Rehat Maryādā | Sikh Code | v1

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Rehat Maryādā | Sikh Code

Rehat Maryādā Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions

Rehat Maryādā: Section One

Chapter I - Sikh Defined
Article I – Definition of Sikh

Any human being who faithfully believes in:

• One Immortal Being
• Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh
• The Guru Granth Sahib
• The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus
• The baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and
• who does not owe allegiance to any other religion,

- is a Sikh.


What is known as Sikh Rehat Maryādā is a code of conduct and conventions for Sikhism, approved by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar in 1936.

Although Sikhs have a primary scripture (the Guru Granth Sahib), it does not provide a practical structure for the arrangement of the community. Consequently, the Rehat Maryādā was created to standardise Sikh Gurdwaras and religious practices to foster cohesion throughout the community.

Before Guru Gobind Singh (the 10th Sikh Guru) died in 1708, he transferred his authority to the scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, and the body of initiated Sikhs, called the Khalsa Panth.

However between 1708 and 1925 the Sikh community experienced sectarianism and no centralized authority apart from that arranged under British rule from 1849.

A range of other codes and collections of tradition existed, but none represented the entire community (Panth).

In 1925, the Punjab Sikh Gurdwara Act (the Act) was introduced and legislated the establishment of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) (an elected body of Sikhs) for the purpose of administering Gurdwaras.

The outcome was this Rule of Rehat Maryādā which you can read in the following pages.

Index of 6 Sections:

Rehat Maryādā: Section One (above)
Chapter I - Sikh Defined
Article I – Definition of Sikh


Rehat Maryādā: Section Two
Chapter II – Aspects of Sikh Living
Article II – Sikh Living
Chapter III – Individual Spirituality
Article III – Sikh Personal Life
Article IV - Meditating on Nām (Divine Substance) and Scriptures


Rehat Maryādā: Section Three
Chapter IV - Gurdwaras, Congregational Etiquette, Rites
Article V - Joining the Congregation for understanding of and reflecting on Gurbani
Chapter V - Kirtan
Article VI - Kirtan (Devotional Hymn Singing by a Group or an individual)
Chapter VI – Taking Hukam
Article VII – Taking Hukam
Chapter VII – Reading of the Guru Granth Sahib
Article VIII - Sadharan Path (Completion of Normal Intermittent Reading of the Guru Granth Sahib)
Article IX - Akhand Path: Uninterrupted-Non-Stop-Completion of the Reading of the Guru Granth Sahib
Article X - Commencing the Non-stop Reading
Article XI - Concluding the Reading
Chapter VIII – Making Offerings, Consecration and Distribution
Article XII - Karhah Prasad (Sacred Pudding)
Chapter IX - Components of Gurdwara Service
Article XIII - Exposition of Gurbani (Sikh Holy Scriptures)
Article XIV - Expository Discourse
Article XV - Gurdwara Service


Rehat Maryādā: Section Four
Chapter X - Beliefs, Observances, Duties, Taboos and Ceremonies
Article XVI - Living in Consonance with Guru’s Tenets
Chapter XI - Ceremonies pertaining to Social Occasions
Article XVII - Ceremonies pertaining to Birth and Naming of Child
Article XVIII - Anand Saṁskāra (Lit. Joyful Ceremony)
Article XIX - Funeral Ceremonies
Article XX - Other Rites and Conventions


Rehat Maryada: Section Five
Chapter XII - Altruistic Work
Article XXI - Voluntary Service


Rehat Maryādā: Section Six
Chapter XIII - Panthic (Corporator Sikh) Life
Article XXII - Facets of Corporate Sikh Life
Article XXIII - Panth’s Status of Guru-hood
Article XXIV - Ceremony of Baptism or Initiation
Article XXV - Method of Imposing Chastisement
Article XXVI - Method of Adopting Gurmatta
Article XXVII - Appeals against Local Decisions