What is the procedure for a Sehaj Paath?
SEHAJ PAATH or SADHAARAN PAATH is the reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from beginning to end, with no time-limit for completion. Even where the limit is fixed and it exceeds a week, it will be called a Sadhaaran Paath, two other terms synonymously used being Khullaa Paath (Khullaa = unrestricted, not fixed) and Sehaj Paath (slow reading). A Sadhaaran Paath may be undertaken by any individual Sikh, man or woman, or jointly with other members of the family as part of personal piety or in observance of a special occasion or family, event. A Paathi or reader could be arranged from outside as well. One may read any number of pages on a single day and the next few pages the next day or even at a longer interval. The custom of performing Sadhaaran Paath by reading a few successive pages of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji daily as a religious duty must have grown after copies of the Holy Volume compiled in 1604 had become available. That was, perhaps, the main type of Paath current until the Granth was pronounced Guru by Guru Gobind Siá¹…gh before he passed away in 1708.
MARYADA (PROTOCOL) FOR A SEHAJ PAATH
In accordance to the Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada:
Commencing the Reading
While undertaking a full reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Karhah Prashad (sacred pudding) should be brought for offering and after reciting Anand Sahib (six stanzas) and offering Ardaas, a Hukamnama (edict) should be taken (at random). One should, thereafter, read the Jap Ji Sahib.
Note: In case you don’t have access to a saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, then you can use Pothis (smaller volumes). In circumstances where you don’t have Pothis (smaller volumes) or cannot arrange suitable conditions for doing a reading from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji then it is perfectly acceptable to read Gurbani from a computer. However, the Arambh (commencing) and Bhog (completion) of the reading of full Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji should be done from a full Saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji either at home or a Gurdwara.
Concluding the Reading
The reading of the whole Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (intermittent or non-stop) may be concluded with the reading of Mundaavni (literally meaning ‘the seal’) or Raag Mala (an index of different Raags) according to the convention traditionally observed at the concerned place. Thereafter, after reciting Anand Sahib, Ardaas for the conclusion of the reading should be offered and Karhah Parshaad (sacred pudding) should be distributed.
On the conclusion of the reading, offering of draperies, fly-whisk and awning, having regard to the requirements of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and of other things, for Panthic causes, should be made to the best of means.