RICHMOND, Virginia, USA—Gurdwara Sikh Sangat of Virginia, operated by the Central Sikh Mission of America has formally changed the Sikh ardas and conducted Amrit Sanchar without the banis written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Gurdwara Committee termed this oxymoron as a “historical step” which has taken place for the first time.
Led by Giani Kuldeep Singh, an amrit sanchar was held at the Gurdwara on April 15, in which only banis of Sri Jap Ji Sahib, Sodar, So Purakh and Sohila were read. The Sikh Rehit Maryada issued by Akal Takht Sahib states that Jap Ji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Tav-Prasad Savaiye, Chaupai Sahib and Anand Sahib are to be read during amrit sanchar.
People taking amrit were prescribed the rehit to read first 13 angs of Guru Granth Sahib as their daily nitnem. The Gurdwara committee has further changed the ardas from “Pritham Bagauti Simar Ke” to “Prithap Akal Purakh Simar Ke”.
“This is a historical step and we congratulate the Sikh Sangat of Virginia. By conducting the Pahul Sanchar without reading banis by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, they have shown their dedication to the Guru,” published Khalsa News, a tabloid operated by excommunicated Ragi Darshan Singh.
Explaining his stance on the changes at the Gurdwara Sahib, Giani Kuldeep Singh said, “Our Guru is complete, we do not need to go out to anyone else to become Sikhs. We are following instructions of our Guru by not reading Dasam Granth.”
Jaswinder Singh from Virginia objected to the change in Sikh Rehit Maryada by the Gurdwara. “The Gurdwara has always been very liberal about certain things, however, in past few years, they have notoriously challenged everything. They denounce Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s bani on basis that it’s not part of Guru Granth Sahib. They often quote ‘Sab Sikh Sikhan Ko Hukam Hai Guru Manyo Granth’, however this phrase is also not from Guru Granth Sahib, why do they continue to use that to spread their own ideology?” he questioned.