Sikh Ardas

Introduction to Sikh Ardas

Ardas is a Sikh prayer before God. The word Ardas is derived from the Persian word ‘Arazdashat’, meaning a request, a supplication, a prayer, a petition or an address to a superior authority. A person who performs an Ardas is called the Ardasia. It is done in one of the following situations:

  • Before performing or after undertaking any significant task
  • After reciting the daily Sikh prayers (Bani) or
  • After the completion of a service such as hymn-singing (Kirtan).

How to Select the Correct Sikh Ardas

A short Ardas can be done when opening the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Guru Granth Sahib), The Sikh Holy Scripture, or a  Kirtan program. A long Ardas is done at the end of a Kirtan program and the Guru Granth Sahib is closed with a short Ardas. So a typical Sikh program will have the following sequence of Ardas:

  • Short Ardas to open programme and Guru Granth Sahib (Prakaash)
  • Long Ardas to close programme
  • Short Ardas to close Guru Granth Sahib (Sukhaasan)

Ardas Positions and Prayers Overview

  • Before the Ardas everyone bows with forehead touching the floor and stands up
  • The Ardasia comes to the front of the congregation in front of Guru Granth Sahib
  • The Ardasia together with  the entire congregation sing the precursor to the Ardas, which consists of steps 7-8 from Psalm 4 of Sukhmani Sahib
  • Now the Ardas, either long or short begins. The first part of the Ardas 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 Ardasia has just announced
  • The formal Ardas 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 Ardas 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 Ardasia
  • The congregation reply with ‘Sat Siri Akal!’ and everyone does a final touching of the forehead to the ground
  • The Ardasia takes a seat like the rest of the congregation (Sangat).
  • An order or Hukamnama is taken from the Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Sikh prayers or Kirtan begins.

Precursor to a Short or Long Ardas—Psalm 4 of Sukhmani Sahib

too thaakur tum peh ardas

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 Ardas

All victory belongs to the One God in all! May we rise to answer the Guru’s call!

May Pritham Bhagautee, the primal power give us help and strength in our darkest hour.

Let us meditate on the lives of the Ten Gurus who walked the path of Infinite Truth.

Guru Nanak, the first of Ten to be God’s true friend,

Angad, who served him until the end,

Amar Das, who taught by his humble example,

Ram Das, who gave us the Golden Temple,

Arjun who died a martyr’s death,

Hargobind, a warrior, until his last breath,

Siri Har Rai, who cared for the weak and the small,

Siri Har Krishan, whose noble death healed them all.

Teg Bahadur, whose nine treasures bring infinite worth,

Guru Gobind Singh, protector of the faith upon this earth.

Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji embodies each one,

Through its divine presence, their work is done.

Let the living Guru bring us infinite peace,

And the blessed experience of our soul’s release.

Khalsa Ji Sahib, Bolo Ji, Sat Nam, Siri Waheguru!

(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)

Long Ardas

(Short Ardas followed by…)

May we remember the courage of Guru Gobind Singh’s four sons,

And join in praise of the five beloved ones,

Think of Mai Bhago and the forty liberated ones.

Praise be to the five holy thrones where the Guru knelt,

And all the places where His presence is felt.

Khalsa Ji Sahib, Bolo Ji, Sat Nam, Siri Waheguru!

Bless those who meditate upon His Name,

Let us give our praise to the same,

To all the masters, warriors, saints, and sages,

To all those who sacrificed throughout the ages.

Khalsa Ji Sahib, Bolo Ji, Sat Nam, Siri Waheguru!

Remember those who were cut up limb by limb,

Who offered their very lives to Him,

And each woman who uttered no cry of complaint,

As she quietly sacrificed her own small saint,

Keeping all their hair to the very last breath,

They gave life to Sikh  Dharma with the power of their death.

Khalsa Ji Sahib, Bolo Ji, Sat Nam, Siri Waheguru!

Now let the whole Khalsa remember the Name,

Let the whole Khalsa give praise to the same.

Waheguru! Waheguru! Waheguru!

May all bodies of the Khalsa be under His protection,

May we always surrender to His grace and perfection.

Let the Lord’s glory prevail in the heavens and on earth,

As we reflect His glory with our dignity and worth.

With Deg and Teg may we achieve victory,

May God’s Holy Sword make us forever free.

May the pure ones prevail throughout time and space,

May the Khalsa light the way for the whole human race.

May the realm of justice come to all parts,

May love reside in all of our hearts.

May we be humble, yet also wise,

May the light of the True One shine in our eyes.

Khalsa Ji Sahib, Bolo Ji, Sat Nam, Siri Waheguru!

Grant us the gift of Sikh Dharma,

To wash away the stain of karma,

Grant us the gift of Thy Holy Word and Name,

So that Thy breath and ours may be the same.

Grant us the gift of faith and confidence in Thee,

So that our lives may be forever free.

May we bathe in Harimandir Sahib’s holy waters,

To be reborn as the Guru’s sons and daughters.

As we sing our songs with a sacred voice,

In our homes everywhere, let us now rejoice.

May our flags fly freely across the land,

May our gurdwaras be blessed by His hand,

By His will, forever our takhts and forts shall stand.

Khalsa Ji Sahib, Bolo Ji, Sat Nam, Siri Waheguru!

May we strike lust, anger, greed, pride, and attachment from within,

May our true lives, at last, begin.

O Honor of those who are stained with shame,

O Home to those who live in pain,

O hope of  the hopeless to live again,

O Guru, the shelter from sorrow’s rain,

We stand before Thee to offer our prayers,

So that Thy divine love will ease our cares.

(OPEN PRAYER)

God bless the the Siri Singh Sahibji and the Bhai Sahibaji

That they may always live in Your infinity.

Give us Thy divine light and clarity,

So that we may know what pleases Thee.

We have heard Thy Word, O True King,

Of Thy infinite praises, we sing!

Bless the Guru ka Langar and Guruprashad placed at Thy feet,

May these holy vibrations make us strong and sweet.

Forgive us our straying from the Path of Dharma,

Help us to choose our Destiny over our karma.

Let Thy Holy Name prevail in each soul,

So that all men and women of love may become whole.

Through Nanak, may Thy Name forever increase,

So that our spirits may finally gain their release,

And this earth and mankind be blessed with peace.

Nanak Nam Chardi Kala, Tere Bhane Sarbat Da Bala.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

Seal of the Ardas—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).

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