Katha may mean divine discourse, fable, narrative, preaching, religious recital, sermon, speech, story, or tale.
In Sikhism, katha means preaching a sermon, or religious story telling, and is performed both formally and informally in a variety of ways:
- Preaching a sermon is commonly performed formally during the worship service on the gurdwara stage while sitting before the congregation during kirtan to explain the meaning of Gurbani hymns being sung.
- Preaching, while sitting or standing, is commonly performed formally on the gurdwara stage without music as a sermon to illustrate a religious concept of shabad from Guru Granth Sahib, or a story from Sikh history.
- Story telling, is a kind of preaching or sermons which takes place informally in casual settings to illustrate religious concepts of shabads, or stories from Sikh history. Katha make occur between just two, or among any number of persons participating.
- Though kathaa usually refers to audio performance before an audience, it also may occur as formal or informal cyber story telling, or preaching a sermon to an online audience.
Kathak - one who preaches or tells stories and usually refers to one who is well known as a preacher or story teller.
Kath - Preach, speak, or tell.
Akath - Ineffable,in-tellable, untold, or un-utterable.
The word katha, often interpreted as divine discourse, is a popular theme in the hymns of Guru Granth Sahib.
- "Naanak har kathaa sunee mukh bolee gurmat har naam pareechai jeeo ||4||6||
O Nanak, the Lord's Sermon I chant and hear through the Guru's Teachings, by the Name of the Lord, I am fulfilled." ||4||6||
- "Kathaa sunat mal sagalee khovai ||
Hearing Thy sermon's discourse all filth is removed." SGGS||104
- "Sun meetaa naanak binavantaa || saadh janaa kee acharaj kathaa ||1||
Listen, O friends, prays Nanak, to the Holy's wonderful story." ||1|| SGGS||271
- "Bhagat janaa kee ootam baanee gaaveh akath kathaa nit niaaree ||
The humble devotees speech is sublime they sing ever the un-utterable wondrous discourse of the Lord." SGGS||506