Akhand Path

Information About Akhand Paath

Maryada of Akhaand Paath – Akhand Paath (Akhand = uninterrupted, without break; paath = reading) is non-stop, continuous recital of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from beginning to end. Such a recital is usually completed within 48 hours, however time should not be an issue. The entire Sacred Volume of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1430 large pages, is read through in a continuous ceremony. This reading must go on day and night, without a moment’s intermission. The relay of reciters who take turns at reciting Gurbani must ensure that no break occurs. As they change places at given intervals, one picks the line from his predecessor’s lips and continues. According to Sikh history, Akhand Paaths were rarely done. In the Guru Sahibaan’s history, only three Akhand Paaths took place, on the other hand the Guru Sahibaans held numerous Sehaj Paaths on different occasions such as jyoti jyot (physical passing) of the previous Guru or other occasions.

Conjecture traces the popularity of Akhand Paaths to the turbulent days of the 18th century when persecution had scattered the Sikhs to far-off places. In those exilic, uncertain times, the practice of accomplishing a reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji by a continuous recital is believed to have popularised Akhand Paaths due to the circumstances.

In accordance to the Panthic Sikh Rehit Maryada:

Whichever family or congregation undertakes the reading should carry it out itself through its members, relatives, friends etc. all together. The number of reciters is not prescribed. If a person, themselves cannot read, they should listen to the reading by some competent reader. However, it should never be allowed to happen that the reader carries on the reading all by himself/herself and no member of the family is listening in to the reading. The reader should be served with food and clothing to the best of the host’s means.

Placing a pitcher filled with water, jyot (ceremonial clarified-butter-fed lamp), coconut, etc. around, during the course of the Akhand Paath or any other reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, or reading other Scriptural texts (e.g. Japji Sahib) side by side with or in the course of the Akhand Paath is contrary to Gurmat (the Guru’s way).

While undertaking a full reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Karhah Prashad (sacred pudding) should be brought for offering and after reciting Anand Sahib (six stanzas) and offering Ardaas, a Hukamnama (edict) should be taken (at random). One should, thereafter, begin the non-stop reading.

Sampat Paath

Maryada of Sampat Paath – “Sampat Paath” is a variation of an “Akhand Paath’ (continuous reading of entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) in which the reading of every single complete ‘shabad’ (sacred hymn) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is followed by the reading of a pre-determined shabad or salok from Sri Guru Granth Sahib (for example on a sad occasion the shabad, “Aukie Gharee Na Dekhan De-ee” may be chosen), which is thus repeated throughout the recitation. The paaá¹h (reading) is performed in a curtained cabin so that the reading is audible outside the cabin but the Paaá¹hi (reader) and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are not in the view of the Sangat (congregation).

Sri Sampat path was taught to the  Sampat means a box, in which expensive jewelry or an idol is kept. This term is also used in medical field. In this field, to sampat a medicine, means to increase its effect.Gursikhs by 10th Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself.

When Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was in Nanded, some Sikhs requested Guru Ji that some Muslims were using black magic to trouble them. On hearing this, Guru Ji taught this bidhi to the Gursikhs. In its simplest form, it involved reciting the mool mantar, at the start and end of each Gurbani tuk.

There are different types of it. One could do a Sri Sampat Akhand Paath. These are usually done before Poornamashi at Nanaksar. In this type of paath, mool mantar is recited at the beginning and at the end of each shabad. It is also recited at various other points in Gurbani and sometimes multiple times. Then, there is a tuk tuk wala Sri Sampat Akhand Paath. This can take a lot of time. In this version, mool mantar is recited after every tuk. Now, along with the mool mantar, one can also recite a shabad of one’s choice. At Nanaksar, the following shabad is recited.

ਅਉਖੀ ਘੜੀ ਨ ਦੇਖਣ ਦੇਈ ਅਪਨਾ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥