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sikh religious paths, paths in sikhism, path of guru granth sahib

Sikh Reht Maryada

THE CODE OF SIKH CONDUCT AND CONVENTIONS
Definition Gurdwara Kirtan Hukum
Paths Karhah Prashad Gurbani Gurmat Rehni
Birth & Name of Child Anand Sanskar Antam Sanskar Other Rites
Paths
Sadharan Path Akhand Path


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

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)

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 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 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 uninrerrupted 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)

While undertaking the intermittent reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred pudding (Karhah Prashad) for offering should be brought and after reciting the Anand (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(six stanzas), offering the Ardas and taking the Hukam, reading should he commenced.

Concluding the Reading

a. The reading of the whole Guru Granth Sahib (intermmitent 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 Panthak causes, should be made to the best of means.

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