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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 daily Banis (prayers); or completion of a service like the Paath (scripture reading/recitation), kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done.
The Ardas is usually always done standing up with folded hands. The beginning of the Ardas is strictly set by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. When it comes to conclusion of this prayer, the devotee uses word like "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 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.
Ardaas/Prayer: Jeea kee birathhaa hoe so gur pehi aradhaas kar || When your soul is feeling sad, offer your prayers to the Guru. Ardaas is an informal talk/request by an individual/congregation, with a specific objective, and with faith for its fulfillment to the Almighty through the Guru. But these days it has become a formality in Sikh Temples to be done by a Bhai Sahib from the Sangat or individuals. The effectiveness of the Ardaas depends upon the state of mind of the Ardaasya and Sangat. If they do it from the bottom of the heart, fully recognizing the presence of the Almighty Guru, with full conviction that it is being heard and it shall be answered, after taking a Hukam from Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Preparation for Ardaas is to be serious for Ardaas, and we must not lose informality. We should be uttering: thoo t(h)aakur thum pehi aradhaas || You are our Lord and Master; to You, I offer this prayer- slowly, with meaning, word-by-word in our mind and talking along with the Sangat. Then, the man who is to perform Ardaas again for the concentration of his mind should take the help of Gurbani couplets like:
- Thudhh aagai aradhaas hamaaree jeeo pi(n)dd sabh thaeraa || I offer my prayer to You; my body and soul are all Yours.
- Dhue kar jorr karo aradhaas || Pressing my palms together, I offer my prayer;
- Thudhh bhaavai thaa aanehi raas || if it pleases You, Lord, please bless me and fulfill me.
- Kar kirapaa apanee bhagathee laae || Grant Your Mercy, Lord, and bless me with devotion.
- Jan naanak prabh sadhaa dhhiaae ||4||2|| Servant Nanak meditates on God forever. ||4||2||
- Aap shhodd baenathee karahu || Renounce your selfishness and conceit and offer your prayers.
This will shed any false ego from the mind of the Ardaasya and also the audience. Then start with the Ardaas with every word clear to all of the Sangat to make a joint prayer involving everyone present with all seriousness possible.
The Ardās is normally said while standing with folded hands before and after performing any relevant task. It starts with "pritham bhagautee simar kai, Gur Nanak laee dhiaa-e phir Angad gur tay Amardaas, Raamdaasai hoee sahaee" and ends with "Naanak naam charhdee kalaa, tayray bhaanay Sarbaht dah Phahla." It is more than just a prayer; it is a new concept of therapy for the elevation of the human spirit, mind and body. Following are the main features and benefits of saying the ardās.
- It is a petition to God, the merciful creator of the universe
- It lowers ones ego and brings calmness to the mental state
- Teaches one Nimrata, Daya, and Chardikala
- One is reminded of the level of dedication required to become a better human being
- Gives one inner strength and energy
- Links the mind with the pure ones from human history
- Elevates ones spiritual state; builds ones confidence
- Brings a sense of "community" to the person.
In a congregational setting, the ardās is recited by one member of the assemblage with everyone standing reverentially, hands crossed, facing the Guru Granth Sahib. Periodically throughout the recitation, the assembly as a whole repeats the word Waheguru in order to support the idea that God, the "Wondrous Guru", is the Supreme Being capable of anything. At the completion of ardās, the congregation bows down as one and places their foreheads on the floor to symbolize the fact that they will go as low as necessary to support Waheguru and all that He stands for; in essence, they are placing themselves as the servants of God. Upon rising, the Sangat (congregation) proclaims "Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji ki Fateh". Roughly translated it means "the Khalsa belongs to the Lord to whom [also] belongs the Victory" (Singh, Inderjit). Immediately after uttering these words, one member of the assembly states the phrase, "Bole So Nihal", or "he who pronounces these words shall be fulfilled" (Singh, Inderjit). In response to this statement, the entire Sangat heartily shouts, "Sat Sri Akal," meaning "True is the Timeless Lord". The content of the prayers serves to unite the Sangat and show the degree of faith present in each person.
Ardas Link 
- Sant Singh Maskeen - Ardas
- Pinderpal Singh (Ludhiane Wale) - Ardaas
- 50 Glorious Years of Recorded Shabads Volume V: 11 - 50 GYORS - Ardas - Tarlochan Singh