Sacred Literature & Sikh Studies

Give a glossary of Sikh terms.

Aad Granth : Aad means “without end”, Aad Granth was the name given by Guru Arjun Dev ji to the Granth compiled by him in 1604 (CE) It comprised of the compositions of his own and the predecessor Gurus as also other men-of-god.

Ahankaar : Hankar. I-am-ness; egohood; Haumai.

Akaal : Beyond the limits and influence of time; beyond death; immortal.

Akaal Purkh : It means One Who is beyond the limits and influence of time. It is used as a name for God (Waheguru).

Akhand Paatth : An uninterrupted, continuous recitation of the entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib performed by a team of readers called the Pathis. It takes approximately 72 hours. There should be no special sanctity attached to performance of Akhand Path vis-a-vis Sahaj Path.

Amrit : The nectar; the drink of immortality. It refer to the sanctified water used in the Sikh Initiation ceremony. It is prepared by stirring it in an iron bowl with the double-edged sword and continuous recitation of five bani’s by the five selected members of the Khalsa.

Amrit Bani : A term applied to the Sikh Scriptures, meaning the words that are as sweet and immortalizing as nectar (Amrit)

Amrit Chhakna : Literally, to taste the Amrit ; to take the Sikh initiation of the double-edged sword (i.e. Khande Bate da Amrit). After this the initiate is keep observe the Rehat Maryada. Any five Singhs can initiate, in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, the others to the order of the Khalsa

Amrit Vela (Ambrosial Hour) : The ambrosial time, the morning hours before dawn. This is considered the most suited time for meditating on Naam.

Amritdhari : A Sikh who has partaken Amrit and thus has been formally initiated into the Khalsa Panth.

Amrit Sanchaar : The initiation of a person or persons into the Khalsa Panth. A Sikh when initiated becomes Khalsa. This is done by the Panj Piaré (the five beloved ones, i.e. the five Singhs chosen for the purpose), in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Anand : (1) A state of bliss which is beyond description; (2) The name of a composition (Anand Sahib) by Guru Amar Das ji, the third Nanak.

Anand Kaaraj : The Sikh wedding ceremony. This ceremony takes place in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. The couple to be married present themselves before Sri Guru Granth Sahib and in the presence of the congregation (Sangat) take four rounds ( Laavaa’n ) around Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji to the accompaniment of the singing of the four stanzas (know as Laavaa’n), composed by Sri Guru Raam Daas Ji.

Anand Sahib : A long composition by Sri Guru Amar Das ji, the third Guru Nanak contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji from page to. It is comprised of 40 stanzas. Six stanzas (the first five and last one)of this bani are recited before the congregation .

Anbhav Prakaash : The experience of the existence and presence of God, when one is at the wish divine feelings. The enlightened perception of reality which is enjoyed by a person who has become a Gurmukh.

Antim Ardaas: The prayer performed as the last of the funeral rites of the Sikhs.

Artha : Literally means Wealth. A Sikh may acquire wealth by honest means, but the acquisition of wealth should not become the sole purpose of his life.

Aasa Ki Vaar : Baani (prayer) which is sung at dawn. It is sung in a special way (Us Raja Dhun).

Aatma : It is the principle of life, feeling, thought and action in man, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body. It is spiritual part of man which is immortal. The inner man or one’s spiritual being, the soul. The aatma is a part of Parmaatma (God) and is considered immortal like him.

Avtaar : Literally ‘Descent’. According to Hinduism, an incarnation of a deity, usually of the Hindu God Vishnu. According to Sikh philosophy, God is sans birth and sans death. He is neither born nor dies. Therefore, Sikhism does not recognize the avtaarvaad.

Baabar Vaani : (That is the utterances concerning Babar) comprises some verses of Sri Guru Nanak Dev, recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (0n pages 360,417-18,722-23) in which the Guru refers to the invasion of India by the Moghul emperor Babar. In the eyes of Guru Nanak, Babar’s army was a marriage party of the sin (Pap Ki Janj). During thios invasion, not even the ladies and the nobles were spared dishonour. For the first time, in the history of Indian Literature, Guru Nanak rises, in these verses, the word Hindustan (India).

An eye witness to the atrocities suffered by the people, Guru Nanak was so much pained that he poured out:

Death disguised as the Moghul invaded us,
There was slaughter and lamentation all around;
Did thou, O Lord, not feel the pain?

Guru Nanak himself had to undergo imprisonment for his voicing protest against Babar.

Barah-maha : A twelve month; Compositions about the twelve months of a year by Guru Arjan dev ji in Raag Maajh, by Guru Nanak in Raag Tukhari.

Baani : This word is applied to the utterances and writings of the Gurus and the Bhagats which recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It is thus, an abbreviated form of Gurbani or Bhagat Bani

Benti : An humble prayer or earnest entreaty; an appeal for assistance; a supplication.

Bhagat Baani : The compositions of the Bhagats included by Sri Guru Arjun Dev, in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Bhog : Conclusion of the reading of Guru Granth Sahib, generally followed by recitation of Gurbani and always followed by the ardaas. The conclusion of a Sikh congregation.

Bole So Nihaal : The first Part of the Sikh war-cry meaning “anyone who speaks will be happy.” The second part of this war-cry is ‘Sat-Sri- Akal’ (God is True).

Buddha Dal: The ‘army of the veterans’ formed by Nawab Kapur Singh in 1733 to look after the Sikh holy places, to preach Sikh tenets and to initiate new converts to the Khalsa order.

Chandoa : The canopy which is hung above Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Chau-pada : A poetical composition consisting of four stanzas.

Charan Pahul : Initiation ceremony involving the drinking of water which the Guru had dipped their feet in. This was carried out earlier till Sri Guru Gobind singh ji changed it into “Khande Bate Da Amrit”.

Chaupai : A four line stanza form used by some of the Gurus, also “Benti Chaupai” is a name of a prayer written by the 10th Guru.

Chaur : Yak hair or Man-made fiber embedded in a metal placed in a wooden handle. It is ceremonially waved over Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as a symbol of respect.

Chela : A disciple of the guru.

Chola : Clothing of the Guru Sahibs and also traditional dress (long baggy shirt) worn by Sikhs. Also applied to the coverings of the Nishan Sahib at a Gurudwara and the dress of the Nihangs.

Daswandh : The giving of one-tenth of one’s income in charity.

Dhadi : A minstrel. The traditional singer who used to sing in the praise of the Sikh Guru and recount the heroic deeds of the Sikhs.

Dharam Yudh : A holy struggle (or war) undertaken as a sacred duty in the defence of righteousness, or the cause of religion or a way of life.

Diwali : The Hindu festival lights. It is also celebrated by the majority of Sikhs as an opportunity to gather together for discussing Panthic matters and enjoying the Guru’s blessings. From the time of Guru Amar Das the Sikhs gathered every year on this day. The release of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, the Sixth Guru, from the Gwalior Jail with 52 political prisoners is also celebrated on this day.

Diwaan : Congregational worship where Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is also present.

Doha : A verse form used commonly by Guru Nanak Dev ji and Bhagat Kabir ji. It consists of stanzas of two rhyming lines.

Five Vices (Panj Chor) : Kaam (lust), Krodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment) and Ahankaar (pride).

Forty Immortals ( Chaalee Mukte) : Forty Sikhs who died in the battle of Muktsar in 1762 and were blessed by Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji.

Gaddi : The seat or throne of guruship.

Gatka : The Sikh martial art.

Giani : One who possesses knowledge (gain). A person of spiritual knowledge. A university degree in Panjabi Language; also the person who has attained this degree.

Granthi : A trained reader of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. It may be a man or women, but has to be an Amritdhari. The functionary incharge of a Gurdwara.

Grihst : The Sikh ideal that requires that one should lead a married life. Have a family, earn ones living by honest socially useful employment, serve ones fellow human beings and worship the one wonderful God (Waheguru).

Grihsti : One who follows the Sikh ideal of Grihasth.

Gurbaani : The writings of the Sikh Guru recorded in Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru : (Skt. Venerable, weighty) A preceptor, giving religious instructions, a spiritual guide. Guru is an epithet used for the founder of Sikhism, Sri Guru Nanak Dev, and his nine successors. In Sikh scriptures and literature, ‘the word Guru’ does not always refer to a human being. According to the context, it is also used for God, the Guru’s word, the Holy Granth Sahib and the Panth.

Gurdwara : Literally, the religious place of the Sikhs. Which generally is also the centre of the social activity. It means ‘the Gateway to the Guru’.

Gurmat : A general term for Sikhism, including the teachings of the Gurus, as well as the Rehat Maryada. The Sikh code of conduct.

Gurmatta : A resolution passed in a council presided over by the Guru or the advice of the Guru.

Gurmukh : The person who keeps the Guru before self and every thing else and thereby he becomes God-oriented and God-filled. It is opposite of manmukh.

Gurmukhi : The script in which Punjabi language is written. This is the script used in the Sikh scriptures. It was propagated by Guru Nanak and Guru Angad

Gursikh : Someone who is deeply and sincerely devoted to and follows the teachings of the Guru; a true Sikh or follower of the Guru.

Gurpurb : The celebration of the anniversary of the birth (Parkash) or death (Jyoti Jot samana) of a Guru. And also the anniversary of the installation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib in 1604 and the death anniversaries of the sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji : The eternal (word) Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh bestowed the Guruship on Sri Guru Granth Sahib and thus stopped the practice of the human gurus in Sikhism.

Gutka : A small book containing the daily prayers of the Sikhs. It may contain only one prayer, all the five daily prayers and also some additional bani’s from Guru Granth Sahib.

Hankaar : Pride, it is one of the five weaknesses of human beings. (see Panj vikar)

Haumai : The sense of selfhood, I-am–ness; egohood; self consciousness or the sense of individuality in man. It is sense of self as filled against the universal soul. It is the tendency of isolating the human soul that leads it to regard as independent of the universal soul. When haumai is effaced, the soul merges into the Supreme Soul. This sense of I-am-ness is the wall or pall of falsehood which is the malady which puts impediments in the path of development of the human soul. It is main cause of separation of human soul from its creator. Guru Amar Das says “The wife and the husband live together at the same place but between them there stands the strong wall of ego.

Hola Mohalla : Annual spring gathering of the Sikhs at Anandpur Sahib for contests, in sports and Sikh martial art, and warfare. This annual celebration was initiated by Guru Gobind Singh in 1680 as a substitute for the holi festival of the Hindus.

Hukam : The ordered will of God

Hukam-nama : A decree issued by the Gurus or the Sikh religio-social authorities concerning the Sikh community. (Also see Gurmatta)

Ik Oankaar : The first word in Guru Granth Sahib, and the first word of the Mool Mantar meaning Their is Only One Universal Creator God.

Jaap Sahib : A composition of Guru Gobind Singh. It is read by Sikhs as part of their daily morning prayers.

Janam Saakhi : A bibliographic account of the live of Guru Nanak, or other Gurus

Japji Sahib : Bani written by Guru Nanak Dev ji which forms part of daily prayer in the morning .

Jathedaar : The leader of a jatha group of Sikhs; a leader organizer of the Shiromani Akali Dal, wrongly applied to the appointed head of one of the five Sikh Takhts.

Jhatka/ Jhatka Meat : An Indian Rajput (a Hindu caste of soldiers & kings) tradition of slaughtering an animal with one stroke.

Jeevan Mukti : The Sikh belief that a person may achieve spiritual liberation (unity with God) during their lifetime and not necessarily only on their death.

Kachha, Kachhera : Special kind of knee-long underwear. One of the five kakaars that an Amritdhari Sikh must wear. It is a symbol of self control.

Kakaar : The five articles of faith, the name of which begin with the Gurmukhi letter (kakkar) which resembles in sound to the Roman letter ‘K’. that an Amritdhari Sikh must wear. These are Kesh (unshorn hair) covered with keski (turban), Kirpaan (strapped sword), Kara (iron bangle), Kangha (the comb) and Kachhera (knee-length breeches).

Kalyug, Kaljug : An age in which righteousness and godliness is forgotten; the iron age.

Kaam : Lust, one of the five weaknesses. (See five vices)

Kangha : The wooden comb, one of the five kakaars that every member of the Khalsa must wear. It represents hygiene and discipline.

Kara, Karha : Iron bracelet, one of the five kakaars that every member of the Khalsa must wear. It is a symbol of restraint and remembrance of God.

Karhaah Parshaad : A standard sweet pudding like dish served at the conclusion of the religious congregations held in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. It is as sacramental food given in equal measure to all the members of the congregation.

Karma, Karam : Action, and also the reward or punishment of any action done by man which is given by God’s order according to merit of the action, God may give it or withhold it.

Kaur : The mandatory last name for a Khalsa / Sikh female. Literally meaning: Prince, however commonly explained as “Princess”. It is used for Sikh females to remind them that they have been bestowed with royalty, grace and dignity.

Kaar Seva : The term is used to describe any voluntary work carried out for religious purposes

Karta Purkh : The Creator of the universe. Who himself pervades its creation, a name of describing God (Waheguru).

Kathaa : An detailed expression of Gurbani as enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib or the writing of Bhai Gurdas or one of the major books of Sikh history.

Kesh : The uncut hair which is maintained and respected. It is a symbol of spirituality and accepting God’s Will.

Keshdhari : The Sikh who do not cut hair, may or may not be Amritdharis.

Keski : A short turban, worn between the turban and the hair by Sikhs.

Khalsa : Literally: “The personal property of a King”. Khalsa is the name Guru Gobind Singh gave to the Sikhs after having administered Khande ki Pahul (Amrit) for the first time at Vaisakhi day, the 29th March 1699.

Khande Ki Pahul : The ceremony introduced by Guru Gobind Singh in place of Charanpahul. In it a double-edged sword is used for preparing Amrit to be dispensed to the person to be initiated.

Kirpaan (Sword) : One of the five kakaars that every member of the Khalsa must wear. It is a symbol of fight against injustice and religious oppression.

Kirtan : Musical rendering of Gurbani, preferrably according to the Raag indicated there on, it is never to be sung to the tunes of film melodies or pop songs.

Kirtan Darbar : An elaborate performance of Kirtan by different Kirtani Jatha’s.

Kirtani Jatha’s : A group of professional and musicians and singers who sing hymns from the sacred scriptures of the Sikhs.

Krodh : Anger, one of the five weaknesses.

Kurehats : The 4 cardinal sins for the Sikhs. These are: Dishonouring the hair (trimming, waxing, cutting, dyeing or removal of hair from one’s body), using tobacco or any other intoxicant in any form; eating Kuthha (slaughtered animal), and engaging in an intimate relationship outside wedlock.

Kuttha : Slaughtered or butchered animal (viz. meat and allied products). ‘Eating Kuttha’ is one of the four main transgressions that leads to apostasy which can only be forgiven through appearing before the Panj Piyaare an re-taking Amrit.

Langar (Community Kitchen) : It is the charitable distribution of food. It was introduced by Guru Nanak Dev and every Sikh is expected to contribute towards it.

Maaghi : Sikh festival held every year on 14th January to celebrate the memory of the martyrdom of the Forty Immortals who died fighting in the in battle at Muktsar.

Mehla, Mahala : Each of the six Gurus whose compositions have been included in Sri Guru Granth Sahib has used the word ‘Nanak’ as his pen name. The word Mehla has been used to specify the author of the composition following it. Thus, Mehla 1 stands for Guru Nanak Dev, Mehla 2 indicates Guru Angad Sahib and Mehla 3 means Guru Amar Das.

Mahant : The corrupt officials who had control of the Gurdwaras prior to the establishment of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1925. the Sikhs had to launch a long struggle against them during Gurdwara Sudhaar Lehar to free the Gurdwaras from under their control.

Manji Sahib : The small cot or bed upon which Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is placed as a symbol of its sovereignty. Even some of the Gurdwaras have been named as Manji Sahib.

Manmukh : A person who is under the influence of ego, keeps his self or his own man (mind) before him in relation to all other things including the Guru. He is therefore, self willed and self-cantered person and has forgotten God, the opposite of a Gurmukh.

Matha Tekna : Bowing down and touching the floor with one’s forehead in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as a sign of reverence and veneration.

Maya : The illusion of the reality of sensory expressions and the feeling of being wrapped up in the material world and being attached to it

Mela : Any Sikh religious festival other than the celebration of the birth or the death anniversary of the Guru Sahiban.

Miri and Piri : The concept of spiritual and worldly sovereignty. Sikhs are expected to maintain the balance between the two. This idea was announced by Guru Hargobind Sahib, when at the time of his ascension to the Gur-Gaddi, he wore two swords symbolizing Miri and Piri.

Misl : A combination of Sikh leaders in the eighteenth century for the purpose of defence and for the occupation of territories. A group of Sikhs headed by Jathedaar in the eighteenth century. There were 12 Misls, each headed by a Jathedaar. They were often fighting with each other. Maharaja Ranjit Singh united all the Misls.

Moh : Attachment, one of the five weaknesses.

Mukti : Spiritual liberation from the cycles of birth and death.

Mool Mantar : The opening lines of the Guru Granth Sahib: “à©´ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥” It is considered the cornerstone of Sikhism. “There is One Universal Creator God. His name is True. He is the Creator. His is without fear. He is inimical to none. His existence is unlimited by time. He is beyond the cycles of birth and death, self existent and can be realized through the grace of the Guru.” The Mool Mantar appears 31 times in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Mundaavni : The word means seal and refers to the conclusion in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and describes the spiritual qualities of reading and following Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Nagar Kirtan : Outdoor procession led by Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and five Amritdhari Sikhs usually prior to the celebration of a Gurpurb.

Nagaaraa : A Kettle drum found in some Gurdwaras. It was introduced by Sri Guru Hargobind ji to be beaten when langar was ready. It is a symbol of royal authority.

Naam : Name of God and also the Divine Presence & Power. Sikhism places emphasis on the remembrance of God through meditation on God’s name given by the Panj Piyaare when a Sikh is initiated.

Naam Japnaa, Kirt Karnaa, Vand Chhaknaa : Meditation on God’s name, honest hard work and sharing one’s earnings with others. These are the three fundamental requirements which a Sikh householder is expected to observe. Guru Nanak says- those who earn their livelihood through work, and give away a part of it to the charity. Such ones, Nanak know the ways to God. (See Langar).

Naam Japna : Practice of living in the presence of God.

Naam Simran : The remembrance of God through meditation on the Guru’s Mantra (GurMantar).

Nihang : Literally means an alligator who is supreme in the waters. It is an order of the Sikhs who follow the lifestyle of the Sikh soldiers of time of Guru Gobind Singh ji who mainly had the duty of protecting the Sikh places of worship. They wear blue robes and practice martial arts.

Nirunkaar : A name of God meaning the one who has no physical form.

Nirgun : Applied to God meaning one without form or material attributes.

Nitnem : Literally, the daily routine; The daily prayers that a Sikh is expected to read. Nitnem consists of reading (1) Japji Sahib of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, (2) Jaap, (3) Ten Swayyas & (4) Benti Chaupai of Guru Gobind Singh ji, and (5) Anand Sahib of Guru Amar Das Sahib Ji in the morning; Sodar Rehraas, a collection of nine hymns by Guru Nanak Sahib ji, Guru Amar Das ji and Guru Arjan Sahib ji at sunset and Sohila comprising, five hymns by the three Gurus at bedtime.

Oankaar : God as the Primal Universal Creator Being. It also refers to a compositon of Guru Nanak Dev ji which appears on pages 929 to -of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Pada : Division of a hymn record in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, it varies in length from one to four verses.

Palki : A ‘palanquin’; The wooden, metal or marble palanquin in which Sri Guru Granth Sahib is ceremonially installed.

Panj Kakaar : Literaly the five things the names of which begine with ‘K’. The five articles of faith which must be worn at all times by every member of Khalsa. These five articles of faith are also called the five symbols, because in one sense they are merely external observances. But , in another respect, these are the vows of self-discipline, quartial spirit, brotherhood and submission to the Guru. These five K’s not only mark out the Sikhs from the Hindus but also from all other people of the world.

Panj Piyaare : The five beloved ones, referring to the first five Sikhs initiated into the Khalsa order by Guru Gobind Singh. Five Khalsa Sikhs who initiate a new member into the Khalsa Panth through the Amrit Sanchaar ceremony.

Panth : The entire Sikh community of initiated (Amritdhari) Sikhs.

Parkarma : The walkway around the sarovar found at many gurudwaras; circum ambulation.

Prakaash Karnaa : The early morning ceremony when Sri Guru Granth Sahib is formally opened and the day’s worship begins.

Paatth : Reading of Gurbani. (See Akhand Paatth)

Patit : A Khalsa Sikh who has failed to live upto the vows of the Khalsa order and has commited one of the 4 tabooed acts (Bajjar Kurahits).

Pauri : Their length and metre are both variable.

Pothi : A book or volume of religious hymns.

Raag : One of the melodic formulas of Indian Music having the melodic shape, rhythm and ornamentation prescribed by tradition.

Raagi : One who sings the hymns of Sri Guru granth Sahib. Literally of an expert in the raga vidya.

Raj Karega Khalsa : The words uttered by Guru Gobind Singh Ji before physically passing away, which were recorded in Bhai Nand Lal Singh Ji’s Tankhahnama. This was used as the battle cry of the Sikhs during the rule of Banda Singh Bahadur meaning “The Khalsa shall rule”.

Rehat Nama : A manual of conduct for the Khalsa. There are a number of them written by various Sikhs dating back to the eighteenth century.

Rehat Maryada : The Sikh Code of Conduct finalized by 71 individuals, institutions and representative bodies of the Sikhs in the year 1945 published and distributed free by the Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Its English and hindi translations have also now been published by the SGPC. (Note: the translation version does not accurately translate some terms).

Rehraas: A collection of 9 hymns, 4 by Guru Nanak, 3 by Guru Ram Das and 2 by Sri Guru Arjun dev ji which are read at sunset as part of Nitnem.

Rumaala : The piece of cloth which is used as a ceremonial cover for Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Sach Khand : The realm of truth, the final stage of spiritual ascent where the believer unites with God.

Saadh Sangat : Literally an association or congregation of the ‘Sadh’ or pions persons. A Sikh congregation or community.

Sahibzaada : An epithet used for the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh named Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh, Fateh Singh. All of them died as marytrs to the Sikh faith. While Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh died fighting in the battle at Chamkaur Sahib; the younger Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh embraced martyrdown by being bricked alive at Sirhind where Gurudwara stands to their memory.

Sehaj : The state of spiritual equipoise resulting from the attainment of union with God.

Sehaj Paatth : A non-continous reading of the entire Guru Granth Sahib. The period of time for finishing the entire reading is not fixed..

Sahib : Literally means ‘Great’ or ‘Master’. A term of respect used for the Sikh Guru. It is also applied to the historical gurdwaras and personages.

Saakhi : Story about a Guru.

Sangat : A religious assembly or congregation. A congregation of Sikhs; the collective body of the Sikhs at a particular place.

Sangrand: The first day of the month according to the Indian calendar. The relevant portion of the composition Barhmaha by Guru Nanak or Guru Arjun Dev relating to each month is read out.

Sant : Literally a holy person or saint. In the Sri Guru Granth Sahib only the Gurus or God have been addressed as Sant. Even Kabir, Namdev etc. have been referred to as Bhagats and not sants.

Sarbat Khalsa : A representative meeting of all the Sikhs to consider important matters concerning the Panth.

Siropa, Sirpao : Literally head to foot; a robe or token of honour; gift of honour presented to a person or persons by the Sikh community. Usually a length of cloth for tying a turban or a scarf worn over the shoulders.

Sarovar : The pool or a tank for bathing found at many gurudwaras.

Sat Guru : The True Guru, used in reference to the Sikh Guru and God.

Sat Sri Akaal : The answer to the Jaikara, the Sikh war-cry. It Meaning “The Immortal God is True”.

Satyug : An era in which Truth prevails, the opposite of Kalyug.

Seva : Service to one’s fellow beings, one of the cornerstones of the Sikh way of life.

Shabad : The religious hymns contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Shaheed : The person-Arabic meaning of this word is “A Witness”. Title used before the name of someone who has died for the Sikh faith as a martyr.

Shalok: Couplet found in the Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.) : Committee which overseas the administration of the historical Gurdwaras in Punjab, Haryana & Himachal Pradesh. It is also publication of the literature on Sikhism and the establishment and management of many Sikh educational institutions.

Sikhi : The teachings of Sikhism; the Sikh way of life.

Sikhia : Advice given to the couple during the Sikh marriage ceremony.

Singh : Literally, a Lion; the common last name of the male Sikhs. It is a compulsory last name of the initiated male Sikhs.

Sodar : Literally that door or gate; A composition with the tittle ‘So Dar Raag Aasa Mehla Pehla’ composed by Guru Nanak. It is the first hymn read by the Sikhs at sunset (commonly known as ‘Rehraas’ or ‘Sodar Rehraas’)

Sohila : Collection of 5 hymns. Three of these are by Guru Nanak, 1 by Guru Ram Das and 1 by Guru Arjun Dev. Sohila is recited as part of the Nitnem at bed time. It also forms a part of the Sikh funeral rites and is recited at the crematory after fire has been set to the dead body to be cremated.

Sukh Aasan : The formal final closure of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, generally at the end of the day at a Gurudwara

Sukhmani Sahib : A major composition of Sri Guru Arjun Dev recorded from page 262 to 296 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It has 24 astpadis.

Takht : Literally; a throne; A seat of Sikh authority. There are five gurudwaras which are designated as takhts. These are: Sri Akal Takht Sahib (at Amritsar, opposite Sri Harimandir Sahib), Sri Damdama Sahib, Takht Keshgarh Sahib (at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab), Sri Hazoor Sahib (at Nanded) and Takht Patna Sahib (at Patna, at Bihar).

Tankhaiya : A person who has committed a religious offence meriting punishment.

Vaisakhi : Vaisakhi (or Baisakhi) is celebrated every year on April 13th. Guru Amardas had initiated the annual gathering of the Sikhs at Goindwal in 1567 on the occasion of Vaisakhi. Guru Gobind Singh ji founded the Khalsa order on the Vaisakhi day in 1699 (the 29th march of 1699).

Waheguru : The Sikh name of God.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh : Sikh salutation which means, “The Khalsa (Pure Ones) belong to God, and all Victory belongs to God.”

Zafarnama : The Zafarnama, literally meaning ‘an Episode of Victory’, is a historical letter written in haste person after the battle of Chamjaur Sahib (in 1705 AD) by Guru Gobind Singh to Emperor Aurangzeb. It is not a petition to the emperor. It is in fact an indictment of the emperor who has been repeatedly chided for breach of faith caused by a morally indefensible attack; by the Moghul troops, on the Guru and his followers after they had vacated Anandpur Sahib on the solemn assurances of safety given to them by Aurangzeb’s officers. The Zafarnama depicts Auangzeb as a biased, cunning and a willful hypocrite and a deceitful ooth-breaker whose oaths on the Quran were fraudulent and meaningless. The Guru’s letter of victory gives microscopic details of the misdeeds and crimes of the colons government and officials. it is the only reliable source which provides a vivid and detailed description of the battle of Chamkaur Sahib.