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ARDAS - THE PRAYER
MEANINGS
Ardaas', the prayer that is usually recited at the end of a religious ceremony with participants standing up concentrating on God with folded hands, facing Guru Granth Sahib (most of Sikh religious ceremonies happen in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib). The text that follows describes the meaning of Ardaas and explains all events stated in there.
IK ONKAR WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH. God is one. The victory belongs to God.
'Onkar' and 'Waheguru' are names of God. In Gurbaani, God has been addressed by many names like Ishwer, Allah, Parmatama, Prabhu, Ram, Mohan and Gobind, but Satnam and Waheguru are most commonly used.
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SRI BHAGAUTI JI SAHAI. The Great Eternal Power to help us.
Bhagauti is the name of the 'Great Eternal Power' (God). 'Sahai' means 'help'. We are starting the prayer by asking 'the Great Eternal Power to help us.'
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VAR SRI BHAGAUTI JI KI PATSHAI DASWEEN. This Var, addressed to the Almighty was written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
'Var' is one of the types of poetry which is usually sung in praise of martyrs. First five lines are written as a poem and the rest of the Ardaas is prose. This 'Var' addressed to the Almighty was written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. 'Patshah' means King, 'Patshai' is the adjective, 'Dasween' is tenth.
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PRITHAM BHAGAUTI SIMAR KE GURU NANAK LAIN DHIAE First of all after thinking of the Great Eternal Power I put my mind to Guru Nanak.
'Pritham' means first of all, 'simar' is reciting repeatedly and 'dhiae' is to meditate (think deeply). This line means that 'first of all after thinking of the Great Eternal Power I put my mind to Guru Nanak.' Guru Nanak was the first Guru whose followers were called 'Sikhs'. Sikh means a pupil, a learner. Whenever anybody went to Guru Nanak and listened and adhered to his teachings, other people called him 'Guru ka Sikh' (Sikh of the Guru).
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PHIR ANGAD GUR TE AMARDAS, RAMDASAE HOIEN SAHAI. Then I pray to Guru Angad, Guru Amardas and Guru Ramdas to look after me
Guru Nanak Dev was succeeded by nine Gurus whose names appear in Ardaas in order of succession. Guru Angad Dev was second , Guru Amardas was third and Guru Ramdas was the fourth Guru. (Gur is short for Guru). Guru Angad Dev compiled the Gurmukhi script in which Sri Guru Granth Sahib is written. Guru Amardas started the 'Langar' (the community kitchen) where every hungry person was fed irrespective of colour, caste or creed. Everybody sat at the same level and ate the same food, thus showing that everyone is equal. Guru Ramdas laid the foundation of Amritsar city where later the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) was built by his son Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru.
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ARJAN HARGOBIND NOO SIMRAU SRI HAR RAI. I will meditate on Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind and Guru Har Rai
These were the fifth, sixth and seventh Gurus respectively. Besides building the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Guru Arjan Dev wrote and compiled Sri Guru Granth Sahib in which the Gurbani, written by his four predecessor Gurus and contemporary 'Baghats' (religious teachers; saints) was arranged. He was also the first Sikh martyr who was tortured to death by one of the Emperor's courtiers . Guru Hargobind taught the Sikhs to be brave, to look after themselves and to fight for their own rights, even with the swords if need be. He wore two swords, one of 'Miri' (the political) and one of 'Piri' (the spiritual). He fought a few battles with the Emperor's army and won conclusively, which actually won him the Emperor's friendship. Guru Har Rai continued the good work of his predecessors.
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SRI HARKRISHAN DHIAEY, JIS DITHE SABH DUKH JAIE. I think of Guru Harkrishan, on seeing his calm face all agonies disappear.
Guru Harkrishan was the eighth Guru. He was invited by Emperor Aurangzeb to see him. But when Guru Harkishan reached Delhi, there was an outbreak of small pox. Instead of seeing the Emperor, he started looking after the poor sick people. He himself caught small pox infection and left for heavenly abode while he was still in Delhi. He was merely eight years old at that time.
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TEG BAHADAR SIMARIYE, GHAR NAO NIDH AWAI DHAI. SABH THAIN HOI SAHAI. If you meditate on Guru Teg Bahadar you will get the key for all the riches. He will help you everywhere.
Teg Bahader was the ninth Guru. He was the second martyr Sikh Guru. He was beheaded on Emperor Aurangzeb's orders when he refused to accept Islam.
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DASWAN PATSHAH SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH SAHIB JI, SABH THAIN HOI SAHAI. I request Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru, to look after me everywhere.
Guru Gobind Singh is also known as a 'SAINT-SOLDIER'. He changed the Sikhs into 'KHALSA', which means 'pure'. He also gave the name 'Singh' (lion) to his followers. He sacrificed all his family members for the sake of sikh ideals. Before leaving this world Guru Gobind Singh told the Sikhs to accept Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru.
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DASAN PATSHAHIAN DI JOT SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI DE PATH DIDAR DA DHAYAN DHAR KE BOLO JI 'WAHEGURU'. Meditate on the teaching of SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB Ji which is the gospel of all the ten Gurus, and say 'WAHEGURU'.
'Meditate on the teaching of SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB Ji which is the gospel of all the ten Gurus, and say 'WAHEGURU'.' You will notice that 'BOLO JI WAHEGURU' (say 'Waheguru') is repeated many times during Ardaas, always at the end of praise-worthy adjectives. It is one of the ways to pay respect and homage to whatever is said during that passage in the prayer.
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PANJAN PIARIAN, CHOHAN SAHIBZADIAN, CHALI MUKTIAN, HATHIAN, JAPIAN, TAPIAN, JINHAN NAM JAPPIA, WAND CHHAKIA, DEG CHALAI, TEG WAHI, DEKH KE UNDITH KEETA, TINNA PIARIAN SACHIARIAN DI KAMAI DA DHIAN DHAR KE KHALSA JI BOLO JI - 'WAHEGURU'. Think of the five chosen ones; the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji; the forty martyrs and all those who meditated on God's name with strong faith and determination; shared with everybody whatever they had; participated in feeding the hungry; fought for the community; forgave the wrong doers; remember the great pieces of work done by those lovely and truthful people and say 'WAHEGURU'.
PANJ PIARE: The incidence of the 'Five chosen ones' is one of the most important happenings in the Sikh history. It was during the harvest festival of Vaisakhi (30th of March,1699); while the congregation at Anandpur (a town in Punjab, India) were enjoying the hymns; that Guru Gobind Singh stood up, took his sword out and said in a very loud voice, "I need the head of a Sikh. Who is ready to offer me his head?" Everybody was stunned, and a deadly silence immediately fell all around. One man named Daya Ram came forward, bowed his head and said, "I offer my head." He was taken into a tent which had already been erected there. Nobody knew what was happening inside. They heard a 'thud' which came from inside the tent as if a person had been beheaded. After a while Guru Ji came out with the sword dripping with blood and said, "I need another head". This shocked even the most brave hearted man. Many people started leaving the place. But one brave man Dharam Das came forward and said, "I offer my head". He was also taken in. After a few more tense minutes Guru Ji came out and demanded another head. Three times the same thing was repeated and every time one Sikh would come and offer his head. The other three who came were Himmant Rai, Mohkam Chand and Sahib Chand . They went in the same tent one after the other. People outside the tent did not know what was happening inside. The tension and anxiety hung thickly in the air. The silence was so complete that the dropping of a pin could have echoed for miles around. Nobody dared to question what was happening. Those who remained watched in awe whilst the faint hearted left.

After a long wait, the flap of the tent opened, Guru Ji came out, followed by the Five Chosen Ones (PANJ PIARE - Panj means five, Piare means loved ones). These five were dressed in a uniform; they wore a long shirt, a long sword on one side and a neatly tied turban. Then Guru Ji prepared Amrit (Holy water) by reciting five 'Banis' of Nitnem (the hymns for the morning prayer) while moving the 'Khanda' (a double edged sword) in a bowl of water in which sugar was mixed. Amrit was offered to all the five. It was sprinkled in their eyes (to make their spiritual vision clear), in their hair (to make their thinking clear) and given them to drink from the same pot (ending the class and caste system).

Guru Ji stood in front of them and said in a very loud voice, "From today all of you are brothers, no one is higher or lower and there will not be a caste system amongst you. You are an army of lions. Your name will be Singh (lion). You will fight for the sake of truth. You will always fight to help the poor. You will have the courage that for the sake of your ideals you would not be scared to fight even a million people single handed. You will believe only in One God and will not worship any idols, deities or ghosts. God will always look after you. You will always keep five Ks, that are Kes (uncut hair), Kangha (a personal wooden comb, to keep the hair clean), Karha (an iron bracelet on the wrist), Kachha (the under pant), and Kirpan (the sword). This uniform will keep you ready for your mission. During a fight you will fight with soldiers, you will not attack if he is unarmed, if he is asleep, if he is running away or if he throws his arms. You belong to God. When you win in battle, the honour of the victory will also belong to God, not to an individual. All women , except your wife, are either your mothers or sisters or daughters. You will never harm the women, children or elderly people. You will have no relationship with the women of your enemy. You will not smoke nor will you consume intoxicating drinks nor eat meat .

"I am your Guru and you are to obey me. But now I will change my place. You are my Guru. I would request you to offer me this Amrit. From now onward, if ever, five Sikhs order me to do anything, I will obey."

Guru Ji was given Amrit the same way as the Panj Piare were given.

Then Guru Ji addressed the whole of the congregation. "These five are the most courageous people. I want all of you to follow their example. Those who want to abide by these rules can take Amrit and join this army of true people -THE KHALSA. I would also like to invite all women to take Amrit. They will be called 'KAUR' (meaning Princess).They too will play an equal part in the Khalsa."

It is said that almost twenty thousand people took Amrit that day.

CHAR SAHIBZADE :
'Char' means four, 'Sahibzade' means sons (usually belonging to a respectable family.) Here, this refers to the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. They were Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zoraver Singh and Fateh Singh. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji formed the Khalsa the neighbouring kings were very unhappy and jealous. They attacked Anandpur a few times but were badly defeated by the Khalsa. They told Emperor Aurangzeb that Gobind Singh had made a very big army and was planning to attack Delhi. They succeeded in getting his army to attack Anandpur. The army surrounded the city but the Sikhs did not give in. More than a year passed and at last the Mogul commander (on behalf of the Emperor) suggested under oath that if Guru Ji could leave Anandpur he would be given a safe passage by which to go and would not be followed or captured. Inside the fort the Sikhs were also suffering from sickness and hunger. The Sikhs urged Guru Ji and all his family members (including his mother Mata Gujri Ji), to leave Anandpur. The entire army lesd by Guru Ji left Anandpur. They had hardly gone out of the city when the Emperor's army broke all their promises. They attacked the Sikhs. The Sikhs were forced to cross the river 'Sarsa' which was flooded at that time. While crossing the river the two elder sons Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh were with Guru Ji but the younger ones Zoraver Singh and Fateh Singh were separated and went in a different direction along with their grand mother and a cook (Gangu). Guru Ji had to take shelter in a small fort at a village, Chamkaur, along with a few Sikhs and his two sons. The army had surrounded the village and were desperately trying to capture Guru Ji, dead or alive. The Sikhs and Guru Ji decided to fight to the end. The Sikhs would go in the formation of three to five persons at one time and fight. They would kill as many soldiers as possible before laying down their own lives. Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh also got excited and wanted to go out and fight. Guru Ji prepared them and blessed them to meet their end bravely. They went out in turn with a couple of older Sikhs and fought bravely. Although they were very young (17 and 15 years old), they did not care to save themselves. Both died fighting bravely.

Gangu betrayed Zoraver Singh and Fateh Singh and handed them over to the men of the Muslim Governor of Sarhand (a neighbouring town). The governor tried to coax them to convert to Islam, which they flatly refused. They were neither enchanted by the attractions of a royal living nor scared by the tortures which were waiting for them. They opted for the latter. They were made to stand on a platform and a wall was erected around them. When the wall was shoulder high they were beheaded. The news of their martyrdom was conveyed to their grandmother. She prayed sitting in the cold tower, where she was imprisoned, and died.

When the news of his younger sons, age 9 and 7 years, and his mother reached Guru Gobind Singh Ji, he sat in meditation, prayed and thanked God saying, "Thank God, I have returned to you what belonged to you, the children have sacrificed themselves for the sake of the nation."

CHALI MUKTE : When the Emperor's army had surrounded Anandpur the condition inside the fort started getting worse after sometime, as the food supply dwindled. Sikhs tried their best to eat less. Sometimes they would attack the army to loot their ration, but time took its toll. Some Sikhs were more desperate than others. They thought of leaving Guru Ji's army and going home where they would work in their fields and look after their families. They went to Guru Ji and told their decision. Guru Ji did not get cross with them, rather he smiled and said, "I respect your decision and it is your choice to stay or to leave. If you have decided to leave I would like it if you would write your names on a piece of paper saying that I am not your Guru and you are not my Sikhs." They did it as soon as they could and escaped in the darkness to avoid being captured.

When they reached home their families were first surprised and then upset. They were not expecting them so soon since the battle was still continuing. When they heard that their loved ones had deserted Guru Ji, they were extremely annoyed. No welcome home, no smiling faces and no hospitality was offered. Instead a very brave lady Mai Bhago suggested to them that they should stay at home, look after the children and work in the fields; and that she would go in the battle field along with a few women and fight in their place. They were very ashamed and sorry for what they had done, especially when the news came that Guru Ji was forced to leave Anandpur. They had learnt their lesson. Under the leadership of Mai Bhago forty of them decided to return to Guru Ji and fight.

In the meantime while Emperor's army was surrounding the village Chamkaur and was trying to capture Guru Ji. Guru Ji had lost both of his elder sons and many Sikhs. Night fall came and the army stopped fighting (as this was the unwritten law of battle in those days). Inside the little fort everybody knew that in the morning the army would attack and kill or capture them. The Sikhs suggested to Guru Ji that he should leave in the dark of the night and they would hold the fort for as long as possible. Sikhs thought that by the morning Guru Ji would have escaped to the safety of the nearby forest. However, Guru Ji refused to leave his Sikhs under these circumstances. The Sikhs thought of a plan. Five Sikhs stood in front of Guru Ji, reminded him of the promise he had made with 'Panj Piare', and 'ordered' him to leave the fort. Thus Guru-ji had no choice since he had promosed to follow the orders of his 'Panj Piare'. Guru Ji stood at the wall of the fort and shouted, " I, Gobind Singh, the Guru of the Sikhs, am leaving this fort. Capture me if you dare." It was a very dark night. Although the army tried to run in every direction to catch Guru Ji, they could not find him. In the morning the army commander came to know that Guru Ji was going towards a small village. They followed him.

It was in the nick of time that the forty Sikhs under the command of Mai Bhago reached Guru Ji. Guru Ji got control of a small and the only source of water at that place. These forty Sikhs fought bravely with their swords and arrows, Guru Ji's arrows also uprooted the army. The army was dying not only due to injuries but also the thirst in the extreme heat of mid-day. They ran away without capturing Guru Ji. But by this time many of the Sikhs were dead and others were dying. Guru Ji walked amongst his true followers. He sat with every dead Sikh and blessed him. One of them, named Mahan Singh, was taking his last breath when Guru Ji saw him. He rushed to the dying Sikh, cleaned his face and said, "You are my beloved Sikh. I am very impressed by your bravery, devotion and sacrifice. You can ask for anything at this time and I will try to get it for you." A glow came into Mahan Singh's eyes and then his eyes were filled with water. He gathered all his strength, tried to touch Guru Ji's feet and said, "Guru Ji, I have only one request. Please, tear up that piece of paper on which I, with my other friends, wrote our names when we deserted you. Just say that you have forgiven us." Guru Ji smiled, put Mahan Singh's head in his lap, took out the paper and tore it . "I forgive you and your brothers and I appreciate your courage and bravery." Mahan Singh died peacefully in Guru Ji's lap. These forty Sikh are known as 'Chali Mukte - The forty who attained salvation.' (Chali means forty). There is a big Gurdwara at this place called 'Mukatsar'. Sikhs celebrate the occasion every year on the 14th of January all over the world. It is known as 'Maghi Festival'.
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JINHAN SINGHAN SINGHANIAN NE DHARAM HET SIS DITTE, BAND BAND KATAE, KHOPRIAN LAHAIAN, CHARKHRIAN TE CHARHE, AAREAN NAAL CHEERAI GAE, GURDWARIAN DI SEWA LAI QURBANIAN KEETIAN, DHARAM NAHEEN HARIA, SIKHI KESAN SWASAN NAAL NIBAHEE, TINNA DI KAMAI DA DHIAN DHAR KE , KHALSA JI, BOLO JI 'WAHEGURU.' Those Sikhs, both men and women, who, for the sake of their religion, offered their heads; let their bodies be cut piece by piece; let their heads be scalped off; suffered torture under the body cutting wheel; let their body be sawed through the middle; who sacrificed themselves for the sake of the reformation of the Gurdwaras; but they did not relinquish their religion; who stuck to the principles of 'Sikhi' up to their last breath, think of their heroic performance and say 'WAHEGURU'.
DHARAM HET SIS DITTE: (Offered their heads). There have been many brave Sikhs who were beheaded for the sake of their principles. After Guru Gobind Singh Ji left this world, Baba Banda Singh Bahader (who was assigned as commander by Guru Ji) lead the Sikhs for a few years. He revenged the torture and assassination of Guru Ji's younger sons, killed the governor of Sarhand and destroyed the city. He started Sikh rule which lasted for a very short time. But unfortunately, he was captured with a handful of Sikhs. To make up a good number of the spoil the army caught a few hundred civilian Sikhs as well. They were presented to the governor. He ordered them to be killed in front of Banda Bahader, who was put in a cage. Every day one hundred Sikhs were beheaded in an open slaughter house. They were given one last chance to save themselves, by converting to Islam. Strangely nobody took this offer.

One of the prisoners was a boy in his mid teens, whose father had died. His poor widowed mother approached the governor to spare his life because he was innocent, because she was dependent on him and also that he was not a Sikh. The governor took pity on her and gave the order for his release. He was going to be beheaded when the order came through. His mother cried with joy that her son would live. The boy was given the good news, but he refused to accept his release, even refused to recognise his mother and preferred to be killed as a brave Sikh than to live a life of a coward.

BAND KATTAE: (chopped at every joint) Bhai Mani Singh will always be remembered as the man who was tortured to death by being cut at every joint. He was one of the most literate Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dictated to him the whole of Guru Granth Sahib, also incorporating the hymns written by his father, Guru Teg Bahader Ji. When Guru Ji left Punjab to go to South India (Nander in Maharastra), Bhai Mani Singh was sent to the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) Amritsar, as the head priest. He looked after the general affairs of the Sikh community and had a relatively better relationship with the authorities. One year he asked the authorities if he could organise the Diwali fair without any intervention from them. It was agreed for a fixed amount of money to be paid after the fair. All the Sikh leaders, who were hiding, were sent the invitations. A few days before the fair Bhai Mani Singh came to know the secret plot of the government, which was to attack and kill all the Sikh leaders who would come to attend the fair. Immediately this new information was sent out and the fair was cancelled. As a result only a handful of people came and there was not enough money raised to pay the authorities. Bhai Ji was arrested. When he told them the reason why the money could not be paid, he was prosecuted in the court and, of course, found guilty. According to the Islamic law the punishment was that he should be killed by chopping him at each joint. He smiled at them. When the executioner came to him, he asked "Where are you going to start from?"

"Your wrist," answered the executioner as he got hold of his forearm.

"You foolish illiterate man! Can't you see any joint before my wrist? Start with the small joints of the fingers before you come to the wrist. Keep chopping as ordered and if I fall unconscious don't forget the small joints of my toes when you start cutting my feet."

He was chopped joint by joint .

KHOPRIAN LAHAIAN: 'Khopri' is the scalp where the hair grow; 'Lahaian' means 'let it be removed'. ('Khoprian' is plural and 'khopri' is singular). This particular incident happened with Bhai Taru Singh Ji. He was also caught during the reign of terror and given the choice of either to accept Islam or to be ready to die. He accepted the latter. The punishment was to cut his hair first. Unfortunately when the barber tried, his scissors were very blunt and did not cut at all. The executioner could not wait, so he ordered that Bhai Ji's scalp should be removed. Bhai Ji stayed calm as the order was carried out and he became a martyr in Sikh history.

CHARKHRIAN TE CHARE: This was a very popular torture of that time. 'Charkhri' was a device like a Catherine Wheel. The person was mounted on one wheel, the other wheel was covered with sharp knives or nails. Both the wheels were rotated and every time the person's body touched the other wheel a part of his body was ripped. There were many Sikhs who died on these wheels but Shabeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh will always be remembered. They were father and son and were very well respected by the commoners as well as the officials. For quite a while they were a go between for the government officials and the rebel Sikhs. But a time came when they were set up by a Qazi (the Islamic Judge) and the authorities accepted his unfair verdict. They were given a last chance to save their lives by accepting Islam or die on the 'charkhri', ('charkhri' is singular and 'charkhrian' is plural). As expected of the brave Sikhs of the day they preferred the latter. Both of them laid down their lives for the sake of the community.

AAREAN NAAL CHEERAI GAE: (cut with a saw); These incidence happened to Bhai Mati Das Ji and Bhai Dyala Ji. They accompanied Guru Teg Bahadar Ji to Delhi along with three more Sikhs, when he went to see Emperor Aurangzeb. Pressure was put on Guru Ji to convert to Islam otherwise all the five Sikhs accompanying him would be tortured painfully to death. Guru Ji refused the conversion. All of them were ready to prove their point that Sikhs could die for the sake of their religion. According to the 'Qazi' Bhai Mati Das was to be sawed vertically through the middle, Bhai Dyala was to be boiled to death and Bhai Sati Das was to be burnt alive. They preferred to die and expressed only one last desire, 'Our faces should be towards Guru Ji when we die.'

Later, Guru Ji was beheaded in an open market (Chandni Chowk, Delhi) on the 11th of November, 1675.

GURDWARIAN DI SEWA LAI QURBANIAN KEETIAN: (sacrificed themselves for the sake of Gurdwaras)
. These are relatively modern era martyrs. During the third decade of 20th century (1920 onward), when India was being ruled by the British Empire, every Gurdwara was being run by one priest. These priests became very greedy. They would take all the money for themselves and would not spend even a small amount on the welfare of the community or Gurdwara. Sikh intellectuals decided (the reformation movement) that this 'priesthood' should be abolished and all the Gurdwaras should be controlled by an elected central committee. The proposal was put to the government and also to the priests. It was rejected immediately by both. The Sikhs decided to protest against it non-aggressively and peacefully. The incidents at the three Gurdwaras of Nankana Sahib, Jaito Ji and Guru Ka Bagh (Punjab, India) are the most well remembered for the clashes between the non-violent Sikhs and the government.

At Nankana Sahib the Sikhs went calmly and started reading Guru Granth Sahib. They were shot at, pulled away by their hair and one man called Lashman Singh was hung upside down and set alight.

At Jaito Ji they were also shot at.

Sikhs would walk about twenty miles from Amritsar to reach Guru Ka Bagh, where the police would be waiting for them. The police would start beating the Sikhs mercilessly and then imprison them. They were transported over long distances without food or water. Once, while they were being taken from Amritsar to Peshawer, the Sikhs at Hasan Abdal (where the famous Gurdwara Panja Sahib is situated) came to know that the Sikhs in the train were hungry and thirsty. They requested the station master to stop the train and allow them to feed the hungry Sikhs, but he could not disobey the order of his superiors. The Sikhs laid down on the track, insisting that the train should be stopped or they were prepared to die under the wheels of the train. The train ran over the first two Sikhs and then stopped. It was a big triumph for Sikhs and their campaign of nonviolence. At last the government had to give in and agreed that all the Gurdwaras would be run by a central committee.
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PANJAN TAKHTAN, SARBATT GURDWARIAN DA DHIAN DHAR KE BOLO JI 'WAHEGURU' Think of the five supreme Gurdwaras and all the other Gurdwaras and say 'Waheguru'.
'Takhat' means 'Throne.' Five Gurdwaras, in India, are given a higher status (like a throne) mainly from an administrative point of view. These are Akal Takhat Sahib (Amritsar), Kes Garh Sahib (Anandpur), Damdama Sahib (Bhatinda), Patna Sahib (Bihar) and Hazoor Sahib (Andhra Pardesh). Akal Takhat was built by Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth Guru and since then has been used as the central point for administration. It is situated right in front of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple). Even now all the 'Hukamnamas' (the orders) are issued from there after consultation with the other 'Takhats'.
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PRITHAMAE SARBATT KHALSA JI KI ARDAS HAI JI SARBATT KHALSA JI KO WAHEGURU WAHEGURU WAHEGURU CHIT AWAI, CHIT AWAN KA SADKA SARAB SUKH HOVEY; JAHAN JAHAN KHALSA JI SAHIB TAHAN TAHAN RACHHIA RIAYAT, DEG TEG FATEH, BIRDH KI PAIJ , PANTH KI JEET, SRI SAHIB JI SAHAI, KHALSA JI KE BOL BALE , BOLO JI 'WAHEGURU.' The first and foremost prayer of the Khalsa is to remember 'Waheguru' and through this, there should be peace everywhere. Wherever there is Khalsa, may God's grace be there. Khalsa should succeed in feeding and in protecting the poor people, Waheguru Ji, look after your people as your graceful nature is, Khalsa should always be successful, may the Eternal Power help us; think of the high esteem of the Khalsa and say 'Waheguru'.
From this piece of Ardaas onward there are requests to the Almighty to look after the community, to be kind to whole of the humanity, including the Khalsa. More requests follow in the rest of the prayer.
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SIKHAN NOO SIKHI DAN, KES DAN, REHAT DAN, BIBEK DAN, BHAROSA DAN, DANAN SIR DAN NAAM DAN, SRI AMRITSAR JI DE DARSHAN ISHNAN, CHOWKIAN JHANDE BUNGE, JUGO JUG ATTAL, DHARAM KA JEKAR, BOLO JI 'WAHEGURU.' It is our request, Waheguru Ji, that Sikhs should have your grace to keep 'Sikhi', the hair, all the 'Rehats' (the commandments given by Guru Gobind Singh Ji; see Panj Piare, mentioned earlier), high intelligence, trustworthiness, and above all the supreme gift of remembering Your Name; they may be given the pleasure of visiting Amritsar. The chownki (see below), your flags and the 'Bunge' (see below) may always be there for your Sikhs, and and let the 'Dharam' (virtues of the religion) prevail; everybody should say 'Waheguru'.
A little explanation may be needed regarding the visit to Amritsar. In the old days travelling was very difficult, but everybody had a desire to see the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) and the city of Amritsar. Only a few could do it; hence it was incorporated as one of the requests.

'Chownki' (singular; 'chownkian' is plural) is taken out in the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) five times everyday. About twenty Sikhs go in two groups around the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) and Akal Takhat singing hymns from Guru Granth Sahib. 'Jhanda' is the saffron flag of Khalsa; 'Bunge' are small rooms built around the premises of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) for the travellers to stay during the visit; 'Jugo jug attal' means 'may stay forever.'
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SIKHAN DA MAN NEEVAN, MAT UCHEE, MAT KA RAKHA AAP AKAL PURKH WAHEGURU. HAI AKAL PURKH PANTH DE SADA SAHAI DATAR JIO, SRI NANKANA SAHIB TE HORE GURDWARIAN GURDHAMAN DE, JINHAN TON PANTH NOO WISHORIA GIA HAI, KHULE DARSHAN DIDAR TE SEWA DA DAN KHALSA JI NOO BAKHSHO. HAI NIMANIAN DE MAAN, NITANIAN DE TAN, NIOTIAN DI OT, SACHE PITA WAHEGURU AAP DE HAZOOR, '*************' BHUL CHUK MAAF KARNI, SARBATT DE KARAJ RAAS KARNE, SAEE PIARE MAEL JINHAN MILYAN TERA NAAM CHIT AWAI. Sikhs should have humble minds and high in intellect (thoughts); may God take care of the intellect of the Sikhs. Waheguru Ji, please give us the chance to visit and look after the Gurdwaras, like Nankana Sahib, from which we have been separated. You always take care of the honour of those who have no honour; You are the force of those who have no force and You are the support of those who have no support. Waheguru Ji, at this time at Your service...... '************' (here we mention the reason why this prayer is being done; see below), please pardon our mistakes, please help everybody to accomplish their work (or mission), please help us meet those devotees who talk only about You.
There is a special request in this part. India was divided into India and Pakistan in 1947. Many of the Gurdwaras like Nankana Sahib (The birth place of Guru Nanak) are in Pakistan. Sikhs always request to God for creation of a peaceful environment that Sikhs may be able to visit and look after these places without any restriction.

'********' - In this portion of Ardaas the main request is about the reason for the congregation gathering together, for example whether it is a marriage, an engagement, a birthday, the birth of a new baby, the death of a person, the taking or passing of an examination, the start of a new business, buying a new house, starting on a journey (including going into battle), or just giving thanks in a prayer at the end of a normal 'Kirtan' or 'Path' (the list is endless).

This portion can be as long as the individual priest wants or is used to. The requests can be more than one and may take several minutes. Generally they are regarding the welfare of the community and the whole of the world and can vary a lot depending on the place and the circumstances.

It is customary that during the recitation of Ardaas one person touches the 'Parshad' (the sweet semolina pudding which is distributed to the congregation at the end) and the 'Langar' (the food) with a small sword. This custom is intended to give a sacrad touch to 'Parshad' and 'Langar'.
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NANAK NAM CHARDI KALA, TERE BHANE SARBATT DA BHALA. Nanak says, 'Oh God, under Your Name let everybody prosper and everybody should have your Grace'.
That is the best way to end a prayer. The prayer may be done for any purpose or request, it always ends in the same hymn.
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WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH. Khalsa belongs to God, the victory also belongs to God.
BOLE SO NIHAL, SAT SRI AKAL. He who speaks God's name, may have God's grace. The truth is supreme and immortal.




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