Rites and Conventions:
Voluntary Service, Corporate
Sikh Life, Status of Guruhood
Seva is a prominent part of Sikh religion.
Illustrative models of voluntary service
are organised for imparting training,
in the Gurdwaras. Its simple forms are
: sweeping and plastering the floors of
the Gurdwara, serving water to or fanning
the congregation, offering provisions
to and rendering any, kind of service
in the common kitchen-cum-eating house,
dusting the shoes of the people visiting
the Gurdwara, etc.
Ka Langar : The philosophy behind
the Langar (Guru's kitchen-cum-eating-house)
is two-fold : to provide training
to the Sikhs in voluntary service
and to help banish all distinction
of high and low, touchable and untouchable
from the Sikhs' minds.
All human beings, high or low, and
of any caste or colour may sit and
eat in the Langar. No discrimination
on grounds of the country of origin,
colour, caste or religion must be
made while making people sit in
rows for eating. However, only Amritdhari
Sikhs can eat off one plate.
Panthak Rehni (Facets of Corporate Sikh
The essential facets of Panthak life are
Guru Panth (the Panth's Guru status),
2. The ceremony of Amrit Sanskar (Khande
3. The statute of chastisement for aberrations,
4. The statute of collective resolution
5. The appeal against local decisions.
Guru Panth (Panth's Status of Guruhood)
The concept of service is not confined
to fanning the congregation, service to
and in the Guru ka Langar etc. A Sikh's
entire life is a life of benevolent exertion.
The most fruitful service is the service
that secures the optimum good by minimal
endeavour. That can be achieved through
organised collective action. A Sikh has,
for this reason, to fulfil his Panthak
obligations (obligations as a member of
the entity, the Panth), even as he/she
performs his/her individual duties. This
corporate entity is the Panth. Every Sikh
has also to fulfil his obligations as
a unit of the corporate body, the Panth.
The Guru Panth (Panth's status of Guruhood)
means the whole body of committed Amritdhari
Sikhs. This body was fostered by all the
ten Gurus and The tenth Nanak Guru Gobind
Singh Sahib gave it its final shape and
invested it with Guruhood.