SADHARAN PATH is the reading of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end, with no time limit for completion. Even where the limit is fixed and it exceeds a week, it will be called a sadharan path, two other terms synonymously used being khulla path (khulla = unrestricted, not fixed) and sahaj path (slow reading). A sadharan path may be undertaken by any individual Sikh, man or woman, or jointly with other members of the family as part of personal piety or in observance of a special occasion or family, event. A pathi or reader could be engaged from outside as well.
One may read any number of pages on a single day and the next few pages the next day or even at a longer interval. Before the commencement and, after the conclusion, of such a path, a simple service of holy music, ardas (prayer) and distribution of karah prasad (communion food) will ordinarily be observed. The custom of performing sadharan path by reading a few successive pages of the Holy Book daily as a religious duty must have grown after copies of the Holy Volume compiled in 1604 had become available. That was, perhaps, the only type of path current until the Granth was pronounced Guru by Guru Gobind Singh before he passed away in 1708.
1. Sikh Rahit Maryada [Reprint]. Amritsar, 1975
2. Harbans Singh, Berkeley Lectures on Sikhism. Delhi, 1983`
3. Cole, W. Owen, and Piara Singh Sambhi, The Sikhs: Their Religious Practices and Beliefs. Delhi, 1978