Archive for the ‘Rehat Maryada (Code of Conduct)’ Category

If killing living beings is a sin then is killing pest and insects also considered as a sin?

  In Gurmat there is no act within itself that is sin (paap) or virtuous (punn). For example, everyone regardless of religion would argue that killing human beings is sinful. However, Guru Sahibs fought in wars against tyranny and killed the people attacking and we consider this virtuous. It is considered virtuous because it was […]

Do Sikhs practice shunning or excommunication?

Answer: Yes and No. No: Sikhs do not practice shunning anyone based on religious creed, social ranking of caste, or race including skin colour. Sikhs do not engage in shunning by refusing to speak to an offender. Yes: The Sikh Code of Conduct, Sikh Rehit Maryada (SRM), specifies certain conditions which bar association with perpetrators […]

How should one show respect to Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Pothi Sahibs?

ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀਂ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀਂ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ || ਗੁਰੁ ਬਾਣੀਂ 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 […]

Why do Sikhs cut their nails, when they cannot cut their hair?

Some people wonder that if cutting hair is acting against the Will of God, then is not cutting nails also acting against the Will of God? The following explanation shows why it is necessary to cut nails. If man reflects on the workings of his body, he will find that excretion of waste and dead […]

Why don’t Sikhs wear two Kirpans to represent Miri & Piri like the 6th Guru?

As per the hukam of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, and the Panj Pyaare, Sikhs must wear a kirpan.  We can wear more than one, but the minimum is one.  Guru Hargobind Sahib, the sixth Guru, wore two kirpans in a deeply symbolic gesture to show the importance of spiritual (piri) as well as […]

The fourth Laav says the souls merge, so why do people get divorced?

In the laavan, I personally don’t think a magical transformation happens during the fourth laav where the souls are united.  This is something the couple has to work towards during their marriage. In any case, divorce is discouraged in the Sikh faith and there is no concept of it in our rehit, etc.  The local […]

Why does the groom walk in front during the Anand Karaj?

Marriage is a union of equals in Gurmat and there’s no doubt about that.  As per tradition, the husband walks in front during the laavan.  If they were to walk side by side, then one would be farther away from Guru Sahib.  If they alternated between front and back, then one of them would have […]

What is the Sikh view on Aarti?

From Sanskrit Aarti, meaning the light or the vessel containing it which is waved before an idol, generally in the clockwise direction, accompanied by the chanting of mantras. This is also the name given the ceremony, which for the Hindus is a mode of ritual worship to propitiate the deity. In the Sikh system, which […]

Why do some Sikhs believe that Langar prepared by a Patit (a Mona, an adulterer, or tobacco smoker etc) is not acceptable for the Khalsa of Guru Sahib? Surely, anyone who prepare Langar with love is all that matters?

If this person has prem (love), why is this person not listening to Guru Sahib and keeping his or her hair? The excuse of Prem is not that once a week this person works in Langar and then expects everyone to eat from his or her hands. If this person truly wants Gursikhs to eat […]

Why do some Sikhs insist on cooking and eat of Sarbloh (iron) utensils?

In Chapter 13, Article 24, point h) of the Sikh Rehat Maryada instructs the use of a Sarbloh, pure iron (also translated as pure steel) utensil for the preparation of the Amrit Sanchaar. As Sarbloh or pure iron, is used for creating the baptismal water for the initiation ceremony, pure iron utensils have a special […]

What is ‘Dietary Bibek Rehit’ and why are some Sikhs strict about who prepares the food they eat?

In Sikhi, there is an important concept known as ‘bibekta’. Bibek literally means from two to one. Bibek is a God-given conscience that allows a Sikh to discriminate between right and wrong, i.e. knowing what is good and what is bad. Not only is Bibekta applied in a Sikh’s everyday life – for example, knowing […]

Why are Sikhs vegetarians?

Negative affect on mind and body Sikh’s do no eat meat, fish or eggs because such foods cause spiritual instability and have negative affects on the mind, spirit and body. ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ “O Baba, the pleasures of other foods are […]

What is the code of discipline for the Khalsa?

At the first initiation of the Khalsa Brotherhood, Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the instructions to the Panj Piyaras during the ceremony of Amrit. These instructions may be summarized as under: * Today you are reborn in the true Guru’s household, ending the cycle of migration, and joined the Khalsa Panth (order). ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਜਨਮੇ […]

Is Satsang (holy congregation) necessary?

In Sikhism, great emphasis is laid on Satsang. Guru Ji says: ਕਬੀਰ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਕਰੀਐ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਨਿਰਬਾਹੁ || ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਜਾ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਬਿਨਾਹੁ ||੯੩|| “Kabeer, associate with the Holy, who will take you to Nirvaana in the end. Do not associate with the faithless cynics ( i.e. Kusang); they would […]

What is the Mool Mantar?

The basic creed of the Sikhs – the Mool Mantra – gives the idea of Reality in a few telling words. The creed is: ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ Ikoaʼnkaar saṯ naam karṯaa purakẖ nirbẖau nirvair akaal mooraṯ ajoonee saibẖun gur parsaaḏ. “There is One Universal […]

What is the routine of a Sikh?

Practical Sikhism is based on three pragmatic concepts Nam Japna, Kirt Karna and Wand Chhakna. This three-fold path signifies the remembrance of “The Name” performing honest labour for a living and sharing one’s earnings with others. All is to be practised in daily life. Guru Amardas advised Bhai Budda regarding an ideal Sikh’s life. Some […]

Is drinking permitted in Sikhism?

The Sikh Rehat Maryada (the Sikh booklet of Code of Conduct) states: ਙ) ਸਿੱਖ ਭੰਗ, ਅਫੀਮ, ਸ਼ਰਾਬ, ਤਮਾਕੂ ਆਿਦ ਨਸ਼ੇ ਨਾ ਵਰਤੇ। ਅਮਲ ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਾਦੇ ਦਾ ਹੀ ਰੱਖੇ। “(j) A Sikh must not take hemp (cannabis), opium, liquor, tobacco, in short any intoxicant. His/her only routine intake should be food.” (SRM: Chapter X, Article XVI) Sri […]

Why is there a controversy in the Panth over eating meat?

The Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct) makes it clear that the four Bajjar Kurehits (cardinal prohibitions) for a Sikh, which result in apostasy from the Sikh faith: ੧) ਕੇਸਾਂ ਦੀ ਬੇ-ਅਦਬੀ । ੨) ਕੁੱਠਾ ਖਾਣਾ । ੩) ਪਰ-ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਜਾਂ ਪਰ-ਪੁਰਸ਼ ਦਾ ਗਮਨ (ਭੋਗਣਾ) । ੪) ਤਮਾਕੂ ਦਾ ਵਰਤਣਾ । The four transgressions, […]

What is the Sikh attitude towards using one’s surname or family name?

Any form of caste is rejected and condemned in Gurmat. If anyone uses their surname to promote their caste and show others that they are superior than someone else, this is condemned. In the past, people only used “Singh” or “Kaur” after their first name. Traditionally, popular Gursikhs have used the name of their villages […]

Are the pictures of the Gurus real? If not, then why do we hang them up?

Sikhism rejects any form of idol worship including worship of pictures of the Gurus. Artists renditions depicting Sikh history are for inspirational and educational purposes only and should not be regarded as objects of worship themselves. However, these pictures for educational or inspirational purposes should be not hung in the main hall of the Gurdwara […]

What is the Sikh Rehat Maryada?

The Sikh Rehat Maryada a booklet of the Official Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions sanctioned by Sri Akaal Takht Sahib, the Sikh Supreme Seat of Authority. There were a number of unsuccessful attempts in the eighteenth century following the death of Guru Gobind Singh Ji to produce an accurate portrayal of the Sikh conduct […]

What is the Sikh attitude to inter-faith marriages?

In order to have a Muslim marriage, the Nikkah, both man and women should be Muslim. In order to have a Christian wedding at a Church, most Christian Churches would expect the couple to be both Christian and some even attend Church to show commitment to the faith. The same goes for Jews. However, when […]

What is the Sikh attitude to marijuana (‘Bhang)? Many ‘Nihung Singhs’ consume this.

‘Bhang’ or ‘Sukhnidhaan’, which is marijuana (cannabis) used by large number of Nihangs nowadays is often justified through various means such as the quoting of tales and stories and the claiming these to be ‘early traditions’. However, our Guru is eternal and with us forever. Why do we need to refer to stories and justifying […]

Are the 5 morning Nitnem Banis (prayers) equal to doing Naam Simran?

Nothing can replace Naam and Naam must be japped (repeated) by a Gursikh. Doing as much Gurbani Paath (reading prayers) as possible is good for japping Naam but ultimately the main aim is to japp Naam. Reading and contemplating on the message of Gurbani is the greatest aiding Karma for japping Naam. ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ […]

How can one convert to Sikhism?

Sikhism is a way to live a wholesome and perfect spiritually balanced life whilst living in the wider society. It’s a complete form of life. “Sikh” literally means “learner” or “seeker of Truth”. The Sikh faith emphasises on healthy living. Sikhs are vegetarians, abstain from alcohol and tobacco, and generally practice two hours of devotional […]

Can we chant Guru Nanak Ji’s name as the Naam Japnaa?

The Sikh Guru Sahibaan have instructed us to meditate only on the Shabad. Guru’s Shabad is the Guru’s Mantra and this GurMantar is not “Dhan Guru Nanak” or “Dhan Guru Gobind Singh”. The vilakhantaa (uniqueness) of our Guru Sahibaan is that they did not have their Sikhs recite their Naam but the Naam of Akaal […]

What is the significance of ‘Kirpan Bhet’ to Karhaah Parshaad or Langar?

Touching a (sarbloh) Kirpan to the Karhaah Parshaad (sacred pudding) is a tradition that we can trace back to the lives of the Guru Sahibaans (before 1708 CE). This action served as an indication of the Guru’s acceptance and blessing of the Sikh nation, and the Sikhs’ acceptance and consumption of parshaad displays a submission […]

How does a Sikh greet another Sikh?

The Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada (Section Four, Chapter X, Article XVI) states: “r. A Sikh, when he meets another Sikh, should greet him with “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh” (Rendered into English: The Khalsa is Waheguru’s; victory too is His !). This is ordained for Sikh men and women both. Bhai Desa […]

Why are Sikh women prohibited from wearing a veil?

The Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada (Section Four, Chapter X, Article XVI) states: “s. It is not proper for a Sikh woman to wear veil or keep her face hidden by veil or cover.” There should be differentiation between a veil and hijaab. A veil is that which covers the face and body. The hijaab is […]

What advice would you give to someone planning to take Amrit?

To all the Abhilakees (ones preparing for Amrit), there are a few things to share with you, just so that you can get a further understanding of what Amrit is and what we need to sacrifice. Please put this in mind that you are going to ask for Amrit it does not mean that we […]

There are many Jathas (groups) which claim our way is the only way. Where should I take Amrit?

Amrit does not belong to any person or group. Amrit is Divine and is only given by Guru Ji Himself. So it’s not a question of “my Amrit” and “your Amrit.” ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਦੂਆ ਤੀਆ ॥ “I drink in the Amrit (Divine Immortal Nectar) given by the True Guru. […]

I have heard of Saas Giraas simran. What is the historical evidence or origins of this?

Some people use “Saas Giraas simran” and “Swaas Swaas simran” interchangeably. Commonly people say “Saas Giraas”, but “Saas” = breath, “Giraas” = morsel of food… i.e. to remember God with every breath and when eating. On the other “Swaas Swaas” refers to remembering God with each breath. Sadly, many people don’t know much about Swaas […]

What is the Maryada for the Gurdwara?

a) One is more easily and deeply affected by Gurbani participating in the Saadh Sangat (company of the Holy). For this reason, it is necessary for a Sikh that he or she visits the places or Gurdwaras where the Sikh Sangat (congregation) get together for enjoying the benefits of Gurbani. b) Sri Guru Granth Sahib […]

Why don’t all Gursikhs recite ‘Sampooran Rehraas Sahib’?

According to the Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada: ਸੋ ਦਰੁ ਰਹਿਰਾਸ- ਸ਼ਾਮ ਵੇਲੇ ਸੂਰਜ ਡੁੱਬੇ ਪੜ੍ਹਨੀ। ਇਸ ਵਿਚ ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀਆਂ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹਨ:- ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਲਿਖੇ ਹੋਏ ਨੌ ਸ਼ਬਦ (‘ਸੋ ਦਰੁ’ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ ‘ਸਰਿਣ ਪਰੇ ਕੀ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਸਰਮਾ’ ਤਕ), ਬੇਨਤੀ ਚੌਪਈ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦ (‘ਹਮਰੀ ਕਰੋ ਹਾਥ ਦੇ ਰੱਛਾ’ ਤੋਂ ਲੈ ਕੇ […]