Ardas - The Sikh Invocation

Ardas is an invocation, supplication, appeal or a humble prayer to Waheguru (God). Sikhs pray to God, with the Guru and Guru Granth Sahib as their witness.

Ardas is recited to start and end every Sikh ceremony, or a session of individual or a congregational prayer.

In Gurdwaras (the Sikh places of worship), Ardas is offered twice morning and evening.

Guru Gobind Singh authored its first Pauri – step, i.e. part at its start. In this part, no alteration is permitted. The sections following it have seen changes and additions according to the progressing Sikh historical events.

In congregation, Ardas is offered standing with folded hands and facing Guru Granth Sahib. The one person leads and others listen to it calmly and attentively.

In Ardas, after remembering to Sikh Guru, God, sacrifices, history and achievements of Sikhs are repeated, Waheguru is thanked for his boons, high morale is begged for, and well-being of the whole humanity – creation, is sought by saying “Nanak Naam Char.hdee Kala, T.aerae sarbat d.aa bhalaa” (Nanak, the Naam is giver of high morale, may all be blessed by God!)

We should say a personal Ardas, before and after Naam-Jaap. Such a personal prayer is usually short. We humbly beg from God –

Everyone humbly begs from You, O Lord! 3-86-5
Sabhe t.d:haae paas-hu nit. kar-e Ard.aase

Types of Ardas approved by the Sikh world.
Panthic Ardas –  It is full length Ardas
Chotee Ardas or Short Ardas – Only first section of Ardas

Panthic Ardas

A Panthic Ardas is standard, full-length invocation approved by the Sikh World. It is said after the end of a prayer-session in Gurduwara (Sikh place of worship).
It is made to God, Standing before the Holy Book. It is also made before the start and at the end of any Sikh ceremony, or a religious function. Even other Sikh function e.g. political, may as well be started after a Panthic Ardas.

A Panthic Ardas (full length) should be kept as short as possible, with no repetitions and unnecessary additions may be of quotation from the Holy Hymns. The stanzas (quotes) from Gurbani should not be said within the main body of Ardas, and their limited number (a few of them) may be used before starting it.

Chhotee Ardas - Short Invocation

It is said before opening and closing Guru Granth Sahib, and when some offerings are made to God, by placing these before Guru Granth Sahib.

Chhotee Ardas – Is is only recitation of the starting Pauri (step) of Ardas. This step is composition of the Tenth Guru Gobind Singh. It starts with “Ardas. Ik-Onkar Vaheguroo Jee Kee Sree jee sahaa-ae…” and ends at “D.assaan’ Pat.shaahee-aan’ jot.e Sree Guroo Granth Sahib… Bolo Jee Vaheguroo.”

Before opening the Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Book), to this Ardas is added supplication seeking permission to open it, and for the God’s Hukam (Order).

When closing Guru Granth Sahib, some at the individual level, first say Ardas and then close the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib. Others, say Ardas after closing the Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib.

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