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Ardas

The Ardās (Gurmukhi: ਅਰਦਾਸ) is a Sikh prayer that is carried out before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis (prayers); or completion of a service like the Paath (scripture reading/ recitation), kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done.

In a congregational setting, the Ardās is recited by one member with everyone standing reverentially, hands folded, facing the Guru Granth Sahib. Periodically throughout the recitation, the assembly as a whole repeats the word Waheguru in order to support the idea that God, the "Wondrous Guru", is the Supreme Being. At the completion of Ardās, the congregation bows down as one. Upon rising, the Sangat (congregation) proclaims "Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh".

The Ardas incorporates a variety of images and ideas within its folds. It acts as a bridge that transgresses time to report the cruelties that have been inflicted upon the Sikh people while at the same time serving as a way for the Sikh people to seek guidance from Waheguru.

Origins

The word "Ardās" is derived from Persian word 'Arazdashat', meaning a request, supplication, prayer, petition or an address to a superior authority. The Ardās is a unique prayer based on the fact that it is one of the few well-known prayers in the Sikh religion that was not written in its entirety by the Gurus.

The Ardās cannot be found within the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib because it is a continually changing devotional text that has evolved over time in order for it to encompass the feats, accomplishments, and feelings of all generations of Sikhs within its lines.

Taking the various derivation of the word Ardās into account, the basic purpose of this prayer is an appeal to Waheguru for protection and care, as well as being a plea for the welfare and prosperity of all mankind, and a means for the Sikhs to thank Waheguru.

Structure

Broadly, the Ardas is divided into three sections. The first section remembers all the ten gurus and their legacies to the Sikh religion. The second section discusses the sacrifices made by brave and spiritual leaders of the Sikh history and conspires a Sikh to be like them and protect others from the unjust world and oneself from worldly vices. The third section allows a Sikh to appeal for any specific wants/ needs and for forgiveness and further guidance. The Ardas ends with the ultimate appeal for the 'good of all' (equality).

The Ardas also provokes positive human emotions such as nimrata (humility), daya (compassion), chardi kala (fearlessness; in high spiritual state of mind). It encourages one to become a better Sikh and also a better human being by linking the minds to those of the “pure and brave ones” from history. A sense of community and the betterment of the society (sarbat da bhala) are the key components of Ardas.

When The Ardas Is Used

The Ardas is read when the Guru Granth Sahib is moved and before the Guru Granth Sahib is opened. The Ardas is read before and after an Akhand Path (full reading of the Guru Granth Sahib). During the Akhand Path, the ardas is recited after Anand Sahib, a prayer in which the entire congregation stands and recites as one, and the distribution of Kara Parshad, a blessed offering made of wheat flour, butter, and sugar; but prior to the sangat taking Hukam (listening to a randomly chosen passage from the Guru Granth Sahib).

The Ardas is also read at the end of naming ceremonies, engagements, and the beginning of the Anand Karaj marriage ceremony. During the funeral ceremonies, the ardas is said as the body is being taken away, while consigning the body to fire, when the pyre is fully aflame, upon returning to the gurdwara, and after Anand Sahib is recited.

One of the most momentous occasions when ardas is recited occurs during the ceremony where Sikhs take Amrit in order to become amritdhari Sikhs or members of the Khalsa Panth. During this ceremony, the "five beloved ones" or Panj Pyare perform ardas, the prayer is repeated after the Sikhs take Amrit, and then once more after all the expectations for an Amritdhari Sikh is revealed.

Some personal reasons for saying the Ardās;

1) To praise God,
2) To Thank God for giving you so much,
3) When you or someone you know has a need (most common),
4) To admit your wrong doing's (sins) and ask for forgiveness.

Based on the fact that Ardas is said so often within the course of such a significant ceremony like Amrit Sanskar, as well as with such frequency within such a large variety of ceremonies, one is able to understand how significant the Ardas is within the Sikh culture. Preceding the Ardās, Tu Thakur, often pronounced Tum Thakur Tum is a Sikh Shabad found in the Sukhmani Sahib on Ang 268 of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Scriptures). The passage is sung before the main Ardās and final prayers of any Sikh service;

ਤੂ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਤੁਮ ਪਹਿ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥
Tu Thaakur Tum Peh Ardās ||
You are our Master; to you, I offer this humble prayer.

ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਸਭੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥
Jio Pind Sabh Tayree Raas ||
This body and soul are all your belonging.

ਤੁਮ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੇਰੇ ॥
Thum Maata Pithaa Ham Baarik Thaerae ||
You are our mother and father; and we are your children.

ਤੁਮਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਮਹਿ ਸੂਖ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥
Tumaree Kirpaa Meh Sukh Ghanayrey ||
In your grace, we experience ultimate peace!

ਕੋਇ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਅੰਤੁ ॥
Koe Na Jaanay Tumraa Unt ||
No-one knows your infinite vastness.

ਊਚੇ ਤੇ ਊਚਾ ਭਗਵੰਤ ॥
Oochay Tey Oochaa Bhagavant ||
O highest of the high, most generous God,

ਸਗਲ ਸਮਗ੍ਰੀ ਤੁਮਰੈ ਸੂਤ੍ਰਿ ਧਾਰੀ ॥
Sagal Samagree Tumaray Soothr Dhaaree ||
The whole creation is strung on your thread.

ਤੁਮ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਆਗਿਆਕਾਰੀ ॥
Tum Tey Hoe So Aageyakaaree ||
That which has come from you is in your will.

ਤੁਮਰੀ ਗਤਿ ਮਿਤਿ ਤੁਮ ਹੀ ਜਾਨੀ ॥
Tumaree Gath Mith Tum Hee Jaanee ||
You alone know your existence and vastness.

ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸ ਸਦਾ ਕੁਰਬਾਨੀ ॥੮॥੪॥
Nanak Daas Sadhaa Kurbaanee ||8||4||
Nanak, Your slave, is forever surrendering to you. ||8||4||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Arjan, Sukhmani, Raag Gauri, Ang 268


Main Ardas

ੴ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਹਿ॥
Ik-Onkar. Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh ||
God is One. All victory is of the Wondrous Guru (God).

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਜੀ ਸਹਾਇ॥
Sri Bhagauti Ji Sahai ||
May the respected sword (God in the form of the Destroyer of evil doers) help us!

ਵਾਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੧੦॥
Vaar Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki Paatshaahee Dasmi ||
Ode of the respected sword recited by the Tenth Guru.

ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਕੈ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਈਂ ਧਿਆਇ॥
Pritham Bhagauti Simar Kai, Guru Nanak Laee Dhiyae ||
First remember the sword (God in the form of Destroyer of evil doers); then remember and meditate upon Guru Nanak.

ਫਿਰ ਅੰਗਦ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਅਮਰਦਾਸੁ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੈ ਹੋਈਂ ਸਹਾਇ॥
Fir Angad Gur Te Amar Das, Ram Das Hoye Sahai ||
Then remember and meditate upon Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das and Guru Ram Das: May they help us!

ਅਰਜਨ ਹਰਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨੋ ਸਿਮਰੌ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿਰਾਇ॥
Arjan Hargobind No Simrou Sri Har Rai ||
Remember and meditate upon Guru Arjan, Guru Hargobind and Respected Guru Har Rai.

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਹਰਿਕ੍ਰਿਸ਼ਨ ਧਿਆਇਐ ਜਿਸ ਡਿਠੈ ਸਭਿ ਦੁਖ ਜਾਇ॥
Sri Harkrishan Dhiyaa-eeai Jis Dhithi Sabh Dukh Jaye ||
Remember and meditate upon respected Guru Harkrishan, by having the sight of whom, all pains vanish.

ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ ਸਿਮਰਿਐ ਘਰ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਆਵੈ ਧਾਇ॥
Teg Bahadur Simar-eeai Ghar Nau Nidh Aavai Dhai ||
Remember and meditate upon Guru Tegh Bahadur; and then nine sources of wealth will come hastening to your home.

ਸਭ ਥਾਂਈ ਹੋਇ ਸਹਾਇ॥
Sabh Thaai Ho-e Sahaai ||
Oh Respected Gurus! kindly help us everywhere.
(This is the end of the section written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the rest was compiled after the Guru’s time.)

ਦਸਵਾਂ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਸਭ ਥਾਂਈ ਹੋਇ ਸਹਾਇ॥
Dasvai Paatshaah Guru Gobind Singh Ji Sabh Thai Ho-e Sahaai ||
May the kind, the respected Tenth Guru Gobind Singh assist us everywhere.

ਦਸਾਂ ਪਾਤਸ਼ਾਹੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਜੋਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਪਾਠ ਦੀਦਾਰ ਦਾ ਧਿਆਨ ਧਰ ਕੇ ਬੋਲੋ ਜੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ॥
Dasa Paatsaaheea Di Jot Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Di Paath Deedaar Daa Dhiyaan Dhar Ke Bolo Ji Waheguru ||
Think and meditate upon the divine light of the Ten Kings contained in the respected Guru Granth Sahib and turn your thoughts to the divine teachings of and get pleasure by the sight of Guru Granth Sahib; Utter Waheguru (Wondrous God)!

ਪੰਜਾਂ ਪਿਆਰਿਆਂ, ਚੌਹਾਂ ਸਾਹਿਬਜ਼ਾਦਿਆਂ, ਚਾਲ੍ਹੀਆਂ ਮੁਕਤਿਆਂ, ਹਠੀਆਂ ਜਪੀਆਂ, ਤਪੀਆਂ, ਜਿਹਨਾਂ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਿਆ, ਵੰਡ ਛਕਿਆ, ਦੇਗ ਚਲਾਈ, ਤੇਗ ਵਾਹੀ, ਦੇਖ ਕੇ ਅਣਡਿੱਠ ਕੀਤਾ, ਤਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਪਿਆਰਿਆਂ, ਸਚਿਆਰਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਕਮਾਈ ਦਾ ਧਿਆਨ ਧਰ ਕੇ, ਖਾਲਸਾ ਜੀ । ਬੋਲੋ ਜੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ॥
Panja Pyaaraae, Chauhaa Sahibzadiyae, Chaliya Mukhtyae, Huthiyae, Jupiyae, Tupiyae, Jina Nam Jupiyae, Vand Shakiyae, Deg Chalaaee, Teg Vaahee, Dekh Ke Andhith Keetaa, Tinhaa Pyariyaae, Sachiaariyaa Dee Kamaaee, Da Dhiyaan Dhar Ke Bolo Ji Waheguru ||
Think of the deeds of the Five Beloved Ones, of the four sons (of Guru Gobind Singh); of the Forty Martyrs; of the brave Sikhs of indomitable determination; of the devotees steeped in the colour of the Name; of those who were absorbed in the Name; of those who remembered the Name and shared their food in companionship; of those who started free kitchens; of those who wielded their swords (for preserving truth); of those who overlooked others shortcomings; All the aforesaid were pure and truly devoted ones; Utter Waheguru (Wondrous God)!

ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਸਿੰਘਾਂ ਸਿੰਘਣੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਧਰਮ ਹੇਤ ਸੀਸ ਦਿੱਤੇ, ਬੰਦ ਬੰਦ ਕਟਾਏ, ਖੋਪਰੀਆਂ ਲੁਹਾਈਆਂ, ਚਰਖੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਚੜੇ, ਆਰਿਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਚਿਰਾਏ ਗਏ, ਗੁਰਦਵਾਰਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਲਈ ਕੁਰਬਾਨੀਆਂ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ, ਧਰਮ ਨਹੀਂ ਹਾਰਿਆ, ਸਿੱਖੀ ਕੇਸਾਂ ਸੁਆਸਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਨਿਬਾਹੀ, ਤਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਕਮਾਈ ਦਾ ਧਿਆਨ ਧਰ ਕੇ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਜੀ । ਬੋਲੋ ਜੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ॥
Jinaa Singhaa Singhneeyaa Ne Dharam Het Sees Dithe, Bund Bund Kuttai, Khopriya Luhayiya, Charukriya Te Churhe, Aariaa Naal Chiraae Ge, Gurdwaraiya Di Seva Layee Kurbaniya Keethiyae, Dharam Nehee Haariye, Sikhi Kesaa Suwaasaa Naal Nibaahee, Tina Dee Kamaaee Daa Dhiyaan Dhar Ke Bolo Ji Waheguru ||
Think of and remember the unique service rendered by those brave Sikh men as well as women, who sacrificed their heads but did not surrender their Sikh Religion; Who had themselves cut to pieces from each of the joints of the body; Who had their scalps removed; Who were tied and rotated on the wheels and broken into pieces; Who were cut by saws; Who were flayed alive; Who sacrificed themselves to upkeep the dignity of the Gurdwaras; Who did not abandon their Sikh faith; Who kept their Sikh Religion and saved their long hair till their last breath; Utter Waheguru (Wondrous God)!

ਪੰਜਾਂ ਤਖਤਾਂ, ਸਰਬੱਤ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਧਿਆਨ ਧਰ ਕੇ ਬੋਲੋ ਜੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ॥
Panja Takhta Sarbat Gurdwariyae Daa Dhiyaan Dhar Ke Bolo Ji Waheguru ||
Turn your thoughts to all of the seats of Sikh Religion and all the Gurdwaras; utter Waheguru (Wondrous God)!

ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੇ ਸਰਬੱਤ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਹੈ ਜੀ, ਸਰਬੱਤ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਜੀ ਕੋ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਚਿਤ ਆਵੇ, ਚਿੱਤ ਆਵਨ ਕਾ ਸਦਕਾ ਸਰਬ ਸੁਖ ਹੋਵੇ॥
Prithme Sarbat Khaalsaa Ji Ki Ardaas Hai Ji, Sarbat Khaalsaa Ji Ko Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru Chit Aavai Chit Aavan Ka Sadkaa Surab Sukh Hovai ||
First the entire respected Khalsa make this supplication that may they meditate on Your Name; and may all pleasures and comforts come through such meditation.

ਜਹਾਂ ਜਹਾਂ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਜੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ, ਤਹਾਂ ਤਹਾਂ ਰਛਿਆ ਰਿਆਇਤ, ਦੇਗ ਤੇਗ ਫ਼ਤਹ, ਬਿਰਦ ਕੀ ਪੈਜ, ਪੰਥ ਕੀ ਜੀਤ, ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਸਹਾਇ, ਖਾਲਸੇ ਜੀ ਕੇ ਬੋਲ ਬਾਲੇ, ਬੋਲੋ ਜੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ॥
Jahaa Jahaa Khaalsaa Ji Saahib, Tahaa Tahaa Ruchhiya Riyaa-it, Deg Teg Fateh, Bira Ki Paij, Panth Ki Jit, Sree Saahib Ji Sahaai Khaalse Ji Ko Bol Baaley, Bolo Ji Waheguru ||
Wherever respected Khalsa is present, give Your protection and grace; May the free kitchen and sword never fail; Maintain the honour of your devotees; Confer victory upon the Sikh people; May the respected sword always come to our assistance; May the Khalsa always get honours; Utter Waheguru (Wondrous God)!

ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਿੱਖੀ ਦਾਨ, ਕੇਸ ਦਾਨ, ਰਹਿਤ ਦਾਨ, ਬਿਬੇਕ ਦਾਨ, ਵਿਸਾਹ ਦਾਨ, ਭਰੋਸਾ ਦਾਨ, ਦਾਨਾਂ ਸਿਰ ਦਾਨ, ਨਾਮ ਦਾਨ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਇਸ਼ਨਾਨ, ਚੌਕੀਆਂ, ਝੰਡੇ, ਬੁੰਗੇ, ਜੁਗੋ ਜੁਗ ਅਟੱਲ, ਧਰਮ ਕਾ ਜੈਕਾਰ, ਬੋਲੋ ਜੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ॥
Sikhaa Noo Sikhee Daan, Kesh Daan, Rehit Daan, Bibek Daan, Bharosaa Daan, Daanaa Sir Daan Naam Daan, Chounkiyaa Jhande Bunge Jugo Jug Attal, Dharam Ka Jai Kaar Bolo Ji Waheguru ||
Kindly confer upon the Sikhs the gift of Sikhism, the gift of long hair, the gift of observing Sikh laws, the gift of divine knowledge, the gift of firm faith, the gift of belief and the biggest gift of Name. O God! May the choirs, the mansion and the banners exist forever; may the truth ever triumph; utter Waheguru (Wondrous God)!

ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦਾ ਮਨ ਨੀਵਾਂ, ਮਤ ਉੱਚੀ ਮਤ ਦਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਆਪਿ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ॥
Sikhaa Daa Man Neevaa, Mat Uchee, Mat Pat Daa Raakhaa Aap Waheguru ||
May the minds of all the Sikhs remain humble and their wisdom exalted; O God! Your are the protector of wisdom.

ਹੇ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਆਪਣੇ ਪੰਥ ਦੇ ਸਦਾ ਸਹਾਈ ਦਾਤਾਰ ਜੀਓ॥ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਨਨਕਾਣਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਿਆਂ ਗੁਰਧਾਮਾਂ ਦੇ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਪੰਥ ਨੂੰ ਵਿਛੋੜਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ, ਖੁਲ੍ਹੇ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਦੀਦਾਰ ਤੇ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੰਭਾਲ ਦਾ ਦਾਨ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਜੀ ਨੂੰ ਬਖਸ਼ੋ॥
Hei Akaal-Purakh, Apne Panth De Sada Sahai Datar Jio || Sri Nankaanaa Sahib Tae Hor Gurdvaareaan, Gurdhaamaan Dae Jinhaan Ton Panth Noon Vichhor-eaa Geaa Hai Khullhae Darshan Deedaara Tae Sevaa Sanbhaal Daa Daan Khaalsa Jee Noon Bakhsho ||
O Immortal Being, eternal helper of the Panth, benevolent God, bestow on the Khalsa the beneficence of unobstructed visits to and free management of Sri Nankana Sahib and other Gurdwaras and places of the Gurus from which the Panth has been seperated.

ਹੇ ਨਿਮਾਣਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਮਾਣ, ਨਿਤਾਣਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਤਾਣ, ਨਿਓਟਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਓਟ, ਸੱਚੇ ਪਿਤਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ! ਆਪ ਦੇ ਹਜ਼ੂਰ…..ਦੀ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਹੈ ਜੀ॥
Hey Nimaneeaa De Maan, Nitaneeaa De Taan, Nioteeaa Di Ot, Sachey Pita Waheguru (Aap Di Hazur…) ||
O True Father, Waheguru! you are the honour of the meek, the Power of the helpless ones, the shelter of the shelterless, we humbly make prayer in your presence…..(substitute the occasion or prayer made here).

ਅੱਖਰ ਵਾਧਾ ਘਾਟਾ ਭੁੱਲ ਚੁੱਕ ਮਾਫ ਕਰਨੀ॥ ਸਰਬੱਤ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਜ ਰਾਸ ਕਰਨੇ॥
Akhar Vaadhaa Ghaataa Bhul Chuk Maaf Karnee, Sarbat De Kaaraj Raas Karney. ||
Kindly pardon our errors and shortcomings in reciting the above Prayer. Kindly fulfill the objects of all.

ਸੇਈ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਮੇਲ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਮਿਲਿਆਂ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮ ਚਿਤ ਆਵੇ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ, ਤੇਰੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਸਰਬੱਤ ਦਾ ਭਲਾ॥
Seyee Piyare Mel, Jina Miliya Teraa Naam Chit Aavai, Naanak Naam Chardi Kala, Tere Bhaaney Sarbat Daa Bhalaa ||
Kindly cause us to meet those true devotees by meeting whom, we may remember and meditate upon Your Name. O God! through the True Guru Nanak, may Your Name be exalted, and may all prosper according to Your will.

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ॥ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਿਹ॥
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh ||
The Pure belong to the Wonderful Lord, victory is the Wonderful Lord's.






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