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Panj Bania - Five Prayers

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Nitnem - Panj Bania - Five Daily Prayers

Nitnem - Panj Bania - Five Daily Prayers

Photo © [S Khalsa]
Definition:

Panj Bania refers to five prayers required in Sikhism. Panj is the Sikh word for five, and Bania is plural for bani meaning word or scripture.

The Panj Bania written in Gurmukhi script and commonly referred to as Nitnem. During Amritsanchar the initiation ceremony, the panj pyara instruct the Khalsa initiates to review the panj bania either by reading, reciting or listening to them live or recorded. Panj Bania include:
Morning Prayers - to be performed after bathing, following morning meditation at sunrise.

Required:

  • Japji Sahib – The first prayer composed By Guru Nanak Dev, which is the opening hymn of Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Jap Sahib – The second prayer which is a composition of Guru Gobind Singh from Dasm Granth.
  • Tav Prasaad Swaye – The third prayer which is a composition of Guru Gobind Singh from Akal Ustat.

Evening Prayers - to be performed at sunset.

Required:

  • Rehras - The fourth prayer of the day which includes:
    • Nine Compositions of Guru Nanak, Guru Raam Das, and Guru Arjun Dev which immediately follow Japji Sahib in the Guru Granth starting with "Sodar" and ending with final verse of "Saran pare ki rakho sarma".
    • Compositions of Guru Gobind Singh including Benti Chaupai - "Hamaree karo hath dai rachai", Swaye – "Pae gahe jab te tumre," Dhora – "Sagal duar kau chhad kai".
    • Anand Sahib – First five and final verses, composed by Guru Amar Daas.
    • Mandavani.
    • Tera Kita Jato Nahee.

Bedtime Prayers - to be performed last thing before sleeping.

Required:

  • Kirtan Sohila – The fifth prayer of the day which includes five compositions from the Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Raam, and Guru Arjun Dev.

As part of their morning or daily routine, many gursikhs, (very devout Sikhs), recite the Amrit banis. Selections from Guru Granth like Shabad Hazarre and Sukhmani Sahib, both compositions of Guru Arjun Dev, and others by Guru Gobind Singh may also be read.

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Pronunciation: Panj sounds like sponge. Bani-a sounds like bonny - the a has the sound of the u in uh.

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