the congregation for understanding of and reflecting on Gurbani
a. 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 visit 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
b. 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, Guru Granth Sahib should not be
kept open during the night. It should, generally, be closed
ceremonially after the conclusion of the Rehras (evening scripture
recitation). Guru Granth Sahib 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.
c. 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 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 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 romal.
A whisk too, should be there.
d. 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.
e. 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 Gurdwaras. Nor should
the festival of any other faith he 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).
f. 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).
g. 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.
h. 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.
i. 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.
j. 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. k. 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.
l. 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
m. 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.
n. 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).
o. 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).
p. There are five takhts (lit., thrones, fig., seats
of high authority) : namely-
I. Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar,
II. Takht Sri, Patna Sahib,
III. Takht Sri, Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur,
IV. Takht Sri, Hazur Sahib, Nanded,
V. Takht Sri, Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo.
q. Only an Amritdhari Sikh man or woman, who
faithfully observes the discipline ordained for the Amritdhari Sikhs,
can enter the hallowed enclosures of the Takhts (Ardas for and on
behalf of any Sikh or non-Sikh, fallen or punished (tankhahia) Sikh,
can be offered at the takhts.
r. 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 he a spearhead or a Khanda (a straight
dagger with convex side edges leading to slanting top edges ending in
s. There should he a drum (nagara) in the Gurdwara
for beating on appropriate occasions.