Matha Taykna

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Matha taykna: (noun; verb; past & present tense) Bowing down and touching the floor with one’s forehead. Matha take (future tense); the act to bowing to the Guru.

This is an act performed by practising Sikhs in front of the Guru Granth Sahib where the visitor to the Gurdwara or place of worship, as a show of respect for the words and message contained in Gurbani, bows down to their knees and hands with all four limbs and knees touching the floor and then to touch his or her forehead to the ground. It terms of body languages, it is a position of extreme submission and humility.

Sikhs do not bow before the "book" as some type of idol worship. By bowing, Sikhs are submitting themselves to the scripture, and the knowledge and true words of real wisdom contained therein. Sikhs perform "matha taykna" as they enter the main hall. Most worshippers opt to place a donation in front of the scripture before bowing, which is used for the management of the gurdwara and the langar (free kitchen).