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


Section Three


Joining the congregation for understanding of and reflecting on Gurbani

Article V

  1. One is more easily and deeply affected by Gurbani (the holy Bani bequeathed by the Gurus) participating in congregational gatherings. For this reason, it is necessary for a Sikh that he visits the places where the Sikhs congregate for worship and prayer (the Gurdwaras), and joining the congregation, partake of the benefits that the study of the holy scriptures bestows.
  2. The Guru Granth Sahib  should be ceremonially opened in the Gurdwara every day without fail. Except for special exigencies, when there is need to keep the Guru Granth Sahib  open during the night, The Holy Book  should not be kept open during the night. It should, generally, be closed ceremonially after the conclusion of the Rehras (evening scriptural recitation). The Holy Book should remain open so long as a granthi or attendant can remain in attendance, persons seeking darshan (seeking a view of or making obeisance to it) keep coming, or there is no risk of commission of irreverence towards it. Thereafter, it is advisable to close it ceremonially to avoid any disrespect to it.
  3. The Guru Granth Sahib  should be opened, read and closed ceremonially with reverence. The place where it is installed should be absolutely clean. An awning should be erected above. The Guru Granth Sahib  should be placed on a cot measuring up to its size and overlaid with absolutely clean mattress and sheets. For proper installation and opening of the Guru Granth Sahib  , there should be cushions/pillows appropriate kind etc. and, for covering it, romalas (sheet covers of appropriate size). When the Guru Granth Sahib  is not being read, it should remain covered with a romala. A whisk too, should be there.
  4. Anything except the afore-mentioned reverential ceremonies, for instance, such practices as the arti (Waving of a platter with burning lamps and incense set in it in vertical circular motion) with burning incense and lamps, offerings of eatables to Guru Granth Sahib  , burning of lights, beating of gongs, etc., is contrary to gurmat (the Guru's way). However, for the perfuming of the place, the use of flowers, incense and scent is not barred. For light inside the room, oil or butter-oil lamps, candles, electric lamps, kerosene oil lamps, etc., may he lighted.
  5. No book should he installed like and at par with the Guru Granth Sahib  . Worship of any idol or any ritual or activity should not be allowed to be conducted inside the Gurdwara. Nor should the festival of any other faith be allowed to be celebrated inside the Gurdwara. However, it will not be improper to use any occasion or gathering for the propagation of the gurmat (The Guru's way).
  6. Pressing the legs of the cot on which the Guru Granth Sahib is installed, rubbing nose against walls and on platforms, held sacred, or massaging these, placing water below the Guru Granth Sahib's seat, making or installing statues, or idols inside the Gurdwaras, bowing before the picture of the Sikh Gurus or elders - all these are irreligious self-willed egotism, contrary to gurmat (the Guru's way).
  7. When the Guru Granth Sahib  has to be taken from one place to another, the Ardas should be performed. He/she who carries the Guru Granth Sahib  on his/her head should walk barefoot; but when the wearing of shoes is a necessity, no superstitions need be entertained.
  8. The Guru Granth Sahib  should be ceremonially opened after performing the Ardas. After the ceremonial opening, a hymn should be read from the Guru Granth Sahib.
  9. Whenever the Guru Granth Sahib  is brought, irrespective of whether or not another copy of the Guru Granth Sahib  had already been installed at the concerned place, every Sikh should stand up to show respect.
  10. While going into the Gurdwara, one should take off the shoes and clean oneself up. If the feet are dirty or soiled, they should be washed with water.

One should circumambulate with the Guru Granth Sahib or the Gurdwara on one's right.

  1. No person, no matter which country, religion or caste he/she belongs to, is debarred from entering the Gurdwara for darshan (seeing the holy shrine). However, he/she should not have on his/her person anything, such as tobacco or other intoxicants, which are tabooed by the Sikh religion.
  2. The first thing a Sikh should do on entering the Gurdwara is to do obeisance before the Guru Granth Sahib. He/she should, thereafter, have a glimpse of the congregation and bid in a low, quiet voice, "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh."
  3. In the congregation, there should be no differentiation or discrimination between Sikh and non-Sikh, persons traditionally regarded as touchable and untouchable, the so-called high and low caste persons, the high and the low.
  4. Sitting on a cushion, a distinctive seat, a chair, a stool, a cot, etc. or in any distinctive position in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib  or within the congregation is contrary to Gurmat(Guru's way).
  5. No Sikh should sit bare-headed in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib  or in the congregation. For Sikh women joining the congregation with their persons uncomfortably draped and with veils drawn over their faces is contrary to Gurmat (Guru's way).
  6. There are five takhts (lit., thrones, fig., seats of high authority) : namely-
    1. The Holy Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar,
    2. The Holy Takht Patna Sahib,
    3. The Holy Takht  Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur,
    4. The Holy Takht  Hazur Sahib, Nanded,
    5. The Holy Takht  Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo.
  1. Only an Amritdhari (baptized) Sikh man or woman, who faithfully observes the discipline ordained for the batptized Sikhs, can enter the hallowed enclosures of the Takhts (Ardas for and on behalf of any Sikh or non-Sikh, except a fallen or punished (tankhahia) Sikh, can be offered at the takhts.
  2. At a high-level site in every Gurdwara should be installed the nishan sahib (Sikh flag). The cloth of the flag should be either of xanthic or of greyish blue colour and on top of the flag post, there should either be a spearhead or a Khanda (a straight dagger with convex side edges leading to slanting top edges ending in a vertex).
  3. There should be a drum (nagara) in the Gurdwara for beating on appropriate occasions.
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