Humble prayer, Invocation, or Supplication
We pray to God, with the Guru and Guru Granth Sahib as a witness
Ardas – Panthic Ardas
A Panthic-Ardas is the standard, full-length invocation approved by the Sikh World.
It is said after the end of a prayer-session in Gurdwara. It is made to God, standing before the Holy Book. It is also made before the start of any Sikh ceremony or a religious function anywhere. Even other Sikh functions may be made after a Panthic Ardas.
A Panthic Ardas (full length) should be as short as possible, with no repetitions and unnecessary additions, may be of the Holy Hymns.
The stanzas (quotes) from Gurbani should not be quoted within the main body of Ardas, and their limited number (a few of them) may be used before it.
Ardas – Chhotee Ardas
Short invocation. It is said before opening the Holy Book.
Chhotee Ardas – It is only the recitation of the starting Paurree (step) of Ardas itself. This step is composition of the Tenth Guru Gobind Singh. It starts with “Ardas. Ik-Oankar Vaheguroo jee kee fat.eh. Sree Bhagaut.ee jee sahaa-ae……” to “D.assaan’ Pat.shaahee-aan d.ee jot.e Sree Guroo Granth Sahib ….. Bolo jee Vahaeguroo.”
To the Chhotee Ardas is added the supplication to the Holy Book seeking permission to open it, and for the Guru’s Hukam.
Some, at the individual level, first say Ardas and then close the Holy Granth.
As a set precedence, Ardas is said after closing the Holy Book.
Ardas for Offerings
It will be nice if a Chhoti Ardas is quietly (in a whisper) or silently made by a Sewadar at the time when an offerings in kind or coin is made. It will protect the Panthic Ardas from becoming too long. The local Sangat can decide to adopt a certain procedure. If such offerings have to be mentioned at the end of Ardas, this should be kept very brief and free from repetitions.
When doing Ardas, the Ardasia (one who leads it) should stand with folded hands, make no gestures, and stand calmly, but firmly. The hands are held touching both the palms and fingers uncrossed. Slight crossing of the fingers may by itself take place. While doing Ardas, he or she should not hold in the hands a Kirpan: sword, arrow, or any other weapon. Invocation projects humility, but a weapon in the hand becomes its antithesis.