Illustrated Guide to Reading a Hukam

01
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The Hymn of Anand Sahib

Reciting the Hymn of Anand Sahib
Reciting the Hymn of Anand Sahib. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

The Hymn of Anand Sahib

A gurdwara program may go on for several hours, all night, or even for a number of days. A hukam, is a verse selected randomly from the Guru Granth, at the close of any gurdwara service. The hymn of Anand Sahib is either sung, or recited, prior to reading the hukam at the completion of any Sikh ceremony or worship service.

View Illustrated Guide to the Gurdwara

02
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Reading the Hukam Illustrated

Recitation of Prayer
Recitation of Prayer. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

The Prayer of Ardas

The members of the congregation, stand together and recite a verse before prayer.

"

Too thakur tum peh ardaas

||


You are Lord Master; to You, I offer this prayer".(SGGS||268)

A Sikh recites the prayer of Ardas while standing directly in front of the Guru Granth.

03
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Blessing the Prashad With Ardas

Blessing the Prashad
Blessing the Prashad. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Blessing the Prashad with Ardas

Prashad

, is a delicacy prepared from butter sugar and wheat flour which is served to worshipers. At the appropriate moment during the prayer of

Ardas

, a Sikh touches the prashad with a

kirpan

to bless it.

04
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Completion of the Prayer Ardas

Completion of Ardas
Worshipers Bow Before the Guru Granth. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Completion of the Prayer Ardas

After the completion of the prayer ardas, the worshipers bow touching their foreheads to the floor while facing the

Guru Granth

.

05
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Folding Back the Rumala Coverlet To Open Guru Granth

Opening the Guru Granth
Opening the Guru Granth. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Folding Back the Rumala Coverlet To Open Guru Granth

The attendant sits behind the Guru Granth and lifts the coverlet, folding back the rumala to open the Guru Granth and reveal the scripture. Lights illuminate the text.

06
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Selecting a Random Hukam From Guru Granth

Selecting a Random Hukam From the Guru Granth
Selecting a Random Hukam From the Guru Granth. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Selecting a Random Reading Hukam From Guru Granth

The attendant selects the hukam randomly turning to a page of the Guru Granth. The scripture rests on a cot which is furnished with pillows and rumala coverlets, and is kept beneath a canopy.

07
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Reading the Hukam of Guru Granth

Reading the Hukam From the Guru Granth
Reading the Hukam From the Guru Granth. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Reading the Hukamn of Guru Granth

The attendant reads aloud the hukam, a verse of scripture chosen randomly from the Guru Granth. The hukam is read from where ever the verse happens to start, either the top of the left hand page, or on the preceding right hand page.

08
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Covering the Guru Granth After the Hukam is Read

Covering the Guru Granth After the Hukam is Read
Covering the Guru Granth After the Hukam is Read. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Covering Guru Granth After the Hukam is Read

After the hukam has been read, the attendant carefully and respectfully covers the scripture of the Guru Granth. The worshipers sit quietly pondering the meanings and message which they have heard while they wait to be served prashad.

09
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Worshipers Request Prashad

Worshipers Request Prashad
Worshipers Request Prashad. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Worshipers Request Prashad

Prashad is prepared in the langar kitchen before or during the worship service. Devotees may also prepare prashad in their homes and bring it to the worship service as an offering. Worshipers may request prashad at anytime during the service except while the hukam is begin read. During the the service, prashad which has been prepared for the program in the langar kitchen, is brought in. All of the prashad is mixed together to be blessed before being distributed to the worshipers. Prashad is also always served at the conclusion of the service after the hukam has been read.

10
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Distributing the Prashad to the Worshipers

Distributing the Prashad to Worshipers
Distributing the Prashad to Worshipers. Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Distributing the Prashad to the Worshipers

Upon the completion of the worship service, after the Hukam has been read, a portion of prashad is given to five Sikhs in honor of the Panj Pyare, historical figures who formalized Sikhism. One portion is set aside in a small bowl for the attendant of the Guru Granth. The remaining prashad is distributed to worshipers without regard of rank, caste, color, or creed.