Ardas: The Power of Prayer

The following is an excerpt from the book Heroes, Saints and Yogis: Tales of Self Discovery and the Path of Sikh Dharma, compiled by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa and Guruka Singh Khalsa.

The Siri Singh Sahib used to say that the only real power a human has is the power of his or her prayer. What is prayer? It is when the finite being speaks to the Infinite from the heart and soul, asking for help, guidance, or healing. And the Infinite listens.

Meditation is where the Infinite can speak to the finite through the sixth chakra, or center of consciousness—the intuition, and the finite listens deeply. There is a two-way communication. When we chant and pray in a group, with a focused collective consciousness, we get that exponential effect which makes our prayer that much more powerful.

Yogi Bhajan also often said, “In order to reach Universal Consciousness, you have to go from individual consciousness through group consciousness.”

A friend of Yogi Bhajan’s who visited Guru Ram Das Ashram told us about some of his harrowing mountain climbing experiences. He said that he always started each climb by reciting the traditional Sikh prayer, Ardas — including a personal prayer for protection. In all his years of rough terrain and extremely hazardous expeditions, he had never had an accident.

The Ardas is a vital part of every Sikh’s life. It is a perfect formula of prayer of the heart, and can be done any time, anywhere, whether at home, at a board meeting, or in the Gurdwara—where it is always recited just before the  Hukam is taken.

Ardas is always done out loud, and Sikhs always offer an Ardas to begin any major event, and even some minor ones. The Ardas has a standard format, including, but not limited to, remembering the Sikh Gurus and recalling the courage of all those who sacrificed to preserve this path. It always ends with a phrase that wishes good and blessings to everyone in the world.

Though the beginning (up through the mention of Guru Teg Bahadur) and ending of the Ardas (…O Nanak, those who know their True Identity ever live in ecstasy and excellence…) were given by Guru Gobind Singh, space is provided in the middle for the spoken and unspoken prayers of everyone gathered to flow through the ardasee, the one whose voice is speaking the prayer aloud.

The prayer is the collective prayer of everyone gathered together at that moment in time and space. In this way, specific blessings such as healing and protection can be invoked. Usually there is a piece of paper on which people can write their

requests for special prayers for healing, or birthday blessings, or on the occasion of a death—in which latter

case the everyone chants “AKAAL” several times to speed the departed soul on its way to God.

Anyone can offer the Ardas, either in English (or the local language) or in the original Gurmukhi.

An English Translation of the Ardas: Sikh Prayer

Remember the Primal Power. Think of Guru Nanak, then of Guru Angad and Amar
Das and Ram Das! Remember Arjan, Hargobind and holy Har Rai. Think of the
blessed Harkrishan, whose sight dispels all sorrows. Remember Teg Bahadur, and
the nine treasures shall run to our homes. There are all with us everywhere. May the
Tenth King, Guru Gobind Singh, protect us everywhere.
Blessed, blessed, O Khalsa Ji, is the Guru Granth Sahib, the Light of all. With the
light of the Guru in your heart, call on God!
Wahe Guru!
The Five Beloved Ones, the four sons of the Tenth Master, the Forty Liberated Ones,
and all those who kept up in the face of tyranny and oppression: think of their deeds O
Khalsa Ji and call on God!
Wahe Guru!
All those men and women who, keeping the Name in their hearts, rose in the amrit
vela to remember and merge with the One; who shared their earnings with others;
who defended those who could not defend themselves; who stood fast through all the
tests of time and space; who saw others’ faults but looking only to their souls served
them anyway; think of their deeds, O Khalsa Ji and call on God!
Wahe Guru!
Those who allowed themselves to be cut up limb by limb, who had their scalps scraped
off, who were broken on the wheel, who were sawn in half or flayed alive, but who
never gave up their faith and never betrayed their own soul, but remained steadfast
till their last breath, think of their sweet resignation, O Khalsa Ji and call on God!
Wahe Guru!
Meditate on the Gurudwaras, the thrones of religious authority, and all the places
blessed by the touch of the Gurus’ feet. O Khalsa Ji, call on God!
Wahe Guru!
Now let the whole Khalsa offer our prayer together.
Let the whole Khalsa remember the Naam.
As we think of Him, may we feel completely blessed.
Wahe Guru!
Wahe Guru!
Wahe Guru!
May God’s protection and grace extend to all the bodies of the Khalsa, wherever we
may be.
May the Lord’s glory be fulfilled and His will prevail.
May all our homes and endeavors be blessed with success.
May the sword of God assist us.
May the Khalsa always triumph.
May our Sangats, flags, and Gurdwaras abide forever and ever,
May the kingdom of justice prevail.
May we be blessed with the sight of the Holy Harimandir Sahib and the sip and dip of
its holy pool of Nectar.
May all Sikhs be united in love.
May the hearts of the Sikhs be humble, but their wisdom be exalted in the keeping of
the Lord, O Khalsa Ji, say that God is Great!
Wahe Guru!
O true King, O beloved Father, we have sung the sweet hymns, we heard Thy life-
giving Word and have meditated on Thy manifold blessings. May these things find a
loving place in our hearts and serve to draw our souls closer and closer towards Thee.
May all the silent prayers of our hearts be fulfilled by Thy grace.
Save us from lust, wrath, greed, pride and attachment; and keep us always and only
attached to Thy Lotus Feet.
Grant to all Thy Sikhs the gift of Sikh Dharma, the gift of long hair, the gift of faith
and confidence in Thee, the gift of reading and understanding Thy Gurbani, and most
of all, the gift of Thy Holy Name
O kind Father; O loving Father, By Thy grace we have spent the night in peace and
happiness; and risen to meditate on Thee and listen to Thy Holy Word. Grant that we
may always do what is right according to Thy Will.
Grant us light and understanding so that we may know what pleases Thee. We offer
this prayer in Thy presence O wonderful Lord:
Forgive our mistakes and help us to keep ourselves pure.
Let us be in the company of only people of love, so we may always remember Thy
O Nanak, those who know their True Identity ever live in ecstasy and excellence.
Through the Power of Thy Bani, may the whole world be blessed to live in this way.
Wahe Guru Ji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji ki Fateh!

In the book Heroes, Saints and Yogis: Tales of Self Discovery and the Path of Sikh Dharma, compiled by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa and Guruka Singh Khalsa:

What does it mean to live as a Sikh? How is this lifestyle relevant today? In this reader friendly collection of personal stories you will find “People Like You and Me” candidly sharing their experiences of self-discovery along the path of Sikh Dharma. This one-of-a-kind book includes fascinating tales of the unique lives of the ten men of higher consciousness who forged a path of everyday learning and personal excellence.

Visit our Marketplace if you are interested in purchasing this book.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Post navigation