The following religious services are provided by the Gurdwara:
Akhand Path(akhand = uninterrupted, without break; path = reading) is the non-stop, continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end. Such a recital is normally completed within 48 hours. The entire Holy Volume, 1430 large pages, is read through in a continuous ceremony. This “ritual” is considered a very holy practise and is said to bring peace and solace to the participants and the passive listener of the recitation.
For it to be classified as a “Akhand paath”, this reading must go on day and night, without a moment’s intermission. The relay of reciters who take turns at reading the scripture must ensure that no break occurs in the reading. As they change places at given intervals, one picks the line from his predecessor’s lips and continues. When and how the custom of reciting the canon in its entirety in one continuous service began is not known. Conjecture traces it to the turbulent days of the eighteenth century when persecution had scattered the Sikhs to far off places. In those exilic, uncertain times, the practice of accomplishing a reading of the Holy Book by a continuous recital is believed to have originated.
Sahej Paath (or Sadharan Paath) means easy or simple recitation. It is a Paath started and ended any time, with as many or as few people participating as desired. It is a good time to practice pronunciation and study meanings. Anyone can perform their own Sahej Paath. Complete reading of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib accomplished at the reader’s schedule.A Sahej Paath may be fulfilled by one or more readers.
Sukhmani Sahib is the title given to the Gurbani in raga Gauri Sukhmani in the Guru Granth Sahib which in turn appears in the major musical measure Raga Gauri to which it belongs. It is a lengthy composition, written by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru. The sacred prayer spans 35 pages from page 262 to page 296 of the Guru Granth Sahib. Surprisingly, many ardent Sikhs include the recitation of this Bani in their daily regimen of Nitnem. The physical site, where the Guru around AD 1602-03 composed this composition was once enclosed by a dense wood. The location is still marked on the bank of the Ramsar pool in the city of Amritsar, near the famous Golden Temple the Harimandir Sahib.
It is said that Baba Sri Chand, elder son of Guru Nanak and founder of the Udasi order, came to Amritsar to meet Guru Arjan, then engaged in composing this Bani. The Guru who had by that time completed sixteen astpadis, or cantos, requested that he continue the composition. Baba Sri Chand, out of humility, only recited the salok of Guru Nanak following the Mool Mantra in the Japji — “adi sachu, jugadi sachu; hai bhi sachu, Nanak hosi bhi sachu” — “True in the beginning, True through the ages; True even now; Nanak say, Shall remain ever True” (SGGS p285). This salok was thereupon repeated by Guru Arjan at the head of the seventeenth astpadi.
The word Sukhmani is rendered into English as “consoler of the mind.” The entire poem has been translated into English more than once under some commonly preferred titles, “Jewel of peace”, “Psalm of peace” or “Song of peace”, signifying the soothing effect it has on the mind of the reader. Sukh literally means peace or comfort and mani means mind or heart. ( ਮਣੀ Sukh in Gurmukhi can also mean jewel, gem, precious stone.).
The Sukhmani Sahib has structural unity. The composition consists of 24 Astpadis each of which begins with a Salok and is followed by 8 Pauris or stanzas. Each stanza has ten lines, which consist of five couplets. There is also the unity of theme: the perfection of man mentally. morally and spiritually. The Salok at the beginning of each Astpadi (canto) gives the gist of the 8 Pauris (stanzas) that follow this salok.
One of the fundamental texts of the Sikh faith, the Sukhmani presents a complete scheme of the teachings of the Sikh faith. While each astpadi has a fresh vision to impart, a particular aspect of Truth to unfold, the whole text may be regarded as the reiteration of basic themes such as Divine immanence, Divine compassion, abundance of grace, God’s succouring hand, the merit of devotion, of holy company and humility. With such reiteration, the composition as a whole has a remarkable gripping quality reinforced by the striking imagery which in stanza after stanza brings home to the seeker the truths he must own.
Anand Karaj (Punjabi: ਅਨੰਦ ਕਾਰਜ, anand kāraj) is the name given to the Sikh wedding ceremony, literally translated as “Blissful Event”. Sikhs regard marriage as a sacred bond of mutual dependence between a man and a woman; a true partnership of equals in marriage is made between those who are united in spirit as well as in mind and body. Marriage is regarded as a strong lifetime bond between the bride and groom and and a union between both the families of the bride and groom.
This event leads to a “joining” of the two families into one creating an enlarged extended family structure where each member has a useful part to play in the new family structure; each member of this extended family has to play a part in ensuring that the new couple are given every assistance in this new relationship and their start on this honourable path of Grist marg, “path of the householder”.
Gristi jiwan (living as a householder) is given a very respected position in Guru Nanak’s society as it is regarded as the essential basic atomic unit of a healthy community; a couple leading a happy, strong and fulfilling relationship will provide a base for a strong, united and coherent community.
Kirtan at home
Antim Ardas Ceremony
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