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The Ardās (Punjabi: ਅਰਦਾਸ) is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the morning and evening Banis (prayers), at the completion of a service like the Paath (scripture reading/recitation), kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, Ardās may also be said before and after eating. The prayer is a supplication to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done.
The Ardās is usually always done standing up with folded hands and is commonly preceded by the eighth stanza of the fourth ashtapadi of the bani Sukhmani, beginning Tu Thakur Tum Peh Ardaas. The beginning of the Ardās is strictly set by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh and may not be altered or omitted. It appears as the opening passage of Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki (see Chandi di Var) and is an invocation to God and reminder of the Sikh Gurus.
What follows is several paragraphs recounting significant events in Sikh history and gratidute for blessings. This may be omitted if reciting a "short ardaas".
Towards the end the devotee can say a personal prayer such as "Waheguru please bless me in the task that I am about to undertake" when starting a new task or "Akal Purakh, having completed the hymn-singing, we ask for your continued blessings so that we can continue with your memory and remember you at all times", etc.
The end of the Ardaas (Nanak Nam Chardi Kala, Tere Bhane Sarbat Da Bala, "O Nanak, may the Nam (Holy) be ever in ascendance! in Thy will may the good of all prevail!") is also set and may not be altered or omitted.
The word "Ardās" is derived from Persian word 'Arazdashat', meaning a request, supplication, prayer, petition or an address to a superior authority.
Ardās is a unique prayer based on the fact that it is one of the few well-known prayers in the Sikh religion that was not written in its entirety by the Gurus. The Ardās cannot be found within the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib because it is a continually changing devotional text that has evolved over time in order for it to encompass the feats, accomplishments, and feelings of all generations of Sikhs within its lines. Taking the various derivation of the word Ardās into account, the basic purpose of this prayer is an appeal to Waheguru for his protection and care, as well as being a plea for the welfare and prosperity of all mankind, and a means for the Sikhs to thank Waheguru for all that He has done.
See detailed article Chandi di Var The Ardās is said as a reflection on everything it took for the Divine to create the pure Shabad Guru on earth and to remember all that the Sikh endured to protect it and ensure it landed in the hands of the future generation. It encompasses many Sikh and Humanistic values, such as peace and understanding, as well as faith and perseverance.
- Sant Singh Maskeen - Ardas
- Pinderpal Singh (Ludhiane Wale) - Ardaas
- 50 Glorious Years of Recorded Shabads Volume V: 11 - 50 GYORS - Ardas - Tarlochan Singh
- Sikh Rehat Maryada, p. 9.
- MacAuliffe, 1909, p. 331
- MacAuliffe, 1909, p. 331
- SRM, p. 10.
- SRM, p. 9.
- Sikh Rehat Maryada: The code of Sikh conduct & conventions, Dharam Parchar Committee (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandakh Committee) n.d., Amritsar.
- MacAuliffe, M A 1909, The Sikh religion: its gurus, sacred writings and authors, The Clarendon Press, Oxford.