Prakash (Gurmukhi: ਪਰਕਾਸ਼) is a Punjabi word meaning "light, radiance, awakening, enlightenment" and is also the name given to the ceremony for the "act of bringing the Sri Guru Granth Sahib from the Sachkhand to the Darbar hall". This is normally done at about dawn time every day at all Sikh Gurdwaras.
The Guru Granth Sahib is a large volume and usually stored overnight in one location called the Sachkhand and is like a special bedroom. However, during the day, the Guru Granth Sahib is seated on a raised stage (Palki Sahib) as the focal point in a congregation or Gurdwara. When being brought to the open court it is carried on ones head to symbolize that it is above human ego. This is done while chanting of sacred Mantars. The prakash process is completed by taking a hukam.
How to do Prakash Di Sewa
by Manvir Singh Khalsa
Prakash here is light from the sun (Guru) radiating over the planets (sangat). It is the presence of the Guru presiding over the Sadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. The Prakash ceremony is the installation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib upon the Palki Sahib for the day, or for the Gurdwara ceremony about to be conducted.
- 1. Entering Guru Ji’s room (or the place where Guru Ji’s Sukhaasan was done), the sewadar (volunteer) serving as the Granthi ‘mathaa teks’ (bows down) to Guru Sahib.
- 2. A short Ardas is recited (if Guru Ji’ Saroop is being taken to someone’s house from the Gurdwara then another Ardas is recited when Guru Ji’s saroop arrives at the house and is placed on the Palki Sahib before the Prakash is done):
Ik O-unkaar Vaaheguroo Jee kee Fateh Sree Bhagautee Jee s-haaé. Vaar Sree Bhagautee jee kee Paat-shaahee Dasveen. Pritham Bhaguatee simar kai, Gur Naanak le-ee dhiaaé. Phir Angad, Gur te Amardaas, Raamdaasai hoé s-haaé. Arjan Hargobind no, simrau Sree Har Raaé. Sree Harkishan dhiaaeeai, jis dithai sabh dukh jaaé. Teg Bahaadar simriai, ghar nau nidh aavai dhaaé. Sabh thaaeen hoé s-haaé. Dasvaan Paat-shaah, Sree Guroo Gobind Singh Saahib Jee. Sabh thaaeen hoé s-haaé. Dasaan Paat-shaaheeaan dee jot, Sree Guru Granth Saahib Jee dé paath deedaar daa dhiaan dhar ké, bolo jee Vaaheguroo! Hé nimaaniaan de Maan, nitaaniaan dé Taan, niohtiaan di Oht, Saché Pitaa Vaaheguroo! Guroo Gareeb Nivaaj, Dhan Sree Guroo Granth Sahib Jee, aap dé hazoor aap dé hazoor parkaash dee ardaas hai jee. Darshan dé ké até pavitar hukamnaama baksh ké, aap jee deeaan piaareeaan sangtaan noo nihaal karo jee. Akhar vaadhaa ghaataa bhul chuk maaf karnee. Se-ee piaaré mel, jinhaan miliaa teraa naam chit aavé. Naanak Naam chardikalaa, teré bhaané sarbat daa bhalaa. Vaaheguroo Jee kaa Khaalsa, Vaaheguroo Jee kee Fateh. Bolé so nihaal, Sat Sree Akaal!
- 3. A clean towel or (cotton) cloth is placed on the head of the person serving as the Granthi, then Guru Ji’s Saroop (Volume) is lifted with both hands and placed upon that person’s head, who then carries it to the Palki Sahib (Guru Ji’s throne).
As Guru Ji is being carried, the Granthi and those present recite any Gurbani Shabad or mantra. (i.e. Sat Naam Vaaheguroo, Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, etc.). Everyone present stands up when Guru Ji’s Saroop is being carried to the Palkee Sahib (throne) and does matha tek, bows down.
- 5. At the place of the Prakash, Guru Sahib is placed in the centre of the Mannji Sahib (raised platform/cot) and the Granthi unwraps Sri Guru Granth Sahib one rumaala at a time, either alone or assisted by sevadaars,.
The rumaala sahib will open up to be a diamond shape. Once it is opened, a smaller rumaala is placed on top of Guru Ji’s Saroop. Placing the clean towel or (cotton) cloth back on the head, the Granthi lifts Guru Ji’s Saroop on his or her head.
- 6. The diamond shape rumaala sahib is the folded inwards so it takes a rectangular shape.
- 7. Two pillows are then placed on each side and one at the top centre of the Manjee Sahib. These are then covered with a cotton rumaala.
- 8. Guru Ji’s Saroop is carefully set down on the pillows, and then raised in a vertical position, resting its spine on the Palkee and central pillow. The Volume is then opened near to the centre (using both hands).
Opening Guru Ji's Saroop the Granthi says the Sikh salutation, "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh".
- 9. The side rumaalas (called “Palkeeaan”) are placed inside the front and back covers. These rumaalas drape down over the sides of the Palkee Sahib. Then Guru Ji is covered with one or more large rumaalas.
- 10. There are generally 2 rumaalas covering Guru Sahib, one underneath and another on the top.
- 11. The Granthi reads a Hukamnama (the first shabad found on the top left hand side of the Ang (respectful word referring to the ‘pages’ of Sri Guru Granth Ji) which the Volume was opened on).
- 12. The Guru is then covered with its rumaala(s).