Basic Information About Sikhism 2

Ardas

The word Ardas means a petition, a memorial or an address to a superior authority. It is a petition of a soul before the Supreme Lord. To pray God for uninterrupted fulfilment of every wish is a custom in Sikhism.

Kirtan

Kirtan is a specific feature of Sikh worship. It means singing the scriptural compositions in traditional musical measures. It is the commonly accepted mode of rendering devotion to God by singing his praises. According to the Sikh Rehat Maryada, only a Sikh may perform Kirtan in a congregation. Sikh should listen to the Guru’s teachings through Kirtan, make them the basis of one’s life and this is the real listening of the Kirtan.

Langar

Langar is the sitting together in a row to partake food from a common kitchen regardless of caste, creed, sex, age or social status. It is customary for diners in the Guru ka Langar to sit side by side in a pangat or row. Langar symbolizes selfless service, love and brotherhood among the Sikhs.

Nitnem

It is the name given to the daily prayers. According to the Sikh Rehat Maryada, every Sikh is commanded to recite the following scriptural compositions every day, alone or in company:

  • The Japu Ji Sahib, Jaap Sahib and Ten Savaiyye (Quartets), beginning Srawag Sudh, in the morning.
  • So Dar Rehraas Sahib in the evening, after sunset.
  • and Sohila Sahib to be recited at night before going to bed.

Sangat

It is an assembly of the devotees in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, where the praises of Almighty, Kirtan of Gurbani and contemplation upon the name of God is done. There is no discrimination of caste, creed or high-low in Sangat. It is applauded as a means of moral and spiritual uplift, it is as well a social unit which inculcates values of brotherhood, equality and Sewa.

Sewa

Sewa means to render service. It is the touchstone of Sikhism. The service of any needy person by means of body, mind and wealth has been regarded as true service. Service of humanity is the service of God.

Simran

Simran literally means to remember, contemplate. The Simran of Lord is to contemplate upon the attributes of the Lord, remember them and abide them in the heart.

Source: Poster by Dharam Parchar Committee (Delhi Sikh Gurdwara)

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