Rehat Maryada

What is the Rehat Maryada?

This document is the Official Sikh Code of Conduct. There were a number of unsucessful attempts in the eighteenth century following the death of Guru Gobind Singh to produced an accurate portrayal of Sikh conduct and customs. These attempts were contradictory and inconsistent with many of the principles of the Gurus and were not accepted by the majority of Sikhs. Starting early this century in 1931 an attempt was made by the Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.) to produce a modern standard Rehit. These efforts involved the greatest Sikh scholars and theologians of this century who worked to produce the current version. The document produced has been accepted as the official version which provides guidelines against which all Sikh individuals and communities around the world can measure themselves. The Rehat Maryada is the only version authorized by the Akal Takht, the seat of supreme temporal authority for Sikhs. It's implementation has sucessfully achieved a high level of uniformity in the religious and social practices of Sikhism.


Rehat Maryada
The Code of Sikh Conduct and Conventions

Dharm Parchar Committee
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar

Excerpt from Mission Statement of Translator (Kulraj Singh):
Producing an English version of the Sikh Rehat Maryada with the object of promoting uniformity in the Sikh conduct and observances in the interest of deeper religious cohesion. the Sikh Rehat Maryad, as the ensuing preface to the original Punjabi text will show is the product of collective Panthic wisdom. What is more, some of the greatest Sikh scholars and savants of all times contributed to it and deliberated on its content. So this work should take precedence on any sectional beliefs and preferences. In a wider context, the content of the Rehat Maryada should be taken as the final word as to the matters they deal with. That will foster panthic cohesion.


Section One

Chapter I Sikh Defined
Article I Definition of Sikh

Section Two

Chapter II Aspects of Sikh Living
Article II Sikh Living

Chapter III Individual Spirituality
Article III Sikh's Personal Life
Article IV Meditation on Nam (Divine Substance) and Scriptures

Section Three

Chapter IV Gurduwaras, Congregational Etiquette, Rites
Article V Joining the Congregation for understanding of and reflection on Gurbani

Chapter V Kirtan
Article VI Kirtan (Devotional Hymn Singing by a Group or an Individual)

Chapter VI Taking Hukam - Other Items of Service
Article VII Taking Hukam

Chapter VII Reading of Guru Granth Sahib
Article VIII Sadharan Path (completion of Normal, Intermittent Reading of the Guru Granth Sahib)
Article IX Akhand Path: Uninterrupted - Non-Stop Completion of the Reading of the Guru Granth Sahib
Article X Commencing the Non-stop Reading
Article XI Concluding the Reading

Chapter VIII Karhah Prashad - Making, Offering, Consecration and Distribution
Article XII Karah Prasad (Sacred Pudding)

Chapter IX Components of Gurduwara Service
Article XIII Exposition of Gurbani (Sikh Holy Scriptures)
Article XIV Expository Discourse
Article XV Gurduwara Service

Section Four

Chapter X Beliefs, Observances, Duties, Taboos and Ceremonies
Article XVI Living in Consonance with Guru's Tenets

Chapter XI Ceremonies pertaining to Social Occasions
Article XVII Ceremonies pertaining to Birth and Naming of Child
Article XVIII Anand Sanskar (Lit. joyful ceremonial: Sikh Matrimonial Conventions and Ceremony)
Article XIX Funeral Ceremonies
Article XX Other Rites and Conventions

Section Five

Chapter XII Altruistic Work
Article XXI Voluntary Service

Section Six

Chapter XIII Panthic (Corporate Sikh) Life
Article XXII Facets of Corporate Sikh Life
Article XXIII Panth's Status of Guru-hood
Article XXIV Ceremonies of Baptism or Initiation
Article XXV Method of Imposing Chastisement
Article XXVI Method of Adopting Gurmatta
Article XXVII Appeals against Local Decisions