Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!
  1.   Become a Supporter    ::   Make a Contribution   
    Target (Recurring Monthly): $200 :: Achieved: $98

Rahat/rahit maryada (ਰਹਤ /ਰਹਿਤ ਮਰਯਾਦਾ)

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by vsgrewal48895, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. vsgrewal48895

    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Mar 12, 2009
    Likes Received:
    RAHAT/RAHIT MARYADA (ਰਹਤ /ਰਹਿਤ ਮਰਯਾਦਾ)


    The two words Rahat ਰਹਤ and Rahit ਰਹਿਤ have different meanings and have to be understood as such. The word Maryada ਮਰਯਾਦਾ has been used to describe the customary practice of the Sikh way of life.
    The word Rahat ਰਹਤ is derived from Rahi, which in turn is derived from Raha, meaning reside, dwell, exist, continue, or remain, as written in Mahan Kosh and Gurmukhy word dictionary of AGGS by Dr. Surinder Singh Kohli.
    Rahit ਰਹਿਤ means:

    (1) Exception, exemption.
    (2) Without, exempt from, except.
    (3) Religious code of conduct.

    Maryada ਮਰਯਾਦਾ means:

    Custom, customary routine or practice, tradition, convention traditional or conventional rules and rites, religious practice, code of socio religious conduct. ਰੀਤਿ. ਰਿਵਾਜ। (2) ਸੀਮਾ. ਹੱਦ। (3) ਨਦੀ ਦਾ ਕਿਨਾਰਾ। (4) ਨਿਯਮਾਂ ਦੀ ਪਾਬੰਦੀ. ਦੇਖੋ, ਮਰਜਾਦ. This word does not appear in AGGS.
    Marjaad (ਮਰਜਾਦ) means ਸੀਮਾ, ਹਦ; ਹਦ ਬੰਨਾ has been used in AGGS;

    ਨਾ ਮਰਜਾਦੁ ਆਇਆ ਕਲਿ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਬਾਹੁੜਿ ਜਾਸੀ ਨਾਗਾ ॥

    Na marjāḏ ā­i­ā kal bẖīṯar bāhuṛ jāsī nāgā.

    You came into this Dark Age of Kali Yuga naked, and you shall depart again naked.-----Guru Nanak, Sri Raag, AGGS, Page, 74-17

    ਨਾ ਮਰਜਾਦੁ ਆਇਆ ਕਲਿ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਨਾਂਗੋ ਬੰਧਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥

    Nā marjāḏ ā­i­ā kal bẖīṯar nāʼngo banḏẖ cẖalā­i­ā.

    Contrary to custom, he comes into the Dark Age of Kali Yuga naked, and naked he is bound down and sent away again.
    -----Guru Nanak, Raag Vadhans, AGGS, Page, 582-7

    ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਚ ਊਚ ਤੇ ਊਚੋ ਅੰਤੁ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਜਾਦ ॥

    Sabẖ ṯė ūcẖ ūcẖ ṯė ūcẖo anṯ nahī marjāḏ.

    Akal Purkh is the Highest of all, the Highest of the high; Its celestial economy has no limit. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1219-4
    Both words Rahat ਰਹਤ and Rahit ਰਹਿਤ are incorporated in AGGS with different meanings.

    The word Rahit ਰਹਿਤ used in AGGS means “without or except” as evident from the following hymns of Guru Arjan in Raag Bhairo and Sarang;

    ਜੋ ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਸੋ ਰੋਗੀ ॥ ਰੋਗ ਰਹਿਤ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜੋਗੀ ॥

    Jo jo ḏīsai so so rogī. Rog rahiṯ mėrā saṯgur jogī.

    Whoever I see is diseased. Only my True Guru, the True Yogi, is without disease. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Bhairo, AGGS, Page, 1140-17

    ਜਾ ਕੀ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੀ ॥ ਸਜਨੁ ਸੁਰਿਦਾ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਸਹਜੇ ਸੋ ਕਹੀਐ ਬਡਭਾਗੀ ॥ ਰਹਿਤ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਅਲਪ ਮਾਇਆ ਤੇ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਖੁ ਤਿਆਗੀ ॥

    Jā kī rām nām liv lāgī. Sajan suriḏā suhėlā sehjė so kahī­ai badbẖāgī. Rahiṯ bikār alap mā¬i¬ā ṯė ahaʼn¬buḏẖ bikẖ ṯi¬āgī.

    One who is lovingly absorbed in the Name of Akal Purkh is a good-hearted friend, intuitively embellished with happiness. He is said to be blessed and fortunate, who is without sin or corruption, is detached from Maya, and has renounced the poison of egotistical intellect. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1217-10

    On the other hand the word Rahit ਰਹਿਤ which means Sikh code of conduct as per Mahan Kosh, has been used in Rahit-namas written by individuals but is not used in AGGS as code of conduct or way of living . The word Maryada ਮਰਯਾਦਾ meaning practice, custom, or decorum, was added to Rahit ਰਹਿਤ ਮਰਯਾਦਾ much later to institutionalize the faith thus putting a control mechanism over the followers.

    Rehitnamas: Several of these are written by Gur-Sikhs according to their own understanding as to what the code of conduct of a Sikh should be. According to “Mahan Kosh” only those particulars, which do not contradict with the AGGS and Bhai Gurdas’s Vaars are to be accepted. It is interesting to note that Bhai Gurdas’s writings were not accepted by Guru Arjan to be incorporated in AGGS. There is no Rahit Nama written by any Sikh Guru to clarify the position. The other Rahit ਰਹਿਤ as a way of life is only contained in these Rehitnamas.

    List of Rehitnamas;

    The Code of Sikh Conduct and Conventions 1945, Dharam Parchar Committee, SGPC.
    Six Rahit-namas of the 18th Century;

    1. Tanakhah-nama.
    2. The Prahilad Rai Rahit-nama.
    3. Sakhi Rahit ki.
    4. Chaupa Singh Rahit-nama.
    5. Desa Singh Rahit-nama.
    6. Daya Singh Rahit-nama.

    All Rehatnamas mostly rely on “Oral Tradition” which can cause discrepancies in the real Truth about the contents of all historical facts. Hence they get corrupted in due course. At present the Sikh Guru is AGGS and one should comply with the instructions and teachings incorporated therein.

    Sabd Guru describes the ingredients necessary for Rahat ਰਹਤ, that can lead to the blessings of Akal Purkh’s Grace;

    ਜਪੁ ਤਪੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਦਇਆ ਧਰਮੁ ਜਿਸੁ ਦੇਹਿ ਸੁ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਜਿਸੁ ਬੁਝਾਇਹਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਆਪਿ ਸੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਏ ॥

    Jap Tap Sanjam Daya Dharam Jis Dayh So Paa-ey, Jis Bujhaa-eh Agan Aap So Naam Dhiaaey.

    He alone obtains meditation, austerities, self-discipline, compassion and Dharmic faith, which the Akal Purkh blesses. He alone meditates on the Naam, the Name of the Akal Purkh, whose fire the It puts out. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 966-4

    Rahat ਰਹਤ or a way of life, according to Sabd Guru:

    ਸਾਚੀ ਰਹਤ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕਥਨੀ ਹੈ ਪਰੁ ਰਹਤ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਨਾਵਹੁ ਭੂਲੇ ਥਾਉ ਨ ਕੋਈ ॥

    Saachee Rahat Saachaa Man Soyee, “Manmukh Kathnee Hai Par Rahat Na Hoyee, Naavoh Bhoolay Thaou Na Koyee.

    The True way of life comes through Truth embedded in the mind. The self-willed Manmukh talks about it, but does not practice it. Forgetting the Name, one does not find any solace or peace. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page. 831-12

    ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਜਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਏ ॥ ਸਚੀ ਰਹਤ ਸਚਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਏ ॥

    Jeevan Mukat Ja Sabd Sunaey, Sachee Rahat Sachaa Sukh Paaey.

    A person achieves salvation by listening to the Guru’s Word and enjoys eternal bliss by leading a truthful and devoted way of life.
    -----Guru Nanak, Raag Parbhatee, AGGS, Page, 1343-4 & 5

    ਭਗਤੁ ਭਗਤੁ ਸੁਨੀਐ ਤਿਹੁ ਲੋਇ ॥ਜਾ ਕੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਏਕੋ ਹੋਇ ॥ਸਚੁ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਰਹਤ ॥ਸਚੁ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਸਤਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਕਹਤ ॥

    Bhagat Bhagat Sunee-ai Tihu Lo-ay, Jaa Kai Hirdai Ayko Ho-ay, Sach Karnee Sach Taa Kee Rahat, Sach Hirdai Sat Mukh Kahat.

    He is acclaimed as a devotee, a humble devotee throughout the three worlds. The One Akal Purkh is in his heart. True are his actions; true are his ways of living. True is his heart; Truth is what he speaks with his mouth. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri sukhmani, AGGS, Page, 283-14

    Guru Arjan in Siri Raag ponders on the way of life (ਰਹਤ) on various faiths;

    ਜਾਨਉ ਨਹੀ ਭਾਵੈ ਕਵਨ ਬਾਤਾ ॥ ਮਨ ਖੋਜਿ ਮਾਰਗੁ ॥ ਧਿਆਨੀ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਲਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਿਨ ਹੀ ਜਾਤਾ ॥ ਭਗਉਤੀ ਰਹਤ ਜੁਗਤਾ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਕਹਤ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥ ਤਪਸੀ ਤਪਹਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥

    Jān▫o nahī bẖāvai kavan bāṯā. Man kẖoj mārag. Ḏẖi▫ānī ḏẖi▫ān lāvėh. Gi▫ānī gi▫ān kamāvėh. Parabẖ kin hī jāṯā. Bhagoutee Rahat Jugtaa. Jogī kahaṯ mukṯā. Ŧapsī ṯapėh rāṯā.

    I do not know what pleases my Akal Purkh. O, mind, seek out the way! The mystics practice contemplation, and the savants practice spiritual wisdom, but how rare are those whom realization of the Akal Purkh comes! The Vaishnavite follows ritual. The Yogi claims liberation by his praxis and the ascetic is absorbed in penance.
    -----Guru Arjan, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page 71-7

    Rare ones understand the true way of life as expressed by Guru Arjan in Siri raag;

    ਦੁਕਿ੍ਤ ਸੁਕਿ੍ਤ ਮੰਧੇ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਸਗਲਾਣਾ ॥ ਦੁਹਹੂੰ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ਭਗਤੁ ਹੈ ਕੋਈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਜਾਣਾ ॥

    Dukrit Sukrit Mandhay Sansaar Saglaanaa, Duhhoon Tay Rahat Bhagat Hai Koyee Virla Jaanaa.

    The whole world is engrossed in bad deeds and good deeds. God’s devotee is above both, but those who understand are rare. -----Guru Arjan, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 51-12&13

    Guru Nanak says the way of life (ਰਹਤ) is through living the Truth in Raag Ramkali and Guru Arjan in Siri Raag;

    ਸਚ ਕੀ ਕਾਤੀ ਸਚੁ ਸਭੁ ਸਾਰ ॥ ਘਾੜਤ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰ ॥ ਸਬਦੇ ਸਾਣ ਰਖਾਈ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਕੀ ਥੇਕੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥

    Such Kee Kaati Such Sabh Saar, Ghaarhat Tis Ki Apar Apaar, Sabday Saan Rakhaaee Laaey, Gun Ki Thaykai Vich Samaey.

    The knife is Truth, and its steel is totally True. Its workmanship is incomparably beautiful. It is sharpened on the grindstone of the Sabd. It is placed in the scabbard of virtue. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 956-2

    ਕਥਨੀ ਬਦਨੀ ਕਰਤਾ ਫਿਰੈ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਬੂਝੈ ਸਚੁ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨੇ ਸੋ ਭਗਤੁ ਹੋਇ ਵਿਣੁ ਮੰਨੇ ਕਚੁ ਨਿਕਚੁ ॥

    Kathni Badni Karta Firai Hukam Na Boojhai Such, Nanak Har Ka Bhaana Manay So Bhagat Hoey Vin Manay Kuch Nikuch.

    One, who merely mouths the words, does not understand the Command of the True Akal Purkh. Nanak, one who accepts the Will of the God is Its devotee. Without accepting it, he is the falsest of the false. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 950-15

    ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਦਇਆ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਏਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਸਭ ਹੋਇ ਰੇਣਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਦੇਇ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥

    Saṯ sanṯokẖ ḏa¬i¬ā kamāvai ėh karṇī sār, Āp cẖẖod sabẖ ho¬ė rėṇā jis ḏė¬ė parabẖ nirankār.

    Practice truth, contentment and kindness; this is the most excellent way of life. One who is so blessed by the Formless Akal Purkh renounces selfishness, and becomes the dust of all. ----- Guru Arjan, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page 51-10

    Guru Amardas summarizes the way of life of a Sikh in Raag Gauri AGGS, Page, 305;

    ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਮਿ੍ਤ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਵੈ ॥ ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਦੋਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਫਿਰ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਜੋ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਧਿਆਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ॥ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਦਿਆਲ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥ ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਧੂੜਿ ਮੰਗੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਜੋ ਆਪਿ ਜਪੈ ਅਵਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥

    Gur saṯgur kā jo sikẖ akẖā¬ė so bẖalkė uṯẖ har nām ḏẖi¬āvai. Uḏam karė bẖalkė parbẖāṯī isnān karė amriṯ sar nāvai. Upḏės gurū har har jap jāpai sabẖ kilvikẖ pāp ḏokẖ leh jāvai. Fir cẖaṛai ḏivas gurbāṇī gāvai bahḏi¬ā uṯẖ¬ḏi¬ā har nām ḏẖi¬āvai. Jo sās girās ḏẖi¬ā¬ė mėrā har har so gursikẖ gurū man bẖāvai. Jis no ḏa¬i¬āl hovai mėrā su¬āmī ṯis gursikẖ gurū upḏės suṇāvai. Jan Nānak ḏẖūṛ mangai ṯis gursikẖ kī jo āp japai avrah nām japāvai.

    One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Akal Purkh's Name. Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar. Following the instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Akal Purkh and Master. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased. Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the It's Name. The GurSikh who meditates on my God and Master, with every breath and with every morsel of food becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind. My Akal Purkh and Master bestow the Guru’s teachings on the GurSikh to whom It is kind and compassionate.


    There is an urgent need for Rahat Maryada to be revisited by Sikhs at large due to the new questions faced by the younger generation and unduly over- whelming provisions of the present document. It needs to be revised according to the instructions laid down in AGGS and not at whims and inclinations of certain Sikhs in Sikh Hierarchy.
    Guru Arjan ponders in Raag Devgandhari;

    ਕਰਤ ਫਿਰੇ ਬਨ ਭੇਖ ਮੋਹਨ ਰਹਤ ਨਿਰਾਰ ॥ ਕਥਨ ਸੁਨਾਵਨ ਗੀਤ ਨੀਕੇ ਗਾਵਨ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਧਰਤੇ ਗਾਰ ॥ ਅਤਿ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਬਹੁ ਚਤੁਰ ਸਿਆਨੇ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਰਸਨਾ ਚਾਰ ॥ ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਮੇਰ ਤੇਰ ਬਿਬਰਜਿਤ ਏਹ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਿ ਭਵਜਲੁ ਤਰੀਅਲੇ ਪ੍ਭ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਸੰਤ ਸੰਗਾਰ ॥

    Karat Firay Ban Bhaykh Mohan Rahat Niraar, Kathan Sunaavan Geet Neekay Gaavan Man Meh Dhartay Gaar, Ut Sunder Boh Chatur Sianay Bidia Rasna Chaar, Maan Moh Mayr Tayr Bibrjat Ayh Maarg Khanday Dhaar, Kaoh Nanak Tin Bhavjal Taree-alay Prabh Kirpa Sant Sangaar.

    Some wander around the forests, wearing religious robes, but the Fascinating Akal Purkh remains distant from them. They talk, preach, and sing their lovely songs, but within their minds, the filth of their sins remains. They may be very beautiful, extremely clever, wise and educated, and they may speak very sweetly. To forsake pride, emotional attachment, and the sense of 'mine and yours', is the path of the double-edged sword. Says Nanak, they alone swim across the terrifying world-ocean, who, by God's Grace, join the Society of the Saints. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Devgadhari, AGGS, Page, 534

    Virinder S. Grewal
    Williamston, MI
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Hard Talk Gender Inequality In Sikh Rehat Maryada? Hard Talk Oct 23, 2009
    Controversial DDT Challenged Sikh Rehet Maryada. And Hukamnama Response From Akal Takht Hard Talk Jun 19, 2016
    Sikh Rahit Maryada | Bhai Sarabjit Singh Dhunda Gurmat Vichaar May 27, 2016
    Entering into Sikhism: Questions on Reht Maryada. Blogs Oct 22, 2015
    Maryada clarification on makeup / jewelry Questions and Answers Mar 13, 2014

  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Jun 30, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Virinder ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Well said. No one could have put it better. Sikh means a learner, a seeker, a student- which means always evolving through Shabad Vichaar, hence raising his/her level or normalcy with time. In other words becoming Gurmukh with Gurmat which is a life long learning process.

    So based on the teachings of SGGS, our SRM should also evolve with us. Not trying to toot my own horn in the manner of me-ism, but as a way of agreement with your thought process based on Gurmat ideals, I did write a little piece on SRM which is posted in this forum.

    I would request the moderators to re post it here for the sake of discussion.


    Tejwant Singh
    • Like Like x 1
  4. vsgrewal48895

    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Mar 12, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Thanks Teji Ji,

    Don't worry about 20 years of marraige-I have been married 47 years but still?

    • Like Like x 1
Since you're here... we have a small favor to ask...

More people are visiting & reading SPN than ever but far fewer are paying to sustain it. Advertising revenues across the online media have fallen fast. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Donating to SPN's is vote for free speech, for diversity of opinions, for the right of the people to stand up to religious bigotry. Without any affiliation to any organization, this constant struggle takes a lot of hard work to sustain as we entirely depend on the contributions of our esteemed writers/readers. We do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too... Fund our efforts and together we can keep the world informed about the real Sikh Sikhi Sikhism. If everyone who writes or reads our content, who likes it, helps us to pay for it, our future would be much more secure. Every Contribution Matters, Contribute Generously!

    Become a Supporter      ::     Make a Contribution     

Share This Page