ਤੁਧੁ ਆਗੈ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਸਭੁ ਤੇਰਾ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਭ ਤੇਰੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਕੋਈ ਨਾਉ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਮੇਰਾ।।
Ardas is a fundamental aspect of Sikhi, a way of life to connect with Akal Purkh, the highest authority, through prayer and request. The word “Ardas” comes from the Persian language, meaning request, supplication, or petition to a superior authority. The significance of Ardas in Sikhi is highlighted in the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, where it appears many times.
ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਤੂੰ ਮੈ ਮਾਣੁ ਨਿਮਾਣੀ ॥ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਕਰੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅਪਨੇ ਆਗੈ ਸੁਣਿ ਸੁਣਿ ਜੀਵਾ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (੭੪੯)
During Ardas, Sikhs seek blessings, wisdom, and strength from Akal Purkh to achieve their goals and make positive changes in their lives. It is a heart-to-heart talk with the higher authority, where one can eliminate their ego and listen to the teachings of Gurbani written in Guru Granth Sahib. Ardas is an essential tool to connect with Akal Purkh and understand His Hukam and Razaa.
Sikhs believe that their physical and mental deeds decide their fate, which is determined by the Hukam of Akal Purkh and not by their demands. It is crucial to understand the command of Gurbani and to do good deeds while having an entrepreneurial life. Ardas should always be made with the feeling that the Akal Purkh they are praying to will listen to them, and the prayer should be for the good of themselves and others.
The prayer demands complete surrender to Divine Will and resignation to the Will of Akal Purkh. Only then can Akal Purkh take up one’s problems and sort them out, eliminating the ego that stands between man and The Creator. The Ardas is usually performed while standing with hands folded together and can be recited by any person.
In the Ardas, Sikhs remember and honor the sacrifices made by their Gurus and Sikhs to uphold religious freedom and the Sikh faith. This helps them to understand how to apply Gurbani in their practical life.
Studying Gurbani written in Guru Granth Sahib is itself a form of prayer, and the Sikh Ardas demands that its teachings be carried into daily life. True prayer is the practical living up to the word of the Guru and a continuing effort for spiritual development.
In conclusion, Ardas is a crucial aspect of Sikhi that enables Sikhs to connect with Akal Purkh and seek His blessings, wisdom, and strength. It allows Sikhs to remember and honor the sacrifices made by their Gurus and Sikhs, to connect with their faith, and to seek guidance from Akal Purkh. The Ardas demands complete surrender to Divine Will, an effort of heart-searching, and an effort to become more pure and noble. It is a powerful tradition used by Sikhs everywhere and serves as a way for the Sikh people to seek guidance from Guru Granth Sahib and remember their history.
Author: Amrit Pal Singh Sachdeva