Nitnem

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Nit-Nem (literally "Daily Naam") is a collaboration of different banis that were designated to be read by Sikhs every day at different times of the day.Sikhs read nitnems at Gurdwaras. The Nit-Nem bani's usually include the Panj bania (5 bani's below) which are read daily by baptized Sikhs in the morning between 3:00 am and 6:00 am (this period is considered as Amrit Vela or the Ambrosial Hours) and Rehras Sahib in the evening 6pm and Kirtan Sohila at night 9pm

The 5 morning Banis are usually recited in the early morning while Rehras is read in the evening (around 6pm.) and Kirtan Sohila is recited just before going to sleep at night. More prayers may be added to the Sikh's liking.

More information:

1. Japji Sahib, forms the beginning of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which is regarded as the perpetual Guru of the Sikhs. This Bani was compiled by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism.

2. Jaap Sahib, forms the first part of the Dasam Granth, which is the second Holy Book of the Sikhs.

3. Sawayya (aka: Tav Prasad Sawayya), is from the Dasam Granth and was written by the Tenth Guru Guru Gobind Singh

4. Benti Chaupai, is from the Dasam Granth and was written by the Tenth Guru Guru Gobind Singh

5. Anand Sahib, is a compilation by the Third guru Guru Amar Das. This bani is part of Guru Granth Sahib. Link to Anand Sahib

6. Rehras Sahib or Sodar Rehras which consists of hymns from Guru Granth Sahib plus 4a). Sawayya ) 4b). Benti Chaupai ) by Tenth Guru.

7. Kirtan Sohila – Prayer to be recited before going to sleep – Also recite just before the body is cremated.

The Sikh religion is a way of life guided by the twin principles of Simran and Seva (ਸਿਮਰਨ ਤੇ ਸੇਵਾ) i.e. Remembrance of the Creator and Service. In fact they are linked in that what is to be remembered is the Divine virtues and commands, and carrying out the latter. Nit-Nem is actually a compound word. 'Nit' means daily or always. 'Nem' is the short form of 'Nieam' meaning rule or practice. 'Nitnem’ thus means 'daily practice' and has been prescribed in the Sikh Reht Maryada (ਸਿਖ ਰਹਿਤ ਮਰਯਾਦਾ), the Sikh Code of Conduct. This was finalized after a long discussion between leading Sikh scholars and personalities. It comprises three sets of Baanis (compositions) from the Sikh scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), and of the Tenth Guru, who gave final shape to SGGS but did not include his own compositions therein. They are to be recited in the early morning, evening after sunset but before the evening meal and at bedtime. The Baanis have been so chosen as to act as a continuous reminder of how a Sikh is to conduct himself in life.

There are two advantages of Nitnem. Firstly it is the daily refresher guide and secondly one has something to look forward to for doing. Time never weighs on those who do Nitnem. As a corollary, a person who follows the practice faithfully can never be forgetful or go into depression. It helps to keep the mind on track in life both spiritually and temporally. It has been the experience of many that conformance to this improves even professional performance by way of remaining in focus.

The following Baanis have been prescribed in the Sikh Rehet Maryada (copied from the SGPC website).

a. The Japuji sahib, the Jaapu Sahib and the Ten Sawayyas (Quartets) - beginning "Srawag sudh"—in the morning. b. Sodar Rehras Sahib comprising the following compositions in the evening:- i) nine hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib, occurring in the holy book after the Japuji Sahib, (The Phrase in Italic has been interpolated by the translator to help locate the hymns more conveniently.) the first of which begins with "Sodar" and the last of which ends with "saran pare ki rakho sarma", ii) The Benti Chaupai of the tenth Guru (beginning "hamri karo hath dai rachha" and ending with "dusht dokh te leho bachai", iii) the Swayya beginning with the words "pae gahe jab te tumre", iv) the Dohira beginning with the words "sagal duar kau chhad kai". v) the first five and the last pauris (stanzas) of Anand Sahib (The object of reciting the Anand as part of Sodar Rehras or at the conclusion of the congregational gathering is just to express joy and gratitude for the communion with the Guru ) and. vi) the Mundawani and the slok Mahla 5 beginning "tera kita jato nahi"- in the evening after sunset. (c) The Sohila - to be recited at night before going to bed.

  • The morning and evening recitations should be concluded with the Ardas (formal supplication litany).

See also[edit]