some Gutkas, why are the Banis and Ardaas
longer than normal?
Gutkas have the same length of Banis in
them. It is only in the case of Rehras
that a few Gutkas have a couple of additional
Shabads. Ardaas of course is different
in different Gutkas because it was written
by different persons. We should all follow
the standard Ardaas and Rehras written
in the Gutkas printed by the Gurdwara
Committee, Amritsar and the Sikh Missionary
Difference in Rehras have a history behind
them. This Bani was originally known as
So-Dar. The title Rehras however became
popular later on perhaps because of the
line - Har Keerat Hamri Rehras - in the
fourth shabad. The Rehras approved by
the Khalsa Panth and mentioned in the
Sikh Reht Maryada Tract and regularly
read at Akal Takhat consists of:
So-Dar ii) So-Purkh. Nine Shabads
in all as mentioned in the Guru Granth
Sahib before the start of Ragas.
including Swaya and Dohra from Dasam
Rehras is conclude by reading the
first five and last Pauri of Anand
Sahib, followed by the two last SaloKas
in the Guru Granth Sahib.
to the above prescribed Paath and reasons
every Gurdwara people get together for
the evening Diwan called So-Dar Diwan.
Before starting the So-Dar Bani recitation,
it was common (it is practiced at Akal
Takhat and at many other Gurdwaras even
now) to sing some Shabads. When the Kirtan
starts, Sangat knows that it is time for
So-Dar recitation. They gather there and
listen to the Kirtan of the Shabads before
the start of the Rehras Paath. This helps
tuning their minds to Gurbaani. At the
fixed time the Kirtan is stopped and a
Sikh recites the Paath.
Wherever Kirtan could not be sung in a
Gurdwara, because of the non-availability
of the Ragis there the Sangat would jointly
recite Shabads in rhythm. This would give
Sikhs time to sit, settle and concentrate
their minds before the start of reciting
Later, when printing of Gutkas started,
the Shabads commonly read by the Sangat
were also printed along with the Rehras.
This was to facilitate the correct singing
of Shabads before starting the Rehras.
However, having sung these Shabads over
a long time, Sikhs mistakenly assumed
the Shabads to be a part of Rehras. As
different Sangats recited different Shabads
to their liking, the contents and hence
the length of the Rehras became different
To remove this misunderstanding, the Sikh
Reht Maryada expressly states that Rehras
Paath starts from the Shabad So-Dar and
ends at Salok Mahala 5 : Tera Keeta ……
Anything printed before So-Dar or after
Mahala 5 is not a part of Rehras.
Some Sikhs, however, made many more additions
on their own after the Chaupai. The Khalsa
Panth have decided not to include any
of them as a part of Rehras. They are
not allowed to be read as a part of Rehras.
Even a little attention paid to the meaning
of additional couplets chosen from Avtar
Kathas easily proves that their reading
as a part of Rehras is wrong. For example,
one couplet tells that Vishnu devotees
face no problems while the other couplet
contradicts it saying that one should
not pray to Vishnu, Krishan or other gods.
Basically, the message of many of the
added couplets is against the directions
of Gurbaani. They were picked up from
the stories of Hindu Avtars included in
a compilation now called Dasam Granth.
The Gutkas published by the Gurdwara Committee.
Amritsar and other such organization have
the correct Rehras Paath. Only the Gutkas
published by the private printer include
extra Shabads after Chaupai. This is against
the ruling of the Reht Maryada.
Instead of agreeing with the scholars
and the orders of the Guru Khalsa Panth,
some Sikhs argue that reading extra Bani
is more beneficial. Hence, they think
that they are "better' Sikhs than those
who read the standard Rehras. One is welcome
to read as many hymns as he wished to
but no individual has a right to make
any additions to the approved Rehras Paath.
It should be read as directed. Other Banis
can be read whenever one wants, but not
as a part of the Rehras.