Rehat Maryada Section Five

Chapter XII

Voluntary Service
Article XXI

Voluntary service is a prominent part of Sikh religion. Illustrative models of voluntary service are organized, for imparting training, in the gurduwaras. Its simple forms are: sweeping and plastering the floors of the gurduwara [In olden times, buildings, particularly in rural areas had mud and not brick paved or cement floors. To give to these floors firmness and consistency, they were thinly plastered with a diluted compound of mud.], serving water to or fanning the congregation, offering provisions to and rendering any kind of service in the common kitchen-cum-eating house, dusting the shoes of the people visiting the gurduwara, etc.

(a) Guru’s kitchen-cum-Eating House. The philosophy behind the Guru’s kitchen-cum-eating house is two fold: to provide training to the Sikhs in voluntary service and to help banish all distinction of high and low, touchable and untouchable from the Sikhs minds.

(b) All human beings, high or low, and of any caste or colour may sit and eat in the Guru’s kitchen-cum-eating house. No discrimination on grounds of the country of origin, colour, caste or religion must be made while making people sit in rows for eating. However, only baptized Sikhs can eat off one plate.