Describe and explain a Sikh’s private devotions.

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Religious Studies coursework

R1: Describe and explain a Sikh’s private devotions.

According to the rules of Sikhism, a Sikh’s personal life should include three things,

  1. Meditation on Nam (Divine substance) and the scriptures.
  2. Leading life according to the Gurus teachings.
  3. Public spirited voluntary service.  

It is on these rules that Sikh’s base their private lives and devotions.

There are a number of daily rituals that may be practised by members of the Sikh faith. All practices are dependent on the member's religious order within Sikhism and none of these practices are compulsory.

A Sikh should wake up three hours before the dawn (also known as the ambrosial hours) take bath and, concentrating their thoughts on One Immortal Being, repeat the name Waheguru which means “wondrous destroyer of darkness” or “truth is God’s name.” This is symbolic because by concentrating their thoughts on God whilst bathing, they are “washing away” their sins from the day before. Then this the person might sing the “Bani” at sunrise. After this they might recite particular prayers and hymns. According to the rules of Sikhism, a Sikh should recite the following scriptural compositions every morning:

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  • The Japji
  • The Jaapu
  • The Ten Sawayyas (Quartets) - beginning “Sarawag sudh”

Then they might bow down  to a picture of the Gurus or just bow down and ask God to be by the side of themselves and their family through the day before they go out (to work/to the shops or to visit people). For those who have busy lifestyles they might not recite these prayers at home and listen to a recording in the car on the way to work instead, as reciting all of these prayers is a long process.

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