|Sikh Missionary Society:
Prayer in one or the other form has been performed since
the most primitive times. Human beings used to please God or gods by offering
sacrifices accompanied by the singing of praises to obtain certain favors
Ardas is a supplication or humble request. It is a supplicatory
prayer of the Sikhs. It is not only a kind of worship, but is also an invisible
emanation of most powerful form of energy that one can generate spiritually.
Sikh prayer for Sarbat Da Bhala is recited at beginning or closing of a
service or an important task.
Prayer is a personal talk with God from the inward depth
of heart. It is earnest opening of heart before God for receiving His boons.
It is a worshipful address to God, whether aloud or silent in one’s thoughts.
True prayer is pure adoration and dedication. It has no ulterior motive.
Styles and times
It can be individual, family or congregational prayer.
It can be vocal or silent in the heart. It can be performed everywhere
and at all the times. There is no prescribed posture, time or the place
but it must be performed from core of the heart with full devotion. Generally,
devotees pray to God with closed eyes and with folded hands. They concentrate
their attention, mind and soul on the Supreme Soul.
Although words in the prayer are almost the same but the
feelings of individual participants cannot be weighed or measured. Depth
of emotions can not be probed. In a congregation full of worshippers, the
identical words which have deep meanings, will affect different people
in different ways. Who is to say what and with what intention, each feels
deep inside. The religious impulse which is carried out in the secret depths
of the human heart, between one individual and Akal Purakh, in the
end is a very private and personal matter.
The individual prayer is normally performed in homes and
the congregational prayer is performed in Gurdwaras. Sikhism stresses upon
both types of prayers. It is essential for the individual to attend holy
company (Sangat) of the Gurmukhs and join the congregational prayer
in the Gurdwara.
Generally, the individuals pray for physical health,
material needs, welfare of the family, universal prosperity or for attainment
of spirituality. Human beings pray to God for relief from the physical
and worldly pains. Prayer for fulfillment of worldly desires defeats its
own purpose. It can be in the form of thanks giving to the Almighty for
His gifts and boons, adoration, praise or a petition.
What do the
Sikhs pray for ?
The Sikhs pray for peace and prosperity of the universe
as a whole and not just for a particular sect or group of people. It is
for “Sarbat Da Bhala”.
It is a prayer for asking the boon of spirituality and unity with the God
Almighty. Sikh Ardas is also a summary of the suppression, oppression,
tyranny and religious bigotry committed upon the Sikhs by the unjust rulers.
It is a narration of the story of martyrs who preferred to
sacrifice their lives than to flicker from their faith.
Prayer cleans the heart and is a direct connecting link
between man and God. It gives a devotee the dynamic power to
achieve harmonious assembly of body, mind and spirit to shun Haumai
and link with the inexhaustible motive power that spins the universe.
Guru Arjan Dev says,
“By praying to the Guru, no obstacle befalls
It is believed in Sikhism that
ibGnu n koaU lwgqw gur pih
“the prayer of a person before God never goes
Whatever we ask, we receive from God because we are doing
the things that are pleasing in His eyes. The things we ask and yet we
do not receive because we are asking for a wrong purpose and for sensual
ibrQI kdy n hoveI jn kI Ardwis
“What ever I ask of my God, He blesses me with
the same exactly.”
jo mwgih Twkur Apuny qy soeI
soeI dyvY ]
“Even without one's speaking, the True Lord knows
Guru Nanak Dev says,
ibnu boly bUJIAY sicAwr ] rhwau
“Without our saying, everything is known to the
the prayer of every person, fruitful ?
ivxu boly jwxY sBu soie ] rhwau
The prayer of a God loving, pure and true person
is always heard and answered. The prayer from the core of the heart of
a contented person is respected in the court of Almighty.
Sikhs conclude their daily prayer with the plea:
“Nanak, may the glorious Name be ever in ascendancy
and may all people prosper by Your grace.”
Guru Arjan Dev says,
nwnk nwm cHVdI klw, qyry Bwxy
srbq kw Blw ]
“God cures all pains; He Gives us comforts.
He does not suffer any ills who prays with faith.”
qIny qwp invwrxhwrw duK hMqw
suK rwis ]
qw kau ibGnu n koaU lwgY jw
kI pRB AwgY Ardwis ]
“To seek any thing except You is to invite the
Guru Arjan Dev Ji says,
Bless me with the boon of Thy Name and so that I may
feel contended and my mind’s hunger be satisfied.”
ivxu quDu horu ij mMgxw isir
duKw kY duK ]
dyih nwmu sMqoKIAw auqrY mn
kI BuK ]
“Make supplication before Him who is the bestower
of bliss and the destroyer of dread. He, to whom the Merciful Master shows
His mercy, has his affairs adjusted forthwith.”
suKdwqw BY BMjno iqsu AwgY
kir Ardwis ]
imhr kry ijsu imhrvwnu qW kwrju
AwvY rwis ]
“Joining both the hands, I make a supplication
before Thee, O’ my Lord. If You will, then alone I will be embellished.”
duie kr joiV krau Ardwis ]
quDu BwvY qw Awxih rwis ]
“Kirat the minstrel, makes a supplication, O’
Guru Ram Das, keep me ever under Your protection.”
iek Ardwis Bwt kIriq kI gur
rwmdws rwKhu srxweI ]
“Without being told, the Lord knows everything,
so before whom else should we make a supplication.”
ivxu boilAw sBu ikCu jwxdw
iksu AwgY kIcY Ardwis ]