Is It Ok To Have Langar On Chairs And Tables?

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BaljeetSingh

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Jun 25, 2005
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Mytwo cents....Sitting on floor to have langar has some meaning....The more down to earth you are....the more humble you are.....The most humble people are those who sit on floor and eat.

"neeva" - literally means the low, the humble. So, be humble, be neeva, and have langar while sitting on the floor.

to those who go to gurudwara to just have a desi meal....frankly speaking....i don't give damn on the stains on their socks, cream pants, or whatever. These are the people, who arrive just before the ardaas, eat langar, and then crib about the pai in the back or legs and stains on their cream pants, or socks.....and use thw word damn in the same sentence with the langar meal they gulped down. I am highly disappointed with those people.
 
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Randip Singh

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BaljeetSingh said:
Mytwo cents....Sitting on floor to have langar has some meaning....The more down to earth you are....the more humble you are.....The most humble people are those who sit on floor and eat.

"neeva" - literally means the low, the humble. So, be humble, be neeva, and have langar while sitting on the floor.

to those who go to gurudwara to just have a desi meal....frankly speaking....i don't give damn on the stains on their socks, cream pants, or whatever. These are the people, who arrive just before the ardaas, eat langar, and then crib about the pai in the back or legs and stains on their cream pants, or socks.....and use thw word damn in the same sentence with the langar meal they gulped down. I am highly disappointed with those people.

I understand this neema argument, but the entire philosophy behind langar is about everyone sitting at the same level. Now whether that is chairs or floor it makes no difference whatsoever.

So you could in a sense, say when everyone is sat on a chair everyone is neema because they are at the same level.

I think the entire table chair debate is a backward step and stops Sikhs from dealing with real issues and challenges.
 

BaljeetSingh

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but the entire philosophy behind langar is about everyone sitting at the same level. Now whether that is chairs or floor it makes no difference whatsoever

Can you please refer me to any where in the code of conduct (rehat maryada) or any other resource to support this philosophy? Or is it just your own personal theory?

I agree with you about the usefulness of this debate....It is waste of time and energy of Sikh youth.
 

Randip Singh

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BaljeetSingh said:
Can you please refer me to any where in the code of conduct (rehat maryada) or any other resource to support this philosophy? Or is it just your own personal theory?

I agree with you about the usefulness of this debate....It is waste of time and energy of Sikh youth.

Is not the entire basis of langar to promote equality? If it is not then I have been following the wrong religion all these years.

By level I mean no one is higher or lower in the physical or the status sense....so no its not my philosophy but a basic tenet I have been brought up with as a Sikh. The footnote I use sums this up very clearly for me. Thats all the proof I need.

Sitting on the floor or on a chair has never been an issue.
 

dalsingh

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Jun 13, 2006
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Randip,

I think your alluding to an important point. Symbolically putting all people on the same level (i.e. floor) when eating langar needs to supplemented with viewing all Sikh brothers and sisters as equals in our everyday life.
 
Dec 8, 2005
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dalsingh said:
dalsingh said:
I think your alluding to an important point. Symbolically putting all people on the same level (i.e. floor) when eating langar needs to supplemented with viewing all Sikh brothers and sisters as equals in our everyday life.



I feel the whole world shouuld be viewed as our brother and sister.

what do you say to that .

"Nanak Nam chadi kala Tere bana sarbat tha bhalla"

love

hps62:)
 

dalsingh

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hps62 said:
I feel the whole world shouuld be viewed as our brother and sister.

what do you say to that .

"Nanak Nam chadi kala Tere bana sarbat tha bhalla"

love

hps62:)

You make an important point, but what about people who wish you harm. Or try and destroy you - individually or the society you belong too?

It's not like it hasn't happened to Sikhs (some will argue that it still is happening).

Sarbhat da bhalla is important as is survival, which is a basic right that our Gurus taught us.

Put simply some of us are Sikhs, we have well wishers as well as those that have malignant attitudes towards us. Although compassion to an enemy is promoted in Sikhi (Bhai Kanyaia), so is the destruction of tyrants. I couldn't call a tyranical type my brother or sister personally.
 
I like tables over the ground because:

u spill less food on urself while eating .... I know everyones has done this while eating ont the floor (LOL)

I have had some kid (running a 100 meter sprint across the langar floor) stomp on my plate while i was eating (things got real messy that day).

almost everyday someone accidently knocks down a glass of water with their feet.. then attempts to clean it with a single tissue paper....soon to notice that its absorbant properties have diminished....they everntually spread the water over a larger area instead of cleaning it properly!..... decreasing the level of safety for others (someone might slip)

Its easier to clean the tables rather than the floor

Its more ergonomical to sit at a table, especially for the elderly.

The stainless steel plates sliding around on ceramic floors is not the most pleasant of sounds

its easier to get off the chair with a full stomach

from an ideological perspective??? I have no idea... and i frankly dont care for ritual... sooo ... GO TABLES.... Long live liberal thought, change, effeciency and practacality.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Dear Etinder ji,
Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguur ji ki fateh.

1. In Darbar sahib Parkash Asthan....we all normally sit on the floor, which is usually carpeted or darrian, chadran etc. People coming from outside with their shoes..wouldnt be clean.
2. In India/Punjab whjere the Langgar hall also everyone is seated on the floor....shoes shoudlnt be used..whereas as in Malysia Singapore or elsewhere Langgar halls use Tables and Chairs....shoes dont pose a problem..although personally i would leave mine outside..and hope everyone else also does likewise..but its not MARYADA..and certainly not an ocassion by soemone to shove/push/fight/slice soemoens head over this...has happened many times when overzealous langgar sevadaars meet equally obstinate shoe wearers !! Maryada/Gurbani doesnt support either side.

3. The best thing about the PURATAN...argument the Jathedars etc put in....is that the MOST PURATAN thing on this earth is STUPIDITY....a FOOL was born in Puratan times and also today. Not everything "puratan" is GOLD as they say. so if we follow this puratan argument and say thta this "thing" is puratan..and so should be followed...?? i say ??? nothing doing...prove your point thru gurbani/sikh ithishas/maryada.

4. Western and Esatern norms..are there...for us to follow..no need to be either 110% esatern ONLY or 120% western Only.... Follow either one at our conveneiece...otherwise I would be writing in GURMUKHI of the Gurbani type...becasue that is how the Gurus bhagtas wrote their messages ( not so even imply 0.000001% that my message is anywhere near that of Gurbani..heaven forbid the thought !!..its just an ecxample of how i have adopted western medium....) I am no Mormon or Quaker type to say NO to electriicty.tv/computers/cars etc etc...i dont give a ** whether this is all western or not....

5. If you knew westrns dont wear shoes to bed..why the statement... heck EVEN SOCKS are not allowed near Guru Garnth Jis parkash..as socks can be pretty "smelly" in somecases...now it is WESTERN to wear socks/shoes...easterns always wore chappals...mostly..shoes/socks are a western norm..so early days nothign to say about socks as nobody wore them..BUT now everybody wears them....due to western acceptance ?? i wear pants..and some say NO pants near SGGS....why ?? becasue pants are worn from the hosue and bottom may be dirty..I say NO..i stepped into my car at my doorstep..and stepped out nearest to Darbar sahib...so how can my pants be dirty ??..i can clearly see my pants are much cleaner than the granthis pajama....which he wears off an on..until he gets the time to wash it..maybe once a week ??..but NO to a Eastern Granthi/his sewaks..his pajam is cleaner even after one week..BECAUSE it is PAJAMA..and not pants ??? funny logic...i dont buy such.

Thank you for rasing so many excellent points..we are all "LEARNERS"...( Gyani doesnt mean zilch as far as SIKHI is concerned.. SIKH means LEARNER..and i am THAT until i die..)

JSGyani
 
Jul 30, 2004
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Gurfateh

Das did read in forum that pants or Payjam need not has to be worn.As when we sit on Tabya dirt from ground comes to Darbar Sahib.

Das was surprised that was there not Akal which is in Darbar Sahib also in dirt?
 

spnadmin

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sitting cross legged on the floor is actually very good for your digestive system and you actually eat less. I have tried this , paying attention to chewing my food slowly (at least 30 chews per mouthful) before swallowing. I find that I eat less and feel fuller on half the amount of food.


Also sitting cross legged actually affects some of the body's meridians which relate to the mind - sitting this way takes us out of the thinking mind (which thinks it needs a large meal to survive) and into our bodys intuition which informs us which and how much food our body actually needs.
This in turn controls greed . I see overindulgence in the Langer hall each week. People with diabetes , cholesterol pile up their taals as if the world is going to end tomorrow!


People should try to sit cross-legged as much as possible , I understand the elderly and new mums may needs to use chairs .....and that's ok.

I believe we should clarify these are your opinions and experiences, another_gupt ji. These are not scientifically proved nor are they true from a gurmat point of view.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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I believe we should clarify these are your opinions and experiences, another_gupt ji. These are not scientifically proved nor are they true from a gurmat point of view.


SEEMS commonsense TO ME... sitting cross legged on the floor brings the stomach UP and tight..sort of BUNCHED UP...while seated on a chair it hangs free like a sack..common sense that a HANGING SACK is easier to overfill..

I too CANNOT eat more seated on floor cross legged....than when i can eat on a chair !! The Stomach bulges UP in front of the plate on the floor..its a drag to bend over and take up the food !!! So YES i do eat LESS when seated on floor than when on a chair...
 

spnadmin

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SEEMS commonsense TO ME... sitting cross legged on the floor brings the stomach UP and tight..sort of BUNCHED UP...while seated on a chair it hangs free like a sack..common sense that a HANGING SACK is easier to overfill..

I too CANNOT eat more seated on floor cross legged....than when i can eat on a chair !! The Stomach bulges UP in front of the plate on the floor..its a drag to bend over and take up the food !!! So YES i do eat LESS when seated on floor than when on a chair...

How about your meridians? Do they clear up your thinking mind - that ugly thinking mind - if you sit at langar cross-legged on the floor?
 
Apr 10, 2017
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Please read Rehatnama by Bhai Desa Singh ji ( son of Bhai Mani Singh Ji) who has documented the code of conduct as explained by Guru Gobind singh ji. It clearly mentions that langar should be eaten on ground.Pls check the attached.
 

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nav_man

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Please read Rehatnama by Bhai Desa Singh ji ( son of Bhai Mani Singh Ji) who has documented the code of conduct as explained by Guru Gobind singh ji. It clearly mentions that langar should be eaten on ground.Pls check the attached.

Hey, can you translate the key points in this document, as I cannot read punjabi.
 

nav_man

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Do you think that the inclusion of chairs and tables make Gurdwaras more accessible and hence can increase Gurdwara attendance?
 

Sonyasanam

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Hello, everyone I am new to this forum, I have read this thread....and would like to share my personal opinion.
I am a Sikh born and raised outside of India, from the time I was born, I only knew the gurdwara to have tables and chairs in the langar halls, these has been from day 1, this gurdwara is 60/70 years old and so is with all the othet gurdwaras with in this country now after all these years someone wakes up & comes and say this is not in the maryada, come on .....in the old era, villages homes were made of straw and mud we don't follow that now dowe..... we live in developed countries, this is nonsensical, now when one can have fans and air-conditioned darbar sahib the old era did not have this. Then we have to go to the moon using horses, instead of rockets.🙏🏻
 

Logical Sikh

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No, you can't have Langar while sitting on Chair,
You'll got to hell if you eat langar on chair and defying maryada.

Wanna go to heaven ? eat langar on the fLoor
 
Jan 26, 2018
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Reading through the comments here are some points that were shared in response to the post:
1) Its ok for elders because it is hard for them to sit on the floor
2) The practice to sit on the floor is so no individual is above the others (in the literal sense and figuratively)
3) Sitting on the floor makes one more humble as they are closer to the earth.

I like to address these, and share my thoughts.
  1. Its ok for elders - while this is obvious for physical reasons, my thought is while rest of us sit on the floor, we know its not the most comfortable position. What about those that are not old in age, but physically unable (for example over weight). Is it simply age, or disability, or physical challenges?
  2. Sitting on the floor so all are equal. I believe this is a great concept. But if all were to sit on chairs/tables then wouldn't they still be equal?
  3. Being closer to earth makes one more humble - what does distance have to do with anything. Are you telling me everyone sitting on the floor are humble people, or they don't have thoughts that they are better than others in the langar hall?

One thing that I have observed from my own learning, is that the Guru's were not all perfect. They did what they did, taught what they taught based on the time they were in. As time goes on, people evolve, towns/cities evolve, new forms engineering is introduced. So each new Guru would build on their predecessor. Each Guru was known for something iconic that they felt should be followed by all.

The idea of Langar as we all know is to provide meal to the sangat, and for anyone else seeking a meal. Hence why Gurdwaras would have 4 entrances to show you can come from any direction and are welcomed. But don't you think the sitting on the floor has little more reasons than just so everyone is equal. Like it was asked in the comments, to avoid someone sitting above the rest, why didn't everyone eat in a sitting up position?

My take is maybe they didn't have enough tables/chairs for all people. Historically in India, how many homes during those times did people have a dining table/chairs at home? Even today, you can go to the poor areas of India and people still eat on the floor. So maybe it wasn't just to show equality but because of availability. Lets say they did have tables and chairs, but it wasn't enough for all. So who would decide who gets the tables, and if all were taken rest had to sit on the floor? Was this how it started, and then later changed so no one would feel lesser than the next person? Or did someone call dibs or placed personal items saving it for other family members to join. Ok I'm just messing with that last sentence. But hope it makes sense what I'm saying.

If the Gurus adapted and evolved, shouldn't we also update some Sikh practices. Is eating on the floor really the best practice. Lets just for a brief moment ignore the basics behind eating on the floor, and think practically. He are some things I've experienced and observed in the langar hall in today's Gurdwaras:

1) If you're a tall person serving daal (or any thin liquid dish) it is brutal on ones back trying to pour into an individuals plate (ESPECIALLY IF THEY DON'T PICK IT UP) to bring it closer to you. So you end slowly pouring it on to their plate while bent over. Now repeat that for hundreds more.

2) I've seen kids knock over water, step on food, drop food in aisles. While food spills can be avoided (until cleaned up) sometimes water isnt always seen, and a wet sock is not so nice to walk around in.

3) Kids cant sit still (while sitting in a chair doesn't guarantee they wont leave and run around) it maybe easier for mothers to feed them

4) How many times have you had little drops of daal or subji drop on your clothes. I'm sure the ladies can relate. - Wouldn't a table and chair provide a more comfortable eating experience?

5) WATER - again if people don't lift their cups for you, its brutal on the back, and if that cup is sitting the on the floor and you're not careful, that empty cup is going to start dancing around as you pour the water. And it can either overfill, or completely tip over causing a bigger mess.

6) Chai - Everyone loves a cup of chai after a hearty langar meal, but I've seen people over fill a cup and burn a person sitting and causing them to drop it. I've even seen chai fall on a persons back. Some of which could be avoided (not guaranteed) serving on a table

7) This last one I feel its an embarrassing and shameful observation, but same time unavoidable. We all know that a Gurdwara is not only a place of worship, but a place where people gather to socialize within the community (especially in the US). And ladies like to wear their prettiest suits and look nice. But sometimes, some ladies wear suits that can be either low cut or "loose", and end up giving a more visible view of their cleavage area when standing up and looking down on someone sitting on the floor. Now as adults we have to be mature about this, but there are little kids who serve (be it spoons/napkins) and you have teenage boys serving as well. That is not something they should be seeing or have thoughts that can be processed at that moment in time. I could be completely wrong about this last point but I have a feeling I'm not the only one whos observed this.

My whole point in all this is, if the Guru's evolved, why can't we. Wouldn't tables/chairs just make more sense. I know its a difficult thought to process or even experience it, especially since we've been doing it since we could crawl. But if we can improve on this, make it a more comfortable/enjoyable experience wouldn't that be better.

Or is comfort a sin, and discomfort shows your "commitment"
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Please read Rehatnama by Bhai Desa Singh ji ( son of Bhai Mani Singh Ji) who has documented the code of conduct as explained by Guru Gobind singh ji. It clearly mentions that langar should be eaten on ground.Pls check the attached.
most of these Rehatnamas and all are FAKE....misusing names of Sikhs to add authenticity. Dr Padam and Dr Ganda Singh has listed so many Fakes and one way of recognizing a Fake is it will have Contradictory to Gurmat/Gurbani views endorsed as Mandatory. It seems it was acommon practise to either remain ANONYMOUS (vaar 40 attached to Vaars of Bhai Gurdass)...or write names of famous Sikhs as AUTHORS so as to get authenticity
 
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