Ardas of The Sikhs (A Distinctive Prayer)

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Item Code: NAF022
Author: Jaswant Singh Neki
Publisher: Manohar Publishers And Distributors
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9788173049613
Pages: 282 (4 Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 550 gm
Book Description
About the Book

This book, Ardas of the Sikhs, is an Inclusive, yet discreet work on the subject. While acknowledge the universality of prayer and its efficacy, the author attends to this multisensate phenomenon in all its dimension- historical, hermeneutical, psychological, philosophical, etc. he does this with all deference to the various other extant spiritual disciplines.

Ardas for the Sikhs is the way of life ordained by the Gurus, it is but another way of simran or Practising the Presence of God. It pithily condenses the comic glory, spiritual experiences and ethical values enshrined in the perennial holy Word of Adi Granth,

Profoundly expounding every phrase of the Arda, the book has been considered a precious addition to the existing spiritual literature of the world. Its version in the Punjabi language had been described ‘an all-time classic’ by the Chief Editor of Encyclopaedia of Sikhism.

About the Author

Jaswant Singh Neki is professor of Eminence in Religious Studies at the Punjabi University, Patiala. He has been decorated with ‘Order of the Khalsa’ and ‘Shan-e- Khalsa awards.

A psychiatrist of international standing, he has been Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and consultant to the World health Organization and UNDP.

An outstanding metaphysical poet in the Punjabi Language, he received the national Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980.


Who has not prayed? Someone might pretend that he hasn’t but almost everyone who finds himself in a state of utter helplessness during threatening or trying times, tends to turn to prayer. That is why, prayer has been perenmial as well as universal. However, historians have always chosen to keep quiet about them. They talk at length about emperors and potentates, invaders and conquerors, autocrats and despots, tyrant dictators and paranoid proprietors, but say little about those who suffered at the hands of such personages. Undoubtedly, millions in distress must have prayed. In spite of the negligent silence of history, there yet exists an important document that has sought to fill this gap. It is the congregational prayer of the Sikhs popularly known as the ARDAS.

To pray without words, one needs to be on top of spiritual form. However, spiritually accomplished souls might occasionally have uttered a phrase or two that history gets compelled to preserve. The Ardas is a remarkable album of such spiritually charged phrases that have come to be incorporated into it over a long series of generations. Occasionally a half-baked phrase also managed to sneak into it, but soon such phrases got weeded out. Thus the asdas became an ever evolving creative word of great significance.

The phrases that got incorporated into the arda were no ordinary ones. Lives had actually been lived according to them before they found their place in the ardas. Divine presence had actually been experienced. His holy Name had verily been meditated upon. Bread had been shared with the needy, even with enemies. Holy cauldrons had been continually kept warm. The sacred sword had been plied to save the oppressed from the oppressors. Faults of others had actually been overlooked. Divine will had been accepted without demur. Thus every phrase in the ardas became an epitome of a truly lived faith.

Multiple dimensions seem to characterize the structure of the ardas. It is at one an invocation, a laudation, an inspiration, a dedication, an affirmation of faith and a supplication. Every supplication is on behalf of the entire congregation. In its first part, it speaks for the entire commonwealth of those who have pledged to be the Lord’s saint-soldiers, the Khalsa. It reinforces the fraternity of the Khalsa by awakening their pride in the lofty traditions of the religious fraternity to which they belong, and praying for the fulfillment or their collective aspirations. The next supplication is for those who claim themselves as belonging to the Sikh faith.

Then there is space for supplication of behalf of an individual or individuals for any specified purpose. The penultimate supplication in ardas is: ‘Grant us, o Lord, company of such lovely souls, meeting whom we may automatically remember your Name’. The ardas does not conclude without an ardent supplication for the welfare of the entire mankind under the Lord’s benevolent will. Thus it becomes the prayer for all mankind for all times, transcending both time and space. It is a prayer that is held in utmost reverence almost at par with gubani (the gurus word), even though it is the composition of the panth (the entire Sikh fraternity).

This hermeneutic study of the ardas aims at providing a faithful exposition of every section of this delightful piece of poetic prose, the like of which, it is said, is hard to come by anywhere else.


Transcription/Pronunciation Key11
A Note Relating the references quotations from Sikh Sources23
Part-I: Metaphysical Considerations
1what is Ardas?31
2The Spirit of Ardas35
3University of Prayer40
4Metaphysical Perspective on Prayer45
5To whom should we pry50
6Ardas in the sikh faith53
7The Evolution of Ardas57
8Outstanding features of Ardas62
Part-II: Form of the congregational Ardas
9The next of the Congregational Ardas69
10The Structure of the Congregational Ardas75
11Invocation of the divine sword78
12Pray, help us everywhere82
13Spiritual light of the ten gurus86
14 With full attention, utter Waheguru 90
15Homage to Guru Panth93
16The Five Loved ones96
17The Four Sahibzadas of the Master100
18The Forty Muktas104
19Practitioners of Nam, Penance and Determination107
20Those who Chanted the Num111
21Those who shareed Their Bread with Others115
22Those who kept the cauldron warm121
23Those Who Wielded the sword125
24Who Noticed, yet could overlook128
25Those who Gave Their Lives for Righteousness132
26He who was severed Joint by Joint135
27The One who was descalped138
28Those who were broken on the Wheel141
29He who was Sawn through144
30Who Cheerfully accepted the lord's will146
31Who Upheld the Dignity of the sikh faith and the Bestowed Form until the last breath149
32The Five High Seats of Authority152
33All the Gurdaras155
34Let us first Pray on Behalf of the Entire Khalsa158
35May the Khalsa enshrine Waheguru in their heart160
36Wheresoever the Khalsa ji abide163
37May our Rations and weapons Ensure Victory166
38May our Reputation be Preserved171
39May the panth be Victorious173
40May the holy sword help us176
41May the Word of the Khalsa ever prevail179
42Beseeching the Right Gift182
43The Gift of the Sikh Faith184
44Gift of the Holy Hair187
45The Gift of disciplined life192
46The Gift of Discriminating Wisdom199
47The Gift of Conviction202
48The Gift of trust204
49Nam the Gift Above all Other Gifts207
50A Dip in the Pool of Immortality211
51Long Live Choirs, Banners and Hospices215
52Hail Righteousness221
53Humble Mind and High Thinking223
54From Which the Panth has been Separated225
55The will of the Lord Prevails228
56Through Nam is attained Resplendent Spirit230
57May all Prosper by Your Grace235
58The Traditional way of Performing Ardas238
Part III: Practice of Ardas
59Ardas: Personal and Congregational243
60Psychological Diffculties246
61Philosophical Problems250
62Shortcomings in Practice256
63The Stages of Ardas259
Index of Names 273
Subject Index277
Sample Pages

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