ANAND KARAJ INFORMATION
Anand Karaj is the name given to the Sikh wedding ceremony, literally translated as "Blissful Event". Sikhs regard marriage as a sacred bond of mutual dependence between a man and a woman; a true partnership of equals in marriage is made between those who are united in spirit as well as in mind and body. Marriage is regarded as a strong lifetime bond between the bride and groom and and a union between both the families of the bride and groom.
This event leads to a "joining" of the two families into one creating an enlarged extended family structure where each member has a useful part to play in the new family structure; each member of this extended family has to play a part in ensuring that the new couple are given every assistance in this new relationship and their start on this honourable path of Grist marg, "path of the householder".
Gristi Jiwan (living as a householder) is given a very respected position in Guru Nanak's society as it is regarded as the essential basic atomic unit of a healthy community; a couple leading a happy, strong and fulfilling relationship will provide a base for a strong, united and coherent community.
ANAND KARAJ AT GURDWARA BABA BUDHA JI: VIDEO PRESENTATION
ANAND KARAJ AT GURDWARA BABA BUDHA JI: PHOTO GALLERY
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AKHAND PATH INFORMATION
Akhand Path (akhand = uninterrupted, without break; path = reading) is the non-stop, continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end. Such a recital is normally completed within 48 hours. The entire Holy Volume, 1430 pages, is read through in a continuous ceremony. This “ritual” is considered a very holy practice and is said to bring peace and solace to the participants and the passive listener of the recitation.
For it to be classified as a “Akhand paath”, this reading must go on day and night, without a moment’s intermission. The relay of reciters who take turns at reading the scripture must ensure that no break occurs in the reading. As they change places at given intervals, one picks the line from his predecessor’s lips and continues. When and how the custom of reciting the canon in its entirety in one continuous service began is not known. Conjecture traces it to the turbulent days of the eighteenth century when persecution had scattered the Sikhs to far off places. In those exilic, uncertain times, the practice of accomplishing a reading of the Holy Book by a continuous recital is believed to have originated. The Akhand Path can be held at the Gurudwara or at your home.
AKHAND PATH AT GURDWARA BABA BUDHA JI: PICTURE GALLERY
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SEHAJ PATH INFORMATION
Sehaj or Sadharan Paath is the complete reading of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib from start to finish accomplished at the reader’s pace. A Sahej Paath may be fulfilled by one or more readers. The pace of the paath is undetermined and will depend entirely on the reader(s). Some dedicated Sikhs who have the Guru Granth Sahib installed at their home, carry out a Sehaj paath on a continuous basis at home.
They begin one Sehaj paath and in some cases take up to one year to read the whole of the holy Granth. After they have carried out the bhog of the paath, they begin another paath. So in this way, they are continuously reading Gurbani at home for a little while perhaps on a daily basis.
SEHAJ PATH AT GURDWARA BABA BUDHA JI: PICTURE GALLERY
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SUKHMANI SAHIB PATH INFORMATION
Sukhmani Sahib is the name given to the set of hymns divided into 24 sections which appear in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Holy Scriptures on page 262. Each section, which is called an Ashtpadi (asht means 8), consists of 8 hymns per Ashtpadi. The word Sukhmani literally means Peace in your mind. This set of Hymns or Bani is very popular among the Sikhs, who frequently recite it in their places of worship called Gurdwaras and at home.
The full recital takes about 90 minutes and is normally undertaken by everyone in the congregation. According to Sikh doctorine, this Bani is believed to bring peace to one’s mind and compoundly peace to the world. This set of 192 hymns were compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
SUKHMANI SAHIB PATH AT GURDWARA BABA BUDHA JI: PICTURE GALLERY
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The Langar or free kitchen was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It is designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people of the world regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status. In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of Langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind. "..the Light of God is in all hearts." (sggs 282). For the first time in history, Guru Ji designed an institution in which all people would sit on the floor together, as equals, to eat the same simple food. It is here that all people high or low, rich or poor, male or female, all sit in the same pangat (literally "row" or "line") to share and enjoy the food together.
The institution of Guru ka Langar has served the community in many ways. It has ensured the participation of women and children in a task of service for mankind. Women play an important role in the preparation of meals, and the children help in serving food to the pangat. Langar also teaches the etiquette of sitting and eating in a community situation, which has played a great part in upholding the virtue of sameness of all human beings; providing a welcome, secure and protected sanctuary.
Everyone is welcome to share the Langar; no one is turned away. The food is normally served twice a day, every day of the year. Each week a family or several families volunteer to provide and prepare the Langar. This is very generous, as there may be several hundred people to feed, and caterers are not allowed. All the preparation, the cooking and the washing-up is done by volunteers and or by voluntary helpers (Sewadars).
Besides the Langars attached to gurdwaras, there are improvised open-air Langars at the time of festivals and gurpurbs. Specially arranged Langars on such occasions are probably the most largely attended community meals anywhere in the world. There might be a hundred thousand people partaking of food at a single meal in one such langar. Wherever Sikhs are, they have established their Langars.
LANGAR AT GURDWARA BABA BUDHA JI: PICTURE GALLERY
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ANTAM SANSKAAR INFORMATION
In Sikhism death is considered a natural process; an absolute certainty - an event that will happen sooner or later - an event that is guaranteed to take place; and only happens when the Almighty commands and never otherwise - as a direct result of God's Will or Hukam. To a Sikh, birth and death are closely associated, because they are both part of the cycle of human life of "coming and going" (Aaavan Jaanaa) which is seen as transient stage towards Liberation, ( Mokh Du-aar) complete unity with God. Sikhs thus believe in reincarnation.
However, by contrast, the soul itself is not subject to the cycle of birth and death. Death is only the progression of the soul on its journey from God, through the created universe and back to God again. In life, a Sikh tries always to constantly remember death so that he or she may be sufficiently prayerful, detached and righteous to break the cycle of birth and death and return to God.
The public display of grief at the funeral such as wailing or crying out loud is discouraged and should be kept to a minimum. Cremation is the preferred method of disposal, although if it is not possible any other methods such as burial or submergence at sea are acceptable. Worship of the dead with gravestones, etc. is discouraged, because the body is considered to be only the shell, the person's soul is their real essence.
At a Sikh's death-bed, relatives and friends should read Sukhmani Sahib, the Psalm of Peace, composed by the fifth Guru Arjan Dev, or simply recite "Waheguru" to console themselves and the dying person. When a death occurs, they should exclaim 'Waheguru', 'Waheguru', 'Waheguru' ..... the Wonderful Lord. Wailing or lamentation is discouraged.
If the death occurs in a hospital, the body is taken to the Funeral Directors or home for viewing before the funeral. In preparation for cremation (usually the day before or on the cremation), the body is first washed using yoghurt and water only while those present recite the Gurmantar Waheguru or Mool Mantar. Then the body is lovingly dressed with clean clothes complete with the Five Ks (in case of baptized Sikhs). The body once fully clothe is transferred to a coffin.
EDUCATIONAL VISIT INFORMATION
We are proud to support the local community and schools. If you would like to book an educational visit please call us or fill in the form below and we will happy to arrange this with you.
Currently, we can only accommodate visits on Tuesdays, Wednesdays (Afternoons) and Fridays. There is ample free parking for both cars and coaches on site.
The Gurdwara organizes and encourages many visits to the Gurdwara every year by local schools and other organizations. The aim of the visits is to give a wider understanding to school age children of the basic tenets and practices of Sikhism.
The format of a visit can be tailored to the needs of a specific school, and usually comprises a basic introduction upon arrival, a short talk by the Education Welfare Officer in the main Diwan hall, followed by an opportunity for questions. The visit is concluded with a small vegetarian meal in the langar hall.
During the visit everyone will be required to cover their head, although some handkerchiefs/ scarves are provided it is a good idea to bring your own.
School visits can be arranged by contacting us via email or phone with the following information: Contact name and telephone number, the date you wish to visit the number in your group and their age range.
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To arrange any other additional service or for further information please call us or fill in the form below and a member of our committee will be in touch shortly.