Rites and Rituals
In addition to worship, there are other important rites and rituals within Sikhism.
The Sikh Rehat Maryada is the Sikh Code of Conduct, giving instructions for
Baptism - Amrit
- The ceremony of initiation into the Sikh religion is called the Amrit ceremony.
- Sikhs undertake the Amrit ceremony when they are ready to do so and understand the
commitment that they are making to the religion.
- The ceremony is held in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib.
- The ceremony is conducted by five baptized Sikhs, called Panj Pyare, who wear the five Sikh symbols.
- The five Sikhs prepare the Amrit (holy water) in a round iron-vessel containing fresh water and sweets called Patasas.
- They recite the five Banis (Japji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Ten Swayyas, Chaupai Sahib and Anand Sahib) and stir the water with a double-edged sword, called a Khanda.
- After preparation, the Amrit is drunk by the initiation candidates and then sprinkled on their eyes and hair.
- The ceremony concludes with the eating of the ceremonial karah parshad.
Marriage - Anand Karaj
- The Sikh marriage is called Anand Karaj meaning 'blissful union'.
- Sikh weddings take place in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib.
- Anand Karaj consists of the couple revolving around Guru Granth Sahib four times
as the Lavan (Marriage hymns) are being recited.
- The marriage ceremony may be performed by any Sikh, male or female, who has undergone
the Amrit initiation.
- Sikhs practice monogamy.
- Widows or widowers may remarry.
- Child marriage is forbidden.
Naming of Children
- After a child is born, the baby is often taken to a Gurdwara for a naming ceremony.
- Prayers (ardas) are recited for the newborn child.
- After reciting ardas, the Guru Granth Sahib is opened at random. The hymn on the opened page is recited.
- The first letter of the first word of the hymn is selected as the first letter of the child's name.
- The word Kaur meaning 'princess' is added after a girl's name, and the name Singh meaning 'lion' after a boy's.
- Common Sikh baby names