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SIKH PRACTICES. Correct performance for all practices in the Rehat Maryada Majority of mainstream follow Rehat Maryada – variations though. During worship.

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Presentation on theme: "SIKH PRACTICES. Correct performance for all practices in the Rehat Maryada Majority of mainstream follow Rehat Maryada – variations though. During worship."— Presentation transcript:


2 Correct performance for all practices in the Rehat Maryada Majority of mainstream follow Rehat Maryada – variations though. During worship – male or female can lead Langar and karah prasad constantly available Importance of the sangat (congregation) Worship at home also – interiorized All free to attend Gurdwara

3 No special day – Sundays in UK. Bigger ones 24/7 Can join worship at any time Punjabi schools, martial arts, sewing classes, youth clubs, etc – social as well as religious Nishan sahib outside all gurdwaras Blessings on birth of baby Naming ceremony

4 Initiation ceremony Also known as ‘Amrit Sanskar’. The rite must be performed by five men or women who symbolize the original panj-pyare, to re-enact the original ceremony. The five must be amritdhari and devout members of the community. Old enough to understand responsibility The Guru Granth Sahib is opened and the Sikh teachings are explained to the initiates. Prayers are said before preparing amrit – holy water

5 Panj-pyare kneel around steel bowl called batta which placed on pedestal (sonera). They sit in the heroic posture (birasan), with the right knee on the ground and the left knee kept upright. They place sugar crystals in bowl and one by one stir it with small khanda (double-edged sword). The five keep their hands on the bowl unless their turn to stir to it. During this shabads from the Guru Granth Sahib are read. When amrit is ready, a prayer is said and the initiates come forward one by one, kneeling in the same manner as the panj-pyare. Each is asked to recite: Waheguru ji ka khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh. Amrit is put into cupped hands of the initiate 5 times and is drunk by him/her. Amrit sprinkled 5 times onto hair and eyes of initiate. Initiates drink amrit that is left by sipping it from the bowl. Mul Mantar is recited 5 times by the panj pyare and repeated each time by the initiates. Initiates are told of their duties as Khalsa Sikhs, and told they must at all times keep the 5K’s.

6 The list of rules and regulations which form the Rehat Maryada are read out, as well as the four major prohibitions, known as kurahits, these are: (1) Not to cut the hair. (2) Not to eat halal meat. (3) No extra-marital sexual intercourse. (4) No use of tobacco. Other rules also include not consuming alcohol, or any other intoxicants, not to eat with non- initiated Sikhs, not to dye the hair, and not to give or receive cash dowries. Non-observance of the rules causes the initiate to become a patit, an apostate.

7 The Marriage Ceremony Called “anand karaj” – ceremony of bliss Extended family Assisted rather than arranged Endogamous – caste/zat Exogamous – surname (got) No child marriages Widow remarriage No horoscopes – Hindu practice Four circuits around the GGS – no fire from mid 20 th century – Singh Sabha Four stanzas composed by Guru Arjan for his own daughter’s marriage. Lavan hymn stresses the grihasta stage and love between man and wife Reception takes place – purely social, very expensive for bride’s family!! No dowry

8 DVD – A Sikh Marriage ceremony Milni Kurmai Lavan Reception Biddai Groom’s mother Watch the ceremonies and make notes on what happens Write down any questions you may like to ask to generate discussion about.

9 Sikh Funeral Rites Cremation Body washed and clothed – dressed in 5K’s Funeral pyre – eldest son. Crematorium Akhand path or sehaj path after cremation White not black worn No fasting or other rituals If deceased was head of family- then “pagri” ceremony Period of abstinence for close family – visit home of family to offer condolences Strictly speaking no mourning – but allowed

10 Festivals Sikh festivals are divided into two: Melas - these are Hindu festivals in origin but are given new interpretations and are important Sikh gatherings during the year. Gurpurbs - these are essentially Sikh in origin and relate to Sikh history such as the births and martyrdoms of the gurus.

11 Gurpurbs The term gurpurb is derived from two words: ‘pur’ meaning holiday and ‘gur’ referring to the particular guru concerned. Three gurpurbs are particularly important: the birthdays of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, and the martyrdom of Guru Arjan. Celebrated by carrying Guru Granth Sahib in procession – led by panj pyare Akhand paths Lectures and seminars concentrating on the life and works of the particular Guru

12 Melas Baisakhi/Vaisakhi April 13/14. Khalsa 1699 Sikh New Year Originally Hindu harvest festival – still is Popular time for taking amrit Nishan Sahib changed Nagar kirtan

13 Diwali Festival of lights Oct/Nov – same date as Hindu diwali except only 1 day for Sikhs, not 2 Places of worship and homes lit up with divas Originally Ram and Sita – Sikhs for return of Guru Hargobind from prison – release of 52 Hindu princes Presents exchanged Golden Temple lit up Fireworks – India and diaspora

14 Hola Mohalla March – April Coincides with Hindu Holi – Krishna and Gopis Guru Gobind Singh diverted Sikhs away from the “frolics” by emphasising a day of practising martial arts and military discipline Raksha bandhan/rakri

15 Family Religion Grihasta emphasized Extended/joint family Special terms for family members: chachaji - father’s younger brother mamaji - mother’s brother masiji - mother’s sister puwaji - father’s sister taiyaji - father’s elder brother bhabiji - brother’s wife The ending ‘ji’ indicates a title of respect. No asceticism

16 Research Activity Sikh attitudes towards meat – different opinions amongst different Sikhs Critically evaluate Sikh attitudes towards euthanasia Research the activities of the Singh Sabha and the Tat Khalsa – why did they want to steer Sikhs away from what were essentially Hindu practices Describe how and explain why a Sikh marriage service might guide a couple in their married life. Include why marriage important, the meaning of the four stanzas. Why it is called “Anand Karaj” – ceremony of bliss. Other important parts of the marriage such as the pala (joining of 2 individuals), milni (joining of 2 families)

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