sikh beliefs and practicessikh reht maryada, the definition of sikh, sikh conduct and conventionssikh religious conventions
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Chapter I: Sikh Defined
Article I Definition of Sikh
Chapter II:Aspects of Sikh Living
Article II Sikh Living
Chapter III: Individual Spirituality
Article III:Sikh's Personal Life
Article IV: Meditating on Nam and Scriptures
Chapter IV: Gurdwaras, Congregational Etiquette, Rites
Article V: Joining the Congregation for understanding of and reflecting on Gurbani
Chapter V: Kirtan
Article VI: Kirtan
Chapter VI: Taking Hukums - Other Items of Service
ArticleVII: Taking Hukum
Chapter VII: Reading of Guru Granth Sahib
Article VIII: Sadharan Path
Article IX: Akhand Path
Article X:Commencing the Non-stop Reading
Article XI: Concluding the Reading
Chapter VIII: Karhaha Prasahad
Article XII: Karhaha Prasahad
Chapter IX: Components of Gurdwara Service
Article XIII: Exposition of Gurbani
Article XIV: Expository Discourse
Article XV: Gurdwara Service
Chapter X: Beliefs, Observance, Duties, Taboos and Ceremonies
Article XVI: Living in Consonance with Guru's Tenets
Chapter XI: Ceremonies pertaining to Social Occasions
Article XVII: Ceremonies pertaining to Birth and Naming of Child
Article XVIIII:Anand Sanskar
Article XIX:Funeral Ceremonies
Article XX: Other Rites and Conventions
Chapter XII:Altruistic Work
Article XXI:Voluntary Service
Chapter XII:Panthic Life
Article XXII:Facets of Corporate Sikh Life
Article XXIII:Panth's Status of Guru-hood
Article XXIV:Ceremony of Baptism or Initiation
Article XXV:Method of Imposing Chastisement
Article XXVI:Method of Adopting Gurmatta
Article XXVII:Appeals against Local Decisions

living in sikhism, sikh religious scriptures, sikh religion living

Sikh Reht Maryada

                                               CHAPTER V

        Kirtan (Devotional Hymns Singing by a Group or an Indvidual)

 Article VI

   a) Only a Sikh may perform Kirtan in a congregation.
   b) Kirtan means singing the scriptural compositions in traditional musical measures.
   c) In the congragation, Kirtan only of Gurbani (Guru Granth's or Guru Gobind Singh's  hymns) and, for its elaboration, of the compositions of Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Nand Lal, may  be performed.
   d) It is improper, while singing hymns to rhythmic folk tunes or to traditional musical  measures, or in team singing, to induct into them improvised and extraneous refrains. Only a  line from the hymn should be made a refrain.


  Taking Hukam* (Command)

   Article VII

    (*Hukam:- Reading or Reading out to others, including the congregation, of a Shabad  (hymns) or a unit of one or more slokas (short scriptural compositions normally of two to  four lines) and a pauri (short stanza of four or more lines) from the Guru Granth Sahib after,  or even without performing, Ardas is an important Sikh ritual. It is called Hukam laina  (Taking the order or command), Vak laina (taking the word), Awaz laina (taking the voice).  The hymn or unit goes by the name of Hukam (order, command) Vak (uttered Word) or  Awaz (voice).

  a. Doing obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib, respectfully, taking a glimpse of the  congregation, an embodiment of the Guru's person, and taking the command : these  together constitute the view of the Satguru (Immortal destroyer of darkness, the true guru).  Raising the drapery covering the Guru Granth Sahib and merely taking a look or making  others take a look at the exposed page, without taking command (reading the prescribed  hymn) is contrary to Gurmat (Guru's way).

   b. In the course of the congregational sessions,  only one thing should be done at a time :  performing of kirtan, delivering of discourse,  interpretative elaboration of the scriptures, or  reading of the scriptures.

   c. Only a Sikh, man  or woman, is entitled to be in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib  during the congregational session.

   d. Only a Sikh may read out from the Guru Granth Sahib for others. However, even a  non- Sikh may read from it for himself/herself.

  e. For taking the command (Hukam), the hymn that is continuing on the top of the left hand  page must be read from the beginning. If the hymn begins on the previous page, turn over  the page and read the whole hymn from the beginning to the end. If the scriptural  composition that is continuing on the top of the left hand page is a var (ode) then start from  the first of the slokas preceding the pauri and read upto the end of the pauri. Conclude the  reading at the end of the Hymn with the line in which the name 'Nanak' occurs. f. Hukam  must also be taken at the conclusion of the congregational session or after the Ardas.     
                                            CHAPTER - VII

   Sadharan Path (Completion of Normal Intermittent Reading of the Guru Granth Sahib)    

         Article VIII

 a. Every Sikh should, as far as possible, maintain a separate and exclusive place for the   installation of Guru Granth Sahib, in his home.

  b. Every Sikh, man, woman, boy or girl,   should learn Gurmukhi to be able to read the Guru  Granth Sahib.

  c. Every Sikh should take   the Hukam (Command) of the Guru Granth Sahib in the  ambrosial (early)hours of the   morning before taking meal. If he/she fails to do that, he/she  should read or listen to reading  from the Guru Granth Sahib some time during the day. If  he/she cannot do that either, during travel etc., or owing to any other impediment, he/she  should not give in to a feeling of guilt.

  d. It is desirable that every Sikh should carry on a continuous reading of the Guru Granth  Sahib and complete a full reading in one or two months or over a longer period.

  e. While  undertaking a full reading of the Guru Granth Sahib , one should recite the Anand  Sahib (the  first five and the last stanzas) and perform the Ardas. One should, thereafter,  read the  Japuji. Akhand Path (Uninterrupted-Non-stop-Completion of the reading of the  Guru Granth  Sahib)

         Article IX

   a. The non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib is carried on at hard times or on   occasions of elation or joy. It takes approximately fortyeight hours. The non-stop reading   implies continuous, uninterrupted reading. The reading must be clear and correct. Reading   too fast, so that the person listening in to it cannot follow the contents, amounts to   irreverence to the Scriptures. The reading should be correct and clear, due care being   bestowed on consonant and vowel even though that takes a little longer to complete.

   b.   Whichever family or congregation undertakes the non-stop reading should carry it out     itself   through its members, relatives, friends, etc., all together. The number of reciters is     not   prescribed.
           If a person, himself, cannot read, he should listen in to the reading by some   competent reader. However, it should never be allowed to happen that the reader carries on   the reading all by himself/herself and no member of the congregation or the family is   listening in to the reading. The reader should be served with food and clothing to the best of   the host's means.

    c. Placing a pitcher, ceremonial clarified-butter-fed lamp, coconut, etc.   around, during the   course of the uninterrupted or any other reading of Guru Granth Sahib, or reading of other   Scriptural texts side by side with or in the course of such reading is contrary to the gurmat   (Guru's way).

        Commencing the Non-Stop Reading (Akhandpath)

      Article X

   While   undertaking the intermittent reading of the whole Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred   pudding   (Karhah Prashad) for offering should be brought and after reciting the Anand   Sahib (six   stanzas) and offering Ardas, Hukam should be taken.
      While beginning the unbroken   reading, the sacred pudding should first be laid. Thereafter, after reciting the Anand   Sahib(six stanzas), offering the Ardas and taking the Hukam, the reading should he   commenced. Concluding the Reading

     Article XI

   a. The reading of the whole Guru Granth Sahib (intermittent or non-stop) may be concluded   with the reading of Mundawani or the Rag Mala according to the convention traditionally   observed at the concerned place. (Since there is a difference of opinion within the Panth on   this issue, nobody should dare to write or print a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib excluding   the Rag Mala). Thereafter, after reciting the Anand Sahib, the Ardas of the conclusion of   the reading should be offered and the sacred pudding (Karhah Prashad) distributed.

   b. On the conclusion of the reading, offering of draperies, fly-whisk and awning, having   regard to the requirements of the Guru Granth Sahib, and of other things, for Panthic     causes, should be made to the best of means.

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