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Sukhasan is a Punjabi word with 2 roots. The first root is "sukh" which means "comfort" "pleasure" or "bliss" and "asan" which means "position" or "posture". So together the word "sukhasan" mean to "attain a posture of comfort" or simply to "sleep" or "lie down".

  • When used in connection with the Guru Granth Sahib, this is the name for the protocol normally used by Sikhs at the end of the day to "retire" the Sikh holy Scriptures (the holy Granth) to a special bed-room called a "Sachkhand". This ritual may also be used at any time during the day when a reading or other event has ended in the darbar sahib and Guru Sahib has to be returned to its normal room for retirement until required again.
  • When performed at the end of the normal Gurdwara day, it is normally a ritual or ceremonial declaration to mark the fact that the Guru's court having closed for the day. Guru Granth Sahib retires to the special bed (manja or palang) which is normally housed in a different location from the Darbar Hall.

The Protocol

’Sukhaasan’ means "easy pose" or posture of rest, peace and tranquillity. At night after Sodar Rehraas, Guru Ji’s saroop (Volume) is put to rest (i.e. ceremoniously closed and placed) in a special room or place, but before being moved, Guru Ji is put into Sukhaasan. This is done while the Bani, Kirtan Sohilla is recited.

In essence, it is the reverse of the Prakaash ceremony which takes place in the morning when the Guru sahib is brought from the Sachkhand into the Darbar sahib for the day. Sukhaasan takes place after the sun goes down, or at any time before Guru Ji’s Saroop is moved, such as at the completion of Gurdwara ceremony when Guru Ji is to be moved.

The following is a full Sukhaasan ceremony:

  • 1. The sewadaar (volunteer) serving as the Granthi takes a Hukamnaama.
  • 2. The Granthi then recites ‘Sohila’ while he or she closes Siri Guru Granth Sahib, removing the side rumaalas. If one does not know [[Kirtan Sohila sahib] by heart, someone else can read it from the Nitnem Gutka). If Sukhaasan is performed during the day, ‘Benti Chaupayee’ is traditionally recited instaed of the Kirtan Sohilla. However, any Gurbani or chanting may be performed.
  • 3. Guru Ji’s saroop (body) is placed in the centre of the Manjee Sahib (raised platform/cot), it is covered with one or both side rumaalas. The Granthi covers his or her head with a clean towel or (cotton) cloth and then places Guru Ji’s Saroop on their head.
  • 4. The rectangular shaped folded white cotton rumaalas, which are on the Manjee Sahib are then unfolded upon the Palkee in preparation for wrapping of Guru Ji’s saroop. Unfolding the rumaala, which had been folded into a rectangular shape for the Parkaash, is now unfolded to make the diamond shape. (Cotton is used because it is not slippery, and holds well as a wrap.)
  • 5. Guru Ji is lowered onto the rumaalas on the Palki Sahib.
  • 6. Siri Guru Granth sahib ji is then neatly wrapped, one rumaala at a time. One corner at a time, the rumaala is folded inwards. Having done this, the side rumaalas (palkeeaan) are placed on top of Guru Ji’s saroop and then the large rumaala sahib is placed over.
  • 7. Ardaas is recited. This may be a short, abbreviated Ardaas.
  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 sukhaasan dee ardaas hai jee. 
  Aap jee ne amrit-velé to lai ké hun tak saadh sangat noo darshan dé ké nihaal keetaa hai jee.
  Aap Jee daa Sukhaasan Asthaan tiaar hai, kirpaa kar ké Sukhaasan asthaan té biraajmaan hovo 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!

8. The Granthi places Guru Ji’s Saroop on his or her head, stands and walks to the location where Guru Ji will spend the night. Ideally, another Sikh precedes Guru Ji with sword drawn, and another Sikh follows, waving the Chaur Sahib over Guru Ji. Everyone sings any Gurbani or mantra, such as "Satnaam Vaaheguroo", or "Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji". Traditionally the Saadh Sangat join together and sing:

  Jithai jaaé behai meraa satguroo
  So thaan suhaavaa raam raajé
  Gursikhee so thaan bhaaliaa
  Lai dhoor mukh laavaa
  Gursikhaa kee ghaal thaaé pe-ee
  Jin har naam dhiaavaa
  Jin Nanak satgur poojiaa		
  Tin har pooj karaava.
ਜਿਥੈ ਜਾਇ ਬਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰੂ ਸੋ ਥਾਨ੝ ਸ੝ਹਾਵਾ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥ ਗ੝ਰਸਿਖੀ ਸੋ ਥਾਨ੝ ਭਾਲਿਆ ਲੈ ਧੂਰਿ ਮ੝ਖਿ ਲਾਵਾ ॥

ਗ੝ਰਸਿਖਾ ਕੀ ਘਾਲ ਥਾਇ ਪਈ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ੝ ਧਿਆਵਾ ॥ ਜਿਨ੝ਹ੝ਹ ਨਾਨਕ੝ ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰ੝ ਪੂਜਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਾਵਾ ॥੨॥

Jithai jĝ▫e bahai merĝ saṯgurū so thĝn suhĝvĝ rĝm rĝje. Gusikẖīʼn so thĝn bẖĝli▫ĝ lai ḝẖūr mukẖ lĝvĝ.

Gursikẖĝ kī gẖĝl thĝ▫e pa▫ī jin har nĝm ḝẖi▫ĝvĝ. Jinĥ Nĝnak saṯgur pūji▫ĝ ṯin har pūj karĝvĝ. (2)

Wherever my True Guru goes and sits, that place is beautiful, O Lord King.

The Guru's Sikhs seek out that place; they take the dust and apply it to their faces.
The works of the Guru's Sikhs, who meditate on the Lord's Name, are approved.
Those who worship the True Guru, O Nanak - the Lord causes them to be worshipped in turn. (2)

  • 9. A short Ardaas may be recited at the Guru’s resting place (however this is usually done if it is different location i.e. Guru Ji’s saroop has come from someone’s house back to the Gurdwara Sahib).

"Bolé so Nihaal . . . Sat Siree Akaal!" is proclaimed, so that all nearby may know that the Guru is now safely at rest.