You are on page 1of 12

SIKH BANI

The Sikh Banis


The daily prayers of the Sikhs, were originally composed in Gurmukhi, (the scriptural language of Sikh
Dharma), and are recited each day so that a person's earthly personality may elevate itself to defend
through any negativity or misfortune. Whether or not you are a Sikh you can benefit from these
beautiful prayers. Gateway to the Soul gives you the powerful effects of the Banis in English
translation, to open your heart, steady your mind, and connect you with your strength, courage, and
Infinite Consciousness. Listening to or reciting the Banis gives you inner balance, grace, radiance, and
energy; stopping the negative cycle of the mind and reversing it's thought forms.

Although the greatest benefit of the Banis is through recitation in the original Gurmukhi, Gateway to
the Soul offers them in English, with musical accompaniment so you can enjoy their subtle, joyful
vibrations. The Banis are truly meant to be experienced by the heart.

Selection on Sikh Banis

Japji Sahib: To relate and connect with your soul. Recite in the early morning or when your being is
endangered, when the radiance of your soul is weak, when your soul feels sad. All wisdom of the Siri
Guru Granth Sahib is contained in this Bani. Related to ether element.

Shabad Hazaare: This gives the benefits of a thousand shabads to allow the soul to merge directly with
God. For reconciliation and bringing separated ones home. Recite when your body feels useless.
Related to ether element.

Jaap Sahib: To bring grace, self-command and to inspire your greatness. This Bani brings royalty,
divinity, ecstasy, bliss, bountifulness and beauty. It will increase your vitality, courage, power, strength
and self-esteem. Recite when your dignity is threatened, to overcome fear and to arouse and increase
your flow of spirit. Related to air element.
Tav Prasad Swaiya and Chaopaee: To bring satisfaction in life when nothing seems to satisfy you. It
brings energy, vitality and expansion. Related to air element.

Anand Sahib: To bring endless bliss and heal any deficiencies in the body. It organises and brings
happiness, harmony and peace. In this Bani, mind and body are explained in relation to cosmic divinity;
it is to qualify the mind and understand one's depth. Recite this when your lower self confronts you,
when you are unsuccessful and you want peace of mind. Related to fire element.

The Anand Sahib of Guru Amardas is a literary masterpiece of devotional poetry; its aesthetic and
symbolic elements will please the literary critic.

Its theme is of mans true goal and his spiritual illumination. The word Anand means bliss, so it is a
song of mans spiritual achievement, or of being in tune with the Infinite. In a metaphysical sense, this
stage is known as harmony, equipoise or Sahaj.

Every man desires happiness and joy, but he tends to seek it in things either apart from himself or
which pertain to his sense organs. He does not realise that these things at best can only give him
temporary or unstable happiness. Firstly, man seeks to do better than his neighbour or colleague. He
wants more wealth, power and position. The human rat-race increases both avarice and greed, it
inflates the ego and often leads to domination and exploitation. Even after gaining what he has set his
mind to, he is afraid of losing what he has obtained. This fear of a possible loss creates tensions in his
mind, so that he becomes unable to enjoy that which he already has. Additionally there is the fear of
some one doing better, so he tries to keep others at bay. All this destroys his peace of mind sad sense
of achievement, so that in spite of his power and position, he inwardly feels dissatisfied and sullen

Mans desires and doubts cast a shadow on his efforts to gain joy. Even if some joy is experienced, the
spectre of its short duration haunts the mind and creates anxiety and neurosis. After a while, this
condition appears openly when his friends and relatives feel that he is mentally disturbed and unhappy.

The Anand is both inspirational and philosophical in its content. It details the pilgrims progress and the
obstacles that lie on the way. The ultimate goal is for union with the Supreme Reality. It is called
Sahaj, Nirvana, Mukti, Sangham. Sahaj is a mental state which encourages the living of a normal
family-life and a concern for social commitment. The requirement is one of detachment; all that one
possesses, is to be regarded a kind of trust and used for good and altruistic purposes. Similarly, ones
senses directed to higher goals and not only to worldly enjoyment. Regard your body as a chariot, your
mind the charioteer, your soul, the owner of the chariot, while your senses are the horses and desire is
their road. The soul symbolises divinity; man cannot realise his divine element without seeing through
the veil of Maya. Normally he regards himself as separate from God, it is this obvious duality or fallacy
that the Guru removes. Through the Guru man may realise his divine nature, then he becomes
Gurmukh or Sunmukh. Those who remain worldly-wise and follow their own ego, they are called
Munmukh or Bemukh. Their senseseyes, ears, tongue etc. lead them to mundane and evil pursuits,
not towards spiritual effort (Sadhana). So self-discipline and obeying of the Gurus directions is the way
to spiritual progress.

The obstacles on any spiritual path are many and difficult. They include human cleverness, intellectual
hair-splitting, family attachments, the taboos and rituals of traditional religion, conformity to custom
and convention, the unending chain of desire, hypocrisy and ad hoc means for the purpose of
compromises with ideals and principles for personal gain, and the many other compulsions of
expediency. The disciple in to overcome such obstacles by obeying the instructions of the Guru. The
blessing of the Guru will support and enable him to progress, on his spiritual path. Any association with
godly people or of doing of acts for the public good and social welfare, also help on the spiritual
journey.

The pattern of the Anand projects a development of thought. Stanzas one to five mention that Bliss
obtained through the Guru, after his instructions are followed. Stanzas six to twenty deal with the
various obstacles and difficulties that one may face on the spiritual path. Stanzas twenty-one to
twenty-five tell us about the two types of human beings: the ego-oriented and the God-oriented.
Stanzas twenty-six to thirty-four mention the various desires that hold man back from his inner quest.
Stanzas thirty-five to thirty-nine deal with the correct functioning of the human body and its senses.
Stanza forty deals with the benefits of sincere recitation and singing in particular of the Anand. These
benefits are enlightenment, a realisation of the blissful state and the ultimate union with Divinity. In
short, Bliss may be attained through self-discipline and the development of ones own personality
through purity, morality, contentment, poise, compassion, wisdom, a loving understanding of others
and spiritual harmony.

The Anand belongs to the sixteenth century and contains words from sant-bhasa (saint-lore). It
represents the idealism of the Guru and his vision for mans ultimate achievement. Its large canvas
covers the realities of contemporary life.including a description of the paraphernalia of organised
religion, which ironically disguises the hypocrisy and egoism of its practitioners, under the veneer of
outer correctness and cleanliness. The diction of the Anand suited to its theme and musical from
Ramkali raga.leaves a subtle and powerful impression on the mind of the disciple. The diction is
powerful, with winged words and felt phrases, which make a great impact on the listener. The
loaded text deals with some of the basic concepts of Sikh religion like Sahaj, Karma, Hukam, Shabad
and Maya, words which in addition to their semantic nuances, also reflect the spiritual states of the
Third Guru. Consider the polarised juxtapositions, like Sahaj and Sansa (18),u Sach and Koor
(19),Nirmal and Maila (19), Sanmukh and Bemukh (21&22), Sachibani and Kachi-bani (23&24),Punn and
Paap (27),Har-ras and Un-ras (32). These contents all add to the beauty of the composition.

The Anand reassures every one that they can experience both joy and bliss, without sacrificing the
normal comfort and pleasures of life. Bliss is the destiny of man, Pain and suffering, though
unavoidable, do not disturb the inner peace of that person who leads a purposeful and pious life, by
obeying the Gurus discipline.

Rehiras Sahib: Recite after you've worked hard and feel tired. It adds energy to your being. It covers
your business actions and living environments. It helps you when you are physically weak, weak in
money, property and earthly matters; when you feel hopeless, unsuccessful or worthless. Bayntee
Chaopaee is Guru Gobind Singh's personal prayer for protection and is to liberate the soul. Related to
water element.

Kirtan Sohila: To remove the fear of death. Good to recite when your life feels boring, and you are
uninspired. It multiplies your aura, eliminates negativity in you and around you, and protects you.
Excellent before you sleep at night to bring restful sleep, prevent nightmares and create a shield of
protection. This Bani protects the soul on its journey after it leaves the body at death. Related to earth
element.
Sukhmani Sahib: This is a prayer in the form of a song to bring everlasting peace and comfort to the
mind. Its sound is tranquilising and removes stress. Sukhmani Sahib opens your heart to live in
gratitude, steadies your spiritual discipline, and connects you with your strength, endurance, courage
and Infinite consciousness to overcome every obstacle. Listening to or reciting Sukhmani Sahib once a
day can change your destiny from misery to prosperity and give you inner balance, grace, radiance,
energy and the power to sacrifice.

The Sukhmani is probably the greatest composition of Guru Arjan. It is said that he wrote it in response
to request from a devotee who was suffering form physical pain and mental anguish; it restored him to
calm and health. The word Sukhmani means the psalm of equipoise or jewel of bliss. it is reported
that Wazir Khaq, the Governor of Lahore, whose real name was Hakim Alleem-ud-din Ansari, was
suffering from a chronic stomach disease. He came to Amritsar for treatment and also visited the
Harmandar Sahib. As Baba Buddha pressed his stomach, his condition became normal. When he met
Guru Arjan, the latter told him to listen to a recitation of the Sukhmani Sahib daily, to gain inner
peace. Wazir Khan then engaged a Sikh to recite this to him every day. By and by, he memorised the
text and became a healthy and happy man.

The Sukhmani Sahib has structural unity. It has 24 staves (Salokas), one of which begins each canto.
There are 24 cantos, each containing 8 stanzas. Each stanza has ten lines, that is five couplets. There
is also the unity of theme: the perfection of man mentally. morally and spiritually. The stave of each
canto gives the gist of the stanzas that follow.

Let us now examine the thought and contents of each canto briefly.

The first canto sums up the benefits of contemplation and meditation. It tells that all physical pain and
sorrow may vanish through the sincere remembrance of Gods Holy Name and that man becomes
physically healthy and morally strong. Such people find the inner strength to devote themselves to the
public good and develop the endurance to overcome all worldly obstacles.

The second canto tells us that practising holiness reduces mans propensity to sin. It also provides an
escape from the hardships of life. He comes to inner peace and spiritual joy.

In the third canto, the Guru states that any study of holy texts, the performance of austerities and
various religious practices as giving away much in charity, cannot compare with the benefits obtainable
by reading or listening to the Sacred Word. Meditation and nobility of conduct can provide a passport to
the Divine Court.

Canto four stresses the need for good behaviour, Man is a thinking animal and should think ahead to
consequences of his actions. Learning and cleverness can not hide a filthy mind. Keep away form
stealing and slander. Give up greed in all its forms and remember that all worldly things come to an
end.

In canto five, we learn to thank God for all his various gifts and treasures which He gives us. Man
should compare himself to the less fortunate.

Canto six examples Gods gifts to man: a healthy body, delicacies to eat, silks and jewels to wear and
pleasant music to hear. Should we not thank the Lord for all His gifts by singing of His glory?

Canto seven dwells on the attributes of the saints: their self control, their love and compassion, their
solicitude for the welfare of other people. Joining their company brings hope and peace, they never
turn any one away empty-handed. Similarly an appreciation of the God-oriented manthe Brahm-giani
is found in canto eight. He is kind, patient, humble and care-free. He offers help and support to all
without any inhibition. He is the refuge of the forsaken and the lost whom he accepts and treats like
the members of his family.

In canto nine, Guru Arjan defines the various types of holy persons like the Pandit, Vaishnav, Bhagwati
and touch-me-not, of these the best is the Jivanmuki, the liberated one who has acquired immortality
while still alive.

Canto ten deals with the various types of people and substances, both good and bad. How the
conceited men blindly follow their basic nature, while the seekers and seers who win Gods grace,
attain the goal of this life. Mans powers are limited; the more he knows, the less he knows.

In canto eleven the Guru tells us that the meek and the humble win Gods love, while the haughty and
the vain find no peace or joy. Mans desires are limitless as his cravings are beyond appeasement. It is
only when his time comes that he may join the company of the holy and then he gets a glimpse of his
light, within. Such a man knows True happiness for such a vision is powerfully blessed.

Canto twelve dwells on the lot of the boastful and the arrogant. Self-indulgent money-grabbers waste
away their lives in eating and sleeping. If an egoist performs good deeds, he all too often only inflates
his conceit. Pride and mental peace never go together.

Canto thirteen tells us of the need to associate with saintly people and of avoiding their slander. A
slanderer is spiritually insolvent and a corruptor of all. However, if the saint blesses him, he will get
peace of mind and benediction.

Canto fourteen points out that mortals, by their very nature, are fickle and way-ward; so no reliance
can be placed on them. On the other hand, the holy ones are extremely helpful and convey to their
disciples a true understanding of life and its goal.

Canto fifteen tells us that just as darkness is dispelled by light, and a track in the wilderness is
illuminated by a flash of lightning, so the Gurus instruction opens up our inner consciousness and
reveals the hidden mysteries of spiritual life. This enables the seeker to throw away the garbage of
worldliness and gather specially good merchandise which will bring both profit and honour.

In canto sixteen, the Guru refers to God as the Director, Playwright and Actor in His own plays, who
assumes any role at any time and at any place. He also assigns parts in His play for individuals to act
out.

In canto seventeen, the Guru emphasises the qualities of a true servant of God, namely obedience and
humility. A good master is pleased with a person who obeys him and is loyal to him. So a good and
sincere disciple will be able to win the grace of God.

Canto eighteen stresses the characteristics of a Seeker of Truth. He must give up his ego and surrender
his mind to the Guru. The Guru will then enrich his mind with compassion and spirituality. The Guru
will remove his tensions and sorrows and give him wisdom and joy.

In canto nineteen, Guru Arjan warns of the distractions of life. Why one spends all of ones life
amassing wealth, which will ultimately be of no use? Or worldly knowledge and possessions which will
be left-here on death. People should think of the things that will be helpful to them in the hereafter.

Canto twenty deals with the need of efforts for spiritual progress. Meditation is a progressive step on
the road to Divinity. A love of virtue, goodness and a remembrance of the qualities that we associate
with God, will make one noble and blissful.
In canto twenty-one, the Guru tells of the pre-creation state. Before creation, there was a great void.
Then God by His own will manifested Himself in His own creation. So the Universe came into existence,
where different peoples play out their various roles.

In canto twenty-two, there is a short list of Gods attributes. He is the fountain of generosity and
goodness. He selects people according to what he wants from them. He gives special protection to
some but those who turn away from Him come to harm and grief.

Canto twenty-three tells us of the omnipotence of God. He created the fabric of the universe; He
controls the stellar bodies. Mankind will be forever unable to understand their complexities, as he
gropes for clues to their unravelment. True Seekers stand lost in wonder at Gods power and
excellence.

In canto twenty four, the benefits of the Sukhmani are expounded. The true devotee will be rewarded
with health, culture, wisdom, peace and enlightenment through the sincere recitation and
understanding of this Psalm of Peace. He will be crowned with glory both in this world and in Gods
Court

The Sukhmani is a gem of spiritual wisdom. Many philosophers and eminent writers have expressed
their great admiration for it and Prof.Puran Singh was much influenced by it. He wrote: I had no sleep
for many nights. I thought I was going mad. Such was my condition. The clouds came, the cold wind
from the north came. I laughed. My eyes closed. I took up the hymn of Sukhmani and began reading it.
I went on, it gave its own lilt to my soul. It lent a sweetness to my voice. My face that had been
overcast by the dark stain of the sin of untunement began to glow. The stains disappeared. I felt light
and gay like a bird, as I realised the singing of the Sukhmani was a great cure for human falling out.
That insane mind into which business worries had driven me also comes to nations; they lose their
tempers and go to war, killing millions. Before they lose their temper, were they to bathe in this lyrical
river of Guru Arjan Dev, the world could be set right. .. . The whole psalm flows in an ambrosial stream
of hope and light from the bosom of the Guru. The glory of the day-break symbolises the great
illumination that like a holy nimbus, pervades this hymn.

Morning Prayers

(1) Japji Sahib : This prayer was composed by Guru Nanak ji sometime between 1500-1507. It is recorded at the start of
the Guru Granth Sahib. It explains how the barriers of deceit and falsehood can be broken in life and how to become
one with God.
(2) Jaap Sahib: This prayer was composed by Guru Gobind Singh ji during the period 1682-1686, when he was residing at
Paonta Sahib. It contains 199 stanzas about the praise and description of God.
(3) Sawaya : This is a short hymn of 10 stanzas. It is a part of Guru Gobind Singh ji's classic composition 'Akal Ustat'
which means 'The praise of God'. In the last line of the 9th stanza, Guruji has declared that 'only those who love
sincerely and honestly, realise God'

Evening / Dusk time Prayers


(4) Rehras Sahib : It is collection of hymns of five different Gurus. The Rehras as recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib
contains hymns of only Guru Nanakji, Guru Amardas ji, Guru Ramdas ji and Guru Arjan Dev j. The compositions of Guru
Gobind Singh ji were added in Rehras Sahib in the late 19th century. This was later ratified by the supreme Sikh religious
body - the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC)

Night Prayers

(5) Kirtan Sohilla : It is a collection of hymns of Guru Nanakji, Guru Amardas ji and Guru Arjan Dev ji. These hymns
underline the pains of parting of human beings from god and the bliss to be achieved when one unites with god again.

The Community Prayers

The Community Prayer is performed in a gurudwara or in a house where the community (sangat) gathers to recite
prayers collectively.
Community Prayers are recited in the gurudwaras every morning and evening. The congregation is known as 'Sadh
Sangat' i.e. 'a group of saints'. The recitations are known as 'Kirtanias'. However, the Sadh Sangat can even recite the
prayers together as a group in the absence of the Kirtanias.

Morning Prayers

Asa-di-Var
It was composed by Guru Nanakji with many 'shaloks' of Guru Angad ji later inserted by Guru Arjan Dev ji . It's theme
focuses on how a man can elevate himself for union with God.

Asa-di-var----means A ballad of hope; it is one of the basic sacred compositions for the Sikhs and is sung every morning
in congregation in gurdwaras. The Var is an heroic ode which describes the brave deeds of a hero. It is generally sung to
inspire armies going to battle or to inspire people with martial spirit. The Asa-di-var is normally sung in the Ass raga. It
consists of 24 stanzas (Pauris) and 44 Staves (Salokas) and was originated by Guru Nanak later, Guru Angad added
another 15 staves of his own. In congregation, the musicians sing this var along with Chhants (quatrains) of Guru
Ramdas. The stanzas express the ideas in general, while the staves clarify them by example and detail. Social and
religious issues are then related, to ordinary life.

The Asa-di-var does not tell a story, its theme is: How to become a spiritual persona devta. In it, Guru Nanak also
warns us against the rituals and tricks of priests and monks. The most important thing is how to build up ones character
and how to remove the obstacles that lay in the path of a disciple, the most important of which is the ego, selfishness o
conceit. Even holy persons, who are outwardly very good and kind, often suffer from religious pride. Sometimes so-
called religious people, commit heinous crimes through self-righteousness and bigotry. It should be remembered that
Ego in its pure essence is self-awareness or identity which when regulated is an essential, for it is the basis of ones
character or moral nature. When regulated by right motivation and active service, it is positive and beneficial. But if
uncontrolled through self pride of position or riches, it becomes selfish and mean. The effects of the Ego are
particularly contemptible and disastrous when disguised by the apparent holiness or tradition, which exploits ordinary
peoples ignorance and credulity. The practice of humility and love are the most effective qualities for keeping people
away from sin, far better than all recitations and rituals of religion.

Initially, it is the fear of Gods wrath or displeasure which inspires the seeker to offer worship and prayer. Over the years
this fear should become gradually replaced by love and self surrender, so that he loses his Impatience with those who
are imperfect; he is in sympathy with them, for they are like strayed sheep. Only by self-discipline and serving other
people, can one become worthy of divine grace. Associate with holy persons and learn from them, the secrets of
spiritual wisdom.

The Asa-di-var also deals with concepts like Guru, Grace, Egoism, pollution (Sutak) and falsehood. The Gurus
personality and message transform the life of the disciple. Guru Nanak says:

By meeting the Guru, The Truth, is realised;


He banishes Ego from the mind of man;
He gives insight in to supreme Reality.
Only The Guru can grant the gift of The Holy Name. (AG,
465)

The Guru sets a course of life for his disciple, that of plain living and high thinking. Following this, the seekers life-style
begins to change:

The good ones, who are absorbed in The Truth, do service;


They do no evil;
They travel on the right path and do what is just;
They break worldly bonds. They eat and drink, little. (AG, 467)

There is also the concept of Self. Our individual self is only a minuscule part of Universal Reality. It is only by
understanding our own self-limits that we achieve the highest goals of our own existence.

Through ignorance, we engage ourselves in selfishness and enjoyment, this will frustrate our hopes of a higher life. Man
starts this life coupled to the background of his previous life. His past and present mould his future. We have self-will
with which we can modify our own conduct. It is only when we attune our own will to the Supreme Will, that we can
become super-men.

Now to a summary of the Asa-di-var in serial order. After explaining the role of a spiritual teacher (Guru) Nanak goes to
tell us that divine wisdom is acquired through intellect. The Guru offers us a vision of a God whose whole presence in
made manifest in Nature. The world is not a dream, but an impermanent reality. If people really observe Gods creation
they will be filled with wonder. The entire Cosmos, follows Divine Ordinance or law; so should we. The Lord is not
pleased by the theatrics of the so-called ncarnates, but only by acts of love and devotion.
The religious teacher instructs his disciples to distinguish good from bad, true from false. However, the assertion of
individual ego, is the great obstacle to the process of moral law. So that our self-assertiveness should be replaced by
self-surrender. By submission to His Divine Will, one may win the favour of the Lord.

Secular knowledge or scholarship does not prevent us from sinning. Ultimately we will be judged not by our learning or
status, but by our conduct. Arguing, hair-splitting over sacred texts, the performance of rituals and traditional offerings
or the wearing of symbols or other marks of holiness, are of no avail. What counts is self-control, purity and compassion
God knows our inner selves and cannot be cheated by any so-called holy practice. He reads our hearts and is not
affected by only recitations of holy texts, markings on the fore-head with sandal-wood paste, cooking food within
plastered squares, offering of choice dishes and libations of water, or by the barley-rolls and leafy platters, served to
priests for the benefit of the dead. These things are done to win popular acclaim or to appease priests.

Guru Nanak exposed the maladies of his time. Both Hindu and Muslim have strayed from the path of their religious
preceptors and practised greed, falsehood, extortion and tyranny. The Guru rejected the Transfer-theory of Brahmins,
that offerings given to them, were of benefit to the ancestors of the donors. God will ultimately punish them for
deceiving and exploiting ordinary people. Guru Nanak also exposed any idea of pollution, being connected with the
events of birth and death. These two are natural events being ordained by God. Real pollution is self incurred; it comes
from greed, lust, lying and slander, all of which corrupt the mind. There is nothing wrong with food and drink. Impurity
does not exist in matter, but in ones ego, indifference to God and other people.

Guru Nanak also warned us against lust in sex. In his age, women were neglected and held in contempt by men. Both
Hindus and Muslims, ill-treated their women. The Guru praised the role of woman in family life. Prof. Puran Singh wrote
in this connection:

The Guru transcends sex through sex. Women, says the Guru, are
the centre of life here on earth and in heaven. Man is born of woman; he is wedded to women. How can woman be
outside the spiritual court, she who gives birth to the geniuses of this world?
Talking slander, as is done of woman, is to slander ones soul.

Women are equally responsible to God for their actions There is no reason why we should conduct ourselves so foolishly
towards each other. If we are learned, we should not call any one low or inferior. Let there be no rudeness or
discourtesy between one person and another. People who are over-bearing and haughty only harden their own hearts. Al
people are equal and human. It is not right for any one to pass judgment on or vilify others.

The True seeker of The Truth welcomes all that comes from Godboth good or illas a blessing. He does not criticise
Him or rail at Him. A love of God cannot live in the heart that loves only itself. Servants of God must content themselves
by only obeying Gods will and ask for no reward or bonus. If they abide by His will, they will be content and filled with
compassion of others. They will not feel disturbed, if others appear to be more fortunate. They constantly endeavor to
put their wills in harmony with Divine Will.
Summing up the Asa-di-vars message we can summarise it under three headings ethical, social and metaphysical. Under
ethical teaching, we find the Gurus emphasis is on over comings ones ego by humility, truth, virtue, holy living and
keeping the company of saints. Even though the Guru also puts a premium on discriminationBibek-Budhi-leaming to
sort good from bad, he emphatically refutes any belief that austerities like fasting, bathing, ritual worship have spiritua
merit. The social teaching of the Guru relates to the current trends of the age; caste pride and prejudice, bribery,
greed, hypocrisy, the tyranny of kings and rulers and priestly class as all of which were accepted as a matter of course.
The Guru pointed to the need of improving of the conditions of the poor and under-privileged. The metaphysical aspect
of the Asa-di-var emphasises Divine Ordinance (Hukum), Gods grace, the wonders of Nature and the pervading spirit of
God in all His creation.
The style of the language of the Asa-di-var is crisp, and pithy. Some of the lines form proverbs which need to be
treasured. A few are given below:

Suffering is a remedy, pleasure a disease (for in pleasure God is


forgotten).
Sweetness of speech and humility are the essence of virtues.
Ego is a deep-rooted disease, but in it lies its own cure as well.
Learned fools are those in love with scepticism and doubt.

Evening Prayers

Rehras Sahib, followed by Kirtan and Kirtan Sohilla which are same as for individual prayers.

Closing of Prayers

All the prayers i.e. Individual or Collective and Morning or Evening, end with the 'Anand Sahib' prayer. It consists of the
first 5 stanzas and the last stanza out of a hymn total of 40 stanzas composed by Guru Amar das ji . Its theme is that
God is the only giver and the rest of us are all beggars. He is full of mercy and gives to those who qualify for and
honestly deserve his bounties.

The 'Anand Sahib' prayer is followed by an 'Ardaas' and a 'Waak'

Basic Requirement of a Prayer

A Sikh is required to rise in the early hours of the morning which is called as Amrit Vela i.e. 'The time of receiving Nectar
from God'. Typically, this should be between 4:30 and 5:30 AM.
He must take a bath and wear clean clothes.
He should then recite the prayers with his full concentration on God.
Prabhat Pheri's

Prabhat + Pheri = Morning + Walk

These were introduced during the era of Guru Hargobind ji. It is a form of community prayer where the Sikhs in a
certain area get up early in the morning and start walking from house to house singing Kirtan together. As they go to
each house, the families go on joining the group. The group then continues walking and singing Kirtan till they reach a
Gurudwara where the programme ends in a Community Prayer.

Five Banis recited when "Amrit" is prepared for the baptism ceremony

1. Japji (Guru Nanak)

2. Jaap (Guru Gobind Singh)

3. Swayay (Guru Gobind SIngh)

4. Baintee-Choupai (Guru Gobind Singh)

5. Anand Sahib (Guru Amar Dass)

MOOL MANTAR

The essence of Guru Nanak's message.

EK-ONKAR - There is but one God.

SAT NAAM - Eternal truth is his name.

KARTA PURKH - He is the creator.

NIRBHAU - He is without fear.

NIRVAIR - He is without enmity.

AKAAL MURAT - Timeless is his image.

AJUNI - He is beyond birth and death.

SAIBANG - He is self illuminated.


GURPRASAD - He is realised by grace of the true Guru.

GUR MANTAR

Waheguru is "Gur-Mantar"

Praise the lord by reciting his name