Guru Granth Sahib protocol

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Please always treat any Gurbani text with the utmost respect. Never place any Gurbani (in original Gurmukhi) text on the floor or ground. One should keep Gutkas covered in Rumallas. The Full version of Guru Granth Sahib must be treated as eternal Guru. See the protocol below:

Personal Behaviour

Any person carrying out any Service or Sewa for Guru Granth Sahib MUST observe the following:

  • Head must be covered at all times with turban or patka or chuuni or scarf, etc.
  • Shoes must be removed outside the Guru's room.
  • observe basic standards of personal hygiene ie: have a shower; wash hands; fresh/clean clothes; don't wear socks or gloves. etc
  • If you have to visit the toilet, have a shower and change your clothing before serving the Guru.
  • When reading from the Guru, you must cover the mouth with suitable cloth ie: Hazzoria, large clean handkerchief, etc
  • No eating or drinking while in service.
  • No small talk while in Guru's service.

While in the vicinity of Guru Granth Sahib, everyone should observe the following:

  • Head must be covered at all times.
  • Shoes must be removed, especially if indoors.
  • When Guru Granth Sahib passes past one must reverence and respect for the Guru. (A Sikh should bow to the floor when indoors and at least bow their head low when outdoors)


  • Guru Granth Sahib should always be placed in an independent, well-ventilated and separate room.
  • The floor, walls and ceilings should be cleaned or washed as appropriate and suitably decorated.
  • No alcohol, No meat, No Drugs, etc can be consumed in the building which houses the Guru Granth Sahib
  • Maharaj has to be placed on a Manji Sahib raised at least 12 inches from the ground level or Base level.
  • The Manji Sahib is to be well built, strong and attractive in appearance. It is common for the Manji Sahib to have a wooden frame and webbing made of natural fibre (not animal products). The dimension of the Manji Sahib must be at least 12 inches high, 36 inches wide and 18 inches deep.
  • A canopy, of suitably material should always be placed over the Guru just below the ceiling. If the Guru's throne is in a Palki, then there should be a small canopy in the Palki and in turn a larger one is to be hung, just below the ceiling over the Palki.
  • Guru's Attire: Clothing appropriate to the season is to be placed upon the throne of the Guru. In the summer, thin clothing and in winter, warm clothing i.e. a thick blanket/duvet must be used.
  • In the summer or in warm weather, thin Rumala’s should be placed over Guru Sahib and in the winter/cold weather, warm Rumala’s or a thick blanket.
  • Thus Guru should be covered in adequate "Rumallas" taking into consideration the surrounding humidity and temperature.
  • A fan or air condition should be provided if the temperature requires.
  • The Plain white sheet that is placed under the Manji Sahib is to be of better quality, and separate, to that of the Granthi Singh.
  • A Chaur Sahib should be provided besides the Guru with a small platform to house the Kar Parshad and other implements.

On The Move

Whilst the Guru is on the move the following should be observed:

  • Five Singhs (or Kaurs) (Minimum of three) are to accompany the Guru at all times when travelling
  • These Singhs are to remain bare-footed.
  • One Singh is to do Chaur Sahib Seva
  • One Singh is to go ahead of Satguru and sprinkle water or wet flower petals.
  • The Main Singh carrying the Guru must put a clean Rumalla on his Turban before carefully and with respect placing the Guru on this Rumalla. At all times, the Guru should be covered with a small Rumalla so that the Guru's Sarop is always fully "covered".
  • The other two Singh walk besides the Main Singh (who is carrying the Guru) – one on his left and the other on his right.
  • In order to make the Sangat aware that the Guru is coming in their direction, gongs or other appropriate instruments are to be played or recitation of "Waheguru" at all times.
  • When travelling by car, etc, if possible carry the Guru on the head or the lap. In each case a clean Rumalla must be place below the Guru.

Other Considerations

  • Maharaj is never to be placed in a closet or cupboard.
  • No one should sit on a higher platform than the Guru.
  • At night, the Guru should be placed on a separate independent bed or small cot which should also have a canopy to show respect and donate the grandeur of the Guru's status.
  • When the Guru's saroop (body, scripture, etc) becomes old it must be cremated with the proper protocol. Many Gurdwaras carry out this ceremony on a regular basic. All Gurbani Text that is no longer required must be respectfully destroyed by fire.