality. There is no doubt, knowing and understanding such things (Gurbani, Naam-Jaap) is imperative, because these create awareness with greater ease and in a shorter time. We should not forget that effectiveness of routines of a faith have been repeatedly tested by the saints and seers, and there is no doubt that such things produce effect and are not mere rituals.
Do such practices seriously, sincerely, with unconditioned devotion to develop unwavering faith (may be a blind faith), and yourself experience the outcome. You shall be amazed, and there will be no reason for you to repent. Keep in the company of practicing God oriented, saintly people to learn and gain some thing of the spiritual excursions .
In the Chapters on routines and procedures in the Prayer hall, and Langar Hall, some of the same headings have been repeated by giving them again wherever these were needed. It was an effort to make them available at the spot to keep everything simple, easily understandable, and convenient to follow.
According to Reht Maryada printed by S.G.P.C., 1998, page 15, only one thing should be done at one time: Kirtan – holy singing, Katha – preaching, or Gurbani recitation. At one and the same time two different things cannot be carried out i.e. if Akhand Paath is being recited, at the same time there should not be another Akhand paath beside it (unless there is a partition between the two); no loud reading of Panj Granthi or Jappu ji Sahib; no Kirtan, Katha, speech or announcements etc.
It is not in good taste to interrupt Kirtan etc. and make announcements may be to appeal for collections for however good a cause. Routine at Harimandir Sahib is to do pure Kirtan with no Katha (sermons, preaching) in it. This is the set precedence of that holy place, and there, Kirtan is not mixed with any thing else (meanings, explanations, commentaries etc.).
Daily programs in a Gurdwara are usually set and standard with some local variations for the place, and may have the additional routines at different days. Gurdwara may be held daily, or on specific days, mostly on Sundays. The following are the usual routines carried out in a Gurdwara.