Worship, Ceremonies & Institutions

Why do we do Chaur on the Guru Granth Sahib? Why do we put the Guru Granth Sahib on a bed? Why the Chanani or canopy?

This is to express our regards and our respect for the Holy Scripture, the True King. The king commanded the greatest power, hence also the maximum respect and honour, in the olden days. Guru Nanak Sahib Ji said that the true kings are those who love God and help others to do that. They are the rulers of the hearts of the people. The political kings are temporary kings and their authority ends with their death.

The Gurus are the true kings; they teach Truth and rule our hearts. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the embodiment of the Spirit of all the Sikh Gurus and many other holy men whose hymns are included in it. It is a Divine Revelation, considered the Living and Speaking Word of God.

The king sat on throne under a canopy. He used to have a fan like structure to be waved over his head as a symbol of his royalty. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, being the true emperor, is provided all these regal paraphernalia in the Gurdwara. We install the Sacred Scripture on a throne (called Manji Sahib) with pillows around for supporting it. A canopy (Chanani) is provided above the Sacred Scripture in the same way as it was put over the head of a king while he attended his court. During the session (Diwan), a person with a Chaur in his hand is always in attendance of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji installed respectfully in the hall.

For maintaining due regards and respect, we carry Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Saroop (Volume) to another room when the hall is to be cleaned or when the session is over for the day. Before we bring Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in the hall, we set everything in the hall properly. This is the court of the Guru. You will understand the whole ceremony better if you bring into mind the scene of the courtroom where everything is set and made ready before a judge enters his court. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the Emperor or Emperors, hence all these ceremonial decorations.