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Sikh Hymns, Prayers and Blessings for All Occasions

Verses From Sikh Scripture for Every Occasion


Written by spiritual masters, the hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib reflect the journey of the soul through life in partnership with the divine. Verses in the shabads or hymns, of Gurbani mirror the emotions experienced by every individual. Sikhs turn to Gurbani Kirtan for inspiration whether going through hardship or expressing joy. All of life's important events are accompanied by the singing sacred verses of kirtan appropriate to the occasion. Many of the most popular hymns can be found in the Sikh hymnal, Amrit Kirtan.

All About the Sikh Tradition of Kirtan

Amrit Kirtan Pothi (Hymnal)
Photo © [S Khalsa]

In the Sikh tradition, no ceremony, event, or occasion is complete without the hymns of kirtan being sung. Kirtan is adoration and praise expressed musically in the melodious hue of raag. A Sikh hymnal is collection of hymns from among the most popular poetic compositions of Guru Granth Sahib. Hymns written in Gurmukhi script are arranged according to spiritual themes.

Dasam Bani, Vaisakhi Holiday and Khalsa Initiation Hymns

Khalsa Initiates Greet the Sangat
Photo © [Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]

Who is a Sikh?

This hymn of Fourth Guru Raam Das offers instruction for daily worship, outlining a morning meditation practice to wash the body and mind of impurities. One who wishes to consider them-self to be a Sikh is to rise early bathe and focus lovingly on the divine:

Hymns composed by or about Tenth Guru Gobind Singh are known as Dasam Bani. These hymns may be sung to celebrate Amritsanchar, the Sikh initiation ceremony, or during the Vaisakhi Day holiday which commemorates the origins of Khalsa and the first Sikh baptismal initiation ceremony of rebirth.

Hymns in Praise of Women

Bride and Groom
Photo © [Hari]

Hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib praise woman as the mother of all humanity and exalt the wedded woman as an example of a blissful soul bride in union with the divine groom.

Hymns of Anand Karaj Sikh Wedding Ceremony

The Wedding Rounds
Photo © [Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]

A series of matrimonial hymns are sung during the progression of the Sikh wedding ceremony. Each shabad signifies a particular aspect of the bond between husband and wife as symbolizing a union between the soul bride and divine husband.

Hymns of Hope and Blessings for a Child

Mother and Son Sing Together
Photo © [S Khalsa]

These hymns may be sung, read or recited as a blessing, or to instill hope and dispel worry:

  • When parents are hoping to conceive.
  • To bless an expectant mother.
  • On the occasion of a child's birthday.
  • Following a complete reading of the Guru Granth Sahib

and on any occasion to express hopes and blessings for a child of any age.

Hymns of Encouragement During Hard Times

Sikhs Offering Support
Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Sikh hymns encourage, inspire and uplift the soul during difficulties and hard times. Gurbani instructs that pleasure is a disease, and pain the medicine, for it is when experiencing troubles that one turns to God.

Hymns For Healing Body and Soul

The Yearning Soul Engaged in Simran and Singing
Photo © [S Khalsa]

The illusory sense of separation from the divine is the root of suffering, causing mental anguish and ravishing the body with painful ailments. The sound current of naad imparted by the soothing hymns of Gurbani have the power to heal at the soul level eradicating the effects of egoism, calming the mind and instilling ease of spirit to impart bodily relief.

Antam Sanskaar Funeral Hymns of Consolation for the Bereaved

The Completion of Day
Photo © [Nirmal Jot Singh]

Hymns sung during a Sikh funeral ceremony convey a message of resignation to the natural process. They provide comfort and solace to the bereaved by focusing on the departed soul's mergence with the divine.

Top Gurbani Kirtan CD Reviews and Resources

Professor Surinder Singh and Raj Academy
Photo © [S Khalsa]

Resources and reviews of recordings by top performers include Gurbani kirtan selections from scripture of Guru Granth and Dasam Granth in a variety of musical styles. Entrance the ears, soothe the body, and heal the soul with sublime strains of classic raag or the exquisite extravaganza of East meets West fusion.

Recording Artists:

  • Gurmat Gian Group - All female singers of classic raag.
  • Professor Surinder Singh - Raj Academy classic raag, naad yoga sound healing, specialist.
  • Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa Pipli Wale - Kirtan fusion extravaganza.

Learn Gurbani Kirtan Book DVD CD by Bhai ManMohan Singh: Review

Learn Gurbani Kirtan DVD and Booklet
Photo © [S Khalsa]

Learn how to sing and play shabads at home with Learn Gurbani Kirtan booklet, DVD and CD compiled by kirtan teacher and professional ragi, Bhai Manmohan Singh of California.

Lessons include:

  • Voice tips.
  • Introduction to harmonium, parts and care.
  • How to read Indian classical music notation.
  • Keyboard diagram and finger positions along with 10 exercises.
  • Instructions for Gur Mantar, Mool Mantar and 10 shabads including two Raags.
Offered by LearnKirtan.com for $22.45 + S &a H.

Sikh Scripture On Specific Subjects What Does Gurbani Say?

Ancient Guru Granth Sahib
Photo © [Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]

The authors of Gurbani scripture address a variety of specific subjects with hymns and verses regarding spiritual merits, or demerits, including:

  • Tattoos and body piercing
  • Gaming and gambling
  • Ritual circumcision
  • Bhang or marijuana
  • Meditative mind
  • Meat eating

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