Guru Granth Closing Ceremony
Introduction to Guru Granth Closing Ceremony
The Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Guru Granth Sahib) is the Sikh Holy Scripture, and the closing ceremony of the Guru is known as ‘Sukhasan’ meaning ‘relaxed pose’ implying a posture or state of rest, peace and tranquillity.
During Sukhasan the Guru Granth Sahib is essentially put to bed in a special dedicated room or place called Sach Khand, literally meaning the realm of Truth. This ceremony is performed because the Sikh Guru, the Word, is treated like a living emperor and the Sikhs act as the hands and feet of the Guru.
Sukhasan takes place after the sun goes down, or at any time before the Guru Granth Sahib is moved, such as at the completion of a ceremony at the Sikh temple or Gurdwara. The opposite ceremony of waking up the Guru in the morning is known as ‘Prakash’.
Guru Granth Closing Ceremony Details
- The person performing the Sukhasan ceremony will repeat the Sikh hymns Kirtan Sohila, Benti Chaupaee or “Satnam Vaheguru” mantra while performing the following tasks.
- He or she closes the Guru Granth Sahib, by removing the side cloth (Rumaala).
- Guru Granth Sahib is placed in the centre of the raised cot or platform (Manji Sahib) and is covered with one or two side cloths. The caretaker of the Guru, the Granthi, covers his or her head with a clean towel or cotton cloth and then places the Guru Granth Sahib on their head.
- The rectangular shaped folded white cotton cloths which are on the Manji Sahib are then unfolded in preparation for wrapping the Guru Granth Sahib. The while cloth sheets are then folded to make a diamond shape (cotton is used because it is not slippery, and holds well as a wrap).
- The Guru Granth Sahib is then lowered onto the white sheets on the Manji Sahib and neatly wrapped, one sheet at a time. One corner at a time, the sheet is folded inwards.
- Having done this, the side sheets are placed on top of the Guru Granth Sahib and then the large cloth is placed over.
- Before the Ardaas everyone bows with forehead touching the floor and stands up
- The Ardaasia, the person who performs the Ardaas, comes to the front of the congregation in front of Guru Granth Sahib
- The Ardaasia together with the entire congregation sing the precursor to the Ardaas, which consists of steps 7-8 from Psalm 4 of Sukhmani Sahib
- Now the Ardaas, either long or short begins. The first part of the Ardaas is done in Gurmukhi whilst the remainder is recited in the local language. Note that at the end of every paragraph the whole congregation will say Vaheguru which is confirmation of what the Ardaasia has just announced
- The formal Ardaas is concluded with everyone saying Vahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh
- Everyone bows with forehead touching the floor and then stands back up
- Everyone now sings the seal of the Ardaas Aagya Bhai Akal Ki by Guru Gobind Singh. The last line of this hymn is repeated again and then followed by “Bole So Nihal!”, by the Ardaasia
- The congregation reply with ‘Sat Siri Akal!’ and everyone does a final touching of the forehead to the ground
- The Granthi places the Guru Granth Sahib on his or her head, stands and walks to the location where the Guru is to be taken. Ideally, another volunteer precedes the Guru with water sprinkled, and another volunteer follows behind, waving the a fan called Chaur Sahib over the Guru. Everyone sings any hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib or mantra, such as Satnam Waheguru. Traditionally the congregation joins together and sings the hymn Jithhai Jaae Behai Maeraa Sathiguroo
Precursor to a Short or Long Ardaas—Psalm 4 of Sukhmani Sahib
too thaakur tum peh ardaas
You are our Lord and Master; to You, I offer this prayer.
jee-o pind sabh tayree raas.
This body and soul are all Your property.
tum maat pitaa ham baarik tayray.
You are our mother and father; we are Your children.
tumree kirpaa meh sookh ghanayray.
In Your Grace, there are so many joys!
ko-ay na jaanai tumraa ant.
No one knows Your limits.
oochay tay oochaa bhagvant.
O Highest of the High, Most Generous God,
sagal samagree tumrai sutir Dhaaree.
the whole creation is strung on Your thread.
tum tay ho-ay so aagi-aakaaree.
That which has come from You is under Your Command.
tumree gat mit tum hee jaanee.
You alone know Your state and extent.
naanak daas sadaa kurbaanee. ||8||4||
Nanak, Your slave, is forever a sacrifice. ||8||4||
Short Ardaas—By Guru Gobind Singh
Ek-Oankar. Waheguroo Ji Ki Fateh
One Creator. Victory to Wonderful God.
Sri Bhagouti ji Sahai
With the blessings of the Mother Goddess
Vaar Sri Bhagouti Ji Ki Paatshaahee Dasvee
Hymn for the Mother Goddess by The Tenth King
Pritham Bhagouti Simar Kai, Guru Naanak Layee Dhiyae
Remembering the Primal Power, Remembering Guru Nanak
Angad Gur Te Amar Das, Raamdaasai Hoye Sahai
Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das and Guru Raam Das help us
Arjan Hargobind No Simrou Sri Har Rai
Guru Arjan, Guru Hargobind, Remembering Guru Har Rai
Sri Harkrishan Dhiyaa-eeai Jis Dhithi Sabh Dukh Jaye
Remembering Guru Harkrishan, seeing whom all pains vanish
Teg Bahadur Simareeai Ghar No Nidh Avai Dhai
Remembering Guru Tegh Bahadur, the nine treasures come into your home
Sabh Thai Ho-e Sahaai.
May they all help us.
May the kind and magnificent, tenth king, Guru Gobind Singh Ji help us everywhere.
O assembly of saints, focus your consciousness on the divine light of the ten kings contained in the Holy Scripture, the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Experience the beauty of these divine teachings in your heart and say Vaheguru.
(Personal part of prayer. Let this be a request and words which come direct from your heart. Include words that are relevant to the sequence e.g. beginning or end of a programme)
Seal of the Ardaas—By Guru Gobind Singh
aagya bhai akal ki tabhi chalayo panth
Under orders of the Immortal being the Panth was started.
sab sikhan ko hukum hai guru manyo granth.
All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru.
guru granth ji manyo pargat guran ki deh.
Consider Guru Granth as representing Guru’s body.
jo prabh ko milna chahe khoj shabad men le.
Those who wish to meet God can find the way in its hymns.
raaj karega khalsa akhee rahae na koe
Khalsa will rule, no enemies shall remain
khuaar hoe sabh milengai bachae sharan jo hoey
Those separated will unite, and all the devotees shall be protected.
vaheguru naam jahaaz hai charae so utharey paar
The Vaheguru mantra is the boat, whosoever enters will get off at the other side.
jo sharda ka saevaday gur paar uthaaran haar
Those who remember God with their hearts, the Guru himself takes them across
khanda jaa kae haath mai kalgee so hae sees
In his hand is a double-edged sword, and on his head a royal plume
so hamree rachiyaa karae guru khaldee dhar jagdhees
Guru protects us, the wearer of the royal plume, protector of the world (Guru Gobind Singh).
Jithhai Jaae Behai Maeraa Sathiguroo
jithhai jaae behai maeraa sathiguroo so thhaan suhaavaa raam raajae ||
Wherever my True Guru goes and sits, that place is beautiful, O Lord King.
gurasikha(n)aee so thhaan bhaaliaa lai dhhur mukh laavaa ||
The Guru’s Sikhs seek out that place; they take the dust and apply it to their faces.
gurasikhaa kee ghaal thhaae pee jin har naam dhhiaavaa ||
The works of the Guru’s Sikhs, who meditate on the Lord’s Name, are approved.
jinh naanak sathigur poojiaa thin har pooj karaavaa ||2||
Those who worship the True Guru, O Nanak – the Lord causes them to be worshipped in turn. ||2||