10. Holy Scriptures | Sikh Code | v2

Respecting Gurbani

"The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani.
Within the Bani all die Ambrosial Nectar is contained.
If His humble servant believes, and acts according to the Words of the Guru's Bani,
then the Guru, in person, emancipates him.
" (SGGSJ Ang 982)

"That person who does not respect and fear Gurbani cannot be my Sikh."
(Gurpartap Suraj Granth)

At Sri Anandpur Sahib, a Singh was reading Gurbani slightly wrong and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji said: ”O Singh! You are breaking my limbs." This is why Guru Sahib Ji taught and explained all the meanings and correct discourses of Gurbani to a number of Singhs.

The chosen Singh's would then pass on this knowledge, understanding and correct pronunciation of Gurbani to all.

"Oh Sikhs, listen to this teaching - recite Gurbani correctly (i.e. pronounce it correctly). Read it and obtain many pleasures, herein and thereafter."

Satguru jī gave the utmost respect to Gurbani in all his ten forms. In same way we should also show the same respect. In order to do this, the following should be adhered to:

- No one should seat themselves behind Guru ji's throne without having bathed or washing their feet (if they have worn shoes). Nor should they do so whilst wearing socks or gloves.

- A person who has had sex or a nightly emission should have a full Ishnana (from head to toe, including washing his hair), wash his clothes, then recite Japji Sahib and then do an Ardas. Then he is ready to go sit behind the Guru ji’s throne.

- If your hands have touched your, or someone else's, feet, face, Kachera or if they are wet or dirty, then they must not to be placed on Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, Pothīs (volumes of Granthas) or Gutka sahibs (collections of banis).

- Whilst in Guru ji’s Hazur nothing is to be eaten or placed in the mouth, i.e. sweets or cardamom.

- A Singh sitting in Guru ji's Hazur is not to sit on any form of cushion. He is not to put his feet under the Manji Sahib (Guru’s Sahib’s platform/throne) or lean against it in any way. He is to sit cross-legged without leaning on anything.

- You must never put your feet in the direction of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Maharaj jī is never to be placed in a closet or cupboard. On the contrary, Guru Sahib must be placed on a nicely decorated throne in a well-ventilated room.

Clothing appropriate to the season is to be placed upon the throne of Guru ji. In the summer, thin clothing and in winter, warm clothing i.e. a thick blanket/duvet must be used.

The Manji Sahib is to be well built and attractive in appearance. In the summer or in warm weather, thin Romalas should be placed over Guru Sahib and in the winter/cold weather, warm Romalas or a thick blanket.

Whenever Satguru ji is brought somewhere, the Sangat are to remove their shoes and perform Kirtan. When Satguru ji passes you are to rise and clasp you hands together as a mark of respect and are to humbly bow. For as long as you can see Satguru ji you are to remain standing with both hands clasped.

Whilst Satguru ji is on the move, five Singhs are to accompany him at all times and they are to remain bare-footed. One Singh is to do Chaur Sahib Seva whilst one is to go ahead of Satguru ji and sprinkle water. In order to make the Sangat aware that Satguru ji is coming in their direction, gongs or other appropriate instruments are to be played.

When doing Pāth from a Pothī or Gutka you should sit on a clean cloth placed on the floor. If there is a seat/bed or other furniture on a higher platform that you can sit on, then you should sit upon this furniture to recite Pāth.

Whilst sitting on the bed of another, Gurbani is not to be recited sitting directly behind them (i.e. with their back to you).

You are not to recite Gurbani sitting on the floor when someone is sitting on a higher platform than yourself (at home) or facing the side of the bed where your feet are placed at night. When reciting Gurbani, you are to face your pillow or the place where your head rests for sleep.

A person who gives Santhia (teaches how to correctly pronounce Gurbani) should not sit on a pillow or on a higher platform than those being taught.

Pothī of Gurbani, Gutka Sahibs, Sri Dasam Granth Gurbani, Bhai Gurdas ji’s writings are all to be given the utmost respect and care, this includes any other writings about Gurmat or those which contain Gurbani.

Normal books are not to be stored along with scriptures of Gurbani.

A Gutka is not to be used whilst having your head uncovered and/or with your shoes on. A bookmark or any form of sign is not to be kept in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

Gutkās and Pothīs of Gurbani are to be stored in a nice place, high up, towards which your feet will not be facing and where your back will not be turned against.

Romalas with images/pictures on them are not to be placed upon Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, Expensive, beautiful and clean Romalas are to be offered to Guru Sahib. In the presence of Guru Sahib a candle of paraffin/white spirit is not to be lit.

When listening to Gurbani from a radio, cassette player (or CD/video etc.) the audio-visual aid is to be placed on a higher platform than the person listening to it, as a mark of respect to the Gurbani being listened to.

Newspapers, magazines, books etc. in which Gurbani may be written should not be carried in carrier bags etc. and are not to be thrown away or allowed to fly around on the ground - after use they should be burnt.

When going to sit in the Hazur of Guru Sahib, clothing that was worn when going to the toilet is not to be worn (until washed again).

After going to the toilet, the hands are to be washed 5 times with soap, soil, sand, ashes etc. Dishes are to be cleaned with sand, soil and are not to only be cleaned with washing up powder (as used in India). Brushing your teeth daily is essential. After passing water, it is essential to wash your hands.

Weapons are to be shown utmost respect. They are not to be kept in a place towards which your feet will face.

"Praying to God day and night, not thinking of any other, enshrining pure love and faith.

Fasting and praying to tombstones/graves are nor to be adhered to even by mistake.

Being charitable at places of pilgrimage, being compassionate, entering rituals of throwing things into a fire and being very superstitious about what one eats, are all of no avail if one is not recognising the One Lord.

A Khalsa is one who has the love and light in one's heart, others are impure." (Dasam Ang 212)

Parshad from a tomb of a saint, grave or serpent god/demi-gods is not to be eaten.

"He/She that eats Parshad from such a place is not a Sikh.

In the same way no one is to be bowed to or believed in other than Sri Guru Granth Sahib jī. No faith/belief is to be placed in your ancestors.

In your homes, dirty photos/posters are not to be put up, rather photos of warriors, saints and the Satgurus are to be put up but your feet are not to be put in their direction.

In Gurdwaras or at home, no photo is to be placed in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

For an Amritdhari Singh it is essential that he addresses another Amritdhari Singh/Singhni using their full name. A person who calls another by half their name or a nickname is punishable (full names should be printed on wedding cards):

"When a Sikh meets another Sikh, they are to welcome one another by saying:
Vaheguru ji ka Khalsa, Vaheguru ji ki Fateh!
"

A floor covering of animal dung, clay and hay (as is common in India) is never to be used where Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is to reside.

Nor should it be placed in a room where the floor coverings have been made of these sorts of materials.

Amritdhari women are not to go to Thīan - a ladies festival which is held on each Sunday of the Bikrami month of Savan and they are not to clap/dance, do Gidda, etc. (performing seva on a monthly basis is merely superstition and not due to respect of the Guru). Women should not sit in the Guru’s Hazur or do Chaur Sahib when they are menstruating.

The Khalsa should keep away from people who sit on cushions or high platforms, or get people to bow to them in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jī, or exorcise ghosts.

Living of one’s honest earned livings, giving one tenth in charity is essential, as is giving a tenth of our time to the service of Guru Sahib.

Out of every 24 hours, 2.5 hours should be spent on meditation, performing and/or listening to Gurbani.

The names of the 10 Guru Sahibs, Panj Pyare, 4 Sahibzade (princes of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji) and 5 Takhts are to be memorised.