Glossary

A

Asa - hope.
Abhilakee - a person who is preparing and hopes to receive Amrit.
Anth - the end time, final moments.
Amolak - priceless, valuable
Amrit - nectar. Amrit is prepared from ground sugar and water. Also known as Khande Ki Pahul, it means taking the sublime essence of God to purify yourself and live a moral and just lifestyle. Receiving or drinking Amrit signifies initiation into the Khalsa.
Amrit Vela - this is a reference to a time period, the 2 and a half hours before dawn. It is called the ambosial hours, the ideal time to meditate and pray.
Ardas - petition; request; a formal Sikh prayer recited at the conclusion of a service or ceremony.

B

Badla - in return for
Beti - term of endearment, meaning “child” (feminine, daughter)
Babaji - term of respect for an elderly man.
Bana - the form or personal appearance of a Khalsa, with all hair maintained (uncut, untrimmed), and wearing the 5 K’s.
Bheek - begging, the alms given to a beggar.
Bhenji - sister.
Bhujangan - snake’s offspring/daughter.

C

Chakkar - steel ring 5 to 12 inches in diameter of varying thickness, usually with a sharp outer edge.  Used in battle by the Sikhs.
Chaur - an implement used to fan the Guru Granth Sahib as a sign of reverence and respect for the scriptures. Usually constructed from synthetic fibers and mounted in a wooden or metal handle.
Choorian - A set of bangles, usually red and white in color, worn by newly wed north Indian brides on their wedding day and for several weeks or months afterward.
Chunni - a long scarf that is essential to Punjabi women’s suits. Historically, women in the Punjab region have always worn this garment and covered their head as a sign of respect and modesty.

D

Daani - donor, giver.
Darbar Sahib - main hall within a Gurudwara.
Darshan - having an audience with, meeting, having a vision of.
Dastaar - garment worn by both Sikh men and women to cover their heads, turban.
Daya - compassion, sympathy, mercy.
Diwan - religious event or gathering.

E

F

Farz - duty.

G

Gol - round.
Golak - collection box that is usually laid in front of Guru Granth Sahib where the sangat deposit their offerings before bowing to the Guru.
Guru - one who dispels the darkness of ignorance (‘gu’) and brings enlightenment and vision (‘ru’’). Literally translated, Guru means “The Light that dispels darkness”. Guru is a spiritual teacher/guide who has been sent to Earth by God and is in direct communion with God. There has been a total of 10 living Sikh Gurus, who brought knowledge of God. The eternal Guruship (spiritual and temporal authority) lies in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Granth Sahib - the eternal living Guru of the Sikhs, compiled by Sikh Gurus and devotees of God who themselves had attained salvation. Guru Granth Sahib shows the path to attain salvation and to be One with God.
Gurmukhi - the name of the script used in the Guru Granth Sahib.  Multiple languages were penned using the same script.
Gurudwara - Sikh institution of learning and prayer. Literal meaning is “Gateway to the Guru”.

H

Hukamnama - edict issued by the Guru.
Humdardee - sharing another’s pain, empathizing

I

Intehaan - examination, test

J

Japji Sahib - the first sacred composition found in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Joon - birth, existence.
Joora - hair tied in a bun or topknot on the top of the head.

K

Kalgidhar Patshah - literally “the King who wears the Kalgi”, a reference to the 10th Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Kamai - what one has earned spiritually.
Kameez - part of Salwar Kameez, a traditional style of dress worn by men and women in India.
Karah Parshad - sacramental food served at religious ceremonies in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It is a symbol of equality of all members of the congregation. Karah Parshad is made of flour, sugar and ghee (clarified butter).
Karam - one’s actions.
Keertan - singing the praises of God. Keertan is usually conducting with the aid of musical instruments such as Harmonium and Tabla, or traditional instruments like the Taus, Sarangi, and Rabab.
Khotay - fake, counterfeit, false, insincere.
Kirpa - mercy, compassion.
Kurbani - sacrifice.

L

Langar - free community kitchen found in all Gurudwaras. A cornerstone of the Sikh faith and a symbol of equality, it was instituted by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Sahib.

M

Maya - illusion.
Manzil - destination, aim, goal.
Meherbani - kindness, compassion.
Matha Tek - bowing down and touching your forehead to the floor in front of Guru Granth Sahib as a sign of respect to the eternal and living Guru of the Sikhs.

N

Nanima - maternal grandmother.
Nitnem - daily practice regimen. This applies to the Sikh in terms of the daily reading of the prayers in the morning, evening and night.

O

P

Pachhtawa - regret, repentance.
Paaht - prayer.
Pagri - turban.
Panj Pyare - the five beloved ones, referring to the first five Sikhs initiated into the Khalsa order by Guru Gobind Singh. Five Khalsa Sikhs are required for initiation of a new member.
Paapi - sinner.
Parshad - see Karah Parshad.
Pyaar - Love.

Q

R

Ragi Jatha - group of musicians.
Rumalla - cloth which is used ceremonially to cover the Guru Granth Sahib.
Rumaal - cloth like a scarf or bandana used to cover the head as a mark of respect, before entering the Gurudwara.

S

Sangat - a group of people offering community and spiritual support and assistance to its members, holy congregation.
Seva - voluntary service to one’s fellow beings, a cornerstone of the Sikh way of life.
Sevadar - a person performing Seva.
Shabad - religious hymns contained in Sikh scriptures.
Sharda - a deep, loving devotion and belief, trust, confidence and faith in the divine.
Sherwani - a knee-length mens coat buttoning to the neck, typically found in Indian clothing.
Shikaar - to hunt, prey, victim.
Sikh - a follower of the Sikh way of life.
Simran - meditative remembrance of the Creator Lord.
Singhnee - lioness.
Soorma - brave and courageous warrior.
Sucha - pure, clean, untouched.
Surakhia - protection, care.

T

U

V

Vadbhaagee - blessed.
Vaheguroo - wonderful Guru, wonderful God/Creator/Almighty/Source.
Veerji - brother (respectful address).

W

Wafadar - always loyal, always faithful.

X

Y

Z