Holy Congregation

Re: Holy congregation.

Rehat Maryada :Section Three​
Chapter IV
Joining the congregation for understanding of and reflecting on Gurbani
Article V
(a) One is more easily and deeply affected by gurbani (the holy bani bequeathed by the Gurus) participating in congregational gatherings. For this reason, it is necessary for a Sikh that he visit the places where the Sikhs congregate for worship and prayer (the gurduwaras), and joining the congregation, partake of the benefits that the study of the holy scriptures bestows.
(b) The Guru Granth should be ceremonially opened in the gurduwara every day without fail. Except for special exigencies, when there is need to keep the Guru Granth open during the night, the Holy Book should not be kept open during the night. It should, generally, be closed ceremonially after the conclusion of the Rehras (evening scriptural recitation). The Holy Book should remain open so long as a granthi or attendant can remain in attendance, persons seeking darshan (seeking a view of or making obeisance to it) keep coming, or there is no risk of commission of irreverence towards it. Thereafter, it is advisable to close it ceremonially to avoid any disrespect to it.
(c) The Guru Granth should be opened, read and closed ceremonially with reverence. The place where it is installed should be absolutely clean. An awning should be erected above. The Guru Granth Sahib should be placed on a cot measuring up to its size and overlaid with absolutely clean mattress and sheets. For proper installation and opening of the Guru Granth, there should be cushions/pillows of appropriate kind etc. and, for covering it, romalas (sheet covers of appropriate size). When the Guru Granth is not being read, it should remain covered with a romal. A whisk, too, should be there.
(d) Anything except the afore-mentioned reverential ceremonies, for instance, such practices as the arti with burning incense and lamps, offering of eatables to Guru Granth Sahib, burning of lights, beating of gongs, etc., is contrary to gurmat (the Guru's way). However, for the perfuming of the place, the use of flowers, incense and scent is not barred. For light inside the room, oil or butter-oil lamps, candles, electric lamps, kerosene oil lamps, etc. may be lighted.
(e) No book should be installed like and at par with the Guru Granth. Worship of any idol or any ritual or activity should not be allowed to be conducted inside the gurdwara. Nor should the festival of any other faith be allowed to be celebrated inside the gurduwara. However, it will not be improper to use any occasion or gathering for the propagation of the gurmat (The Guru's way).
(f) Pressing the legs of the cot on which the Guru Granth Sahib is installed, rubbing nose against walls and on platforms, held sacred, or massaging these, placing water below the Guru Granth Sahib's seat, making or installing statues, or idols inside the gurduwaras, bowing before the picture of the Sikh Gurus or elders - all these are irreligious self-willed egotism, contrary to gurmat (the Guru's way).
(g) When the Guru Granth has to be taken from one place to another, the Ardas should be performed. He/she who carries the Guru Granth on his/her head should walk barefoot; but when the wearing of shoes is a necessity, no superstitions need be entertained.
(h) The Guru Granth Sahib should be ceremonially opened after performing the Ardas. After the ceremonial opening, a hymn should be read from the Guru Granth Sahib.
(i) Whenever the Guru Granth is brought, irrespective of whether or not another copy of the Guru Granth has already been installed at the concerned place, every Sikh should stand up to show respect.
(j) While going into the gurduwara, one should take off the shoes and clean oneself up. If the feet are dirty or soiled, they should be washed with water.
(k) No person, no matter which country, religion or cast he/she belongs to, is debarred from entering the gurduwara for darshan (seeing the holy shrine). However, he/she should not have on his/her person anything, such as tobacco or other intoxicants, which are tabooed by the Sikh religion.
(l) The first thing a Sikh should do on entering the gurduwara is to do obeisance before the Guru Granth Sahib. He/she should, thereafter, having a glimpse of the congregation and bid in a low, quiet voice, Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh.
(m) In the congregation, there should be no differentiation or discrimination between Sikh and non-Sikh, persons traditionally regarded as touchable and untouchable, the so called high and low caste persons, the high and the low.
(n) Sitting on a cushion, a distinctive seat, a chair, a stool, a cot, etc. or in any distinctive position in the presence of the Guru Granth or within the congregation is contrary to gurmat (Guru's way).
(o) No Sikh should sit bare-headed in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib or in the congregation. For Sikh women, joining the congregation with their persons uncomfortable draped and with veils drawn over their faces is contrary to gurmat (Guru's way).

(p) There are five takhts (lit, thrones, fig., seats of high authority) namely -
(I) The holy Akal Takht Amritsar
(II) The holy Takht, Patna Sahib
(III) The holy Takht, Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur
(IV) The holy Takht Hazur Sahib, Nanded
(V) The holy Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo.

(q) Only an Amritdhari (baptized) Sikh man or woman, who faithfully observes the discipline ordained for the baptized Sikhs, can enter the hallowed enclosures of the takhts. (Ardas for and on behalf of any Sikh or non-Sikh, except a fallen or punished (tankhahia) Sikh, can be offered at the takhts.
(r) At a high-level site in every gurdwara should be installed the nishan sahib (Sikh flag). The cloth of the flag should be either of xanthic or of greyish blue colour and on top of the flag post, there should either be a spearhead or a Khanda (a straight dagger with convex side edges leading to slanting top edges ending in a vertex).
(s) There should be a drum (nagara) in the gurduwara for beating on appropriate occasions.

Chapter V
Kirtan (Devotional Hymn Singing by a Group or an individual)
Article VI
(a) Only a Sikh may perform kitran in a congregation.
(b) Kirtan means singing and scriptural compositions in traditional musical measures.
(c) In the congregation, kirtan only of Gurbani (Guru Granth's or Guru Gobind Singh's hymns) and, for its elaboration, of the compositions of Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Nand Lal, may be performed.
(d) It is improper, while singing hymns to rhythmic folk tunes or to traditional musical measures, or in team singing, to induct into them improvised and extraneous refrains. Only a line from the hymn should be a refrain
Re: Holy congregation.

mnsw Dwir jo Gr qy AwvY ] swDsMig jnmu mrxu imtwvY ] (103-19, mwJ, mÚ 5)
sqsMgiq mih ibswsu hoie hir jIvq mrq sMgwrI ]3] (401-16, Awsw, mÚ 5)
In the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, this faith is established, that the Lord is with us, in life and in death. ||3||

One whose heart's desires lead him from his own home to the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, shall be rid of the cycle of birth and death.
Re: Holy congregation.

sqsMgiq mih ibswsu hoie hir jIvq mrq sMgwrI ]3] (401-16, Awsw, mÚ 5)
In the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, this faith is established, that the Lord is with us, in life and in death. ||3||

It has been stated that The Lord is in Satsang. I could not find out the specific reason and would be grateful for being enlightened as to what possible can be the reason of such a statement.
Re: Holy congregation.

:idea:durmiq mYlu geIsB nIkil sqsMgiq imil buiD pwie ]1] (880-18, rwmklI, mÚ 4)
The filth of evil-mindedness is totally washed away; joining the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation, one is blessed with understanding. ||1||:idea:
Re: Holy congregation.

sWiq sUK shj Duin aupjI swDU sMig invwsw jIau ]1] (105-13, mwJ, mÚ 5)
The music of intuitive peace, poise and tranquility wells up within; I dwell in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. ||1||
Re: Holy congregation.

swDU sMig qrIjY swgru ktIAY jm kI Pwsw jIau ]2] (108-6, mwJ, mÚ 5)
In the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, cross over the world-ocean, and the noose of death shall be cut away. ||2||
Re: Holy congregation.

pUrn Bwg Bey ijsu pRwxI ] swDsMig imly swrMgpwxI ] (108-7, mwJ, mÚ 5)
That mortal who is blessed by perfect destiny meets the Lord, the Sustainer of the Universe, in the Company of the Holy
Re: Holy congregation.

hau vwrI jIau vwrI scu sMgiq myil imlwvixAw ] (114-18, mwJ, mÚ 3)
I am a sacrifice, my soul is a sacrifice, to the one who leads me to join the True Congregation.
Re: Holy congregation.

swDU sMgu prwpqy nwnk rMg mwxMin ] (134-5, mwJ, mÚ 5)
Meeting Him in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, O Nanak, celestial bliss is enjoyed.
Re: Holy congregation.

swDU sMgu prwpqy nwnk rMg mwxMin ] (134-5, mwJ, mÚ 5)
Meeting Him in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, O Nanak, celestial bliss is enjoyed.
Re: Holy congregation.

A Sikh is to rise from his bed in the last watch of the night and take his bath. He should then repeat the Name in silence and absolute concentration as instructed by the Guru. His next duty is to go to the Sangat and there, steeped in true reverence, recite and listen to the holy hymns. And before partaking of his food, he should distribute a part of it to others. At dusk he is enjoined upon to recite the Sodar and before retiring the Sohila Sahib.
Last edited:
Re: Holy congregation.

Sangat" is congregation. "Sadh" is saint. "Sat" is true.

The Guru tells us that in the Sat Sangat is found "Satgur chatsal" or Satguru's school. It is in this school of the holy congregation that the "har gun" or "virtues of the Lord" are learnt by the Sikh or "student of spirituality" thus:
SGGS Page 1316 Full Shabad ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਚਟਸਾਲ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਸਿਖਾ ॥
Saṯsangaṯ saṯgur cẖatsāl hai jiṯ har guṇ sikẖā.
The Sat Sangat is the school of the soul, where the Glorious Virtues of the Lord are studied.
Last edited:
Re: Holy congregation.

How does one find Sangat?

Sat Sangat is where the Name of the One Lord is recited. If you go to a gathering and all you find is discussions, arguments and socialising, then that is not "Sat Sangat" – turn around and leave. In the Sat Sangat, the true name of the Lord will be chanted or sang or discussed!
Last edited:
Re: Holy congregation.

Benefits of Sangat?

The numerous shabads about the benefits of sangat can be grouped into various categories as follows:
Last edited:
Re: Holy congregation.

One becomes Pure

The Guru tells us that when we keep company of the holy Sangat and sing his praises then,
  • one becomes "…immaculate and pure" (p45) ; "…very pure and sacred" (p392) "…becomes spotlessly pure" (p747)
  • "….the Lord Himself will take care" of you (p45) and the "...noose of death shall be cut away"; (p44)
  • your lifestyle will become "pure and true" (p431); "….even a sinner …will become pure". (p631)
  • "....shall be rid of the cycle of birth and death." (p104); "….you shall not come to be reincarnated again". (p1220)
Last edited:
Re: Holy congregation.

Fear and doubt depart

  • "My fear of birth and death has been abolished …" (p207); "… the fear of death departs." (p598); "… the fear of reincarnation is gone" (p899)
  • "…and then one is not afflicted by deadly pain." (p1085) and all "His sorrows are dispelled…" (p1218)
  • "… all your relations shall be saved" (p461)
  • "…my pains have been taken away" (p899)
Last edited:
Re: Holy congregation.

Find peace and tranquillity

  • "Collecting the poison of Maya, people think of all sorts of evil. But peace is found only by vibrating and meditating on the Lord; with the Saints, in the Sangat, the Society of the Saints, meet the True Guru, the Holy Guru." (p1297)

  • "The music of intuitive peace, poise and tranquility wells up within.." (p105); "All peace is found in the Sat Sangat… " (p180); "…tranquil peace is found in the Saadh Sangat " (p1181)

  • "I am absorbed into the Lord. " (p384); "It is the cure for evil passions, unique, unequalled and peace-giving;… " (p404)

  • "Dharmic faith, patience, peace and poise are obtained by vibrating upon the Lord in the Saadh Sangat" (p460)

  • "Without the Sat Sangat, no one finds any peace… " (p1200
Last edited:

Recommended Websites


Sikhi Vichar Forum (Malaysia)

Sikhi Gems