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Gurdwara - Guru's Gateway (Sikh Place of Worship)

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Gurdwara San Jose

Gurdwara San Jose

Photo © [S Khalsa]
Definition:

Gurdwara is a compound word composed of:

  • Guru meaning enlightener or the guide from darkness into light.
  • Dwara or duaar meaning doorway, gateway or portal.
  • Dua meaning blessings or benediction.
In Sikhism the word gurdwara refers to the Sikh place of worship. The gurdwara houses the Guru Granth Sahib, which is Sikhism' sacred scripture, and everlasting guru of the Sikhs. Divine instruction contained in kirtan or hymns of Gurbani sung from Guru Granth Sahib offer the means to enlightenment. Thus whoever comes to the gurdwara to worship enters the door or gateway of the guru.

The greatest significance of the word gurdwara is found in its spiritual context. Gaining access through a portal capable of transporting it from spiritual ignorance and the darkness of worldly ego attachment by means of divine instruction, the soul may become spiritually illuminated and achieve liberation from the effects of ego. Such a one passes through the tenth gate, or aperture of consciousness, and attains spiritual realization of its inherent relationship as being at one with divine Waheguru.

Pronunciation: Gur sounds like guur. Duara or dwara sounds like dew - are - awe.
Alternate Spellings: gurudwara gurudwara gurooduaraa
Examples:

"Guroo duaarai hoe sojhee paa-e-see ||
Entering the Guru's Gate, one obtains understanding." SGGS||730

"Gurduaarai laa-e bhaavanee eknaa dasavaa duaar dikhaa-i-aa ||
Entering the Guru's Gate, one is blessed with loving faith, and the Tenth Door is revealed." SGGS||922

"Guroo duaarai aakh sunaa-ae ||7||
Entering the Guru's Door, utterance is heard." ||7||SGGS||930

"Gur duaarai har keertan sunee-ai ||
Entering the Guru's Gate, the Lord's adoring praise is heard." SGGS||1075

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