ARDAS (Prayer): Ardaas is a combination of two words: Araz and Daashat (literally: the petition of a slave). As a slave is to the Master, the Sikh is to the Almighty, but the root of a Sikhs slavery of the Almighty is not awe of the Almighty but love for Him. For a Sikh Ardaas is obligatory. The Sikh Ardaas is different from the prayers of the other religions. A Sikh can not make prayer for seeking personal prosperity, comfort, benefits and the other material blessings.
A Sikh \’must\’ bow before the Will of God. A Sikh, however, may make Ardaas seeking, from the Almighty, blessing for strength to live a Truthful life.If a Sikh makes prayer from the core of his/her heart the prayer can not be futile. A Sikh makes Ardaas at least twice a day: in the morning after reading three Baanis and in the evening after Rahiras. All the Sikhs make a national Ardaas, as approved by Akal Takht Sahib.
This national Ardaas has two part comprising of seven sections in all. In the first part, a Sikh remembers (a) the Almighty, the Guru Sahib and Guru Granth Sahib (b) the Punj Piaray (the five beloved ones), four sons of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and all the martyrs, devotees and all those who made any contribution in the social, political and spiritual spheres (c) the Sikh martyrs and the valiant fighters of the past and present times (d) all the Sikh seats of authorities and the shrines. In part two a Sikh prays for (a) the welfare of the Sikh Commonwealth and the Sikh polity and political institutions: the promotion of Sikh culture; all decision making powers to the Khalsa (b) for blessing to practice the Sikh way of life; for preservation of the articles of faith; for blessing for meditation; for blessing for a dip in Amritsar (i.e. the Word) and for supremacy of Dharma (righteousness) (c) for grant of qualities of humbleness. intelligence, right to worship and finally for the welfare of the whole of the humanity. After this, the occasional reference is made and approval cumblessing of the Almighty is sought.
1. The Sikh Reference Book; Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer 1997