Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the eternal Guru of the Sikhs. We know from the life of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, that Guru Sahib gave utmost respect to the Adi Granth. When the Holy Scripture was first installed at the Harmandir Sahib, the Guru instructed the Sikhs to rest “pothi sahib” at Akal Takht Sahib at night on a special bed, while the Guru slept on a cot.
Here are 10 general rules you should follow if you have Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s parkash at home, temporarily or permanent.
1. A room should be dedicated for Guru Granth Sahib on the top floor
Guru Ji should never be inside a room with the possibility of someone being on top of the roof.
2. Dedicated Sukhasan Bed and Canopy
Inspired from the life of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, make sure Guru Granth Sahib Ji has a separate resting bed, which is higher than other beds in the same house. Make sure the bed is underneath a chandoa (canopy). Guru Ji’s scripture should never be kept inside a closet or a suitcase.
3. Remove all alcohol and meat
And take a pledge to never bring these into the house again. Once the Guru blesses your house, it’s no different from a Gurdwara. Try to preserve the serenity at all costs. If your house has a permanent bar, never bring Guru Sahib to your house.
4. Daily Seva of Guru Ji
Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s parkash should be done daily early in the morning on a dedicated munji sahib underneath a chandoa (canopy). Never forgot to put the Guru to rest (sukhasan) at night. If you have plans to be out during the night, do sukhasan before leaving.
5. Going out of town?
If you are leaving for an extended period of time, do not leave the Guru unattended. Plan to transfer Guru Ji to the nearest Gurdwara or a Gursikh family that is capable of doing seva. Make sure to follow the protocols for transportation for Guru Ji (these will be detailed in an upcoming post).
Take a full shower before attending to the Guru. Make sure your clothes are clean and your head is fully covered. Request and inspire others in the house to keep their heads covered to show respect to Guru Sahib.
7. Clean Environment
Make sure Guru Sahib’s clothing, bedding, and the entire room is kept as clean as possible. Do regular dusting and keep the room well ventilated.
8. When the Guru is at your house, abstain from all 4 cardinal sins
Abstain from adultery, drugs, removal of any kind of hair, and consumption of tobacco and stay away from the five vices, which include kaam, krodh, loobh, moh and hankar. Refrain from any abusive talk, actions, or arguments. Treat everyone with respect and love.
9. Refrain from watching or listening to inappropriate movies, songs, or TV shows
Try to keep kirtan, katha, or paath playing and focus your attention on that.
10. Wash up
Always wash hands and feet before entering Guru ji’s room and when doing any kind of seva. A hazooria (robe) should be used to keep hands clean.
Having Guru Granth Sahib Ji in your house is a great privilege. These rules are there to ensure you do not commit any mistakes. Always do ardas to the Guru seeking forgiveness.
If you see yourself, or other family members, continue making critical mistakes, it’s best to use senchis (volumes of Guru Granth Sahib Ji), instead of the actual saroop. Remember that the respect one can give to Guru Ji is limitless.
It should be every Sikh’s responsibility to ensure respect for Guru Granth Sahib Ji and to provide a room where Guru Ji’s seva can be performed with love and devotion. One should also try to make every attempt to read Gurbani daily and contemplate on the meanings. In addition, a Gursikh should do sangat with other Sikhs and at the Gurdwara as much as possible.
If you are interested in learning more about the Sikh Rehit Maryada, download the Khalis Foundation app for iOS or Android.