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Should Sikhs prostrate when they pray?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Santokh Singh1989, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Santokh Singh1989

    Santokh Singh1989
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    WaheGuru ji ka Khalsa, WaheGuru ji ki Fateh. Greetings Sat Sangat, My apologies but I have yet another question to impose upon the learned members of the forum. I have a practice that whenever I do my Nitnem Before I start I prostrate myself and say (in english because I can't yet speak panjabi) something to the effect of "Glorious God, I realize I'm wretched and disgusting and am not a worthy sacrifice to you, yet I still bow my head in offering to your greatness, Please have mercy on my pathetic soul and bless me with your darshan." (Also, please let it be known that I say these things from my heart and I prostrate as an observance of how I feel inside. I'm very aware of the pettiness of rituals and the realisation that I can bow as many time as I want but if I'm just doing it outwardly or mechanicly that it means nothing and I'm just waisting my time and insulting Guruji, something that I am in NO way trying to do) Its not always in those exact words but thats the basic jist of it. I prostrate once before I start my Nitnem, For example I bow then say japji, Jaap, Anaand etc then Ardaas, Then after I finish I prostrate 1 more time.

    Anyways, I suppose my question is, am I the only one who does this? Is this a False practice? and am I wrong for doing it? I've personally always liked prostarating, I don't know why. I suppose its just always invoked something deep inside of me when I do it. Like I said before I realise that rituals are pointless. But I only ever bow as a reflection of how I feel on the inside and as a sign of respect for God and Guruji. Also, I suppose in my own mind, when I bow before I start to me its like a submission of my ego saying, "I realize I am nothing before you and as such my own logic is false and I am ready to receive YOUR divine logic." Then when I bow when I finish its like, "I agree and submit to what has been said and thank you for allowing me to read/recite such wonderful knowledge." I realize of corse that its a thousand times more important to bow and show submission in your soul, than it is to do it outwardly by prostrating. Putting your head on the ground dosn't mean you've submitted to God, only when you bow in your soul do you truthfully submit to God. Still though I enjoy prostrating and will more than likely keep doing it but still I wish for the opinions, comments and concerns of the sangat. Also, like I said before, I'm curious if I'm the only one who prostrates outside of the Gurdwara.
    Thank you very much for your time and patience. Peace, Love and Respect
    Sat Naam.
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Santokh Singh ji

    Please accept that I am not being judgmental. You may know more than I. However, this is the first I have heard of prostrating oneself before prayer. Mata tek to Guruji in gurdwara yes, but I have never seen anyone prostrate oneself there either.

    That is my experience. And my experience is limited to my experience.

    Would you be willing to share how you learned to prostrate and saying an opening prayer before NitNem. Here again I only know of beginning with the Mool Mantar.

    It would be good to know if you have learned to do this within your family, or from a saintly person who is a teacher. It would help me anyway to understand because what you are describing is not something I am aware of.
     
  4. Seeker9

    Seeker9 United Kingdom
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    I guess the most important thing is to have the right state of mind. If doing this is helpful to you and you feel better for it, then that's fine. At least you are making the effort in the first place!

    I would not worry too much whether others think this is false or not. Just be true to yourself and true when you pray. That is more important I think
    :)
     
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  5. Santokh Singh1989

    Santokh Singh1989
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    Dear Ms. Naryanjot Kaurji, Sat Naam, Honestly I'm not sure exactly where my practice came from. Mabey because I came from an Abrahamic faith originally and the practice carried over not exactly sure. I want it to be known that my knowledge of Sikhi and Gurmat is, at best, sub-par, I've only been under the Gurujis grace for about 2 1/2, 3 years now and have much, much more learning to do. But whenever I go into the Gurdwara I, like all the others there first go before the Guru then prostrate or matha tak as I believe its called, please correct me if I'm wrong, then we go and listen to kirtan etc. Then the Raagi's say Ardaas then we all bow again. So whenever I start to pray outside the Gurdwara I always imagine like I'm in the Gurdwara and am going before God and the Guruji and as such I put my head on the ground and acknowledge my unworthiness. Then when I finish I say Ardaas then I bow again saiying WJKK WJKF, Raj Karega Khalsa, Aki Rahe na koe, then I finish with the Jaikara. So, really for the most part I just take what is done in the Gurdwara and use it outside when I do my nitnem. I've never heard of anyone else using this practice either, and I kind of figured I was the only one who did this but I wanted to ask to be sure. Kind of like I said in my first post I just always felt something special when I prostrate. Like an outward observance of how I feel on the inside. Anyways I thank you all for taking time out to post on this thread and to Seeker9, I thank you for your kind words. And I hope more people will have questions, comments, concerns on this topic.
    Thank you all
    Sat Naamikonkaar
     
  6. spnadmin

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    Santokh Singh ji

    What threw me for a loop was the word "prostrate." That would be more like lying flat on the floor with arms spread out, much like a Roman Catholic monk or nun might do for certain kinds of meditation and prayer. Mat tek is not exactly like being "prostrate."

    I still have to digest the other part of your question. Sometimes it takes a while for things to sink in.

    In Sikhism, if I may add, unlike Abrahamic faiths, one needs to remember that any self-mortification is avoided.
     
  7. Santokh Singh1989

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    My apologies, I misused the word prostrate. Basically I ment bow, in the same manner that one does infront of Guruji, by putting the head on the ground. My apologies
     
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  8. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    Bowing before the Guru Sahib or matha tek means that "My Master, hereby I submit my mind and concious in your feet. Please bless me with your Gurmat or Gyaan". Its not prostrating at all. Its one submission before the Almighty and his will and in return we are blessed with HIS GYAN.welcomemunda
     
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  9. raminder40

    raminder40
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    Gurfateh Santokh Singh ji,

    To begin with,I take prostrate,in your meaning as "to bow" or "matha tek".

    As far as my knowledge of sikhisim and rehat maryaada goes,I have never come across such a practice of bowing (in case outside Gurdwara) before any paath.If anybody has developed such a practice,there is nothing wrong in it either and neither the same is prohibited in sikhism,as long as one is clear that one is to bow only to Guru.

    Gurfateh:)
     
  10. dalbirk

    dalbirk
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    Santokh Singh Ji ,
    If prostate is Matha Tek for you then we have to bow before Sri Guru granth sahib Ji only some also bow after finishing Nitnem Baanis it is not necessary . The reason why we bow before SGGS is that we have declared that we have given up our own thoughts and adopted the thoughts ( mat / wisdom ) given by the Guru . We no longer will use our own cleverness & use the thoughts , directions of the Guru only .
     
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  11. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    At a previous samelan I have attended, there was a whole discussion on matha tekna. The purpose of matha tekna in front of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is as above. It was also mentioned that if someone lay down flat in front of the Guru and the feeling came from inside then it is a sign of the ultimate surrender to Guru's word. As long as your intention is clear and you are not following it as a ritual then do whatever helps you focus and submit to the Guru's words wahkaur
     
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