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Invocation
Sikh Missionary Society: Articles: Essays on Sikh Values: Invocation

Ardas
Ardas - Invocation

It’s Mystique, Evolution, Methodology, and Discipline

Ardas - Invocation, is a humble prayer to Waheguru (God) with Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Book of the Sikhs) as a witness. It is the instrument of expressing faith in the Lord, surrendering to Him, and of putting oneself to His care. It is projection of the hope of a man. 

DEFINITION

Ardas, a Baen-t.ee (request), is modification of a Persian word “Arz-dasht.’ In Urdu, it means a petition, an appeal, “Arz Karnaa”- a humble submission. Apparently, it has nothing to do with the Sanskrit, but Gurshabad Ratnakar (Bhai Kahn Singh), gives its meanings as Ard - to ask for (Beg), Aas - a desired thing. 

The word prayer is insufficient to express the sentiment of Ardas, because in the Sikhs “prayer” will denote reading or recitation of the Scriptures, or taking the name of God. Supplication is a better expression of the word, but invocation seems to be the best equivalent.

ORIGIN

It is merely a conjecture (supposition) that a primitive man might have been scared by the natural forces, and his feelings were labeled as fear.  He adjusted to them in time, and his fear might have been  replaced by an awe. It might have given him a realization of some higher manifestation having unlimited power responsible for controlling the natural forces. This would have made his mind set into the frame of total submission to that manifestation i.e. the Supreme Being, the Lord. His submission might have changed into reverence for Him, and it transformed into love - obverse of his fear. Fear, passing through all these stages, changed into love, and it produced sense of security for him. He started looking to Him for his protection, preservation and continuity. This was the birth of his invocation. The supplication by the primitive man, came down to various religions as their prayers, and to the Sikhs as their Ardas. In fact, when the first man might have run from the rising sun to save him from that fearsome fireball, it would have been his first hidden Ardas. 

EVOLUTION

Ardas came from the spiritual domain (heaven) with the man at his birth, and it manifested with his enlightenment. It has the capacity to take him back to this celestial realm, whenever he desires it through his humble and sincere appeal (prayer).  Ardas is heavenly and so, its main tribute is humility and sincerity. Guru Granth Sahib - the Sikh Holy Book is so full of humble supplications and whole of it appears to be a single, continuous invocation. The Gurus had different bodily vestments and from the first to the last, these wrapped a single spirit  (Jote or Jyoti - light) i.e. the Word - God’s name. They, very benevolently took the spirits of the saints (their hymns) with their own  (one and the same jyoti of the Gurus) and made Guru Granth Sahib - the Holy Book, a festival of lights - Gyan-Sagar (Ocean of the true wisdom). One and the same common factor in the Guru Granth was an humble Ardas - invocation, in total submission.

In the Sikhs, invocation came with Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith -

jo quDu BwvY soeI cMgw iek nwnk kI Ardwsy ]
jo quDu BwvY soe cMgw ek nwnk kI Ardwsy ]
Jo t.ud.h bhaavae soee chn”gaa ik Naanak kee ard.aasae.
O Lord, I accept Your will.
1-795-14
The Panthic Ardas (traditional or institutional invocation of the Sikh faith) to begin with, might have been a few words or short sentences said with a bowed head, as an expression of the state of mind. It kept developing with the Sikh history over about 230 years of the Guru-Period, and continues to be so. It starts with the composition of Guru Gobind Singh “Vaar Sri Bhagautee Jee Kee ” (See footnote), and it makes the first part of the Panthic Ardas. His this Paurree - step, mentions the names of preceding nine Gurus. These names symbolize their unparalleled lofty deeds.  In the composition of Ardas, additions thereafter, were most probably, initiated by Bhai Mani Singh Shahid, and others at the time of Guru Gobind Singh (Ardas, by Neki, page 47.  Ardas, by Prof. Joginder Singh, page 36).

In its early period of development, Ardas was brief and so, short (Samples given in “Ardas” by Dr. J.S. Neki, pages 47, 48). The Fifth Guru enshrined the Pothi Sahib (Adi Granth Sahib. First version of Guru Granth Sahib - the Holy Book of the Sikhs) in the Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar (Golden Temple), and he ordained the Sangat to revere and bow to it. Naturally, anyone who bowed before it, thought of or beseeched for one thing or the other. This provided a firm plinth to the evolution of Ardas. It became a standard procedure in the Sangat (Congregational Ardas) at  the time of Guru Hargobind. He would ask the Sangat to perform it for him and others. 

Janam-Sakhis indicate that the offerings were made and Ardas addressed to the Guru. It was natural that later, “Dasvandh (Tithe) got linked to it. In a Hukam-Namah (Ordinance) by Mata Gujri, there is a mention of Ardas - 

....Ardws loc ky dyhugy so hzUir Awie phucygu....
....Ardws loc ky dyhugy so hzUir Awie phucygu....
.....Ard.aas loch kae d.eho gae so hzoor aae p-huchegu .....”
An Ardas (offering) made out of affectionate (true) desire will get an acceptance.
(Hukamnamae, Ganda Singh, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1985. Hukam-Namah No. 31, of Mataa Gujri, book page No. 123)
The History added martyrdoms, sacrifices, and struggles of the Sikhs to Ardas, without giving time (Dates), names, and places except those of the Gurus and Gur-dhaams (Gurus’ places - Gurdwaras). There are no names of the Sikhs like Panj Pyaras (The five beloved of the Guru, held in high esteem), four Sahibzadae (Sons of Guru Gobind Singh), forty Muktae (Forty  emancipated ones), martyrs like Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Satti Das, Bhai Dayala, Bhai Mani Singh Shahid, or those who made history later, like Banda Singh Bahadur, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Akali Phula Singh etc. It was to maintain its universality by keeping it free from the bindings of the time, person and place. From the Guru-period to the present, it took about 533 years for the Ardas to evolve. 

When, at the partition of India in 1947, historical Gurdwaras at Nankana Sahib (Birth place of Guru Nanak), Hasanabdal (Panja Sahib), Lahore (Dera Sahib), Peshawar (Bhai Joga Singh) and others were left in Pakistan, Sri Akal Takht added to the Ardas, “Apnae panth dae sad.aa sahaaee daat.aar jeeo, Sri Nankaan.aan’ Sahib t.ae hor Gurdwaareaan’ d.ee saewa san:bhaal Khalsa jee noon: bakhsho. ......” It was an appeal to the Lord to put all the Gurdwaras left in Pakistan, to the care of the Khalsa Panth - the Sikh world. 

Ardas has ever been developing and hence it is vibrant with life - a living entity, and it gets activated by the sincerity and humility of the person who says it. At the time of saying it in the congregation,  at least someone is there who participates in it with full surrender, and it takes the supplication to the door of the Lord. This makes a collective Ardas effective, and it gets fulfilled. 

TYPES

An Ardas can be -
Panthic - Universal, of the Sikh world. It is Institutional i.e. traditional with the set precedence.
Granthic (Gurbani) - Selected Hymns out of the Sikh Scriptures -

ibrQI kdy n hoveI jn kI Ardwis ]
ibrQI kdy n hove jn kI Ardwis ]
Birthee kad.ae naa hovaee jann kee Ard.aase
The humble invocation never goes in vain.
5-819-11
duie kr joiV krI Ardwis ] 
duuE kr joiV krI Ardwis ] 
D.o-e kar jorr.e karee Ard.aase
I pray to the Lord with folded hands! 
5-1340-9
Personal - It may be traditional, or individual i.e. a brief one. Even “Waheguru” said with humility, or Chaur (wisp) moved over the Guru Granth with surrender, is in itself a full Ardas - invocation. 
Sampardai - An Ardas of a sect. It may be Panthic, but mostly it is modified. The starting Paurree “Vaar Sri Bhagautee jee kee ......” remains unchanged. This Vaar is by Guru Gobind Singh, and its even a single word cannot be changed.  FORMATION - STEPS 
1) Part One - Bani of Guru Gobind Singh.
Section - a]
The start -  Ardas, starts with - 
Ik-Onkar Sree Vaahaguroo jee kee fat.-he. 
Sree Bhgaut.ee jee sahaa-ae. 
Vaar Sree Bhgaut.ee jee kee, Paat.shaahee 10.
(Dassam Granth, Sree Bhagaut.ee jee sahaa-ae | Ath vaar Durgaa kee likhyatae | Paateshaahee 10 |  Paurree). 

“Paurree” means a Step, and it is from Vaar (ballad) of Durgaa (goddess Durgaa), composed by Guru Gobind Singh. Very likely “10” meaning the author i.e. Tenth Guru, was put by the Guru himself.  We read “10” as “Dasveen.” Might be that the scribe added “Paatshaahee” to the numerical “10.” Only the Guru knows it the best.

Section - b]
This  part is Paurree (Step) of a Vaar (A special type of a poetry to raise the morale). It reads -

Pritham Bhagaut.ee simar kaae Gur Naanak laeen: dh:iaa-ae
Phir Angad. Gur tae Amar D.aas Raam D.aasaae 
ho-een: sahaa-ae 
Arjan Hargobin:d. no simraou Saree Har-e Raa-ae
Saree Har-e-krishan dh:iaa-ee-aae jis dith:ae sabhe d.ukhe jaa-ae 
T.egh Bahad.ar simree-aae ghar nau nidh:e aavaae d.h:aa-ae. Sabh thaaeen’ ho-ae sahaae.

From the beginning to end, it has to be said exactly as it is written,  and in this part no omission or commission is permitted. We cannot do any modification in the Gurbani. We have to pay special attention to say out La-een’ and Ho-een’ 

Section - c]
Last two lines ending the first part (After the above Paur.ee), are - 
D.asvaan’ Paat.eshaah Saree Guru Gobind Singh Sahib jee sabh thaa-een’ hoe sahae | 
D.saan’ Paat.shaaheeaan’ d.ee jot.e Sri Guru Gran:th Sahib jee d.ae paath: d.eed.aar d.aa dh:iaan dh:ar kae bolo jee Vaheguroo


These last two lines do not belong to the Guru and might have been put in or modified by Bhai Mani Singh Shahid, but there is no proof. 

If it is ascertained that the Tenth Master himself used the word “Paat.shaahee,” then, there is no reason to make any speculation, and whole of the first part including the last two lines, belongs to the Guru. Dasam-Granth containing the Bani (writings, Hymns) of the Tenth Master, was compiled after Guru Gobind Singh, its some parts are doubted to be the compositions of the Guru, and to say that this or that Hymn was composed by the Guru is hard to say. No doubt, the portions belonging to the Master have been established by the scholars. Anyhow, in these two last lines there can never be a need for change. Part one, ends with “Bolo jee Waahaeguroo.

2) Part Two - This part, after the first Paurree given above, belongs to the Panth - the Sikh world. In it, additions were made as the Sikh history moved on from time to time. 

This part has fixed sections and these cannot be ignored, but within these sections, changes with sanction of the Panth (the Sikh world) are possible, and Ardas kept evolving through this process. This shows that an Ard.as can never be final for all the times to come. A few do not accept this view, but some modifications do take place in the second part of it. This can be clearly noted from Ardas given in different Gutkas (Prayer books), which mention different episodes at places like Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib, Gangsar, Guru Ka Bagh, etc. After the partition of India in 1947, an appeal to the Lord for putting Gurdwaras left in Pakistan, to the care of the Panth, was added. Now, many make a mention of the 1948 holocaust, in their Ardas. 

Section - a]
This begins at “Pan:jaan’ piaareaan’, chauhaan’ saahibzaad.ean’ .....,” and ends at “Bolo jee Vahaeguroo.
Section - b]
It includes, “Jinh;aan’ Singhaan’ Singhan.eeaan’ nae dh:aram haet. sees d.i.tae, band.d. band.d. kataa-ae, khopriaan’ luhaaee-aan’, charkhar.eeaan’ t.ae chr:hae ....,” and ends at “Bolo jee Vahaeguroo.
Section - c]
From, “Panjaan’ t.akht.aan’ sarbat.t. Gurd.vareaan d.aa dh:eaan dh:ar kae .....,” upto, “Bolo jee Vaahaeguroo.” 
Section - d]
From, “Pr;ithmae sarbat.t. Khaalsa jee kee Ard.aas haae jee” to “Khaalsae jee kae bol baalae | Bolo jee Vaahaeguroo
Section - e]
From “Sikhaan’ noon: Sikhee d.aan ..... ,” to “.....Jhan:dae, bun:gae jugo jugu atall | Dh:aram kaa jaaekaar,” and ends at “Bolo jee Vaahaeguroo.
Section - f]
From “Sikhaan’ d.aa mann neevaan’, mat.t. ouchee .....,”  including, “Sree Nankaan.aan’ Sahib t.ae hor gurd.vaaraen’ d.ee  sevaa san:bhaal Khaalsaa jee noon: bakhsho,” and “Hae nimaan.eaan’ d.e maan.  .....Ard.aas haae .... akhar vaadh:aa, ghaataa ....., sarbat.t. d.ae kaarj raas karnae..... sae-ee piaarae mael ..... Naanak naam chr.h;d.ee kalaa, t.aerae bhaan:ae sarbat.t. d.aa bhalla” - High morale by the grace of God, and good wishes to all (Goodwill to all and peace on the earth). It ends with, “Vaahaeguroo jee kaa khaalsaa, Vaahaeguroo jee ki fat.hae” - Hail the Lord and His Khalsa. After this, there is a Jaikara (Slogan), “Jo bo-lae so nihaal, Sat.sree Akaal”- Blessed be those having faith in God! (Blessed be all, glory to God!).
PROCEDURE

All sections of the Panthic Ardas in its set sequence, are recited in the Gurdwara, in a Sikh religious congregation elsewhere, or even in an individual invocation. The Ardasia (One who leads Ardas) and Sangat stand up, and before reciting Ardas they mostly start singing -

qU Twkuru qum pih Ardwis ] 
jIau ipMfu sBu qyrI rwsu ] 
qU Twkuru qum pih Ardwis ]
jIau ipMfu sBu qyrI rwsu ]
T.oo T:haakuru t.um pahe Ard.aase.
Jeeo pinde sabhu t.aeree raase 
You are my Lord and I pray to you,
Surrendering to You my body and soul! 
5-268-1
All 8 lines of this Hymn are completed. This Hymn is not the part of Ardas. 

Some Ardasia usually say out the following, or some other Gurbani verses in relation to Ardas. These too, are not the part of invocation, and are an expression of humility -

quDu AwgY Ardwis hmwrI jIau ipMfu sBu qyrw ]
khu nwnk sB qyrI vifAweI koeI nwau n jwxY myrw ]
quDu AwgY Ardwis hmwrI jIau ipMfu sBu qyrw ]
khu nwnk sB qyrI vifAwe koe nwau n jwxY myrw ]
T.udh:u aagaae ard.aase hmaaree jeeo pindu 
sabhu t.aeraa, kahu Naanak sabh t.aeree vade-aaee 
koee naao na jaan:aae meraa
You are mine O Lord and I pray to you.
 I am nothing, and all the glory to you! 
5-383-11
After singing this, he or she (the one leading Ardas), starts narrating actual Ardas - 
Ard.aas, Ik-Oan:kaar Sree Vaahaeguroo jee kee fat.eh. Sree Bhagaut.ee jee sahaae. Vaar Sree Bhgaut.ee jee kee Paat.shaahee 10. (phonated as “ D.asveen’, ” and not Paat.eshaahee “D.ass”).
The above, first part i.e. “Paur.ee” has to be recited, and it cannot be omitted. After this, the rest of Ard.as is continued -
Pr;itham Bhagaut.ee sima rkaae Gur Naanak la-een’ dh:iaa-ae .....
And the whole of Ard.as is completed.
At the completion of Ard.as, all say -
Naanak Naam char. d.ee kala | t.aerae bhaan:ae sarbt.t. d.aa bhala
and then -
Vaahaeguroo jee kaa Khaalsaa, Vaahaeguroo jee kee fat.he
It is followed by  - 
Jo bo-lae so nihaal, Sat. Sr;ee Akaal
Some, culminate Ardas by singing in unison -
AwgXw BeI Akwl kI qbY clwXo pMQ [ 
sB isKn ko hukm hY gurU mwnXo gRMQ [ 
gurU gRMQ jI mwnXo pRgt gurW kI dyh [ 
jo pRB ko imlbo chY Koij Sbd my lyh [
AwgXw Be Akwl kI qbY clwXo pMQ [ 
sB isKn ko hukm hY guu{ mwnXo gRMQ [ 
gu{ gRMQ jI mwnXo pRgt gurW kI dyh [ 
jo pRB ko imlbo chY Koij Sbd my lyh [
Aageaa bha-ee Akaal kee tabee chlaayo Panth
Sabh Sikhan ko hukam haae Guroo maanyo Gran’th
Guroo garn”th jee maanyo pargat Guraan’ kee d.eh
Jo prabh ko milbo chahaae khoje shabad. mae Leh
The Lord ordained to establish Panth - the Sikh world.
My edict - Guru is Granth. 
Follow it, this is my visible form.
Find Him in it, in the Naam.
This is not Gurbani and is not narrated in Harimandir Sahib and at many other places, especially the historical Gurdwaras. It is the composition by Giani Gian Singh given in his Panth-Parkash  at page 353 (Publication Bureau, Punjab University, Chandigarh, 1987). To this, lines like “Raaj karae gaa Khalsa aakee rahae na koae.....” etc. were added later by others. This ‘dohra’ is very likely prone to hurt  the feelings of non-Sikhs, and so quite a number of the Sikhs do not approve its singing in the Gurdwaras. The Gurdwaras is a place where anyone from any faith is  welcome.  MOTIVE

This prayer of a few minutes, has in it about 533 years of development of the Sikh history. Its main motives are -

  1. To keep reviving the Sikh heritage, history, sacrifices, and achievements. It is a recognition of and “Thanksgiving” to those who struggled and sacrificed themselves for the Sikh faith and the humanity.
  2. To get courage for “Char.h.d.ee Kalaa,” - High morale, from the sacrifices of the Gurus and the Sikhs.
  3. To inculcate self-respect and fearlessness from the examples of martyrdoms for remaining firm in the faith, fighting for the rights, freedom of the self and the faith as well as freedom of its practices and of its places, and to stand by the truth.
  4. To develop universal love and a desire to help the weak and needy by seeking good for all - a quality to live selflessly for others.
  5. It is an expression of faith in Waheguru (God). It keeps attached to the Lord. In itself, an Ardas is a kind of Simran (remembering God) and there is no doubt that Simran is a modified Ardas -
    1. kbIr kwm pry hir ismrIAY AYsw ismrhu inq ]
      kbIr kwm pry hir ismrIE EYsw ismrhu inq ]
      Kabeer kaam par-e Har-e simriaae aaesaa simrhu nit.
      Kabeer, keep the Lord in mind, as you do it when in need.
      Kabir-1373-5
  6. An Ardas means a total surrender to His will, and a request for the strength to accept it.
  7. Living according to the Sikh-tenets. To lead a life of a high order, and freedom from attachments, to keep evolving.
  8. A promise not to show back to a decision once made. Maharaja Ranjit Singh said Ardas and did not fear to cross the raging river Attock (River Sindh). Akali Phula Singh, after performing it did not stop to attack an outnumbered enemy buildup at Naushehra.
  9. Narrating Ardas affirms humility, and total submission.
  10. It is commonly a prayer for mercy of the Guru and God, and may be a supplication for His boons. Many do not approve a self- oriented Ardas, but in fact almost everyone performs it in one or the other form.
  11. As well, it is commonly said for penance, to beg pardon for shortcomings, sins, and forgiveness for crossing the boundary of ethics.
  12. Sometimes, it is said for someone else, or for others.
OCCASIONS

As a set tradition, full Panthic Ardas is performed at the culmination of the morning and evening prayers, at the start or end of any religious function, or a religious program in the Gurdwara, at home or anywhere else, and at every occasion of joy or sorrow. Every congregational invocation and one after completing a Paath (recitation of the Scriptures) of Nitnem (daily routine prayer), and before starting or after completing recitation of Guru Granth Sahib, is always a Panthic (Institutional) Ardas. A personal or a Sampardaik (of a sect) supplication may or may not be exactly so. An Ardas performed  may be -

General Ardas 
A Sikh invocation must wish well of all, without any discrimination. It is performed - 

  1. At the start or completion of a religious program or a ceremony in the Gurdwara, at home, or anywhere else.
    1. a] To get the sanction of Waheguru (The Lord) before starting something. To invoke His grace for its successful execution and completion.
      b] To thank God for successful completion of an undertaking.
Self-Oriented Ardas 
  1. For the mental support, and an appeal to solve his or her problem, or to take him or her out of a difficult situation.
  2. To beg for His boons and success. 
  3. To appeal for courage to accept His will and to bear a situation.
  4. To repent the wrong done, and for penance. 
  5. To pray for His mercy, guidance and help.
Ardas For Spiritual Pursuits
For spiritual purposes and  for a higher cause - evolution of the self.
  1. An appeal for Gur-Sikhi - ethical living.
  2. Request for the boon of love for the Gurbani and wisdom to read it correctly and with understanding (understand meanings, to adopt it).
  3. An appeal for the strength to get united to His name.
  4. A begging for His Darshan (to meet Him) - His realization. 
Selfless Ardas
  1. Praying for whole of the mankind
  2. An invocation for His help to the Panth.
  3. An invocation for His benevolence to others. 
  4. A prayer to wish well of someone else.
DISCIPLINE

Ardas may be Congregational or Personal, Vocal or Silent, General or Self-Oriented. The set conduct during Ardas is important for a Congregational supplication. In a Personal Ardas, a few liberties are usually taken by some. Ardas of a sect is mostly like a personal prayer. 

A) Congregational Ardas
In the Sangat, it is Panthic, or Parmanit Ardas - congregational , of the Sikh world, or an established invocation (approved by the Sikh world). It has to be vocal, and commonly it a general supplication. 

I) For the Ardasia (Invoker - one leading Ardas) 
  1. This supplication  will be the vocal one. Others should listen to it and repeat “Bolo jee Waheguru”, “Waheguru jee kaa Khalsa Waheguru jee kee fat-he, and “Jo bolae so nihaal, Sat Sree Akaal,” after Ardasia. During invocation, no one  should try to  talk to Ardasia. If essential, a written chit may be given to him or her.

  2. An Ardas will be -
    a) In the presence of Guru Granth Sahib
    It is taken for guaranteed that our heads are covered in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib. As a set precedence, we enter the Gurdwara with bare, clean feet. Stand straight with folded hands in front of Guru Granth Sahib - facing it. No gestures with hands, face, or head by Ardasia or by the participants. The body should be at attention and no swaying, bending, or any other movements of the hands, feet, head, or body. Nothing to be held in the hands e.g. a sword, or an arrow etc. Display of a drawn sword contradicts the essence of humility in an Ardas. The Ardasia may have written notes for references to the names to make a specific Ardas for  each of them.
    b) When Guru Granth Sahib is not there -
    Outside a Gurdwara. Heads covered. Shoes preferably off, but it may depend on the place i.e. it is clean or not. Everyone stands with folded hands and all other prerequisites are as given above. The Sangat will stand facing  Ardasia.
  3. The recitation should be clear, calm, and steady - no haste.
  4. The attention should be fixed on the Guru (Granth Sahib) and  Ardas.
  5. Many say quotations from Gurbani within Ardas. We may recite these before or after actual supplication, but should keep these limited so that the invocation is kept as short as possible.
  6. Before ending, it is a regular feature to mention the purpose of it and to acknowledge the persons offering Parshad (sanctified food), and Langar (food) etc. It has become a normal feature, but this part should be kept very brief and dignified, without repetitions. Only essential (principle) acknowledgments should be made. For such things, and especially for a long list of names, better will be to make separate announcements or to offer a brief individual or collective Ardas while Sangat (congregation) keeps busy with the usual activity (program) of the occasion.
  7. Do not repeat anything said once, and keep Ardas short without  saying more than what is  very essential. Long Ardas becomes tiring to the body and mind, and concentration is lost.

  8. II). For the Sangat - Discipline for the individuals in Sangat - 

    1. Stand calmly at attention, making no movements, facing Guru Granth Sahib, if it is there. Otherwise, face  Ardasia.
    2. Attend Ardas and do nothing else. Be attentive to listen what is being said. No other activity. No reading of papers or a book, no talk, no discussions. If these are essential, go out of the place. Do nothing to distract the Sangat.
    3. It is duty of the parents or guardians to keep their charges (children) under control to maintain sanctity of Ardas, and environment of the Gurdwara. If it is not possible, take the child out to leave the place calm. Let not child run astray or between parents. It is better to have a separate soundproof place for the parents with children.
    4. Everyone has to keep the head covered. This is the discipline of the congregation and even of Ardas itself. It should particularly be taken note of  by the ladies, for children, and by others who do not tie turbans.
    5. Any instructions should be given to the Ardasia before hand, and on no account he should be disturbed during an Ardas. If extremely essential, a written note may be given to him or her. Do not try to put money into the folded hands of Ardasia during Ardas. This disturbs him or her and the Sangat. As well, it does not look appropriate. 
B) Personal Ardas. It is usually the established Panthic Ardas. It may be vocal or silent, general or self-oriented. It can be from a single word to a few sentences. Saying “Waheguru” (God) or “Sache Paateshaah,” (True King) etc., deep from the heart and with humility, is in itself a complete invocation. Dr. Gurbux Singh, Retd. Dean, Agriculture University, Ludhiana, also holds the same opinion.
  1. In the presence of Guru Granth Sahib -
    1. a] Preferably the discipline stated above, should be observed, and one should stand facing the Holy Granth.
      b] Someone may take personal liberty, may not perform this Ardas by standing before the Holy Granth, and do so sitting anywhere or in “Tabya,” - attendance (Where one sits to read the Holy Granth or move a wisp (Yak hair or nylon strands) over it.
  2. Not in the presence of the Holy Book -

  3. It is ideal to stand and perform it, but someone may do so sitting or even lying down in the bed. Health and not the habit should be the guide.
Silent Ardas - A personal supplication may not be vocal. If someone requests Sant Balwant Singh of Umarpura (Batala) to pray for him or her, he always performs a silent Ardas even in the presence of a few others e.g. a family group.

Note
Ardas may get modified by various independent establishments (Deras) and disciplines (Parampras). It is imperative to have an ability to distinguish the right from wrong. For the child to grow to be faithful and enlightened, start teaching faith to him or her from before its birth, and keep it on after that. It is a must that we provide the child with the canopy of God, so that it is accustomed to it on growing up. The child should be made aware that the Sikh faith is deeper than its philosophy, and it is to live it. Equipped with God-orientation, he or she will easily differentiate right from wrong.

 


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