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Smagam - Fellowship


Amritvela Rainsubhai Kirtan Smagam

Amritvela (early morning) of Rain Sabaee (beautiful night) Kirtan Smagam

Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Smagam means union, close association, or fellowship.

In Sikhism, a smagam is a kind of fellowship camp-meeting which often takes place over several days. A smagam may coincide with commemorative Sikh holidays such as a gurpurab, or nagar kirtan parade, or held when convenient during other national or secular holidays. The smagam may take place in gurdwaras or private homes. A smagam has several main components:

  • Akhand Paath - The smagam starts with an unbroken 48 hour complete reading of Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism's holy scripture.
  • Amritvela - The smagam includes an early morning naam-simran program.
  • Kirtan - The smagam revolves around morning and evening kirtan programs arrange to accommodate work schedules:
    • Asa di Var Kirtan - Early morning kirtan begins at day break involves "Asa di Var", a selection of 24 hymns each having 3-4 verses, with related hymns sung in between and may last up to five hours.
    • Amrit Kirtan - Early evening kirtan involves hymms sung from "Amrit Kirtan" hymnal lasting two to three hours in duration, ending usually by 9 pm.
    • Rain Sabaee Kirtan - All night kirtan, the grand finale usually begins about 7 pm and goes on at least until midnight and often until amritvela, or daybreak.
  • Amrit Sanchar - Sikh baptism ceremony of initiation, is held the afternoon or evening of the Rain Sabaee kirtan.
  • Langar - food from the guru's free kitchen prepared with prayer and meditation, is served morning and evening during or following kirtan.
Sleeping arrangements are made free of charge at the gurdwara or in private homes for travelers attending the smagam. Those attending smagams usual sleep only a few hours resting between programs in order to attend amritvela, morning and evening kirtan programs, or other festivities, while enjoying the association of fellowship with sangat, or spiritual companions.

Pronunciation: some-awe-gum
Alternate Spellings: Samagam, Samaagam
Common Misspellings: Smagham

"Ek palak sukh saadh samaagam kott baikunttheh paanae ||1|| rehaao ||
One enjoying peaceful pleasure in the fellowship of spiritual companions, for even an instant, is blessed to obtain millions of heavenly paradises. ||1||Pause|| SGGS||1208

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