The Guru's takhat

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Chanani and other features of the Guru's throne.

The Guru's Takhat or the Guru's throne is always centred at the front of the Darbar Hall; it is the central feature of the Gurdwara. As you walk into the main prayer hall in a Sikh temple, you will observe this immediately. The essential features of the Guru's throne are:

The Guru

Sikhs treat their holy book as a living Teacher/Guru. This act of respect is a public resolution of a Sikh's commitment to the holy script or message or Shabad within the Guru. The Guru promotes a life of truthful living dedicated to nothing but the One True Lord and His Creation. The Sikh by walking on the path encapsulated in Guru Granth Sahib honours the tradition set by the ten Sikh Gurus.

Essence of the term 'worship' in Sikhism is to dedicate ones life to the path set in the Guru Granth Sahib. This way of life is different from that normally followed by and understood by ordinary people. 'Worship' here is living with the 'True Lord' in one's own mind and 'serving the GURU' ie 'faithfully following the instruction outlined in the Guru Granth Sahib by:

  • Listening
  • Singing/Reciting
  • Understanding
  • Believing
  • Serving

Also, a Sikh's shrine of worship is also 'his or her own mind'. This worship is a continuous process which only ends after the soul leaves the body when the person dies and becomes part of 'Eternal Spirit'.

The Sikhs worship nothing but the 'One True God' who does not reside in any specific temples or holy places. For a Sikh nothing else is holy apart from following the path set out in the Guru Granth - the path of 'truthful living'. As the "True Lord" prevails in all the universes beyond the known universe; for a Sikh all ritualistic and traditional worship, being too trivial to please this Almighty God; rituals are not part of the Sikh way.

Chanani

Chanani is a canopy normally made of highly decorated cloth which covers the scriptures as is used as a mark of respect. The platform where the Guru Granth sahib is placed the the darbar sahib is covered on top with a rectangular canopy called a Chanani, which is a large covering made of rich cloth attached high above the Guru's seating near the ceiling secured to the roof of the hall or held high by 4 posts.

Manji

A typical layout for the Darbar hall.Men and women usually sit on separate sides of the hall.

Manji is a Punjabi word for a small bed and sahib is term to show respect for the item described in the preceding word. The term Manji sahib is used in the Sikh tradition for the small bed on which the Holy Sikh Scriptures, Sri Guru Granth Sahib is placed during the day in the main hall (Darbar Sahib) of the Gurdwara.

Rumalla

Rumalla is a Punjabi term for a square or rectangular piece of silk or other cloth material used to cover the Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara (Sikh temple) when it is not being read. Rumallas are sometimes brought as gifts when people attend the services at the Sikh Gurdwara.

Palki

Palki is where the Guru resides, when the Guru is carried from one place to another. Sikhs regard the holy scriptures as their living Guru. The Guru Granth Sahib is placed on the Manji Sahib - a raised platform covered by the Palki - a canopy, to show its importance. The Guru Granth Sahib is covered by a piece of beautiful material called a Rumalla and flowers are placed round it. Around the top of the canopy may be engraved the word 'Waheguru' which means 'Wonderful Lord'.

Nishan

Its external distinguishing mark is the Nishan Sahib or the Sikh flag, saffron in colour, that flies day and night atop the building, or, more often, separately close to it.

Golak

A systematic & formal Financial Management System, in the custudy of Satgur Granth Sahib exists in every Gurdwara. The Gurdwara management team, on behalf of Satgur Granth Sahib manages the account, expenditures, donations & gifts etc. .....


See also