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Why Condemn Rosary or Maala

Why is the Maala used?

It is one of the simplest methods of counting while chanting God's Name. It allows you to
get into a rhythm and spend some serious time while praying. This method of counting is
very useful for the concentration of mind, which does not remain stable and always wanders
in all directions.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says: ( Ang 876 )
M| H|m | J J 8 NK M v
The greedy soul does not remain stable; it searches in the four directions.
So a maala allows the devotee to focus on the Naam of Waheguru. The use of a maala in
itself is an aid to the devotee to worship.
The role of the maala is to allow the person to hold and move the beads in accordance with
the rhythm of the prayer. One can chant, changing the tune, rhythm and rate of chanting,
in order to make the prayer more fruitful and enjoyable.
Many ignorant or so called puran Sikhs argue that Maala or Rosary is not allowed by our
Guru Sahibaan. They argue that it is against Gurmat. Let us see if this is correct or simply
a baseless argument.
Before one proclaims that telling beads is forbidden in Sikhism, one will have to produce lots
of evidence for denouncing this practice and simultaneously defame many religious saints,
who have carried Sikhi forward.
Their main argument is that Maala is just show off. To simply imply that "showing-off that
one is meditating" is undesirable, is not a strong argument because, for example, one
could say that using a Gutka to recite Gurbani is "showingoff" and hence undesirable. And
what about the other outer features that display a sign of "holiness" like turban, long beard,
bana, 5Ks, etc they are not banned; in fact we encourage them - so why does a maala
become show off and should be banned? Similarly these persons can argue against rabab,
flute, harmonium and other instruments.
Maala does help beginners to concentrate. Beginners might start with a maala a day, then
gradually increase to more maalas a day. Maala also has been used since ancient times by
renowned rishis and munis. Maala is a symbol of simran, as sword is symbol of a soldier.
Big maala of 108 beads or small wrist maala (hath simrna) as explained above is helpful for
beginners. When one starts to do simran of Waheguru or Mul Mantar, it helps to concentrate
and also it gives us the number of times the jaap has been done and the time. With the
passage of time, jaap starts automatically inside the mind of the individual.
When a small kid starts to learn how to write, the child is given a notebook with lines so as
to help the child develop hand writing skills and the same child, when grows up can write
neatly on a plain piece of paper.
Maala is usually used to keep a count of the Jaap. A Maala keeps the mind engaged,
reminds for the Naam-Jaap, and is a sign for the others not to gossip with the person. The
purpose of the Rosary is to praise and thank God. The rosary provides a physical method of
keeping count of the number of Lords name. The fingers are moved along the beads as the
prayers are recited. Since the beads are fingered in an automatic manner, they allow the
user to keep track of how many prayers have been said with a minimal amount of conscious
effort, which in turn allows greater attention to be paid to the prayer itself. Many Sikhs pray
regularly and meditate by repeating God's name, often with the aid of rosary beads. This is
called the first stage of recitation ( the Jaap ). It is called verbal Jaap. After some time it
develops into the mental Jaap ( Ajapaa Jaap ).
Mental Jaap ( Ajapaa-Jaap ) is a Jaap (recitation) without doing Jaap with a rosary. In this,
recitation of the name of God (Jaap) becomes a habit. It is a Jaap without effort - an
effortless Jaap. The Jaap of the Name (Naam - name of God) keeps going on silently in the
mind. Whatever might one be doing, the act of Jaap is there.
Next stage is Simran. Simran is remembrance. The mind gets filled with the constant
remembrance of God, and there is no more recitation of His name (Waheguru). Only the
remembrance of God is left - an unbroken thought of Him. God is always in the mind
regardless of what one might be busy with. It is an advanced stage of the seeker -
practitioner (one reciting the Naam). It is the third i.e. transcendental stage of the Jaap.
This is the Naam beyond perception (recitation without knowing it - Just the thought). At
this stage the rosary is enshrined in the heart.
Bhagat Kabeer Ji explains this stage: ( Ang 1376 )
J N| NH H 8| |H |M v
With your hands and feet, do all your work, but let your consciousness remain with the Immaculate
Then a person reaches the highest stage, the mention of which is described by Sri Guru
Ramdaas Ji :
H H| |8| |UN mU | N| 8N| |J mH N v
Those who worship and adore the One Lord in their conscious minds - through their generosity,
countless millions are fed. (Ang 306)
In this way a Sikh reaches the uppermost stage step by step. There is mention of rosary in
Gurbani many times.
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji mentions: ( Ang 388 )
J| J| m U|U |UJ HM v
These two words, Har, Har, make up my maala.
H H U U| U|UmM v
Continually chanting and reciting this rosary, God has become merciful to me, His humble servant.
Bhagat Kabeer Ji said to the Lord: (Ang 656)
N| N|H v
I am so hungry, I cannot perform devotional worship service.
UJ HM m| M|H v
Here, Lord, take back Your maala.
If he was not carrying any maala, then which maala he wanted to surrender to Supreme
Bhagat Kabeer Jis mother also mentions that Bhagat Ji recited with a rosary and she was
angry that he did not do any work and uttered these words: ( Ang 856 )
H8 N| HM MU| | 8 H |UU v

Ever since this worthless son of mine began chanting with his maala, we have had no peace at all!
Sri Guru Raamdas Ji says: ( Ang 985 )
NH| H |mU|m J| J| H| H|m J| HHM v

Follow the Guru's Teachings, and meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. Chant, and
meditate, on the beads of the mala of the Lord.
So we begin reciting with a rosary, but with the passage of time, we reach the next stages
and then there is no need of a rosary. But many ignorant Sikhs preach that the use of
rosary is prohibited in Sikhism and they quote many verses out of Gurbani to support their
ignorance. They quote these verses:
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says: (Ang 832)
| HM |MN N|M HM v
He may wear a clean loin-cloth, apply the ceremonial mark to his forehead, and wear a mala around
his neck
m| N |J J HM v
but if there is anger within him, he is merely reading his part, like an actor in a play.
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji says : (Ang 887)
HM HN |8 v
You chant on your maala, and beg for money.
|UJ |8| N|U |U H| v
No one has ever been saved in this way, friend.
But they should keep in mind that Guru Sahib is not preaching against Maala, but the empty
rituals without practical life (hypocrisy). There are two sides of a coin. Guru Sahib clearly
says that if someone has a Maala in his hand or around his neck and he is full of anger or
begs for money, then he is simply acting and is not sincere in his Bhagti. But on the other
hand if he has Maala in his hand, but instead of begging, he directs the people to move on a
righteous path, then he is a real Bhagat or a real Sikh.
Guru Sahib means that instead of performing rituals only, we should try to look inside,
whether we are following the path shown us by our Gurus. Guru Sahib lays stress that we
should not become bhekhdharis. If an Amritdhari Sikh consumes alcohol, drugs, is full of
ego, is after donation money, is slandering others for nothing, and does not follow the
dictates of our GURU SAHIBS, then he is simply following rituals. In this way he is a
bhekhdhari. Is he not going against Gurmat? Then why condemn Maala only?
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji beautifully explains about empty rituals without practical life:
(Ang 902)
| |F H H |F HHH H |F NJ H v

Worship without faith; self-discipline without truthfulness; the ritual of the sacred thread without
chastity - what good are these?
These Sikhs are mistaken that Guru Sahib is mentioning about Pandits only. But Guru Sahib
also expects His Sikhs to remain detached from all those things, which are prohibited for a
SIKH. Some of these are Kam (lust), Krodh (rage), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment),
Ahankar (ego), doubt on guru, intolerant behavior, flirting, slandering, lying, gossips,
alcohol, drugs, cruelty, donation money, bragging, back-biting, deceit, criticism of others,
unsocial acts and other vices.
There is a code of conduct a Sikh is required to follow. It helps him to live an honest,
humble and virtuous life. It is a good moral life, which a Sikh enjoys. He keeps away from
un-social acts and vices.
Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji proclaims:
Reht pyari mujh ko, sikh pyara nah.
Guru Ji says that one is loved by him not because one looks like a Sikh, but because one
lives a good moral life as desired by the Sikh Rehat.
And Guru Sahib advises us that to become a Khalsa, we should follow the ideals of Sikhism
such as recitation of Naam, Gurbani abhiyaas, seva, meditation, keertan, helping the weak,
follow the dictates of Guru Sahib, cleaning inside and outside, lead a pure and pious life
according to the concepts and philosophy of Guru Sahib, live an honest, humble, good moral
and virtuous life.
Sahib Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji says:
The disguiser puts on various garbs. Within him is desire and he walks about proudly. His
own self he understands not and loses the game. Putting on religious garbs some play
clever. Love of maya and doubt on Guru have supremely misled them. Without serving the
Guru, they suffer immense pain. Those who are imbued with God's Name, ever remain
detached. (Ang 230 )
So a Sikh, who performs external gesture without inner commitment to the ideas being
expressed by our Gurus is like the pundit performing rituals. Without practice of the
teachings of Gurus in life and without cleaning inside and outside, such like initiation will be
termed as ritualism. He is condemned in the same way as the pundit mentioned above. In
this way, Guru Sahib is not against Maala, but the empty rituals, may be these are
performed by a pundit or a Sikh.
Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says: ( Ang 62 )
H8J U H N | H8 m8 v
Truth is higher than everything; but higher still is truthful living.
Guru Sahib clearly explains that truthful living is better than truth.
Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji says: ( Ang 910 )
|K N| HH J| K M HH| | NU| v

The Messenger of Death does not give up on those who practice hypocrisy; they are dragged away in
Hypocrisy is bad, and it is worse if practiced by the people claiming to be religious persons.
This meaning is understandable and acceptable. Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have
beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have.
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji says: ( Ang 269 )
m UH m| N v
One who does not practice what he preaches to others,
m H HH H v
shall come and go in reincarnation, through birth and death.
A devoted Sikh would not like to hear any word against his beloved Satguru. He shall also
not utter a single word, which may wound and injure the feelings of others with regard to
their faith, their religious paths, and scriptures and their objects and places and methods of
And what can be said of those Sikhs, who put the label of Missionaries or Amritdharis or
true Sikhs and condemn those, who are sincere in their recitation of Naam by rosary. Their
only purpose is to slander those, who are sincere in their recitation.
These Sikhs, full of ego, go on slandering even a person, who is sincerely concentrating on
the Jaap with a Maala. But Guru Sahib repeatedly warns us not to slander anyone. Guru
Sahib equates a slanderer to a janitor, who picks up the garbage of others on his head. The
slanderers do not find peace in this world and the next. The faces of these slanderers are
blackened in the court of Lord.
Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji says: ( Ang 755)
|U M| |NH N| J| HH HN N| v
It is not good to slander anyone, but the foolish, self-willed manmukhs still do it.
HJ NM | |UN N W| | v
The faces of the slanderers turn black, and they fall into the most horrible hell.
Guru Sahib expects truthful living and utmost humility from a Sikh, but if he is full of ego,
then he is not acceptable at all. These so called educated, but ignorant Sikhs, who
condemn Maala, are like a person, who is frowning over a kid, who is attending the
kindergarten classes.
Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji says: ( Ang 61 )
m | | M|m | 8J m|H v
Reading their books over and over again, people continue making mistakes; they are so proud of
their religious robes.
Sahib Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji says: ( Ang 911 )
|U|N N|J ||J m|H| | Hm 8H| J| v
Some wear religious robes, and wander around in pride; they lose their life in the gamble.
Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji says: ( Ang 738)
|U H8 NH v
He wears religious robes, but he does not practice Truth.
Small is mans service and great is his demand. He does not obtain presence of God but
says he has arrived there. He rivals those, who are accepted by the beloved Lord. This is
but stubbornness of the false fool. He ostensibly wears the religious garb, but does not
practice truth.
So instead of condemning those, who are concentrating on His Naam with the help of a
rosary, they should mind their own business and not to pick up the garbage of others on
their heads as explained by our Guru Sahib by slandering unnecessarily.
When Guru Nanak Dev Ji went on his fourth Udasi to Mecca, he visited Baghdad also. He
had a conversation with the Caliph (King) of Baghdad. The Caliph was impressed by Guru
Sahibs personality and he asked for permission to make his picture. The permission was
granted and the royal painter made the picture in front of Guru Sahib. Then the Caliph put
this picture in his palace. This story has been written by Giani Gian Singh in his well known
historical book, Twareekh Guru Khalsa (volume 1, page 270). One European researcher
went to Baghdad in the 18
century, where he saw this picture. He published the copy of
this picture in 1797 in his book called Oriental Collections, Volume II. An article about
this picture has also been written by Dr. Sawinder Singh in Punjabi newspapers. Sri Guru
Nanak Dev Ji has a Maala (rosary) in his hand in that picture and another around his neck.
Guru Sahib had a Maala in His hand to let the new beginners to show how Jaap should be
done. All the Saints have a Maala in their hands. Bhai Randhir singh always had a sarblohi
Maala in his hand. A teacher has a book in his hand in the class room to teach the
students. It does not mean that he knows nothing.
The misunderstandings of these so called missionaries will be cleared by having the
darshan of the pothimala building.
Pothimala Building derives its name from the fact that Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jis personal
POTHI & MAALA along with the PADAM and SALIGRAM are kept in this building. The
Pothimala Building is situated in village Guruharsahai, Distt. Firozpur, Punjab, India.
Guruharsahai is 270 Kms. from Chandigarh and is approachable by Road & Railways.

POTHIMALA : A Brief Introduction

Building is
situated at
in Firozpur
Distt. of
Punjab India.
foundation of
this building was laid by Guru Jiwan Mal (
7th Direct Descendent of Guru Ram Das-4th
Sikh Guru) in 1745 A.D.

Here you can have the darshan of original Maala of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji along with other

The original Maala (Rosary) of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

This is the
photograph of
the Book &
Beads (POTHI
originally belonged to Guru Nanak Dev Ji The
1st Sikh Guru. Also seen are the PADAM Sahib
and the Saligram which also belonged to Guru
Nanak and have Descended in the Family since