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Sikh Worship

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Introduction

´╗┐Amit Wangoo 29/04/2012 2.2 Sikh Worship Sikh worship, like many other religions is very important and it is has very specific aspects to its worship. Sikhism is considered to be a modern religion as it was founded in 15th and 16th century, despite this they have similar ways to much older religions like Hinduism. The place of worship for Sikhs is the Gurdwara. Gurdwara means ?the doorway of the Guru?. The Sikh holy book ?The Guru Granth Sahib? is kept in the Gurdwara. The Gurdwara is like a community centre where other Sikhs meet each other and pray together. Outside every Gurdwara there is usually a flag that tells people this is a Sikh place of worship. The flag is called the Nishan sahib and the symbol on the flag is known as the khanda that consists of 2 curved Kirpans and a Kara (bangle). When in a Gurdwara, shoes should not be worn in the main place of worship. There are also sinks so that people can wash their hands before worship and a box of head coverings for non-Sikhs, because people must cover their heads as a sign of respect. In a Gurdwara anyone and everyone are welcome. ...read more.

Middle

Men and women sit on separate sides facing the manjii. The service may last for a few hours. There are readings from the Guru Granth Sahib and they are chosen at random. Throughout the day the ragis chant and sing versus from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji with the congregation. As the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is being read the Granthi waves a special fan, called a chauri over the pages of the book. It is made from the hair of a yak. It is a reminder of a pakha, which was used by Sikhs walking with Guru?s to keep them cool in places like Punjab. At the end of the service the granthi explains the reading from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. At the end of the service there is a series of prayers, which includes: 1. Anand Sahib 2. Japji Sahib 3. Final verse, Ardas During the Ardas is being read someone prepares the karah prashad (a sweet food). After Ardas has been read the prashad is offered to everyone and eaten. It is shared all around and symbolises that everyone is equal before god. Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught that the most important form of worship is bhakti (devotion to God). ...read more.

Conclusion

It shows sewa ? selfless service. Sewa is a very important aspect of Sikhism. The food is usually served by male members of the congregation and there is no special place to eat and everyone eats the same food. The food is vegetarian which means no will be excluded regardless of their religion and food is served on a steel tray with different compartments and some foods that are served are: 1. Lentils 2. Chapattis 3. Rice 4. Vegetables 5. Chick peas Langar is important because it brings people from all around and emphasises the fact that everyone is equal no matter what. Sikhs show a lot of respect to their God by singing, making offerings and sharing. It shows that Sikhs care a lot about their God. However, Sikh worship is very similar to many other religions. In Islam and Judaism they do not worship idols or statues of their Gods and it is interesting to see that all three believe there is only one God. Sikhism originates from the area of India (mainly Punjab), meaning like Hinduism they speak a similar language and that they also sing hymns or ?mantras? in their places of worship. Sikhs have a granthi which is like a Christian priest, Jewish Rabbi or Hindu pundit. By making these connections we can see that even though Sikhism is a relatively new religion it is not that different from other older religions. ...read more.

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