What is the Meaning of Sikhism Term Paath?

Devotional Reading and Scripture Study

Devotional Reading Aloud of Guru Granth Sahib Paath
Devotional Reading Aloud of Guru Granth Sahib Paath. Photo © [Ravitej Singh Khalsa / Eugene, Oregon / USA]

Definition:

Paath means devotional reading, or study of scripture. Paath may be read in the gurdwara or private homes professionally for love, or money.

Paathee is one who reads paath.

Premee Paathee is one who read paath only for love and does not take money.

In Sikhism, it is common for Westerners to mix Punjabi and English terms and say, "do paath", "read paath," or "listen paath," to infer devotional reading aloud of Gurbani, Sikh scripture, or listening to devotional reading of scripture:

  • Nitnem Paath - Devotional reading of Panj Bania, the five required daily prayers, or Amrit Banis, five prayers read during the Sikh initiation ceremony, from a "Nitnem" gutka prayerbook.
  • Guru Granth Sahib Paath - Devotional reading of Sikhism's holy scripture by proscribed method:
    • Akhand Paath - Uninterrupted reading of entire Guru Granth Sahib bir (bound single volume) carried out by pathee, a team of readers, according to specific protocol outlined in the Sikhism code of conduct.
    • Sadharan Paath - Intermittent reading of entire Guru Granth Sahib bir (bound single volume) at intervals carried out by a single individual or team of readers according to specific protocol outlined in the Sikhism code of conduct:
      • Sahej Paath - Intermittent reading of entire Guru Granth Sahib at intervals carried out by a single individual or team of readers. Sahej meaning, easy or relaxed, is a common term and may include paath read from senchia or steeks, the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib broken into two or more study volumes, some with translations, which may be read by a team in different locations from different bir or study volumes.
      • Cyber Paath - Intermittent reading of entire Guru Granth Sahib such as a Sahej Paath conducted by a team of readers connected by the internet which may include scripture read online.

     

    More:
    Ways to Read Entire Guru Granth Sahib Paath
    Read Complete Guru Granth Sahib in Under a Year Free Reading Plans
    Ceremonial Protocol for Reading Complete Guru Granth Sahib Illustrated

    Pronunciation: Paath sounds like pot with the tongue curled back to touch the roof of the mouth while aspirating the th.

    Alternate Spellings: path, paat, Paatth

    Examples:

    "Har mukh paath parrai beechaar ||3||
    Using the mouth contemplate the Lord aloud with devotional reading." ||3|| SGGS||355

    "Khin pal reh na sako bin naavai gurmukh har har paath parreeaa ||1|| rehaao ||
    Unable to live for a moment, nor even an instant, without the Name of the Lord God, the mouth of the enlightened reads aloud the devotional discourse. ||1||Pause|| SGGS||833

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