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Referring To The Gurdwara As Dharamshala


Dec 19, 2012
Dharamshala was used to refer Sikh place of worship before the advent of the word Gurdwara.

If you are in a conversation with a Punjabi speaker and you refer to the Gurdwara as Dharamshala, is this okay?

Dharamshala by its original defiinition means 'religious sanctuary', which I would consider what a Sikh place of worship is. However, I rather ask and be sure, so as not to say anything wrong.

The word Dharamshala is often used in place of worship names and the word Dharamshala is in the Guru Granth, so Sikhs should be familiar with the word.

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
When GURU NANAK JI SAHIB began His Divine Mission....his idea was..."GHAR GHAR ANDER DHARAMSAAL.." as Bhai Gurdass Ji contemporary poet of Guru Arjun Ji Sahib writes.

1. Dharam - saal..Place abode of Dharam...EACH Person has the CREATOR RESIDING WITHIN ....and each person shoul therefore keep this in MIND...and make his FAMILY ABODE..also a DHARM ABODE...Practise Honest hard labour, SHARE its honest proceeds with the less fortunate..and PRAISE the CREATOR (emulate Him and His attributes in daily always speaking acting living the TRUTH as in TRUTHFUL LIVING...called Naam japp ) These were the 3 main guidng principles of Guru nanak Jis Teachings back then...

As Sikhism grew and grew spreading far and wide...the GURU came to be the CENTERSTAGE... just like for firts a CHILD 'learns at home"...but later he goes to a SCHOOL...the "DOORWAY TO KNOWLEDGE"....same way the Home;ly Dharamsaal of Sikhism grew into the GUR-DWARA...the DOORWAY to the GURU OF GYAAN...Knowledge of the Creator...and how to live our life in the Creators Image..

So theoretically we can say we are at " kindergarten...Junior school...senior Grad school..." even sitting in our mums Lap or daddy's knee...AND we cna also say we are at...School..University etc... BUT really the UNIVERSITY is not exactly our dad's a Dharamsaal is not really the GURDWARA because of the SANGAT...

2. In almost every Punjab Village there will be a Common HALL/Covered place called DHARAMSALA/DHARAMSAAL....which is used by ALL religions for common purposes..weddings, feasts..whatever...

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