Rehat Maryada

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There are five ceremonies of life that most Sikhs undergo which explain what a Sikh should do at these significant/pertinent points in life.  The following is a brief description of each ceremony and what should occur from cradle to grave for a Sikh.

1. Birth Ceremony / Janam Sansakar (First Ceremony)

When Vaaheguroo blesses a couple with a child, at this auspicious moment the first rite is to utter "Vaaheguroo" GurmantarBlessed word of the Guru. to the child.  The midwife should be a Sikh, so that she can enact this rite.

As soon as is possible after the birth Amrit is to be prepared in the following way:

  • An Ardas (prayer of supplication) is performed before the start of the ceremony
  • An AmritdhareeInitiated Sikh Singh should get a Sarab Loh Pure iron  bowl and half fill it with water.
  • Five patase Sweets made of sugar and glucoseshould be added to the water
  • This mixture is to be continuously stirred with a KirpanBlessed sword
  • During the stirring, the Singh is to recite Japjee Sahib from memory and is to sit in the ‘Bir-Asan’ position, a Warrior stanceThe left leg is to be folded inwardly to rest on and the right is to be upright, similar to a sprinters stance before a race.
  • Once the Japjee Sahib recital is complete the Amrit is ready and an Ardas is to be performed and then the Amrit can be administered.
  • Your Spiritual Father is Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee;
  • Your Spiritual Mother is Mata Sahib Kaur Jee;
  • Your Place of Birth is Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Sri Anandpur Sahib;
  • Your Maternal home (Nanakee) is Guru Ka Lahore;
  • Your Obedience is to the One Timeless Lord;
  • Your only Guru is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.
  • You are not to bow or obey any other as your Guru;
  • Your examination is only via the Shabad and Gurbani;

Five drops from the tip of the Kirpan are to be given to the child and the mother is to drink the rest of the Amrit.  This is the first ceremony of initiation of a child into the Khalsa Panth (Sikh Nation).

The mother is then to breast-feed the child, from this the child should become virtuous, a warrior, saintly, charitable and a vibrant Gursikh.  Enacting any other sort of birth rites/ceremony is not allowed in Gurmat; for example lucky charms or strings tied on the child’s wrist or around his/her neck.  To break all superstitions a Sarab Loh Kara is to be placed on the child’s right-hand wrist.  Drinking alcohol and eating meat whilst celebrating the birth of a child is a grave sin.

After the above ceremonyThe Janam Sanskar and preparation of Amrit are to be done as soon after birth as possible, and can be performed at the place of birth.  The taking of the child into the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib to be blessed and named are to be done as soon as is physically possible, but superstitions of the mother not going to the Gurdwara for 40 days are not to be adhered to., Karah Parshad is to be prepared and an Ardas recited in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.  The child’s name is based on the first letter of the HukamnamaCommand of the Guru taken from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.

If possible on the same day a Sehaj PaathA complete recital of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, which is completed at intervals. should be started. The child and his/her mother should listen to the whole Paath. At the Bhog (completions of recital) Guru ka LangarBlessed Free food, this is served at Gurdwaras throughout the world in all services and ceremonies. is to be served to the Sadh Sangat (Holy Congregation).

2. Education Ceremony / Vidiya Sanskar (Second Ceremony)

ਗੁਰਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਵਿਦਿਆ ਵੀਚਾਰੈ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਮਾਨੁ॥

"By Guru's Grace, contemplate spiritual knowledge; read it, study it,

and you shall be honored." SGGSJ Ang 1329

It is essential that the child’s parents ensure that he/she is educated.  Those parents who do not educate their offspring are like enemies to them.

ਬਹੁ ਗੁਨੀ ਅਲਾਵਹਿਂ ਸੁਤ ਨ ਪਢਾਵਹਿਂ ਸੋ ਸ਼ਤਰੂ ਸਮ ਤਾਤ ॥
ਸੋਭਾ ਨਹਿਂ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਮਤਿ ਨਹਿਂ ਆਵਹਿ ਜਗ ਮੈਂ ਇਹ ਬਖਯਾਤ ॥

"Those parents who say ‘I have a lot of virtues and knowledge’ and then do not educate their children, are on a par to enemies of their children. Those parents don’t gain any status, their children don’t gain any knowledge, this has been proven in the world." Sri Guru Nanak Parkash, First half, 6, Vol.2, p.172

When the child reaches the appropriate age he/she should be enrolled at school where he/she can maintain the Sikh lifestyle and improve his/her Sikhi discipline.  When choosing educational induction for children their spiritual advancement should be the driving factor for choice of school, college and university.

There are two types of education, one is worldly and the other is spiritual.  Only worldly knowledge, without knowledge of VaahegurooWonderful Lord is useless, tasteless and of no benefit. It does not make this human birth worthwhile; rather it creates ego and atheism trapping the individual in the cycle of births and deaths.

The GurmukhiThis is the language created by the second Guru, Sri Guru Angad Dev Jee and has many dialects within it which are expressed in Gurbani, the writings of the Sikh Guru’s.  It is not confined within the grammar of the Panjabi language and has it’s own semantics and syntax. language – Gurbani, is to be taught to the child by gaining the guidance of a committed and faithful Gursikh.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਅੱਖਰ ਜੋ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਸੰਿਘ, ਸੰਿਘ ਤੇ ਸੀਖੇ ਜਾਈ ॥

"Oh brother the Gurmukhi language should be taught to a Sikh by another Sikh."

Rehatnama Bhai Dhesa Singh Jee

The child is not to be taught Gurbani or the philosophy of the Guru, by a non-AmritdhareeOne who has not been initiated into the fold of Sikhi by taking Amrit or a non-believer of the Guru. A child taught by a Gursikh who has complete faith in Guru Sahib will have Gurmat enshrined in them. The child is to be kept away from bad or sinful company who behave in un-Sikh, un-Godly ways, for example watching corrupting films/programmes, listening to shameful music, playing cards, gambling, foul language and stealing.

ਦੋਹਰਾ:- ਸਿੱਖ ਸਿੱਖਣੀ ਮਿਲ ਬਹਹਿੰ ਚਰਚਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਪਾਰ ॥
ਭਜਨ ਸਿਖਾਵਹਿ ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਭਜ ਬਾਰੰ ਬਾਰ ॥

"Sikh Husband and Wife congregate and discuss the boundless God. 

Teaching their children how to meditate,

And repeatedly praise the Lord."

Rehatnama Bhai Sahib Singh Jee, p.160

Mothers are to maintain a strong level of Sikh discipline.  Daily after their Nitnem (prayer recital) they should go to the Gurdwara SahibName of Sikh Place of Worship, listen to discourses of GurmatKnowledge of the Guru, Sikh History and Kirtan, taking their young children with them.  The experiences of childhood become engraved on the child like a carving on a stone.

These childhood experiences will become a foundation for the rest of their lives. If a child becomes religious at a young age then he/she will become spiritual, charitable, saintly and a warrior.  During childhood the child should be educated about the Gurus, the Great Martyrs, the Great Sikhs/Saints, he/she will thus grow up virtuous.

3. Amrit Ceremony / Amrit Sanskar (Third Ceremony)

AmritImmortal Nectar is a blessing of the Guru that makes the individual immortal and breaks the cycle of birth and deaths.

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵਹੁ ਸਦਾ ਚਿਰੁ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਅਨਦ ਅੰਨਤਾ ॥

"Drink Amrit, live forever.  Attain extreme bliss by meditating on God."

SGGSJ Ang 496

Satguru by creating sweet Amrit and Karah ParshadSweet Blessed Food, which is made of flour, water, sugar and butter.  It is prepared for all Sikh ceremonies and services at the Gurdwara, commonly distributed after being blessed at the end of a service or ceremony. has blessed us greatly.  By blessing us with Amrit of the KhandaKhanda is a double edged sword, Amrit before the creation of the modern day ceremony was given to initiates by the Guru passing water over he’s feet and the initiate had to drink this water to become a Sikh.  Modern day Amrit is administered by Panj Pyare/Five Beloved Sikhs as was ordained by the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee on Vaisakhi 1699 AD., Guru Sahib has enshrined a new way of life for humanity.

ਚਹੁ ਜੁਗਾ ਕਾ ਹੁਣਿ ਨਿਬੇੜਾ ਨਰ ਮਨੁਖਾ ਨੋ ਏਕੁ ਨਿਧਾਨਾ ॥

"To resolve the dispute of the four ages men and women

Have been given the one treasure of Naam." SGGSJ Ang 797

Differences in caste, creed, colour, gender, rich and poor all have been eliminated by the creation of the KhalsaKhalsa = the Pure.  One enters the Khalsa fold by taking Amrit and becomes a true Khalsa when he/she becomes the living image of the Guru by becoming knowledgeable and spiritually gifted..  The true Guru is all powerful,

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਜੀਵਾਲੈ ॥

"My True Guru has the power to kill and revive the dead."

SGGSJ Ang 1142

In accordance with this Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee beheaded the Panj Pyare (The Five Beloved Ones) and then brought them back to life with his spiritual powers. Out of the same iron bowl the Panj Pyare drank the Amrit, and Guru Jee also begged to be initiated with the very same Amrit which he had just bestowedThe Guru thus took Amrit himself and said all should become initiated by Panj Pyare in the future, so he gave Panj Pyare the authority of the Guru., thus becoming initiated into the Khalsa Panth.

ਵਹ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਓ ਮਰਦ ਅਗੰਮੜਾ ਵਰੀਆਮ ਇਕੇਲਾ।
ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਆਪੇ ਗੁਰ ਚੇਲਾ।

"The wonderful man who is beyond human description,

A great warrior with no match, was revealed. 

Wonderful, Wonderful is Guru Gobind Singh who became Guru and Sikh."

Bhai Gurdas Jee, Var. 41

For future generations, it was established that only the Panj Pyare can bestow Amrit and bless the individual with Gurmantar. Thus no one individual can ever perform the Amrit ceremony on his own and without taking Amrit one one cannot regard him/herself as a Sikh of the GuruAs they have not confirmed their faith.  Even mentioning the name of a Guru–less person is sinful,

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ਨਿਗੁਰੇ ਕਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਉ ਬੁਰਾ ॥੧੩॥

"Without the True Guru, there is no Guru at all;

Even the name of a Guruless person is accursed."

SGGSJ Ang 435

When a child reaches the age when they can abide by the Rehat Maryada he/she must take Amrit from the Panj Pyare. Importantly, before taking Amrit, every person should remember that once initiated, he/she must only marry an individual that is Amritdharee. It is the individual’s responsibility that this is met. If the person is of a young age, then the parents and/or close family must accept this responsibility of marriage to another Amritdharee.

If a married person takes Amrit by themselves and their spouse is not Amritdharee, then he/she can not have a physical relationship with them unless they too become Amritdharee. Just as a clean dish coming into contact with an unclean one also becomes dirty, the same is true for a married couple (where only one spouse is Amritdharee). A husband and wife should take Amrit together in order for them to maintain their Rehat. A married person does not have permission to take Amrit without their spouse, but if they insist upon taking Amrit they must abide by the above conditions.

3.1. The Provision of Amrit & the selection of the Panj Pyare 

The Singh’s bestowing the Amrit should be of the highest discipline, true Khalsa. One Singh is to be the Pehradaar (guardsman at the door where the Amrit Sanchar is taking place).  Two highly disciplined Singh’s should prepare Karah Parshad and bring it into the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and then recite Anand SahibA prayer of bliss which was revealed by the 3rd Guru, Sri Guru Amar Das Jee (the whole 40 verses).  All the instruments for the ceremony have to be of Sarab Loh, for example the bowls, bucket, vessel, cauldron, spatula, Khanda and a large Kirpan and a stone mortar is to be used.  All the items are to be cleaned with sand prior to their use. The Panj Pyare and Granthi Singh are to also clean their Kirpans and Karas with sand and then wash their GatrasKirpan holsters; they are to have a full bath from head to toe prior to the ceremony (including washing their hair) and to wear fresh clothes for the ceremony.  They are also to have Panj Ishnana (wash their hands, feet, and face) directly before entering the Darbar of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.  Those who do the seva of Panj Pyare are to be of high morality and spirituality, very disciplined in every aspect of life.

Bhai Choupa Singh Jee writes in a Rehatnama that a Sikh should "take Amrit and not partake in any other form of religious initiation.  The Sikh is to take initiation from those that are very spiritual and moralistic.  The Panj Pyare are not to be one-eyed, bald, lepers, beardless, of bad habits, be thieves or gamblers and not entangled in vice.  From those that we get initiated from – we take some of their virtues as this is what they invest in the Amrit, that is why someone of high Sikhi discipline is to be sought to get initiated from."

The Panj Pyare and the Granthi Singh are to all wear the same colour clothes and these should be from the following colours, saffron, blue or white. Their Kirpans are to be worn over their clothes, a Kamar-Kasa (waistband) is to be tied and a parna (scarf like cloth) is to be placed around their neck before entering the Darbar.  Their Gatra’s are not to be of leather.  The Pehradaar is to be a highly disciplined Sikh.  The five Singh’sSingh = Lion, male Sikh’s surname are to humbly bow to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and stand up, the sixth Singh is to do the same and stand holding his hands together.  The Jathedar is to hold a large Sri Sahib in his right hand and do the Chaur Sahib SevaChaur Sahib = Whisk that is reverently waved over Sri Guru Granth Sahib, a mark of it’s Kingly status with his left. He is to question the sixth Singh – "Are you a highly disciplined Sikh? Do you keep the discipline of the 5 Kakkaars? Have you committed any of the four cardinal sins?  Do you recite the specified daily Nitnem prayers? If the Singh is married, he is to be asked if his spouse is living in accordance with the Rehat Maryada. The Singh is to face the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and reply humbly that with the Guru Jee’s blessing I am living according to the Rehat Maryada. I have not committed any cardinal sin and do recite the daily Nitnem prayers. I am physically complete, fit and healthy. He should say that he is forever erroneous due to the entrapments of the mind (showing his humility).  If he is married, then he should say that his wife is also a highly disciplined Sikh and lives by the Rehat Maryada. The Jathedar is to question all the six Singh’s individually, moving from his right to his left. After the questioning is over – if all are suitable, one Singh becomes the Granthi Singh and the rest join the Jathedar in becoming Panj Pyare.

NB: Those taking part in the seva of Panj Pyare must know all the five prayers from memory.  A Jakara (war cry) is only to be sounded on the last Ardas (supplication prayer) of the ceremony.

3.2. Ardas for the Worthiness of the Amrit Ceremony Sevadars

The Panj Pyare are to then stand in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and perform the following Ardas, "True Guru, Great King, questioning of the Panj Pyare and the Granthi Singh have been performed, please forgive us for our shortcomings, make us worthy to prepare Amrit."

3.3. Questioning of Initiates 

The initiates are to enter the Darbar one by one. They must have fully bathed (including washed hair), wearing - clean simple clothes, the five Kakkaars and a Kirpan with a gatra worn over their clothes. If married, then the Singh and Singhni must go together. All initiates are to bow to Guru Sahib, rise and bring together their hands. If a couple - the Singh is to stand on the right hand-side and the Singhni on the left hand-side. The JathedarIn this case the Jathedar is the master of ceremonies, Jathedar also means leader of the Panj Pyare with a drawn Sri Sahib (large sword) in his right hand should ask the initiates why they have come to the ceremony.  The initiates with both hands together should reply that they have come to take Amrit, ‘bless us with the gift of Amrit.’ The Jathedar is to then ask, will you live according to the Rehat Maryada. The initiates are to reply with humility that with the grace of the Guru that they will be able to achieve this.

The Jathedar is to say that they must consider their mind, wealth and life as belonging to Guru Jee, always remaining within the practices of the Khalsa nation and never going against the Guru Panth. From this day on, they are to consider their body, mind and wealth as belonging to Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. By earning an honest living, Dasvandh (one tenth of earnings) is to be given to the Guru or charitable causes and life is to be conducted in accordance with the Rehat.

If someone has come to retake Amrit, the Jathedar is to ask which cardinal sin have you committed, why have you come to retake Amrit? The person who has come to retake Amrit must freely admit to their mistakes or sins. The Panj Pyare will then unanimously decide on the punishment. An Ardas for forgiveness will be performed at the end of the ceremony and the person can retake Amrit after the new initiates. 

In the presence of the Panj Pyare and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee appropriate punishment is ordained for any sins commited, but even the most serious sins are forgiven.  The person who comes and begs for forgiveness is not punished in the afterlife in the Court of God and Dharamraj (Vaaheguroo’s Judge) cannot punish that person.  If the person does not admit to their sins here, then they will get punished in God’s Court and may have to go through various life-form’s, births and deaths as punishment. The person that retakes Amrit is to accept the punishment ordained, as being just and act upon it. Until all the punishment has been completed, the person is to consider themselves as sinful and their sins as not having been forgiven. After completing the punishment, Karah Parshad is to be prepared and an Ardas is to be performed. That person can then consider themselves as forgiven and can become one of the Panj Pyare in future Amrit ceremonies. Those taking Amrit for the first time do not get punished for their past sins/mistakes.  It is the duty of each Amritdharee Singh that he gets his Singhni to take Amrit or vice versa.  Bhai Choupa Singh Jee Shibar in his explanation of the Rehat (p.117) writes that a Sikh who does not attempt to inspire/educate their spouse to take Amrit are punishable.

All the initiates are to have their beards flowing and not tied up in anyway. Their turbans are to have been tied one layer at a time (not placed on their heads like a hat).  The turban is to be saffron, blue, black or white. The male initiates should not be wearing trousers/pyjama, watches or any jewellery. The female initiates are not to have any jewellery on their hands, in their ears/nose and their hair is to be in a bun/top knot and not in plaits, they should maintain this simplicity of dressSikh women are also to keep their head covered at all times, it is best to wear a small turban.  The Guru’s command is for both men and women to wear turbans. and attire for the rest of their lives. After the questioning of all the initiates has been completed, they are to stand in the presence of Satguru and the Jathedar then questions all of them collectively:

"Have you all had a full ishnaan (bath) including the washing of hair?

Are you all wearing a Kangha, Kirpan, Kara, and Kashera?"

When all the preparations are complete the Jathedar is to tell all the initiates that they must stand up and remain standing until the Amrit is prepared.  The initiates are told to listen attentively to the Five Prayers and are to look directly at Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, concentrating their vision upon Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.  If any of the initiates encounter any serious physical problems whilst standing, then they should sit down. No one is to talk whilst the Amrit is being prepared.  The initiates should have love, fear and faith in Guru Sahib, they are about to be blessed with Amrit and the cycle of births and deaths shall end.

3.4. Ardas to prepare Amrit

In order to maintain purity, the Khanda, the iron bowl and stone-mortar are to be washed thoroughly before use.  A woollen blanket is to be laid out, upon which a stone mortar is placed, on which the iron bowl with the iron Khanda is positioned. Water from a river/spring, a well or a hand-pump is to be filtered before use and added to the Bata (the iron bowl). It is essential the area or mouth of tap, well, or hand pump is washed prior to taking the water for Amrit ceremony. Similarly, Patase are to be fresh and checked for dirt or any imperfections before they are brought into the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.

The Panj Pyare then perform Ardas, "True King, the Panj Pyare stand in your presence in order to prepare Amrit da BataBowl of Amrit. As per your order, you will be present in the Panj Pyare. We beg you to bless us with perfect concentration and pronunciation whilst reciting the Five Prayers. Bless us so we may be able to bestow Amrit upon those gathered here today."

3.5. Preparing Amrit

After the Ardas, the Granthi Singh is to take a Hukamnama from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, and the initiates are to remain standing after bowing. The initiates are to fix their sight upon Guru Sahib and listen attentively to the Gurbani being uttered, with their hands clasped together. They are not to talk or wander about.

The Panj Pyare are to form a circle around the Bata and take up the Bir Asan position. The Panj Payre add Patase to the water in the bata turn by turn.

The Panj Payre are to start from the right-hand side of Guru Sahib Jee and pass the Khanda from one to the other. It is to be held with four fingers clasped with the thumb at the top. In the left hand a large Sri SahibSword is to be held, the tip of which is to be rested upon the shoulder and the handle rested on the edge of the bata. Before commencing to recite Gurbani, the Granthi Singh is told to fix his sight upon the bata and to mentally follow the prayers being recited. The first Singh will concentrate on the bata and begin reciting the Japjee Sahib from memory, in a loud clear voice. He is to continually stir the Khanda in the bata simultaneously as he recites Japjee Sahib. The other four Pyare are to place both their hands upon the bata, they too will mentally recite the Gurbani that is being read and concentrate on the bata. Upon completion of Japjee Sahib, all are to respectively bow their heads and utter the Fateh - ‘Vaaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh’

When the Khanda is passed to the second Singh, it is to be kept in the Amrit and is to be passed to his hand.  The Kirpan is also to be passed in the same way, maintaining complete contact with the bata at all times. The second Singh reads Jaap Sahib, the third reads Tvaeparsad Svaye, the fourth Singh reads Kabyo Bach Benti Choupai (27 verses), Svaya and Dohra.  The fifth Singh recites all forty verses of Anand Sahib.  After the complete recitation of each prayer, ‘Vaaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh’ is uttered.  Whilst Gurbani is being recited no one is to utter a single word, they must not allow their eyes to wander around and through the whole ceremony must remain fully alert.

The eyes of the Panj Pyare looking into the Bata of Amrit are considered to be the ten eye’s of the Ten Gurus looking into the Bata of Amrit. The placing of the hands of the Panj Pyare on the bata also have the same significance as the hand’s of the Gurus being placed upon the bata of Amrit.

3.6. Ardas for the completion of the preparation of the Amrit

Once the Amrit has been prepared, the Panj Pyare are to lift the bata upon their hands and stand up.  The Jathedar is to carry on stirring the Khanda in the Amrit and perform Ardas, "True King with your blessing Panj Pyare have recited Five Prayers and created the bata of Amrit. Whilst reciting the prayers and preparing Amrit many mistakes could have been made, please bless us and forgive our faults. In the Amrit is vested your unlimited spiritual power, please free those who become initiated, from the cycle of births & deaths and assist them in upholding their Rehat, bless them with Gursikhi." After the Ardas has been performed the bata is to be placed upon the stone-mortar. A covering is to be placed over the bata and held by the Panj Pyare and the initiates told to be seated.  The Granthi Singh then takes a Hukamnama.

3.7. Bestowing Amrit

After listening to the Hukamnama a blanket is placed on a table, upon which the stone-mortar and the bata of Amrit is placed. Two smaller iron bata’s are placed on the floor. Men and women are separated and turn by turn each person steps forward. They will sit in ‘Bir Asan’ and placing their right palm over their left. The Pyara bestowing the Amrit is to place a handful of Amrit into the hands of the initiate and he/she is to drink it with true love. At this point the Pyara bestowing the Amrit is to say "Utter – Vaaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh" the initiate is to reply "Vaaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh." The initiate is not to say "Sri" during the Fateh nor is he/she to say "Utter/Bol."  In this manner the Pyara bestowing the Amrit is to place five cupped handfuls of Amrit into the hands to be drunk. He bestows Amrit five times in the eyes and five droplets into the Kes of each initiate and the Gurfateh is to be uttered as mentioned above for each time that Amrit is given to the initiate.

ਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਸਿਖ, ਸਿਖ ਨੂੰ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਦੇਵਨ ਲਗੇ ਤਾਂ ਗੁਰ ਦੀਖਿਆ
ਦੀ ਮ੍ਰਿਜਾਦਾ ਹੈ ਪੰਜ ਚੁਲੇ ਰਸਨੀਂ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਏ, ਪੰਜ ਸੀਸ, ਪੰਜ ਨੇਤ੍ਰੀ …

"The Sikh takes Amrit of the Pahul (iron bowl) to become initiated

According to the code of conduct. 

Five cupped handfuls are placed in his/her mouth,

Five in the head and five in the eyes …"

Rehatnama Bhai Choupa Singh Jee, Shibar, p.91

After taking Amrit, each person is to respectfully bow to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and utter Gurfateh to all the Sangat.  When everyone has taken Amrit, then they are all to stand up in a line. Two Pyare will hold the bata in their hands and the initiates will in turn place both their hands on the bata and take two mouthfuls of Amrit each.  If there is still Amrit left then this should be further shared out between the initiates.

If an Amritdharee has committed a minor mistake, then he/she should be given appropriate punishment and Choola (a handful of Amrit) is to be given. Punishment can be washing dishes, cleaning shoes, doing seva in the Langar or something of a similar nature. If the Panj Pyare wish an individual can be told to recite Gurbani or meditate for a specific time or length as punishment. An Amritdharee’s children should be given ChoolaThe Choola is only administered to prepare children to take Amrit in the future.  Choola is not administered at the end of the Amrit Sanchar to Sangat from outside of the Amrit Sanchar, it is only given to children who are too young to take Amrit or to Amritdharees who have commited a minor discrepancy. and they are not to eat from the same plate as non-Amritdharees and are to be brought up to be Sikhs and taught to abstain from commiting cardinal sins.

NB: If there are many initiates then more than two iron bata’s can be placed on the floor when administering Amrit.

3.8. Mool Mantar and the Manifestation of Gurmantar in the Initiates

In the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, the Panj Pyare then make all the Singhs and Singhni’s stand and collectively repeat the Mool Mantar five times, investing all its spiritual powers into the initiates.

 God is One, without opposition. He is the creatorThis is the root teaching of Sikhi and is the first utterance in Sri Japjee Sahib
ਸਤਿਨਾਮੁ True is His Name
ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ The doer of all that is manifest
ਨਿਰਭਉ He is without fear
ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ He is without enmity
ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ Timeless is His form
ਅਜੂਨੀ Beyond Births and Deaths
ਸੈਭੰ Self-Existent
ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ Realised by the grace of the Guru
ਜਪੁ ॥ Meditate on this Name
ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ True before the Ages
ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ True at the start of the Ages
ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ True now
ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥ Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee  says, He shall be true in the  future.

In the same manner, Vaaheguroo (Gurmantar) is to be repeated five times and in the same way all its powers become invested in the individual, by repeating it in the presence of Guru Sahib. They are to utter the Gurfateh after this.

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਜਪੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਖੋਈ ॥੨॥

"Vaaheguroo is Gurmantar by meditating upon which ego is erased."

Bhai Gurdas Jee, Var. 13

After this, one of the Panj Pyare will then tell the initiates what the Rehat Maryada is, which has been the same since the formation of the Khalsa. Only the Panj Pyare have the right to announce the MaryadaWhilst the Jathedar is announcing the Rehat, 3 Anand Sahibs are to be mentally recited, one Singh out of the Panj Pyare can recite all 3 paats or 3 Singhs including the Granthi can recite one Paath each.  The reason for reciting the full 40 verse Anand Sahib 3 times is that to fulfil any great supplication to the Guru, if 3 Anand Sahibs are recited followed by an Ardas by Panj Singh the fete will be accomplished.  In this example of the Amrit Sanskar the Anand Sahibs are recited to bless the initiates of their past sins and supplicate they maintain their rehat..  After this, all stand and perform Ardas for Karah Parshad and have become initiated into the Khalsa Panth.

In the Ardas the Jathedar then utters:

"Maharaj Jee!  Whilst creating the Amrit, bestowing it, investing the Mool Mantar and Gurmantar, narrating the Rehat Maryada, giving out punishment, we must have made many mistakes, please forgive our faults.  Please bless us with true knowledge in the future.  Free the initiates from the cycle of births and deaths, and keep them within your Rehat Maryada."

After the Ardas, a Hukamnama is taken from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. Any initiate who has not had their names based upon a Hukamnama from Guru Jee, must take new names from the first letter of the Hukamnama. Karah Parshad is then distributed to end the ceremony.

NB: If someone’s wedding has not been performed according to Gurmat, i.e. an Anand Karaj has not been performed, that Singh and Singhni are to get married according to Gurmat before the final Ardas of the ceremony.  Anand Sahib is to be recited followed by an Ardas.

3.9. Teachings given by the Panj Pyare

ਪਾਂਚ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੋ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੇਵੈ । ਤਾ ਕੋ ਸਿਰ ਧਰਿ ਛਕਿ ਪੁਨ ਲੇਵੈ ।
ਪੁਨ ਮਿਲਿ ਪਾਂਚਹੁ ਰਹਤ ਜੁ ਭਾਖਹਿ । ਤਾਂ ਕੋ ਮਨ ਮਂੈ ਦ੍ਰਿੜ੍ਹ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਖਹਿ ।੭।

"It is by the offering of your head that the Five Singhs administer Amrit

And you receive the boon of Amrit. 

The five narrate a discipline, Which is to be thought of at all times and never forgotten."                                                          

Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh Jee

The Jathedar of the Panj Pyare is to utter the Fateh, as is the tradition from Satguru’s time, and congratulate the ‘new’ initiates. He also says, "Khalsa Jee, many of you are blessed for on this day you have received Satguru Jee’s gift of Amrit. You have shaken off the influence of Guruless people. You now belong to the Guru. From this day forward, you are the sons and daughters of the Guru, and your mind, body and wealth belong to the Guru. Having taken the Guru’s Amrit, your previous caste, family name and sins are no more. Your previous life is finished and today you have taken birth in the House of the Guru. You are all now part of the Khalsa family:

ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਪੀਰਾ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਜਗੁ ਬਉਰਾਨੰ ॥

"The Shabad is the Guru and it is to be worshipped.

It is very deep and unfathomable,

The people of the world without this Shabad would be insane."                                         

SGGSJ Ang 635

Your Vision is of the Khalsa:

ਰਹਿਤ ਸਹਿਤ ਜਹ ਪਾਂਚੋਂ ਮਿਲੇ ॥ ਮਮ ਸਰੂਪ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਤਹ ਭਲੇ ॥

"Where five Singhs with excellent rehat are congregated,

See my true form/spirit within them."

ਖਾਲਸਾ ਮੇਰੋ ਰੂਪ ਹੈ ਖਾਸ ॥
ਖਾਲਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਹੌਂ ਕਰੋਂ ਨਿਵਾਸ ॥

"The Khalsa - an Amritdharee disciplined Sikh is my true form,

I am present in such Sikhs."

Your Worship is of Akaal Purkh (the Timeless Lord).

By living according to the Rehat, Guru Sahib will bless the individual and he says,

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਜਨਮੇ ਗਵਨੁ ਮਿਟਾਇਆ ॥

"Through the teachings of the True Guru and birth in the house of the True Guru, the cycle of births and deaths has been abolished." SGGSJ Ang 940

The Mool Mantar and Gurmantar which have been invested in each individual by the Panj Pyare are to be meditated on at all times, whilst walking, standing, sitting, travelling or working.

ੴ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੁੱਧ ਉਚਾਰਨ ਹੈ : ਇਕ ਓਅੰਕਾਰ ॥

The correct pronunciation of is "Ik Oa(n)kaar"

In the same way that the Panj Pyare recited the five prayers to prepare the Amrit, those initiated are to recite the five prayers on a daily basis after rising early and having ishnaan (bathing during which meditation is done). In the evening Rehras Sahib is recited and before going to sleep Kirtan Sohela is read. As a bare minimum these seven prayers must be recited daily by all Amritdharees.

The prayers for Amrit Vela/Ambrosial hours (before dawn) are as follows:

  1. Sri Japjee Sahib – read to attain Brahm Gyan (Knowledge of God);
  2. Sri Jaap Sahib – a salutation to the Timeless Lord and a description of His qualities;
  3. Ten Svaye – ("Sravag sudh smooh sidhaan…") The Svaye are read to attain worldly detachment and abolish false practices;
  4. Sri Chaupai Sahib – this is recited for protection, having 29 verses in the numerical order as in  Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.  The recital is to be read up to,
  5. Sri Anand Sahib – this recital is for liberation from the cycle of births & deaths and the attainment of Anand (Bliss).  All 40 verses are to be recited;
  6. Rehras Sahib – recited so that one does not have to leave Sach Khand (highest spiritual plane);
  7. Kirtan Sohela – Panj Ishnana (washing feet, hands and face) is performed before going to sleep. After this, one is to sit upon their bed cross-legged, facing their pillow and recite the prayer.  Satguru is with us at all times and protects us from the Angel of Death and demons. If one unexpectedly dies in their sleep, they will not enter lower lifeforms. Bad thoughts/dreams do not occur if Kirtan Sohela has been recited. Satguru places an iron fortress around the Sikh so nothing can hurt or scare him/her.

ਭਾਦ੍ਰਵ ਸੁਦੀ ਅਸਟਮੀ ਰਵਿ ਵਾਰਾ ॥
ਤੀਰ ਸਤੁੱਦ੍ਰਵ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸੁਧਾਰਾ ॥ ੨੯॥

"In the month of Bhadro, eight days after Masaya on a Sunday, whilst sitting on the riverside of the Satluj I completed Sri Dasam Granth."Dasam Granth Ang 1388

The Svaya and Dohra are to be recited to complete the prayer;

3.10. Five Kakkaars

After being initiated a Sikh is to never remove any of the five Kakkaars from his/her body.

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖਵਾਕ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ੧੦ ॥
ਨਿਸਾਨਿ ਸਿਖੀ ਈਂ ਪੰਜ ਹਰਫਿ ਅਸਤ ਕਾਫ ॥
ਹਰਗਿਜ ਨਾ ਬਾਸਦ ਈਂ ਪੰਜ ਮੁਆਫ ॥ ੧॥
ਕੜਾ ਕਾਰਦੋ ਕੱਛ ਕੰਘੇ ਬਿਦਾਂ ॥
ਬਿਲਾ ਕੇਸ ਹੇਚ ਅਸਤ ਜੁਮਲੇ ਨਿਸਾਂ ॥ ੨॥
ਹਰਫ ਹਕਾਇਤ ਅਸਤ ਅਜੀ ਪੰਜ ਕਾਫ॥
ਬਿਦਾ ਨੰਦ ਬਾਵਰ ਨ ਗੋਯਮ ਖਿਲਾਫ ॥ ੩॥
ਹੁੱਕਾ ਹਜਾਮਤ ਹਲਾਲੋ ਹਰਾਮ ॥
ਬਾਰੀਸੇ ਹਿਨਾ ਕਰਦ ਰੂ ਸਿਯਾ ਫਾਮ ॥ ੪॥ ੧॥
ਅਸਫੋਕਟ ਸ੍ਵੈਯੇ, ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਸਮ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ

The following five K’s are the mark of Sikhi. These five can never be parted from the body. Kara, Kirpan, Kashera, Kangha, recognise these as four of them. The fifth is Kesh, without which the other four are useless.  There are also four H’s which must be avoided.  Understand this without any doubt, no lies have been told. Hukka, taking tobacco(including any other type of intoxicants).  Hajamat - removing/cutting of hair.  Halalo - eating meat.  Haram - adultery (sexual relationships outside of marriage).  These are the four H’s.  Dyeing of beards (including any other bodyily hair) and the wearing of mehndi (including other types of make up) is strictly forbidden.  (Asfokat Svaye, Sri Dasam Granth)

3.10.1. Kesh – Unshorn Hair

From your head down to your toes all hair is to be kept unshorn and your hair is to be tied and complemented with a turban,

…ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ॥

"…complete form is with turban donned." SGGSJ Ang 1084

For the respect of your hair, two turbans are to be tied, tying each layer one at a time.  There should be a small turban tied underneath and a larger one tied above this.  Women must not plait their hairPlaiting of the hair is forbidden as it is viewed as styling your hair, all types of hairstyle are forbidden and the hair should be simply tied and complemented with a turban.  and should keep their hair tied in a bun/top-knot, in order to respect your Kesh a small turban should be tied. Keski is not a kakkar (one of the five K’s).

ਇਹੈ ਮੋਰ ਆਗਿਆ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਹੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥
ਬਿਨਾ ਸ਼ਸਤਰ ਕੇਸੰ ਦਿਵੋਂ ਨ ਦਿਦਾਰੇ ॥

"Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee says, listen to this command oh beloved,

This is the essential pre-requisite to attain my darshan. 

Without arms and kesh I will not give you darshan."

God also revealed Himself as Kesdhari when He gave Darshan/revealed Himself to Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee, He did so in the form of a human with unshorn hair;

ਸੋਹਣੇ ਨਕ ਜਿਨ ਲੰਮੜੇ ਵਾਲਾ ॥

"Your nose is so graceful, and Your hair is so long."

SGGSJ Ang 567

ਨਿਰਹਾਰੀ ਕੇਸਵ ਨਿਰਵੈਰਾ ॥

"God does not need to eat; His Hair is Wondrous and Beautiful; He is free of hate."

SGGSJ Ang 98

3.10.2. Kangha – Wooden Comb

In order to keep the kesh clean a wooden kangha(Sikh Comb) is to be kept in the hair.  According to scientific research keeping a wooden kangha in your hair reduces the level of static energy build up.  A metal or ivory comb is not to be used as a substitute.

ਕੰਘਾ ਦੋਨਉਂ ਵਕਤ ਕਰ, ਪਾਗ ਚੁਨਹਿ ਕਰ ਬਾਂਧਈ ॥
ਦਾਤਨ ਨੀਤ ਕਰੇਇ ਨਾ ਦੁਖ ਪਾਵੇ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ ॥

"Comb the hair twice a day, covering it with a turban that is to be tied from fresh (ie. no folds already put in it).  Teeth are to be cleansed with a twig of walnut bark daily (brushed if this is not possible) – thus ill health will be avoided Bhai Nand Lal Jee."

Tankhanama Bhai Nand Lal Jee, p.57

To keep the hair clean it must be combed twice daily. In the morning and evening after combing your hair a turban is to be tied. It is to be tied a layer at a time, and it is to be removed in the same manner, taking it off a layer at a time.  Starch and pins are not to be added to the turban, which would make it look like a hat.

ਹੋਇ ਸਿੱਖ ਸਿਰ ਟੋਪੀ ਧਰੈ ॥
ਸਾਤ ਜਨਮ ਕੁਸ਼ਟੀ ਹੋਇ ਮਰੈ ॥

"Being a Sikh he/she who wears a hat they will enter into seven diseased lifeforms."

Rehatnama Bhai Prehlad Singh Jee, p.65

If your kangha becomes damaged in anyway it should be replaced immediately.  The kangha is placed on the head, the highest point of the body and thus becomes supreme.  In the same way the Khalsa is to become supreme by removing ego and being humble. Just as the kangha removes broken hairs and cleans the hair physically, it is also spiritually questioning the individual as to how many good and bad deeds have been committed during the day. Just as clean hair is attached to your head so are your good deeds. Similarly, as broken hairs are removed by your kangha, your vices should be removed in the same way. The hairs removed by the kangha are not to be thrown in a dirty place or on the floor.  They are to be kept in a clean and dry place/container and when enough hair has gathered they are to be burnt, this is out of respect for the Kes which are worth more to a Sikh than his/her life.  Women and children are to tie a string to their kangha so that it can easily be tied to their hair, and to stop it from falling.  At home two to four spare kanghas are to be kept.

3.10.3. Kara – iron bracelet

The Kara must be of Sarab Loh (pure iron).  The Khalsa is not to wear a karaThe Kara must be circular and with no grooves in it as it signifies God’s eternal power, the grooves would mean this power has breaks in it and the symbolic reminder of the Kara is lost.  Also some purchase these grooved Karas to act as a weapon, but the Kara is not a weapon, Maharaj has blessed us with a Kirpan for battle purposes.  The Kara must also be wide with at least a few millimetres of width, thus it must not be a mere Chakkar (round thin circle). that is made of gold, silver, brass, copper or one that has grooves in it. Only the Sarab Loh Kara is acceptable to Guru Jee.  The Kara is a handcuff placed by the Guru upon the individual to remind us of our duty to God, stopping us from committing sins. The Kara acts as a defence if someone goes to strike you with a sword on your wrist.  According to scientific research, the Kara adds to the iron levels in the body by rubbing on the skin.  The Kara teaches us that these arms belong to Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee – with which we are not to steel, con, commit forgery, oppress, bully, persecute, sin or murder.  Gambling and playing cards are not permitted.  With these hands we should earn an honest living and share its benefits. In addition, your hands should serve your community and the Khalsa nation. The Kara is a precious gift bestowed upon us for life by Guru Sahib, which cannot be separated from the body.  The Kara is circular having no beginning and no end, similarly Vaaheguroo has no beginning or end and the Kara reminds us of this.

3.10.4. Kirpan – Sword of Mercy

ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਣ ਪਾਣ ਧਾਰੀਯੰ ॥ ਕਰੋਰ ਪਾਪ ਟਾਰੀਯੰ ॥

"The mark of a Khalsa is one who holds a Kirpan in handMillions of sins are abolished by the Kirpan acting as a constant physical and spiritual reminder of the teachings of the Guru.,

by the wearing of which millions of sins are abolished."

Sri Dasam Granth Ang 42

The Kirpan is there to protect the poor and for self-defence. With patience and mercy, the Kirpan is to be used as a sword to destroy oppression. The Kirpan is to always be in a gatra and never to be removed from the body. The Kirpan protects us from hidden and seen enemies.  The Kirpan is a weapon to protect the whole body, as a minimum it should be nine inches in length.  Keeping the Kirpan in a KanghaSome wear a Kangha with a symbolic Kirpan engraved in it, this is not a Kirpan and does not represent the Kirpan as a Kakkar, as it cannot be used as a Kirpan.  , in the Kesh and putting it on a string around the neck like a Janeoo, are against the Rehat and forbidden.

ਸ਼ਸਤਰ ਹੀਨ ਕਬਹੂ ਨਹਿ ਹੋਈ, ਰਹਿਤਵੰਤ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਸੋਈ ॥

"Those who never depart his/her arms, they are the Khalsa with excellent conduct."

Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh Jee, p.148

You are never to walk over your Kirpan or other weapons. When washing your Kesh, the Kangha is to be tied to your Kirpan and the Kirpan tied around your waist. When bathing, your Kirpan is to be tied around your head and not tucked into the Kashara as this dishonours your Kirpan. When women bathe they are to tie their dupata on their head and then their Kirpan.

When going to sleep your Kirpan is not to be removed from your body.

The Kirpan is only to be used for two things. Firstly, to give Guru Jee’s blessing to freshly prepared Karah Prasad or for langar. Secondly, in order to destroy tyrants and oppressors. It must never be used for anything else.

If the Kangha, Kara or Kirpan are separated from your body, you are forbidden to eat or drink until they are replaced. Upon the replacement of your missing Kakkar, Japjee Sahib is to be recited and an Ardas must be performed for the seperation and to beg for forgiveness. The Ardas may be performed either in a Gurdwara or the place where you are replacing your Kakkar. Having done this, you may eat and drink.

3.10.5. Kashera – Long shorts

The Kashera is underwear blessed to us by the Guru, it is white in colour and like a long pair of shorts. 

ਸੀਲ ਜਤ ਕੀ ਕਛ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਪਕੜਿਓ ਹਥਿਆਰਾ ॥

"The sign of true chastity is the Kashera you must wear this,

And hold weapons in hand."

Bhai Gurdas Jee, Var. 41, pauri 15

The Kashera is the sign of sexual restraint and a constant reminder of our moral duties as Sikhs. The Kashera and Kirpan are never to be separated from the body.

ਕੱਛ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨ ਨ ਕਬਹੂ ਤਿਆਗੈ ॥

"The Kashera and Kirpan are never to leave the body."

Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh Jee p.147

You are only to wear Rev KasheraA Rev Kashera is different from normal underwear in that it has brakes on it, in that the Kashera tapers to fit the leg above the knee. (a traditional style Kashera). The Kashera gives us the teaching,

ਦੇਖਿ ਪਰਾਈਆਂ ਚੰਗੀਆਂ, ਮਾਵਾਂ ਭੈਣਾਂ ਧੀਆਂ ਜਾਣੈ ॥

"Men should look at the opposite sex as mothers, sisters and daughters,

(women should look at the opposite sex as fathers, brothers and sons)."

Var. 29, Pauri 11, Bhai Gurdas Jee

The Kashera is never to leave your body completely i.e. stepping out of it with both your legs. After doing Ishnaan, one half of the wet Kashera is to be removed from one leg and a dry clean Kashera is to be put on that leg, and similarly for the other leg. If the Kashera does leave the body by accident, then you are to approach "Five Singhs" who will do Ardas for you and give you a punishment.  If the Kangha, Kirpan and Kara leave the body you can do an Ardas yourself, but if the Kashera leaves the body only "Five Singhs" can do the Ardas.  The Kashera is never to be changed whilst your head is uncovered.

3.11. The Four Cardinal Sins

ਹੁੱਕਾ, ਹਜਾਮਤ, ਹਲਾਲੋ, ਹਰਾਮ ॥ ਅਸਫੋਕਟ ਸ੍ਵੈਯੇ

Hukka            Smoking tobacco, and all other intoxicants

Hajamat        Cutting, plucking, surgically removing, dying/bleaching hair.  Defacing body by piercing or tattooing.

Halalo            Eating meat, fish and eggs

Haram           Adultery and sexual relationships outside of marriage

3.11.1. Hukka (tobacco and all other intoxicants)

ਸੁਣ ਗੁਰਸਿੱਖ ਕੀ ਰਹਿਤ ਕੋ ਤਜੇ ਤਮਾਕੂ ਸੰਗ॥
ਮਰਣੀ ਮਰੈ ਤੌ ਅਤਿ ਭਲਾ ਜਗਤ ਜੂਠ ਨਹਿ ਅੰਗ ॥

"Listen to the discipline of the Gursikh who relinquishes the accompaniment of tobacco, avoiding bodily contact with tobacco as he/she knows that he/she is better off dead than having to touch tobacco."

By using tobacco, all good deeds are destroyed and the person will suffer for a long time in hell.  A Gursikh will rather die than touch tobacco.  If a Gursikh comes into contact with anything containing tobacco, for example, cigarettes, cigars, paan, charas, pipes, they must wash their hands with soap at least five timesThis is to ensure thorough cleansing and the washing five times is a suggested minimum to ensure cleaniness.. Then they must purify their Kesh, body and clothes by bathing.

ਕੁਠਾ ਹੁੱਕਾ, ਚਰਸ ਤਮਾਕੂ । ਗਾਂਜਾ ਟੋਪੀ ਤਾੜੀ ਖਾਕੂ ॥੩੦॥
ਇਨ ਕੀ ਓਰ ਨ ਕਬਹੂ ਦੇਖੇ । ਰਹਤਵੰਤ ਜੋ ਸਿੰਘ ਬਿਸੇਖੇ ॥

"Meat, all forms of intoxicants (including tobacco, ganja/cannabis and alcohol), wearing of hats and doing the pretense of rubbing soil on the body.  A Singh with excellent rehat doesn’t associate with people who are engrossed in these sinful habits." Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh Jee, 148

ਤਨਕ ਤਮਾਕੂ ਸੇਵੀਏ ਦੇਵ ਪਿੱਤ੍ਰ ਤਜਿ ਜਾਇ ॥
ਪਾਨੀ ਤਾਂ ਕੇ ਹਾਥ ਕਾ ਮਦਰਾ ਸਮ ਅਘ ਦਾਇ ॥ ੨੨॥
ਮਦਰਾ ਦਹਿਤਾ ਸਪਤਿ ਕੁਲ ਭੰਗੁ ਦਹੈ ਤਨ ਏਕ ॥
ਸ਼ਤ ਕੁਲ ਦਹਿਤਾ ਜਗਤ ਜੂਠ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਦਹੈ ਅਨੇਕ ॥ ੨੩॥

"Those that consume even a minuscule amount of tobacco are disowned in the afterlife by their ancestors and drinking water from such a person is similar to drinking alcohol. By drinking alcohol seven generations are exterminated and by consuming Bhang/marajuana the body is destroyed. The person who consumes tobacco exterminates one hundred generations and many generations go to hell because of gossiping."  (Sri Gur Partap Suraj, Rit 5, ansoo 29, volume 13)

Therefore in Gurmat the use of tobacco is strictly forbidden and it should not be touched/used even by mistake.  Other religions have also forbade the use of tobacco, a Hindu Puran tells Hindus how to restrain from tobacco in the following way:

ਧੂਮ੍ਰ ਪਾਨੰ ਰਤੰ ਵਿਪੰ੍ਰ ਦਾਨੰ ਕੁਰਵੰਤਿ ਯੰ ਨਰਾ ।।
ਦਾਤਰੋ ਨਰਕੰ ਯਾਤੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੇ ਗ੍ਰਾਮ ਸੁ ਸ਼ੁਕਰ ।।

"The Brahmin that consumes tobacco is donated charity by others. 

Those that give charity to such a person

Go to hell and the Brahmin becomes a pig."

Skandh Purana, Dh. 52, Salok 52

The person, who uses tobacco and then gives charity to Brahmins, goes to Rorve Hell and the Brahmin who receives this charity becomes a pig, cleaning dirty drains and going through many hells. 

Satguru has made the use of tobacco a cardinal sin. You are not to eat with or marry your children into the families of those that consume, smoke or use tobacco.

3.11.2. Hajamat – Cutting, plucking, dying Kesh 

Cutting hair is strictly forbidden in Gurmat. From your head down to your toes, no hair is to be plucked, cut, burnt or chemically/surgically removed. Kesh are not to be dyed by any method whatsoever and the plucking of hairWhen people start to age they start dying their hair black/brown or plucking their white hairs, this is forbidden and vanity is to be relinquished by enshrining the Guru’s teachings is not permitted.

ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤ ਰੱਬ ਬਣਾਈ ॥
ਬੇਈਮਾਨ ਨੇ ਭੰਨ ਗਵਾਈ ॥

"God made the human form perfect, but the treacherous has altered it

And made it lose its natural beauty."

ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤ ਰੱਬ ਦੀ ਭੰਨੇ ਬੇਈਮਾਨ ॥
ਦਰਗਹਿ ਢੋਈ ਨਾ ਮਿਲੈ ਕਾਫਰ ਕੁੱਤਾ ਸ਼ੈਤਾਨ ॥

"The treacherous has altered the perfect human body,

Making it lose its natural beauty.

He/She will not get acceptance in the court of God

And is an infidel, a dog and is devil like."

Keeping your Kesh is essential. Upon the death of a relative, the deceased’s hair is not to be shaved off.  The cutting of hair is prohibited in other religions as well, but in Gurmat cutting hair is a cardinal sin and results in a person being an outcast.  You are to guard against committing this cardinal sin.

Your Kesh are not to be washed with ashes or clay, they are to be washed with shampoo, yoghurt or lasee.  Lying down with your Kesh uncovered or partaking in any action with your Kesh uncovered is strictly forbidden.  You are not to enter a dusty, dirty place with your Kesh uncovered.

Cutting the Kesh or piercing the ears/noses of your children is strictly forbidden.  The hair of children is not to be tied in dreadlocks.  From a young age, the Kesh of your children are to be combed with a Kangha.

ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤ ਸਿਧਾ ਦਾੜ੍ਹਾ ॥
ਕਾਠ ਦਾ ਕੰਘਾ ਕੇਸੀਂ ਚਾੜ੍ਹਾ ॥

"The complete form of man is with a beard, which is left untied.

The Kesh are combed with a wooden Kangha."

Amritdharee Singhs are to keep their beards open and untied.

3.11.3. Halaal – Eating meat, fish and eggs

The eating of meat is strictly forbidden in the house of the Guru. It is a cardinal sin to eat any type of meat whether it be Kutha or meat killed in any other fashion and it makes one a traitor to the Guru.  In Sri Guru Granth Sahib there is no place where permission to eat meat is given, on the contrary it is condemned consistently and continually.  A person that kills an animal and eats it, will be reborn in that life form and have to experience being killed and eaten.

ਕਬੀਰ ਖੂਬੁ ਖਾਨਾ ਖੀਚਰੀ ਜਾ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਲੋਨੁ ॥
ਹੇਰਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਗਲਾ ਕਟਾਵੈ ਕਉਨੁ ॥ ੧੮੮॥

"Kabeer, the eating of lentils(masoor) and rice is excellent,

In which there is Amrit in the form of  salt.

Who would cut his own throat, to have meat with his chappati?"

SGGSJ Ang 1374

The Khalsa is a warrior, not being a Vaishnoo (those who do not kill any other living beings), but at the same time the Khalsa is not a butcher who kills for meat.  Guru Jee used to go hunting to free souls from the cycle of births and deaths.  We do not have the power to become Mukt (liberated) ourselves from the cycle of births and deaths let alone liberate others. When Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee lived at Sultanpur, a Qazi (Muslim priest) was killing a chicken but it escaped from his clutches and splashed his clothing with blood.  The Qazi said to his servant, my clothes have become dirty, go and fetch fresh clothes.  Satguru Jee composed the following Shabad in reference to the Qazi,

ਜੇ ਰਤੁ ਲਗੈ ਕਪੜੈ ਜਾਮਾ ਹੋਇ ਪਲੀਤੁ ॥
ਜੋ ਰਤੁ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਮਾਣਸਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਚੀਤੁ ॥

"If blood has stained your clothing you say your clothes have become impure. 

How can the mind of those

Who eat meat, drink blood and suck bones become pure?"

SGGSJ Ang 140

Qazi!  If your clothes have become impure due to bloodstains then how can your mind stay pure after eating a chicken which is so large and full of blood.  Eating meat just to satisfy your taste buds is strictly forbidden. Vaaheguroo has created 36 types of vegetarian food for you to consume, by eating meat your intellect becomes like that of an animal.  Your mind becomes unwilling to recite Gurbani.  Baba Deep Singh Jee lived on a diet of unripe Ber (a tropical fruit) and hand wrote four volumes of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, which were placed at four of the Takhats.  At the age of 87, he went to war and defeated the tyrants. Within him he had the power of Naam, Bani and Amrit.  To conclude, eating meat is not allowed in any form, this includes fish and eggs and ingredients in foods with lecithins, egg trace, gelatins etc.  The Guru’s teachings are more precious to us than the pleasures of our tastebuds, we should try adopting a simple diet and steer away from eating processed foods which do commonly contain ingredients which we cannot consume, if you do consume these foods you must not become lazy or purposely ignorant of the ingredients, you are to remain forever alert of the great teachings of the Gurus.  Thousands have been martyred to uphold this Rehat and have gone many gruelling days, weeks and months in battle or persecution whilst maintaining these high standards.

3.11.4. Haraam – Adultery, sexual relationships outside of marriage

In Gurmat, entering sexual relationships outside of marriage is strictly forbidden for both men and women, thus the question of dating does not even arise. Husband and wife must be physically faithful to one another. People, who allow lust to overcome them, and violate this rule, will go to hell and enter other life forms.

ਹੇ ਕਾਮੰ ਨਰਕ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮੰ ਬਹੁ ਜੋਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮਾਵਣਹ ॥

"O sexual desire, you lead the mortals to hell;

You make them wander in reincarnation through countless species."

SGGSJ Ang 1358

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee was given the following teaching by his Father Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Jee,

ਛੰਦ ॥ ਸੁਧਿ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਹਮ ਧਰੀ ਬਚਨ ਗੁਰ ਦਏ ਹਮਾਰੇ ॥
ਪੂਤ ਇਹੈ ਪ੍ਰਨ ਤੋਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਜਬ ਲਗ ਘਟ ਥਾਰੇ ॥
ਨਿਜ ਨਾਰੀ ਕੇ ਸਾਥ ਨੇਹੁ ਤੁਮ ਨਿੱਤ ਬਢੈਯਹੁ ॥
ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਕੀ ਸੇਜ ਭੂਲਿ ਸੁਪਨੇ ਹੂੰ ਨ ਜੈਯਹੁ ॥

"When I was mature enough, Satguru Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Jee gave me this teaching: Until the day you take your last breath, you must take this in and never forget it.  You must forever respect your wife, You must never go into another women’s bed, not even in a dream." Sri Dasam Granth Ang 842

ਦੇਖਿ ਪਰਾਈਆਂ ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਮਾਵਾਂ ਭੈਣਾਂ ਧੀਆਂ ਜਾਣੈ ॥

"Men should look at the opposite sex as mothers, sisters and daughters,

(women should look at the opposite sex as fathers, brothers and sons)."

(Var. 29, Pauri 11, Bhai Gurdas Jee)

ਏਕਾ ਨਾਰੀ ਜਤੀ ਹੋਇ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਧੀ ਭੈਣ ਵਖਾਣੈ ॥

"Be faithful to your one wife, see others as your daughters and sisters, (for women you must be faithful to one husband and see others as your sons and brothers)." Var. 6, Pauri 8, Bhai Gurdas Jee

A Singh must look upon his wife as his faithful Singhni and a Singhni should look upon her husband as Parmeshwar(God). 

Singhs are to see elder women as their mothers, female peers as sisters and younger females as daughters.  In the same manner, women are to see elder men as their fathers, male peers as their brothers and younger males as their sons. Those who have sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage go to hell and in the after-life they will suffer the pain of embracing red-hot iron columns.

…ਤਪਤ ਥੰਮ ਗਲਿ ਲਾਤਿਆ ॥

"…the hot irons are put around his/her body." SGGSJ Ang 546

In the after-life, these individuals are boiled in cauldrons of hot oil.

ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਰਾਵਣਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਸੇਈ ਤਾਲਾਜੀਅਹਿ ॥

"Those who enter sexual relationships outside of marriage

Shall be taken to hell and boiled in very hot oil." SGGSJ Ang 1362

3.11.5. Alcohol

In Gurmat, the drinking of alcohol is strictly forbidden. The word for alcohol is ‘Sharaab’ which means ‘sharaarat’ mischief, and ‘aab’ means water, thus it means mischievous or evil water, which is the root of all sins and evil actions.  Sri Guru Amar Das Jee writes about alcohol in the following way,

ਸਲੋਕ ਮ: ੩।।
ਮਾਣਸੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਂਿਣਆ ਮਾਣਸੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਇ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਮਤਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਰਲੁ ਪਵੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਇ ॥
ਆਪਣਾ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਈ ਖਸਮਹੁ ਧਕੇ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਖਸਮੁ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਦਰਗਹ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ ॥
ਝੂਠਾ ਮਦੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਪੀਚਈ ਜੇ ਕਾ ਪਾਰਿ ਵਸਾਇ ॥

"One person brings a full bottle, and another fills His cup.  Drinking wine, His intelligence departs, and madness enters His mind; He cannot distinguish between His own and others, He is struck down by His Lord and Master.  Drinking it, He forgets His Lord and Master, He is punished in the Court of the Lord.  Do not drink the false wine at all, if it is in your power." SGGSJ Ang 554

ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥ ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥ ੨੩੩॥

"Kabeer Jee says, Those who consume marijuana, meat, tobacco, fish and wine,

All pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow are of no avail." SGGSJ Ang 1377

An Amritdharee should not even look at alcohol, his/her mind should not ever falter.

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਕਾ ਵਾਪਾਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਕਿਆ ਮਦਿ ਛੂਛੈ ਭਾਉ ਧਰੇ ॥੨॥

"One who trades in this Amrit/Nectar of Naam,

How could He ever love the wine of the world?"

SGGSJ Ang 360

By drinking alcohol the intellect is destroyed, Vaaheguroo is forsaken and the gem of human life is wasted.  Those who have evil thoughts drink alcohol. This makes them more lustful which in turn leads them to hell.

ਇਤੁ ਮਦਿ ਪੀਤੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਖਟੀਅਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥

"Guru Jee says by drinking this wine one commits countless sins."

SGGSJ Ang 553

In the same way it is stated in the Charitar:

ਏਕ ਮਦੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਤਰੁਨ ਤੀਜੇ ਅਤਿ ਧਨ ਧਾਮ ॥
ਪਾਪ ਕਰੇ ਬਿਨ ਕਿਯੋਂ ਬਚੈ, ਬਚੈ ਬਚਾਵੈ ਰਾਮ ॥

"Firstly he is drinking alcohol, secondly he is young, thirdly he is wealthy. How can he escape sinful actions?  Only if God is merciful can one be saved from sin."Sri Dasam Granth Ang 1077

In the Rehatnama’s the drinking of alcohol is strictly forbidden,

ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥
ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਜੂਆ ਅਸਤ ਚੋਰੀ ਮਦਰਾ ਜਾਨ ॥
ਪਾਂਚ ਐਬ ਯਹ ਜਗਤ ਮੈ ਤਜੈ ਸੁ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੁਜਾਨ ॥

"The Singh that refrains from the following five actions is considered wise, Sexual relations outside of marriage, gambling, lying, steeling, drinking alcohol." Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh Jee, p.149

Gursikhs are to drink this sort of intoxicant,

ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥
ਗੁੜੁ ਕਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਧਾਵੈ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਣੀ ਕਸੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥
ਭਾਠੀ ਭਵਨੁ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕਾ ਪੋਚਾ ਇਤੁ ਰਸਿ ਅਮਿਉ ਚੁਆਈਐ ॥੧॥

"Make spiritual wisdom your molasses, and meditation your scented flowers; Let good deeds be the herbs. Let devotional faith be the distilling fire, and your love the ceramic cup. Thus the sweet nectar of life is distilled."SGGSJ Ang 360

4. The Five Takhats (Thrones) of the Khalsa

These Five Gurdwaras have been given reverence as the Five Thrones of the Khalsa Panth.

4.1. Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib

Founded by the 6th Guru, Sri Guru HarGobind Sahib in Sri Amritsar Sahib.  This Gurdwara is the highest temporal point for Sikhs and it is from the Akaal Takhat that political and religious decisions of the Panth have been taken and will be taken in the future.

4.2. Takhat Sri Patna Sahib (Bihar)

The place of birth of the 10th Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee.  The 9th Guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Jee said that this should be made a Takhat.

4.3. Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Sri Anandpur Sahib

The Khalsa was founded here in 1699 by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee.

4.4. Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib, Sabo Ki Talvandi 

This is where Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee recited the complete Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee (including the Gurbani of the 9th Guru) from ‘Ik Oa(n)kaar’ to ‘At(h)arah Das Bees’ – Bhai Mani Singh Jee was the scribe as Guru Sahib uttered Gurbani.  Guru Jee revealed the meanings of Gurbani and established a university to teach it (the Taksal). Damdama Sahib is known as ‘Guru ki Kanshi’ (the school of the Guru).  At this Takhat there is a coin from Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee’s time, upon which Takhat Damdama Sahib is inscribed. A person who does not accept this to be a Takhat, and instead regards a living person as a Takhat, are considered Manmatee (greatly mistaken and against the teachings of the Guru, following the misgivings of their mind).

4.5. Takhat Abchal Nagar, Sachkand Sri Hazoor Sahib, Nander (Maharastra)

This is where Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee was annointed as the Guru for eternity by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, who went to Sach Khand from here.

Whenever a Singh/Singhni goes to a Takhat for the first time they are to donate a minimum of five rupees and give five rupees for Karah Parshad. 

5. Four Foundations

These Four Gurdwaras are seen as the Foundations of Faith for Sikhs.

5.1. Sri Nankana Sahib (Pakistan)

Birthplace of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee

5.2. Sri Amritsar Sahib

Popularly referred to as The Golden Temple, this is the holiest shrine of Sikhs

5.3. Sri Tarn Taran Sahib 

The Guru ferries one across the worldyly ocean at this shrine, the SarovarWater tank in which people bathe is blessed with this boon from the Guru and dispels leprosy.

5.4. Sri Muktsar Sahib

Historical shrine of where 40 Sikhs who deserted the Guru attained Shaheedi/Martyrdom. They first deserted the Guru in battle due to starvation and low rations in, but later came to their senses, begging Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee for forgiveness and joining him in the ensuing battle.

6. The Four Colours of the Khalsa

Blue, Black, White and Saffron

These four colours are to be worn, other colours excite the mind and lure it to vices, and are therefore prohibited.  Amritdhari Singhs/Singhni’s are specifically not to wear red or green at anytime.  One is to dress humbly, any simple colours can be worn.  Amritdhari women are not to wear ear rings, nose-rings, rings, bangles, nail polish, lipstick, bindi, henna, keeping long nails, wearing a saree etc.  Piercing of any kind is prohibited.

ਬੀਧੇ ਕਾਨ ਨ ਨਾਕ ਕੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮ੍ਰਿਜਾਦ ॥

"The Code of Conduct of Satguru Jee is that one is not to pierce their ears or nose." Rehatnama Bhai Deya Singh Jee, p. 78

Singhs/Singhni’s are not to wear rings, ear-rings and other jewellery, Satguru Jee says:

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਤਿ ਵਾਰ ਨਾਮੁ ਗਹਣਾ ॥

Guru Jee says your jewellery is Naam,

Which will be of assistance at your time of death."

SGGSJ Ang 375

In the next world only the jewellery of Naam is of assistance, worldly jewellery is of no avail. Amritdhari Singhs and Singhnia are to abstain from jooth (eating food that has already been eaten by others or is being shared).  Food from restaurants is not to be consumed. Fruit should be eaten after it has been washed. 

Degrading video films, television, cinema, dances are not to be watched.  A Singh is not to wear a blanket around his waist in a traditional doti manner or a turla is not to be left out of the turban, (one strand left out of sequence).

7. Five groups of people who are not to be associated with

The following five groups are not to be associated with as they have betrayed the Guru.  The company of these five is to be refrained from as they may also influence us to betray the Guru in the same way that they did.

7.1. Meene

Satguru Ramdas Jee disowned Prithi ChandPrithi Chand or Prithia as he is commonly referred to, was the eldest son of Sri Guru Ram Das Jee, he developed an enmity with Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee out of jealousy of not being appointed the Guru. and called him Meena for having a needless enmity with Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee.  Prithia’s descendants are those who once got a Brahmin to attempt to poison Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Jee, and sent a midwife with poison on her nipples to feed the young Guru.  A snake charmer was also sent by Prithia and was told to release his snake on to Guru Sahib to try and kill him.  These evil doers, the descendants of Prithia, are called Meene.

7.2. Masand

In the name of Satguru, Masands collected money for Kar-Seva of Gurdwaras, but they begun to misuse the money and spend it on themselves. They became evil and started oppressing the Sikh Sangat, doing as they pleased. The tenth Guru freed the Sikh Sangat from these reptiles.

Guru Sahib got hot syrup poured over them and they were burnt alive as punishment for their sins.  Bhai Prehlad Singh Jee states in his Rehatnama, "You are not to obey Masands, they will con the Sangat."

7.3. Ram Raieeay

Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Jee’s eldest son Ram Rai had needless enmity with the eight and ninth Gurus and appointed his own Masands.  He changed a line in Gurbani just to please the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, changing "Miti musalman ki…" (soil is of the muslim…) to "Meeti beyman ki…" (soil is of the deceitful…).  Sri Guru Har Rai Jee excommunicated Ram Rai from the house of the Guru because he altered Gurbani.  Satguru said:

ਜਿਨ ਭੈ ਅਦਬ ਨ ਬਾਨੀ ਧਾਰਾ ।
ਜਾਨਹੁ ਸੋ ਸਿਖ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਮਾਰਾ । ੨੦ ।

"Those who do not fear and respect Gurbani are not Sikhs."

Sri Guru Partap Suraj Granth

No Sikh of the Guru’s is to associate with Ram Raieeay, nor is any offering to be made to them.  Ramrai was told to leave and just go in the direction in which he was facing and he was told to never return.  Ramrai had no children. His followers started to call him ‘Guru’. The Khalsa should never trust them.

7.4. Dhir Maleeay

Dhir Mal, the elder brother of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Jee, became an enemy of Guru Jee and during the reign of the Sixth Guru, Sri Guru HarGobind Sahib Jee, he left Kartarpur for Kiratpur Sahib. Once there he set himself up as a ‘Guru’. Upon the order of Guru Sahib, the Sikhs seized the ‘Chaur’ from Dhir Mal and threw him out of Kiratpur. Then again at the time of the ninth Guru, Dheer Mal again set up his own throne at Baba Bakala. He also got Sheehee Masand to try and shoot the Ninth Guru.

Those Sodhis from the Doab’s Kartarpur area are Dheer Mal’s descendants.  It was out of these descendants that Vadbhag Singh was born.  During the rule of the 12 Misls (Khalsa States), the governor of Jalandhar desecrated and burnt ‘Tham Sahib’ Gurdwara.  Vadbhag Singh was Amritdharee, being the first Amritdharee of the Dhir Mal clan.  He was scared of the Mughal rulers so he didn’t go to inform the Singhs (living in the jungles), nor did he confront the rulers about the desecration of ‘Tham Sahib.’  At that time, the Singhs thought he had escaped to the mountains to escape persecution and practice black magic. The Dheer Mal clan is excommunicated and is not to be associated with by the Khalsa. 

7.5. Gangu Shaheeay (and Hindaleeay) 

Gangu Shah, a Brahmin, handed over the Small Sahibzade/PrincesSons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Baba Zoravar Singh Jee and Baba Fateh Singh Jee to the Mughal Governor Vazir Khan, who bricked them alive.  The disloyal descendants of this family are not to be associated with by the Khalsa. 

The Hindaleeay made alterations to the biography of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee and had Sikhs arrested leading to their torture and deaths in jails. The descendants of Shehee Masand were the ones who attempted to shoot the ninth Guru and thus betrayed Him.

If any person out of the above five named groups takes Amrit from the Panj Pyare, lives according to the Rehat, accepts Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee as their Guru and has full faith in the Guru, they are to be considered a fellow brother/sister of the Khalsa.

8. Five not to be associated with

(i.e. not to eat with or marry your children to.)

8.1. Tobacco users

People who smoke or use any form of tobacco (or drugs) are not to be associated with.

8.2. Female Infanticide

Those who kill their daughters at birth:

ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਕੈਲੀ ਘਾਤੁ ਕੰਞਕਾ ਅਣਚਾਰੀ ਕਾ ਧਾਨੁ ॥
ਫਿਟਕ ਫਿਟਕਾ ਕੋੜੁ ਬਦੀਆ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਅਭਮਾਨੁ ॥

 “The following are all  major sins:

Killing a Brahmgyani, killing a killing a cowKilling a Cow is seen as a major sin in the Indian sub-continent and this is the reason for Maharaj using the example of killing a cow, but for Sikhs killing any animal is a major sin., killing or selling your daughter,

And eating from a person who has no moral discipline. 

Anyone who commits any of these sins has committed thousands of sins,

This egotistical individual will be reprimanded thousands of times."

SGGSJ Ang 1413

ਕੰਨਿਆ ਕੋ ਮਾਰੇ ਮੋਨੇ ਕੋ ਕੰਨਿਆਂ ਦੇਵੇ ਸੋ ਤਨਖਾਹੀਆ ॥

"They who kill their daughters and marry their daughters to those who cut their hair are punishable." Rehatnama Bhai Deya Singh Jee 

8.3. Those who sell their daughters

Those who receive money for the marriage of their daughters and take dowry.

8.4. Those that cut their hair from their head

8.5. Those who completely shave all their hair from their face and head

A Hukamnama from Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib excommunicated Narakdharees/Fake Nirankaris on 30 June 1978.

Radha Soamis, Namdharis, Noormehlie, Bhaniarawale, Sacha Sodha Vale and other groups whom claim their leaders to be the Guru and do not accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee as the supreme Guru, these groups are not to be associated with, married into or meals taken with them.  If they take Amrit from Panj Pyare, keep the Khalsa Rehat and accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee as their Guru then they can be associated with and they are our brothers and sisters.

9. Wedding Ceremony / Anand Sanskar (Fourth Ceremony)

In the past, society was divided into four caste groups and four stages of life (child, student, householder/family and spiritual/old age) for the effective functioning of all tasks.  The life of a celibate holy man was considered the highest lifestyle and the accepted method to reach God.  The householder’s life was considered as the worst lifestyle and it was thought to be an obstacle on the path to spiritual enlightenment.  It was this teaching that forced Kings like Partharee and Gopi Chand to give up their kingdoms, get their ears pierced and live in jungles. However, having done this, and wandering with a stick in one hand and a satchel over the shoulder, begging for food, they still ended up crying in anguish:

ਰੋਵਹਿ ਰਾਜੇ ਕੰਨ ਪੜਾਇ ॥ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਮਾਗਹਿ ਭੀਖਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥

"The King cries after getting his ears pierced.  He goes from house to house begging for sustenance." SGGSJ Ang 954

By detaching yourself from ordinary life, leaving your home and surviving off wild fruits in jungles, the love of God is not achieved and even the love of sin is not removed in this way:

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ॥
ਗ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਤਜਿ ਬਨ ਖੰਡ ਜਾਈਐ ਚੁਨਿ ਖਾਈਐ ਕੰਦਾ ॥
ਅਜਹੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਨ ਛੋਡਈ ਪਾਪੀ ਮਨੁ ਮੰਦਾ ॥

"Abandoning his household, he may go to the forest, and live by picking fruit;  But even so, his sinful evil mind does not renounce sin." SGGSJ Ang 855)

ਮਾਈ ਮਾਗਤ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਲੋਭਾਵਹਿ ॥

"You call her mother, but are lured by the three senses, the mind, the eyes and the ears.  The mind wants sexual contact with a woman, the eyes want to see an attractive woman and the ears want to hear the sweet words of a woman."SGGSJ Ang 903

The person still remains entangled in sin. Many ‘holy men’ have gone and lived in jungles, yet they regretted doing so and Satguru says:

ਇਸੁ ਭੇਖੈ ਥਾਵਹੁ ਗਿਰਹੋ ਭਲਾ ਜਿਥਹੁ ਕੋ ਵਰਸਾਇ ॥

"Instead of wearing these beggars’ robes, it is better to be a householder, and give to others." SGGSJ Ang 587

Going to live in the jungles would be of use if God Himself lived in the jungle.  God is to be attained within yourself, by tuning into the Shabad, so what need is there to go anywhere else? This is why Bhagat Farid has said living in jungles is a waste of time:

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਭਵਹਿ ਵਂਿਣ ਕੰਡਾ ਮੋੜੇਹਿ ॥
ਵਸੀ ਰਬੁ ਹਿਆਲੀਐ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਢੂਢੇਹਿ ॥੧੯॥

"Fareed Jee says, Why do you wander from jungle to jungle, crashing through the thorny trees?  The Lord abides in the heart; why are you looking for Him in the jungle?" SGGSJ Ang 1378

ਧਨਾਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੯ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਬਨ ਖੋਜਨ ਜਾਈ ॥
ਸਰਬ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਸਦਾ ਅਲੇਪਾ ਤੋਹੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉੁ ॥
ਪੁਹਪ ਮਧਿ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਸੁ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਛਾਈ ॥
ਤੈਸੇ ਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਸੇ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ॥੧॥

"Why do you go looking for Him in the forest?  Although He is unattached, He dwells everywhere. He is always with you as your companion.  Pause.  Like the fragrance which remains in the flower, And like the reflection in the mirror, the Lord dwells deep within; Search for Him within your own heart, O Siblings of Destiny." SGGSJ Ang 684

The destruction of ego is to be achieved by immersing your heart in Naam, then God is attained.

ਹਉਮੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਵਿਰੋਧੁ ਹੈ ਦੁਇ ਨ ਵਸਹਿ ਇਕ ਠਾਇ ॥

"Ego is opposed to the Name of the Lord; The two cannot dwell in the same place."

SGGSJ Ang 560

A question was posed to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee, why doesn’t Naam become imbued in our hearts?  Guru Jee replied:

ਰਸੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਰੁਪਾ ਕਾਮਂਿਣ ਰਸੁ ਪਰਮਲ ਕੀ ਵਾਸੁ ॥

"You have a love for making gold jewellery, you have a love for making silver dishes, you have a love for lusting after the opposite sex and a love for putting sandalwood fragrance on." SGGSJ Ang 15

When all exterior tastes, desires and attachments have been extinguished, then Vaaheguroo’s Naam will become imbued in your heart and reveal itself.  Vaaheguroo will become self-revealed at this point.  The aim is to stay detached from worldly passions and to imbue Naam into the mind, not to wonder uselessly in jungles.  This is why Satguru Jee says

ਘਰ ਬਾਰੀ ਹੋਇ ਵਰਤਿਆ ਘਰ ਬਾਰੀ ਸਿਖ ਪੈਰੀਂ ਪਾਇਆ ॥

"A Sikh is to be a householder, if the Sikh is a true Sikh (i.e. a Brahmgyani) and one meets such a Sikh, One is to surrender at the feet of such a Sikh and do their seva in humility." Bhai Gurdas Jee Var. 6, Pauri 2

The Gurus stayed detached from worldly passions whilst living the life of householders and preached the same message to their Sikhs:

ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਭਗਵੀ ਕਪੜੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਮੈਲੇ ਵੇਸਿ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਘਰਿ ਬੈਠਿਆ ਜੋਗੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ॥

"Self-realisation is not obtained by wearing saffron robes; Nor is it obtained by wearing dirty robes. Guru Jee says, By following the Teachings of the True Guru at home you achieve self-realisation." SGGSJ Ang 1421

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਐ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥
ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥

"Guru Jee says, meeting the True Guru, one comes to realise perfect knowledge.  While; laughing, playing, dressing and consuming fine foods, he/she is liberated." SGGSJ Ang 522

Today many people have forgotten the above teachings and started to live outside the boundaries laid down by Gurmat, doing what they feel is right or wrong.  Some Amritdharee Sikhs marry non-Amritdharees just for money but this is not acceptable, marriage should not be based upon desire for wealth or other worldy goods.  A marriage is to be based on the same Dharam/Principles and qualities in both people.

According to Gurmat both the bride and bridegroom should be Amritdharee.  The Kurmayee/Engagement should be a good deed and not involve taking money from your daughters/sisters. No form of dowry (gifts from the Brides family) should be given or accepted. Bhai Sahib Singh Jee writes in a Rehatnama:

ਕੰਨਿਆ ਦੇਵੈ ਸਿਖ ਕੋ ਲੇਵੈ ਨਹਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਦਾਮ ॥
ਸੋਈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਿਖ ਹੈ ਪਹੁਚੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਧਾਮ ॥ ੨੫॥

"Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee says, the Sikh that marry’s his daughter to a Sikh,

and does not take any money, He is a true Sikh of mine and will reach my abode in Sachkand." Bhai Sahib Singh Rehatnama p.160

The bride and bridegroom should be Amritdharee, follow the Rehat, recite Nitnem and as much additional Gurbani as possible and have knowledge of Sikh history. Besides their Rehat, their principles, age, education, appearance and other qualities are to be taken into consideration.

Ideally, the bride should be about four years younger than the bridegroom.  At the Kurmayee/engagement the bride’s family are to give the bridegroom a token of five Rupees (£, $ etc) and a Kirpan with a gatra. The groom’s family should give the bride a token gift of five Rupees (£, $ etc), a kangha and a kirpan with a Gatra.

At the time of the Kurmayee, the groom’s family should have the Bhog of a Sehaj Paath or Akhand Paath at the Kurmayee. After the Bhog, Karah Parsaad must be distributed and Kirtan sung. However, if for any reason, an Akand Paath or Sahej Paath cannot be performed, then the Kurmayee must be conducted in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

ਕੀਤਾ ਲੋੜੀਐ ਕੰਮੁ ਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿ ਆਖੀਐ ॥ 
ਕਾਰਜੁ ਦੇਇ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਖੀਐ ॥

"Whatever needs doing, make a supplication in front of the Lord.

‘May you make perfect what I am about to do’, this is Satguru Jee’s true teaching." SGGSJ Ang 91)

Similar shabads should be recited. Following a Hukamnama, the groom should be given the five rupees and kirpan with a gatra. The following shabad should be recited simultaneously:

ਸੇ ਸੰਜੋਗ ਕਰਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਰਸਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਚਾਰੇ ॥

"Oh my beloved Lord, please grace me with presence of those saints,

By the meeting of whom my tongue may continuously recite Naam."

SGGSJ Ang 743

Only Karah Parshad is to be distributed. Eating dates, putting on a Tilak (Hindu marking on the forehead), singing inappropriate songs, whistling, playing sinful music are all prohibited.  On such happy occasions drinking alcohol, eating meat and other sinful activities are not to be undertaken.  The giving and taking of clothes, jewellery etc is prohibited.

When the couple are ready to enter marriage, then the relations of both families are to meet and collectively decide on a date, not paying any notice to superstitions and staying within Gurmat.

ਸਾਹਾ ਗਣਹਿ ਨ ਕਰਹਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥
ਸਾਹੇ ਊਪਰਿ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ॥

"You calculate the auspicious days, but you do not understand that the One Creator Lord is above these auspicious days." SGGSJ Ang 904

On the wedding invitation "God is One – He is realised by the True Guru’s Grace" is to be written, by which all obstacles are removed and the event is successfully completed.  According to the capabilities of the families, an Akhand Paath or Sehaj Paath should be held a few days before the Anand Karaj. During this happy occasion "Vadhans of the 4th Guru Ghoreean" is to be sung and other Gurbani of a similar nature is to be recited, at the bride and bridegrooms homes.  Folk songs are not to be sung and only Gurbani is to be recited.  The bride is not to wear any jewellery and make-up.  Bindi and the wearing of sarees is not allowed.  The bridegroom’s family is to perform Ardas, take a Hukamnama from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and then start their journey for the wedding.  The marriage party of the bridegroom is to be small.  Playing dirty songs, hiring female dancers, doing bhangra and dancing are prohibited.

The following superstitions are not to be heeded to – making pigtails of grass, pouring oil, and wearing a Sehra (chaplet). Many argue that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee wore a Sehra around his head at his wedding and Gurdwara Sehra Sahib at Anandpur Sahib has been built to commemorate this. But this practice was prevalent before ‘Khande dee PahulAmrit prepared by Panj Pyare with a Khanda’ was prepared, after which wearing a Sehra was prohibited.

Money is not to be waved over the heads of either the bride or bridegroom. The following superstitions/practices are also prohibited:

  1. Wearing a Kalgi (which was worn by Guru Gobind Singh Jee as a sign of his Sovereignty);
  2. Giving a ceremonial bath to the bride or bridegroom on the eve of the wedding and breaking objects after the bath;
  3. Putting on a paste prepared with oil, barley flour and turmeric, popularly referred to as ‘Maiya(n)’;
  4. Drinking water/milk after waving it over the heads of the bride/bridegroom; and
  5. Bowing to the shrines of ancestors/saints etc.

These useless actions are not to be performed. 

When the bridegroom and his family arrive at the place of the wedding ceremony, the following shabad is to be read,

ਹਮ ਘਰਿ ਸਾਜਨ ਆਏ ॥

"My friends have come into my home"

SGGSJ Ang 764

Other similar Shabads are also to be recited.

Upon arrival at the house of the bride, all are to greet each other by saying "Gurfateh" to one another.  Money is not to be thrown. An Ardas is to be performed to ensure a smooth running ceremony proceeds, this is the Milni of Gursikhs.  The singing of abusive songs ridiculing the bridegrooms family by the bride’s family, or tying a ribbon to hold the bridegroom’s family back from entering, are all prohibited.  Food is to be eaten after reciting the following Salok,

ਸਲੋਕੁ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਅਰੁ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਜਾਇ ਅਹੰਮੇਵ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸਰਣਾਗਤੀ ਕਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ॥

"By coming under the sanctury of the Lord; Lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment and ego are eradicated.  Upon the blessing of Sri Guru Ram Das Jee is the sanctuary of the Lord attained."  SGGSJ Ang 269

After eating, water is to be offered to cleanse hands and mouths and Ardas is to be performed.  The wedding is to be performed at the Gurdwara, regardless of the size of the house of the bride. If it is not possible to perform the Anand Karaj at a Gurdwara, only then is the house of the brideWeddings in homes are prevalent in Punjab, India to be used for the wedding. Sri Guru Granth Sahib should be seated in the cleanest and nicest place in the home.

ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੈ ਕੇ ਹੋਵਹੁ ਜੋੜੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੈਸਹੁ ਸਫਾ ਵਿਛਾਇ ॥

"Let yourselves be joined to the Name of the Lord; Become Gurmukhs, spread out a mat (floor covering) for Sadh Sangat to sit down and meditate." SGGSJ Ang 1185

In line with Gurmat both families are to respectfully sit in the presence of Guru Sahib.  The bride is to enter the Darbar Sahib with her face uncovered and bow to Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The bridegroom and bride are to sit in front of Guru Sahib. The bridegroom is to sit on the right and the bride to his left. They should sit on the same level as the Sangat and not on any raised platform/spread. After both have been seated, the couple and their father’s (uncles, brothers or cousins may stand in their place if required) are to stand for an Ardas for the commencement of the Anand Karaj.

9.1. The Recital of Paath and Parkarma

The Granthi recites the first verse of the LavaA four Verse Prayer, authored by the Fourth Guru, Sri Guru Ram Das Jee and the couple are to listen to it whilst remaining seated. After completing the verse, the Granthi Singh is to place the Rumala back over Sri Guru Granth Sahib.  The Ragee Singh is to perform Kirtan of the first Lav and the couple are to slowly walk around Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee (keeping Guru Sahib to their right-hand side), after which they are to bow to Guru Sahib and be seated.  The bride is to walk by herself, around Guru Sahib, without any assistance. Nobody is to stand whilst this is occurring.  The bride is not to cover her face at any point.

The Granthi Singh is then to recite the second Lav and the Ragees are then to sing the second Lav in the same manner as the first. This is to be repeated for the third and fourth Lavs.  After the recital of each Lav it is essential that the Granthi Singh replaces the Rumala back over Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.

If Ragee Singhs cannot be found, then the Granthi Singh is to recite each Lav, place the Rumala over Guru Sahib and then recite "Satnam, Vaaheguroo" whilst the couple walk/circumbabulate around Guru Sahib.  The four Lavs are to be performed in this manner.

Whilst the couple are walking around Guru Sahib, the Granthi Singh is not to get up and leave the throne of Guru Sahib, upon which he is doing seva. Some unintelligent/superstitious people think by the Granthi Singh remaining seated on the throne of Guru Jee, he some-how also ‘weds’ the bride. The Granthi Singh is the Minister of Guru Sahib, the bride cannot become married to him as her hand was already asked for marriage by the bridegroom and also prior to the Lavs she held the ‘Pula’ (tassel)  of the bridegroom so she is committed to marrying him.

The couple must walk around Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, many misguided people remain seated and perform the Anand Karaj in this way.  This is against Gurmat and should never be done.

ਚਰਨ ਅਮੋਲ ਪਰਦਛਨਾ ਕਰਨ ਕੈ ॥

"Those feet that do Parkarma (circumambulations in a clockwise direction) of Guru Sahib Jee are priceless." Kabit Svaye Bhai Gurdas Jee p.17

Walking around Satguru Jee (circumbabulating/Parkarma) signifies the sacrificing of ones mind, body and wealth.  The circumambulating is a mark of respect signifying that Guru Sahib is greater than ourselves, as we have to take many steps to walk in humility around the throne of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. The couple are begging for protection and assistance and signifying that they are the servants of Guru Sahib.  If Parkarma is not performed during a time of happiness, then when will it ever be done? Parkarma are not to be performed around a fire, or any god, goddesses, persons, idols etc.

After the Lavs, whilst the Ragees are singing Shabads, the Granthi Singh is to mentally recite the 40 verses of Anand Sahib whilst sitting in the presence of Guru Sahib (upon Guru Jee’s throne).  If there are no Ragee Singhs then the Anand Sahib is to be recited out aloud to the sangat.  Teachings are to be given to the couple (about how they should proceed in their lives as a married couple, which are in accordance with Gurmat). If a person is remarrying, the same ceremony is still to be performed including Lav’s around Sri Guru Granth Sahib. A list of relatives is not to be read out. An Ardas is to be performed and a Hukamnama read, then Karah Parshad is to be distributed afterwards.

On this happy occasion, the couple is to listen attentively to the Gurmat teachings given to them for successful guidance in both worldly and spiritual realms. Meritorious things that should be done by the couple are practice of good actions, practising religion, taking good vows, performing meditation etc. Only good actions that will please Satguru are to be enacted – by the doing of which our lives will become blissful.  Here is a more detailed account of what can be told to the couple:

9.1.1. Actions

ਮ: ੪ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

"One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, should rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name." SGGSJ Ang 305

 The whole of the above Shabad is to be read out.

ਕੇਵਲ ਕਰਮ ਭਰਮ ਸੇ ਚੀਨਹੁ ਧਰਮ ਕਰਮ ਅਨੁਰਾਗੋ ॥ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਹ ਕਰੋ ਸਦਾ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕੋ ਪਰਮ ਪਾਪ ਤਜਿ ਭਾਗੋ ॥

"Only actions of religion are to be undertaken and those actions which put us into confusion and condemnation from God are to be refrained from.  Collect the goodness by doing simran (meditation) at all times, then your mind will deter from commiting sin." (Sri Dasam Granth Ang 710)

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥

"The Gurmukh is blessed with the Naam/ Shabad, charity and purification."

SGGSJ Ang 942

All your sins are washed away by meditating. And, through giving charitable donations, your hard work bears fruit.

ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥

"One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has to charity, Guru Jee says, He/She realises the true path."SGGSJ Ang 1245

One tenth of your time and earnings should be given to the preaching of Sikhi, Guru’s Langar and all types of charity connected to the Guru’s House. In this way, your virtuous ambitions in life will be realised. On the other hand if nothing is given to charitable purposes then:

ਜੋ ਬਾਬੇ ਕੇ ਦਾਮ ਨ ਦੈ ਹੈ ॥
ਤਿਨ ਤੇ ਗਹਿ ਬਾਬਰ ਕੇ ਲੈ ਹੈ ॥

"Those who do not give money to the house of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee and/or charity, they will have their money taken by thieves or in fines to the government."

Bachitar Natak, Sri Dasam Granth, Ang 71

Not giving money for charitable purposes is on a par with being prosecuted, stealing, becoming diseased and success will not last. Therefore it is essential to donate, but it is to be given out of an honest living.

ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਘਰ ਸਾਧ ਨ ਸੇਵੀਅਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਤੇ ਘਰ ਮਰਹਟ ਸਾਰਖੇ ਭੂਤ ਬਸਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ੧੯੨ ॥

"Kabeer Jee says, those houses in which neither the Holy nor the Lord are served, those houses are like cremation grounds; demons dwell within them." SGGSJ Ang 1374

By having Ishnaan, the body is cleansed and laziness is removed.  Ishaan is an integral action to Sikh Life as we have to do Ishnaan in the morning before a prayer recital and many do Ishnaan before reciting any Paath (if they have been to the toilet so that their body is purified before readingThus one may do Ishnaan many times in a day and not just the one mandatory Ishnaan in the morning and touching Gurbani scriptures.)  A Sikh is also to continually cleanse him/herself by eradicating sinful actions by remembering the Teachings of the Guru and meditating on God at all times.

9.1.2. Religion

There are two types of religion. Firstly, common religious practice which is universal for all i.e. remembering God, earning an honest living and doing seva of mankind. Secondly, are individual religions such as that of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity etc. Gursikhs also have their own religion – by taking Amrit from Panj Pyare and keeping the discipline of the five Kakkaars, abstaining from the four cardinal sins, meditating on Naam and Gurbani and seeing only Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee as their Guru.  This is the religion of Gursikhs, which is more important to them than their lives, for example Bhai Mati Das Jee, Bhai Dyal Das Jee, Bhai Mani Singh Jee, Bhai Taru Singh Jee and many others have become martyrs but they did not compromise their faith.

9.1.3. Vows and regular practices

Some people go to places of pilgrimage and make vows for giving up something and make it a regular habit. One may say that from today I will not eat bananas, another may say that for the next six months I will not wear shoes etc. Gursikhs should make vows and regular practices, but of the following kind:

ਮਾਰੂ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਘਰੁ ੪ ਅਸਟਪਦੀਆ
< ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ
ਚਾਦਨਾ ਚਾਂਦਨੁ ਆਂਗਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਜੀਉ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚਾਦਨਾ ॥੧॥ਆਰਾਧਨਾ ਅਰਾਧਨੁ ਨੀਕਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਰਾਧਨਾ ॥੨॥
ਤਿਆਗਨਾ ਤਿਆਗਨੁ ਨੀਕਾ ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਤਿਆਗਨਾ ॥੩॥ਮਾਗਨਾ ਮਾਗਨੁ ਨੀਕਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮਾਗਨਾ ॥੪॥
ਜਾਗਨਾ ਜਾਗਨੁ ਨੀਕਾ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਮਹਿ ਜਾਗਨਾ ॥੫॥ਲਾਗਨਾ ਲਾਗਨੁ ਨੀਕਾ ਗੁਰ ਚਰਣਂੀ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਗਨਾ ॥੬॥
ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਪਰਾਪਤੇ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਭਾਗਨਾ ॥੭॥
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਨੀਕਾ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਸਰਨਾਗਨਾ ॥੮॥੧॥੪॥

"Out of all the lights which is the best light - in the courtyard of the mind?  The light of the knowledge of God is supreme. Meditation, meditation – which is the sublime meditation?  Sublime is the meditation on the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.   Renunciation, renunciation – which is noble renunciation?  Noble is the renunciation of sexual desire, anger and greed.  Begging, begging – what is noble begging?  It is noble to beg for the action to praise the Lord, from the Guru.   Awakening, awakening – which is the supreme awakening?  The supreme awakening is to sing the Lord’s praises.  Attachment, attachment – which is the sublime attachment?  Sublime is the attachment of the mind to the Guru's Feet.  He alone is blessed with this way of life, upon whose forehead such destiny is recorded.  Guru Jee says, everything is sublime and noble, for one who enters the Sanctuary of God." SGGSJ Ang 1018

The Third Guru, Sri Guru Amar Das Jee uttered the following to a Pandit,

ਨਉਮੀ ਨੇਮੁ ਸਚੁ ਜੇ ਕਰੈ ॥
ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਉਚਰੈ॥

"On the ninth day of the month, make a vow to speak the Truth, and your sexual desire, anger and desire shall be vanquished." SGGSJ Ang 1245

The above is only the first line of the Shabad, Sri Guru Amar Das went on to give further enlightenment to the Pandit to take on good actions on different days, to break superstitions associated with different days and to continuously develop spiritual and moral character.  Speaking the truth and refraining from lying should be considered a vow.  Gursikhs are to make a routine of reading as much Gurbani as is possible, waking up in the ambrosial hours, doing Naam Simran, being charitable, performing Ishnaan of the body and soul, ridding themselves of vices and remain within the moral constraints laid down by Gurmat.

9.1.4. Fasts

Some fast according to movements of the moon, others on the birthdays of Krishan and Ram, others on the twelfth or fourteenth day of a lunar fortnight, some on a full moon, some on Sangrand and others on Tuesday’s.  Muslims fast over Ramadan.  In Gurmat keeping any of these fasts is prohibited, and only the following ‘fasts’ are permitted:

ਥੋੜਾ ਸਵਣਾ ਖਾਵਣਾ ਥੋੜਾ ਬੋਲਣ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪਾਏ ।

"Sleeping little, eating little and speaking little is the way of enshrining Gurmat."

Bhai Gurdas Jee, Var. 28, Pauri 15

ਅਲਪ ਅਹਾਰ ਸੁਲਪ ਸੀ ਨਿੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਦਯਾ ਛਿਮਾ ਤਨ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥

"Eating and sleeping little, helping the needy, forgiving mistakes of others, being compassionate are all acts of a Sikh." Dasam Granth Ang 709

ਓਨੀ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਤੋੜੇ ਬੰਧਨਾ ਅੰਨੁ ਪਾਣਂੀ ਥੋੜਾ ਖਾਇਆ ॥

"They break bonds of the world (thus gaining self-realisation) and achieve this by eating and drinking little (water)." SGGSJ Ang 467

9.1.4.1. Male fast/abstinence: 

Male youth are to make a habit of,

ਏਕਾ ਨਾਰੀ ਜਤੀ ਹੋਏ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ ਧੀ ਭੈਣ ਵਖਾਣੈ ॥

"Be faithful to your one wife, see others as your daughters and sisters,

(for women be faithful to one husband and see others as your sons and brothers)."

(Var. 6, Pauri 8, Bhai Gurdas Jee)

ਦੇਖ ਪਰਾਈਆਂ ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਮਾਵਾਂ ਭੈਣਾਂ ਧੀਆਂ ਜਾਣੈ ॥

"Men should look at the opposite sex as mothers, sisters and daughters,

(women should look at the opposite sex as fathers, brothers and sons)."

(Var. 29, Pauri 11, Bhai Gurdas Jee)

ਹੋ ਪਰ ਧਨ ਪਾਹਨ ਤੁੱਲਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਯਾ ਪਰ ਮਾਤ ਹਮਾਰੈ ॥

"The wealth of another is like a stone to us, it is of no use.  Other women are like our mothers." (Dasam Granth, Ang 842)

ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਪੇਖੈ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ॥

"Do not gaze upon anothers wife, in a sinful way."

SGGSJ Ang 274

ਜੈਸਾ ਸੰਗੁ ਬਿਸੀਅਰ ਸਿਉ ਹੈ ਰੇ ਤੈਸੋ ਹੀ ਇਹੁ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੁ॥

"Like the companionship of a poisonous snake, so is the desire for another's spouse, as the snake will poison/bite you, causing harm, in the same way having sex with another outside of marriage will cause much harm to you." SGGSJ Ang 403

These teachings are illustrated by the story of Bhai Sant Ram Jee, a Sikh from the time of the fifth Guru, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee:

ਸਵਾ ਗਲਿਸਟ ਸਿਰ ਊਠਿਓ ਤਉ ਨਾ ਕਬੂਲੀ ਨਾਰ ॥

"The tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee says that in the times of the fifth Guru, there was a Sikh called Sant Ram, whom worked as a bodyguard for the Emperor Jahangir.  Jahangir’s daughter became attracted to this Sikh and wanted to marry him, so Jahangir told the Sikh to convert to Islam, for the marriage to go ahead.  The Sikh refused and was decapitated.  Jahangir then took the Sikh’s head on a platter to his daughter. His daughter edged forward to touch the face of the Sikh and his head floated a few inches away, thus not even accepting her in death." Dasam Granth

9.1.4.2. Female fast/abstinence:

ਬਿਨੁ ਪਿਰ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਈ ਸਚੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਹੇਤਿ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥੬॥

"Other than her husband, she knows no man.  She enshrines love for the True Guru, and sees all others (men aswell) as the wives of God."SGGSJ Ang 54

ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਸਬਾਈ ਨਾਰਿ ॥

"There is one Husband Lord, and all are His bridesThus you only have one Husband to whom you should be faithful, but similarily we only have One Lord whom we should all be faithful to - Vaaheguroo.."

SGGSJ Ang 933

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਿਉ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥

ਧੰਨੁ ਸਤੀ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਰਵਾਨਿਆ ॥

"Guru Jee says, she who looks upon Her Husband as the Lord, is blessed and has firm faith; great are those wives and they are received with honour in the Court of the Lord."SGGSJ Ang 185

Mai Sevan, Bibi Rajni, Mai Bhag Kaur and others stories illustrate this firm faith, of serving one’s Husband as GodThis needs to be taken in context, in a spiritual sense we are all brides of God and we are to renounce the world’s attachments and go to our real home the abode of God (whilst alive we aim to achieve this).  In the Indian context women usually leave their homes and go the homes of their husbands family’s, thus women should use this as an analogy of going to the abode of God and renouncing their previous attachments of their household and fully immerse themselves in serving their husband and seeing their husband as God.  Obviously this can only work if the husband is religious, of high moral character and all decisions in the household should be based upon sound judgement in line with Gurmat, conversely the husband should treat his wife respectfully and act in accordance with Gurmat.  This analogy can only work if both partners act out their respective roles correctly..

At the time of holding the ‘pula’ the bride is promising to:

ਜੇ ਕਰੁ ਗਹਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੜੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਨ ਛੋਡਾ ਮੂਲਿ ॥

"Beloved husband if you take my hand; I shall never forsake You."

SGGSJ Ang 322

Husband – if you are holding my hand in marriage then I will not leave your side until the day I die.

The bridegroom promises to:

ਹਰਿ ਛੋਡਨਿ ਸੇ ਦੁਰਜਨਾ ਪੜਹਿ ਦੋਜਕ ਕੈ ਸੂਲਿ ॥ ੨ ॥

"Just like manmukhs leave the Lord and go to hell.  If I leave you I will go to hell too." SGGSJ Ang 322

In the same way that scoundrels forget the Lord and go to hells – in the same way if I leave your innocent side then I will suffer the pain of manyhellsThis has all got to be taken in context.  Thus if your Husband is an alcoholic and abusive then obviously he is not the image of God, but if He is a Gursikh and practising Sikhi then he should be served as God.  There is room for compromise but all compromise and agreement is to be based upon Gurmat, only Gurmat practices are to be adhered to..

9.1.5. Meditation/Worship

ਕੋਊ ਬੁਤਾਨ ਕੌ ਪੂਜਤ ਹੈ ਪਸੁ ਕੋਊ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਾਨ ਕੌ ਪੂਜਨ ਧਾਇਓ ॥
ਕੂਰ ਕ੍ਰਿਆ ਉਰਝਿਓ ਸਭ ਹੀ ਜਗੁ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਕੋ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ॥

"Some worship idols and some worship the dead.  The world is entangled in false actions with no one realising the true Lord."Dasam Granth Ang 15

In the Hindu religion, the worship of statues was started by Narad Munee Jee.

ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੂਲੇ ਭੂਲੇ ਅਖੁਟੀ ਜਾਂਹੀ ॥
ਨਾਰਦਿ ਕਹਿਆ ਸਿ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਾਂਹੀ ॥

"The Hindus have forgotten the Primal Lord; they are going the wrong way and have forsaken the true path.  They pray according to the teachings of Narad Jee, performing idol worship." SGGSJ Ang 556

Muslims also worship a stone in Mecca. In the same way if people pray to demi-gods and goddesses nothing is gained.

ਦੇਵੀ ਦੇਵਾ ਪੂਜੀਐ ਭਾਈ ਕਿਆ ਮਾਗਉ ਕਿਆ ਦੇਹਿ ॥

"Why worship gods and goddesses, O Siblings of Destiny?

What can we ask of them? What can they give us?"

SGGSJ Ang 637

Gursikhs have permission to:

ਪੂਜਹੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੀ ਦੇਵਾ ॥
ਸਾਚਾ ਨਾਵਣੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥

"Worship the One Divine Lord.  The true cleansing bath (which will eradicate our sins) is service (seva) of the Guru." SGGSJ Ang 484

ਪੂਜਾ ਕੀਚੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਾਅਈਐ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਪੂਜ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥

"Perform worship and adoration by meditating on the Naam, the Name of the Lord;

Without Naam, there is no worship and adoration." SGGSJ Ang 489

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਜਉ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਾਵਉ ॥
ਐਸੀ ਸੇਵ ਦਰਗਹ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਉ ॥੩॥

"Worship the True Guru at all times and make Him happy.

By such service, I find peace in the Court of the Lord."

SGGSJ Ang 1158

ਜਾਗਤ ਜੋਤ ਜਪੈ ਨਿਸਬਾਸੁਰ ਏਕ ਬਿਨਾ ਮਨ ਨੈਕ ਨ ਆਨੈ ॥ ਪੂਰਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪ੍ਰਤੀਤ ਸਜੈ ਬ੍ਰਤ ਗੋਰ ਮੜੀ ਮਟ ਭੂਲ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ॥

"Pray to God - day and night do not think of any other, enshrining pure love and faith. Fasting and praying to tombstones/graves are not to be adhered to even by mistake."

In Gurmat, the Timeless One is worshiped, discourse is of the Shabad (i.e. always thinking of or remembering Gurbani) and the vision is of the Khalsa. The bride and groom should have unbounded love and harmony so that they will achieve worldly and spiritual success. A union based simply on worldly concerns cannot be called a true union.

ਧਨ ਪਿਰੁ ਏਹਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਬਹਨਿ ਇਕਠੇ ਹੋਇ ॥

"They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together."

SGGSJ Ang 788

The couple can only be regarded as being in union if:

ਏਕ ਜੋਤਿ ਦੁਇ ਮੂਰਤੀ ਧਨ ਪਿਰੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਇ ॥ ੩ ॥

"They alone are called husband and wife, who have one light in two bodies."

SGGSJ Ang 788

Compromise and decisions are to be made in the following manner:

ਦੋਹਰਾ: ਸਿਖ ਸਿਖਣੀ ਮਿਲ ਬਹਹਿੰ ਚਰਚਾ ਕਰਹਿੰ ਅਪਾਰ ॥
ਭਜਨ ਸਿਖਾਵਹਿੰ ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਭਜ ਬਾਰੰ ਬਾਰ ॥

"Sikh Husband and Wife congregate and discuss the boundless God. 

Teaching their children how to meditate by repeating His Name."

(Rehatnama Bhai Sahib Singh Jee, p.160)

ਪਉੜੀ ॥
ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਪੁਰਖੈ ਅਤਿ ਨੇਹੁ ਬਹਿ ਮੰਦੁ ਪਕਾਇਆ ॥
ਦਿਸਦਾ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਚਲਸੀ ਮੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਇਆ॥
ਕਿਉ ਰਹੀਐ ਥਿਰੁ ਜਗਿ ਕੋ ਕਢਹੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਕੀ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਥਿਰੁ ਕੰਧੁ ਸਬਾਇਆ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਬਖਸਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਅਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥ ੩੩ ॥

"The husband and wife are very much in love; sitting together, they make evil plans.  All that is seen shall pass away. This is the Will of my God.  How can anyone remain in this world forever?  What can be done to prepare for the inevitable death?  Serving the Perfect Guru, the body is purified.  Guru Jee says, the Lord merges them into Himself; whom are absorbed in the Naam." SGGSJ Ang 1250

The couple should discuss their actions with one another before doing anything.  The bride is to respect her in-laws as if they were her own parents and the bridegroom is to do the same with his in-laws maintaining their love and a good relationship.  All actions are to be discussed by the couple and they are to remain strictly in adherence with Gurmat.  Then Satguru Jee will keep all their affairs on an upward spiral.

10. Death Ceremony / Antam Sanskaar (Fifth Ceremony)

ਸਭਨਾ ਮਰਣਾ ਆਇਆ ਵੇਛੋੜਾ ਸਭਨਾਹ ॥

"Death comes to all, and all must suffer separation."

SGGSJ Ang 595

(Some of the comments below may not apply to those outside of Punjab/India. The translation is made according to the original text, thus take this into account when thinking of a funeral in other countries.)

If an Amritdharee is dying and has lived their life in accordance to the Rehat Maryada then their life has been worthwhile. But if a person is not Amritdharee or has committed a cardinal sin they should have re-taken Amrit from the Panj Pyare. Gurbani is to be continually recited by the bedside of the dying person. If the person is entangled in worldly affairs and the false love of friends/relatives is effecting him/her then the second Astpadi of Sukhmani Sahib starting with:

ਜਹ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਮੀਤ ਨ ਭਾਈ ॥…

"Where there is no mother, father, children, friends or siblings, for support …"

SGGSJ Ang 264

Is to be recited.

This is to be recited continuously and if the person is highly spiritual (i.e. meditates and has knowledge of Gurmat) then the twenty first Astpadi is to be read:

ਜਬ ਅਕਾਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਕਛੁ ਨ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟੇਤਾ ॥ …

"When this world had not yet appeared in any form …"

SGGSJ Ang 290

After the death of the person, you should not cry, wail or beat your chests in bereavement.  The person is not to be lowered from their bed, Guru Amar Das Jee said that;

ਮਤ ਮੈ ਪਿਛੈ ਕੋਈ ਰੋਵਸੀ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਭਾਇਆ ॥

"If one cries upon my death (passing), it will not be pleasing to me as they have not understood the essence of life and death" SGGSJ Ang 923

If you cry after the dead, the tears that you cry become an ocean in the after-life for the deceased, these tears blow out the light of the soul and the ‘path’ becomes shrouded in darkness. For this reason crying and wailing is prohibited.  For the good of the deceased Gurbani Nitnem is to be recited – with which the departed will be assisted in the after-world.  Gurbani kirtan is to be recited:

ਸਿਖ ਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਹੋਇ ਤੋ ਕੱਛ ਪਹਿਰਾ ਕਰ, ਇਸ਼ਨਾਨ ਕਰਾ ਕਰ, ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਜਾ ਕਰ, ਉਸ ਸਮੇਂ ਜਪੁਜੀ ਪੜਤਾ ਰਹੈ ।

"When a Sikh dies, his/her body must be bathed. His/her Kacchera must be changed and turban tied. While doing this Sri Japjee Sahib must be continuously recited."Rehatnama Bhai Deya Singh Jee, p.76

Whilst washing the deceased’s body, Japjee Sahib is to be recited at all times. When the Kashera is changed, one leg is to be removed first and then the dry, fresh Kashera put on.  The 5 Kakkar – Kirpan on gatra, Kashera, Kangha in hair, Kara on arm and a Kurta/Chola are to be put on, a turban around the head and a parna around the neck are to be put on the deceased. In addition to this a Kamarkasa/waistband is to be tied and a second fresh dry Kashera is to be tied around the waist with another cloth.  All clothes should be of good quality and well tailored.

After performing Ardas the body is to be taken to the funeral pyre/crematorium. For the respect of Gurbani the head of the deceased is to be placed towards the Ragees and his/her feet in the opposite direction, the feet are not to be placed in the direction of those reading Gurbani. If Ragee Singhs cannot be booked then "Satnam – Vaaheguroo" is to be recited aloud along the way.

On the way to the pyre, the body is not to be put on the floor, a water pitcher is not to be broken, there is to be no crying/wailing, spilling of water, bowing down and the breaking of a piece of kitchen-wear etc are all prohibited.  If there is a Gurdwara on the way, then the body can be placed on the floor outside the Gurdwara, so a final salutation to the Guru can be made.

The pyre is to be made of wood, which shouldn’t have been used to move cow-dung; i.e. fresh wood is used.  If possible sandalwood and ghee/pure butter are to be placed on the pyre. After placing the deceased on the pyre, one Singh is to recite Japjee Sahib whilst facing the head of the deceased. The others are to prepare the pyre and listen to the prayer.  When the pyre is ready and Japjee Sahib completed, Ardas is to be performed:

"Oh True King bless this person, forgive all the sins that they have committed in their life.  Bless the deceased with abode in your blessed feet, give strength to the family to accept your will, give us permission to set the pyre alight."

The pyre is then lit. Screaming and wailing is not allowed and matches are not to be set alight and needlessly thrown.  Satnam Vaaheguroo or Kirtan is to be continuously recited. When the pyre is half burnt Kirtan Sohela is to be recited and Ardas performed.  The skull of the burning body is not to be cracked open.

Upon returning from the cremation, all should go straight to the Gurdwara and have Ishnaan. If this is not possible, then the hands, feet and face should be washed.

Karah Parshad is to be prepared and brought into the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, after which Shabads about death are to be recited.  Ardas is to be performed and Karah Parshad distributed. Reciting Gurbani on behalf of the deceased is essential.  If possible, a Sehaj Paath is to be started on the day of the cremationIn the Western world cremations may take place many days after the person has died, thus a Sehaj Paath/Akhand Paath Bhog may not take place 10 days after the death of the person.  The cremation must take place, before the Bhog of the Paath.. If one has the capability of organising an Akhand Paath, then it is to be started on the eighth day after the cremation and the Bhog on the tenth day, after which Ramkali Sadh is recited, Ardas performed and Karah Parshad distributed. During the making or preparation of the Karah Parshad, all forty verses of the Anand Sahib are to be recited (as is normal).

Superstitions about doing something on the twelfth, thirteenth or seventeenth day after the cremation are not to be performed. The Khalsa is supreme, therefore doing something on the tenth day is in accordance with the Guru’s command.

Women are not to cry and wail. They should accept God’s will.  All the family of the deceased should sit and listen to the Paath.  The family is to serve the Granthis to the best of their abilities. At the time of the Bhog, good clothing and money is to be presented as an offering infront of Guru Sahib Jee. 

After the second day, Jaitsari di Var (two Saloks daily) and Sahskriti (six Saloks daily) should be recited and the meanings explained each morning. If there is no one available to make these discourses, then the whole of ‘Jaitsari di Var’ and ‘Sahskriti’ is to be read on the day of the person’s death. If the person died somewhere else, all of ‘Jaitsari di Var,’ ‘Vadhans di Var’ and ‘Sahskriti Salok’s’ are to be recited after collecting up the ashes. The tenth Guru, the Father of the Khalsa, made this a rite of the Khalsa, enshrining it into the Rehat.

The ashes are to be collected as they are and are not to be foiled with.  The tying of strings, placing nails in soil etc are prohibited (superstitions).  Kirpan and Kara are not to be picked out of the ashes, the ashes are to be collected as they are. All the ashes (and bones) are to be collected and taken to either Kiratpur Sahib or Goindval Sahib and scattered in the river.  If this is not possible, then they can be scattered in any nearby flowing river. The ashes are not to be placed in the Ganges and a shrine/memorial stone is not to be made.

11. Respecting Gurbani

ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣਂੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣਂੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥
ਗੁਰੁ ਬਾਣਂੀ ਕਹੈ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਪਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਿਸਤਾਰੇ॥

"The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani. Within the Bani all the Ambrosial Nectar is contained.  If His humble servant believes, and acts according to the Words of the Guru's Bani, then the Guru, in person, emancipates him." SGGSJ Ang 982

ਜਿਨ ਭੈ ਅਦਬ ਨ ਬਾਨੀ ਧਾਰਾ । ਜਾਨਹੁ ਸੋ ਸਿਖ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੨੦॥

"That person who does not respect and fear Gurbani is not a Sikh."

Gurpartap Suraj Granth

At Sri Anandpur Sahib, a Singh was reading Gurbani slightly wrong and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Jee said, "Oh Singh! You are breaking my limbs."  This is why Guru Sahib Jee taught and explained all the meanings and correct discourses of Gurbani to a number of Singhs. The chosen Singh’s would then pass on this knowledge, understanding and correct pronunciation of Gurbani to all. 

ਸਿੱਖਹੁ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਸੀਖ ਇਹੁ ਮੇਰੀ । ਬਾਨੀ ਪਢਹੁ ਸ਼ੁੱਧ ਗੁਰ ਕੇਰੀ ।
ਪਢੈ ਮਹਾਤਮ ਲਹੈ ਬਿਸਾਲ । ਹਲਤਿ ਪਲਤਿ ਮਂਿਂਹ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥੨੮॥

"Oh Sikhs, listen to this teaching - recite Gurbani correctly (i.e. pronounce it correctly).  Read it and obtain many pleasures, herein and thereafter."

Satguru Jee gave the utmost respect to Gurbani in all his ten forms. In the same way, we should also strive to show the same respect. In order to do this, the following should be adhered to:

  • No one should seat themselves upon Guru Jee’s throne without having bathed or washing their feet.  Nor should they do so whilst wearing socks or gloves.
  • A person who has had sex or a nightly emission should have a full Ishnaan (from head to toe, including washing hair), wash his/her clothes, then recite Japjee Sahib and then do an Ardas. Then he/she is ready to go and sit behind Guru Jee’s throne.
  • Some ignorant people, under the influence of bad company they keep, masturbate. This leads to problems with ejaculation and is a sin, therefore masturbation should never be performed.
  • If your hands have touched your, or someone else’s, feet, face, Kashera or if they are wet or dirty, then they must not to be placed on Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Pothis (volumes of Granths) or Gutka sahibs (collections of bani’s).
  • Whilst in Guru Jee’s HazooriUpon the Throne of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, in Guru Jee’s presence/seva nothing is to be eaten or placed in the mouth, i.e. sweets or cardamom.
  • A Singh/Singhni sitting in Guru Jee’s Hazoori is not to sit on any form of cushion. He/she is not to put his feet under the Manjee Sahib (Guru’s Sahib’s platform/throne) or lean against it in any way. He/she is to sit cross-legged without leaning on anything.
  • You must never put your feet in the direction of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.

Maharaj is never to be placed in a closet or cupboard, on the contrary, Guru Sahib must be placed on a nicely decorated throne in a well-ventilated room. Clothing appropriate to the season is to be placed upon the throne of Guru Jee.  In the summer, thin clothing and in winter, warm clothing i.e. a thick blanket/duvet must be used.  If Maharaj is kept in a palki then a small canopy is to be hung inside the palki and a larger one over the top of the palki.  The canopy is placed as a mark of respect for Satguru Jee who is the Master of all beings.  The spread that is placed under the palki and Manjee SahibThis is bed-like stand upon which Guru Jee is placed directly upon is to be of better quality, and separate, to that of the Granthi Singh.  The Manjee Sahib is to be well built and attractive in appearance. 

Whenever Satguru Jee is brought somewhere, the Sangat are to remove their shoes and perform Kirtan.  When Satguru Jee passes you are to rise and clasp you hands together as a mark of respect and are to humbly bow.  For as long as you can see Satguru Jee, you are to remain standing with both hands clasped.

Whilst Satguru Jee is on the move, five Singhs are to accompany him at all times and they are to remain bare-footed.  One Singh is to do Chaur Sahib Seva whilst one is to go ahead of Satguru Jee and sprinkle water. In order to make the Sangat aware that Satguru Jee is coming in their direction, gongs or other appropriate instruments are to be played.

When doing Paath from a Pothi or Gutka you should sit on a clean cloth placed on the floor.  If there is a settee/bed or other furniture on a higher platform that you can sit on, then you should sit upon this furniture to recite Paath.  Whilst sitting on the bed of another, Gurbani is not to be recited sitting directly behind them (i.e. with their back to you).  You are not to recite Gurbani sitting on the floor when someone is sitting on a higher platform than yourself (at home) or facing the side of the bed where your feet are placed at night. When reciting Gurbani, you are to face your pillow or the place where your head rests for sleep.

A person who gives Santhia (teaches how to correctly pronounce Gurbani) should not sit on a pillow or on a higher platform than those being taught. Pothi’s of Gurbani, Gutka Sahibs, Sri Dasam Granth Gurbani, Bhai Gurdas Jee’s writings are all to be given the utmost respect and care, this includes any other writings about Gurmat or those which contain Gurbani.  Normal books are not to be stored along with scriptures of Gurbani.  A Gutka is not to be used whilst having your head uncovered and/or with your shoes on.  A bookmark or any form of sign is not to be kept in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.  Gutkas and Pothis of Gurbani are to be stored in a nice place, high up, towards which your feet will not be facing and where your back will not be turned against.  Rumala’s with images/pictures on them are not to be placed upon Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.  Expensive, beautiful and clean Rumalas are to be offered to Guru Sahib.  In the presence of Guru Sahib a candle of paraffin/white spirit is not to be lit.

When listening to Gurbani from a radio, cassette player (or CD/video etc) the audio-visual aid is to be placed on a higher platform than the person listening to it, as a mark of respect to the Gurbani being listened to.  Newspapers, magazines, books etc in which Gurbani may be written are not to be thrown away or allowed to fly around on the ground – after use, they should be burnt. 

When going to sit in the Hazoori of Guru Sahib, clothing that was worn when going to the toilet is not to be worn (until washed again).  After going to the toilet, the hands are to be washed 5 times with soap, soil, sand or ashes.  Dishes are to be cleaned with sand or soil and are not to only be cleaned with washing up powderThis is relevant when washing steel or Sarab Loh utensils, as these cannot be effectively cleaned unless sand/soil is used. (as used in India).  Brushing your teeth daily is essential.  After passing water, it is essential to wash your hands. 

Weapons are to be shown utmost respect. They are not to be kept in a place towards which your feet will face. 

ਜਾਗਤ ਜੋਤ ਜਪੈ ਨਿਸਬਾਸੁਰ ਏਕ ਬਿਨਾ ਮਨ ਨੈਕ ਨ ਆਨੈ ॥
ਪੂਰਨ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪ੍ਰਤੀਤ ਸਜੈ ਬ੍ਰਤ ਗੋਰ ਮੜੀ ਮਟ ਭੂਲ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ॥
ਤੀਰਥ ਦਾਨ ਦਇਆ ਤਪ ਸੰਜਮ ਏਕ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਹ ਏਕ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥
ਪੂਰਨ ਜੋਤ ਜਗੈ ਘਟ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਖਾਲਸ ਤਾਹਿ ਨਖਾਲਸ ਜਾਨੈ ॥

"Praying day and night thinking of no other (than the One Lord), enshrine pure love and faith. Fasting and praying to tombstones/graves are not to be adhered to even by mistake.  Being charitable at places of pilgrimage, being compassionate, entering rituals of throwing things into a fire and being very superstitious about what one eats, are all of no avail if one is not recognising the One Lord.  A Khalsa is one, whom has the love and light of God in one’s heart, others are impure." Dasam Ang 212

Parshad from a tomb of a saint, grave or serpent god/demi-gods is not to be eaten.

ਜਹਾਂ ਤਹਾਂ ਕਾ ਖਾਇ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਸੋ ਸਿਖ ਨਾਹੀ ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ॥

"He/She that eats Parshad from such a place is not a Sikh."

In the same way no one is to be bowed to or believed in as your Guru other than Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. No faith/belief is to be placed in your ancestors. In your homes, dirty photos/posters are not to be put up, rather photos of warriors, saints and the Satgurus are to be put up but your feet are not to be put in their direction. In Gurdwaras or at home, no photo is to be placed in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. For an Amritdharee Singh it is essential that he addresses another Amritdharee Singh/Singhni using their full name.  A person who calls another by half their name or a nickname is punishable (full names should be printed on wedding cards):

ਆਗੈ ਆਵਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ ਬੁਲਾਵੈ ॥

"When a Sikh meets another Sikh, they are to welcome one another by saying,

Vaaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh!"

A floor covering of animal dung, clay and hay (as is common in India) is never to be used where Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee is to reside. Nor should it be placed in a room where the floor coverings have been made of these sorts of materials. Amritdharee women are not to go to ‘Theean’ – a ladies festival which is held on each Sunday of the Bikrami month of Savan and they are not to clap/dance, do Gidda etc (performing seva on a monthly basis is merely superstition and not due to respect of the Guru). Women should not sit in the Guru’s Hazoori or do Chaur Sahib when they are menstruating.

The Khalsa should keep away from people who sit on cushions or high platforms, or get people to bow to them in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, or  exorcise ghosts.

Khalsa Jee!  Out of ones honest earned livings, giving one tenth in charity is essential, as is giving a tenth of our time to the service of Guru Sahib. Out of every twenty four hours, two and a half hours should be spent on meditation, performing and/or listening to Gurbani. The names of the ten Guru Sahibs, Panj Pyare, four Sahibzade (princes of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee) and five Takhats are to be memorised.

12. Summary of the Rehat of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Akhand Paath & Sehaj Paath

To take Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee from one place to another there are to be a minimum of 5 Singhs present with Guru Jee. A gong or other relevant instruments are to be played to make others aware of Guru Jee’s arrival.  Water is to be sprinkled in front of Guru Sahib.  If you are taking Guru Sahib in a car/vehicle, then the container of water is to be placed in the car.

Where Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee is present and Karah Parshad is to be prepared, the floor covering must not be made of inappropriate materials (e.g. in India, animal dung mixed with clay and hay is sometimes spread on a dirt floor to stop dust from flying around).

Once a suitable room is selected, the floor, walls and ceilings should be broomed, cleaned or washed as appropriate. Where Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee is ParkashParkash = Present, a beautiful canopy is to be placed over Guru Jee.  If Guru Jee is Parkash in a Palki, then there should be a small canopy in the Palki and in turn a larger one is to be hung over the Palki.

12.1. Sehaj Paath

At the start/Arambh and end/Bhog of Sehaj Paath, Karah Parshad made of clarified (un salted) butter/ghee is to be made. At the start of the Paath, the Ardas and Hukamnama must be recited followed by a minimum of five verses of Sri Japjee Sahib, before distributing Karah Parshad. Upon completion of the Sehaj Paath, fives verses of Sri Japjee Sahib and the last Salok are to be recited after the Raag Mala, and then the Ardas is performed.

When the person performing Ardas says,

ਕਰੀ ਪਾਕਸਾਲ ਸੋਚ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਹੁਣਿ ਲਾਵਹੁ ਭੋਗੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਏੇ ॥ ੨ ॥

"Food has been prepared with purity, please do Bhog to the food and bless it Lord." SGGSJ Ang 1266

Upon hearing this verse, the blade of the Kirpan is simultaneously ‘placed’ into the Parshad and out.  In this manner the Karah Parshad is blessed by the Kirpan, a weapon which is also accepted as a form of the Guru.  When placing the offered Rumalas over Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, the following is not to be recited,

ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਟੋਲਾ ਤੈ ਸਹਿ ਦਿਤਾ ਢਕਣ ਕੂ ਪਤਿ ਮੇਰੀ ॥

"Oh Lord, you have given me this gift of love (silk cloth) to cover my faults and keep my status." SGGSJ Ang 520

This Shabad can only to be recited when a {tooltip}Siropa{end-texte}This is the highest award given in Sikhi to somebody for some special fete of meditation or seva.  It is usually a turban, the length of which signifies the Guru blessing you from head to toe and covering your faults is given to a person.

12.2. Sri Akhand Paath

An Akhand Paath is to be started by performing an Ardas and reciting a Hukamnama. After this the Granthi Singh is to immediately begin the Paath, there must not be any interruptions, breaks or request for permission from the Sangat nor should the Granthi utter the Fateh. The Karah Parshad is to be distributed only after the completion of Sri Japjee Sahib.

At the start of "Jaitsari Dee Var" is Madh Bhog (halfway point of Sri Akhand Paath). Ardas is to be performed at this point as well, to mark the passing of half of the Akhand Paath, but the Paath remains continuous.  Once the Raagmala and complete Japjee Sahib have been recited at the Bhog (completion) of Sri Akhand Paath, a Jakara is not to be sounded and nor is the Fateh to be said.  The Ardas is to begin immediately. Fateh is only to be announced after the Hukamnama has been read. Shabad Kirtan or discourses on Gurmat are to be conducted. If Shabads of Arti are recited then candles/lamps are not to be lit and waved around.

Along side the Sri Akhand Paath, Sri Japjee Sahib must be continuously recited. Over the container of water, a coconut wrapped in white or saffron (not red) cloth is to be placed. Red string is not to be tied around the coconut or container. In order to create a pleasant atmosphere, incense sticks (air-fresheners, fragrances etc) should be used. At night time, there should be additional lighting provisions in case the light bulbs or electricity fails. Ghee lamps can be used, but those which use paraffin, white spirit or gas, should not be used in the same room as the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. None of the Paathis are to be non-Amritdharee or those that have committed any of the cardinal sins (without having re-taken Amrit).

The Paathi Singhs are to wear clean clothing and must bathe before starting on their Paath seva. The Akhand Paath should be completed in approximately 48 hours. The Granthi Singh is to be Amritdharee, passionate about Sikhi, perform Nitnem, meditation and have high levels of Gurmat knowledge.

Any financial and other offerings to the Paathis, should be of a reasonable level, enough to provide a respectable living. If the family listen to the Paath with ‘love’ and carry out seva themselves, and the Paathi Singhs are passionate and pronounce the Paath correctly, then the rewards are endless:

ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿਕ ਜਗ ਫਲਾ ਸੁਣਿ ਗਾਵਨਹਾਰੇ ਰਾਮ ॥

"Reading and listening to Gurbani has the reward of many ages."

SGGSJ Ang 546

ਕੋਟਿ ਪੁੰਨ ਸੁਣਿ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥

"Listening to Gurbani has the same merit as thousands of good actions."

SGGSJ Ang 238

13. Raagmala

The spiritual light of the 10 Guru Sahibs is enshrined within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee and thus the commandments of Gurbani are to be adhered to.  Gurbani is to be accepted as the Guru.

Raagmala was authored by Guru Jee, first Sri Guru Arjan Dev Jee Maharaj got Bhai Gurdas Jee to write an edition of Aad Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee – in which Raagmala is present, it is written in the same ink, on the same quality paper and in the same handwriting as the rest of the Gurbani, this edition is now at Sri Kartarpur Sahib (Doaba).  Bhai Bano Jee copied that edition, which also includes Raagmala.  Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee Maharaj at Takhat Damdama Sahib got Bhai Mani Singh Jee to be scribe, Guru Jee dictated the whole of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee in which Raagmala is present, it is also present in the 4 editions written by Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Jee.  Those that argue the poet Jodh wrote Raagmala in ‘Madavanal Kamkandla’ or that the poet Alam wrote it, in actual fact are mistaken.  The poet Jodh wrote ‘Madavanal Kamkandla’ in Sanskrit in the Hijra year 991 (Muslim calendar), which is 1640 Bikrami in which Raagmala is not present.  The poet Aalam was one of Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee’s 52 poets, he lived from 1712 Bikrami to 1774 Bikrami.  He wrote the Raagmala according to what he heard spoken in the court of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee.  The poet Aalam lived 113 years after the first edition of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee was compiled – how do some argue that he wrote Raagmala 113 years before the first edition?  From this it is clear that Guru Sahib wrote Raagmala.  Bhai Sahib Bhai Vir Singh Jee in Sri Gur Partap Suraj Granth from 2128 Ang to 2133 Ang in detail explains why Raagmala was authored by Guru Jee. If one were to read Giani Sahib Singh’s (Dhamdan Sahib) detailed discourse about the authenticity of Raagmala no confusion and doubt would be left and one would surely be convinced that Raagmala was written by Guru Jee and that it is Gurbani.  There is also a small book called "Raagmala Gurbani Hai", published by Damdami Taksal, which details the spiritual meaning of Raagmala and has arguments for any point that has ever been raised against Raagmala’s authenticity.  For these reasons each and every Gursikh should accept Raagmala as Gurbani without any doubts.

FINAL NOTE: Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee – the Tenth Father at Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib (Guru Ki Kanshi) from 1762 Katak Sudhi Puranmashi ‘til 1763 Bikrami 23 Savan, for 9 months and 9 days dictated the whole of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee to Bhai Mani Singh Jee from memory.  Baba Deep Singh Jee and Bhai Mani Singh Jee along with another 48 Singhs were taught by Guru Jee the correct meaning and pronunciations of Gurbani and blessed them with the knowledge of God (Brahm Gyan). 

Guru Sahib then went to Sri Hazoor Sahib and blessed Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee with the Gurgaddi, throning them as the Guru.  Bhai Mani Singh Jee was sent to Amritsar upon getting there, he started the Taksal of teaching the correct meanings and pronunciations of Gurbani, Baba Deep Singh doing the same but at Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib.  Both these Taksals have been operating under the leadership of Brahm Gyanis (Blessed souls with the knowledge of God).  For these reasons the Code of Conduct narrated in this booklet is to be maintained and the commands of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee are to be accepted to make our lives worthwhile.

A more detailed version of the Code of Conduct can be found in "Gurbani Paath Darpan" and "Khalsa Jeevan".

Vaaheguroo Jee Ka Khalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee Kee Fateh.

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