Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin Gurudwara Sahib Sunday Schedule
AKHAND PATH (akhand = uninterrupted, without break; path = reading) is nonstop, continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end. Such a recital is normally completed within 48 hours. The entire Holy Volume, 1430 large pages, is read through in a continuous ceremony. This “ritual” is considered a very holy practise and is said to bring peace and solace to the participants and the passive listener of the recitation.
This reading must go on day and night, without a moment’s intermission. The relay of reciters who take turns at reading the scripture must ensure that no break occurs. As they change places at given intervals, one picks the line from his predecessor’s lips and continues. When and how the custom of reciting the canon in its entirety in one continuous service began is not known. Conjecture traces it to the turbulent days of the eighteenth century when persecution had scattered the Sikhs to far off places. In those exilic, uncertain times, the practice of accomplishing a reading of the Holy Book by a continuous recital is believed to have originated.
Sahej Path is also reciation of Guru Granth Sahib, from beginning to end, but it doesn’t have to be continuous. A person or group of persons can read the holy text according to their schedule and complete the reading of Guru Granth Sahib.
Naam Karan(naming a child) – This is a Sikh ceremony of naming a child and it usually takes place in a Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) after the baby and mother are medically and physically fit to attended the Gurdwara. There is no limit or threshold to this timing and the family should not feel undue pressure of any kind as to the timing. The only matters that need to be taken into account is the well being of the mother and child. It normally just involves the main family members attending at the local Gurdwara.
Anand Karaj(Sikh Wedding) is the name given to the Sikh wedding ceremony, literally translated as “Blissful Event or Occasion”. It is the legal wedding ceremony, recognized in Sikh Reht Maryada. According to the guidelines detailed in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Sikh marriage is a sacred union between husband and wife who have one soul in two bodies. It is considered to be a divine institution with a sacred tie.
The ceremony of Anand Karaj gives equal status to man and woman. Both husband and wife, enjoy equality and freedom in spheres of life. Both of them, enjoy householder’s life, love each other, love creation, love the path of Sikh faith, serve the human beings and seek unity with Almighty Lord. To attain unity with Almighty Lord is the theme, mission and objective of Sikh marriage.
Antam Sanskar – The funeral ceremony (cremation): In Sikhism death is considered a natural process and God’s will or Hukam. To a Sikh, birth and death are closely associated, because they are both part of the cycle of human life of “coming and going” (Aaavan Jaanaa) which is seen as transient stage towards Liberation, (Mokh Du-aar) complete unity with God. Sikhs thus believe in reincarnation. The soul itself is not subject to death. Death is only the progression of the soul on its journey from God, through the created universe and back to God again. In life, a Sikh tries always to constantly remember death so that he or she may be sufficiently prayerful, detached and righteous to break the cycle of birth and death and return to God.