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Nitnem - Daily Observance


Nitnem - Panj Bania - Five Daily Prayers

Nitnem - Panj Bania - Five Daily Prayers

Photo © [S Khalsa]

Nitnem is a compound word meaning daily observance, or covenant. The root word nit means daily, or continual, and nem comes from the word niyam meaning observance or pact, promise, agreement, contract or covenant, principle or rule. In Sikhism, Nitnem is a pact or covenant of daily observance which refers to five required daily prayers, called the Panj Bania, which are reviewed through out the day at the appropriate time.

During Amritsanchar the Sikh initiation ceremony, the Panj Pyara, the administers of Amrit, instruct the initiates to review Nitnem daily thereafter without fail. The Sikh may read, recite, or listen to Nitnem. The prayers of Nitnem correspond to specific times of day including:

  • Morning Prayers - To be read after bathing, following morning meditation at sunrise.
  • Evening Prayers - To be read at sunset.
  • Bedtime Prayers - To be read last thing before sleeping.
The prayers are written in Gurmukhi script and bound in a small volume that can be held in the hand which is called a Nitnem Gutka. Other prayers favored in the daily routine may also be printed in a Nitnem Gutka including Amrit Banis and Ardas.

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Pronunciation: Nit-name, The i sound is short like in it, or nit, the a sound is long, as in name.
Also Known As: Panj Bania
Alternate Spellings: Nitname
Common Misspellings: Nitnam
It is written:
"Saadhsang darsan ko hai nitname jaako|
The true congregation are those whose daily observance is done by them with dignity." Bhai Gurdas Var | 42

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