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Sikh Reht Maryada

Definition Gurdwara Kirtan Hukum
Paths Karhah Prashad Gurbani Gurmat Rehni
Birth & Name of Child Anand Sanskar Antam Sanskar Other Rites

a. Only a Sikh may perform kirtan in a congregation.

b. Kirtan : singing Gurbani in the prescribed Rag in the beginning of the Shabad.

c. In the congregation, kirtan only of Gurbani (Guru Granth Sahib 's or Guru Gobind Singh's hymns) and, for its elaboration, of the compositions of Bhai Gurdas Ji and Bhai Nand Lal Ji, may be performed.

d. It is improper, while singing Shabads from Guru Granth Sahib to rhythmic folk tunes or to traditional Ragas, or in group singing , to induct into them improvised and extraneous refrains. Only a line from the Shabad should be made a refrain.

Taking Hukam (Command)

a. Doing obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib, taking a glimpse of the congregation, an embodiment of the Guru's person, and taking the command : these constitute the view of the Satguru (Immortal destroyer of darkness, the true guru). Raising the drapery covering 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 discourse, interpretative elaboration of the scriptures, or reading of the scriptures.

c. Only a Sikh, man or woman, is entitled to be in attendence 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 Shabad that is continuing on the top of the left hand page must be from the beginning. If the Shabad 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 Shabad 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.

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