Choosing & Preparing the Room

Choosing the Room

Ideally, the room which you choose for the Guru should be devoted solely to the Guru. If space is limited, other arrangements may be made. For instance, a screen or curtain might be used to shield the Guru and the Palki Sahib from the rest of the Sadhana room. If the room is to be used for any purpose other than Gurdwara, it must be for elevating and spiritual activities, such as Sadhana and meditation. It is not appropriate to keep the Guru on an open altar in the Sadhana room, or in your bedroom, unless you plan to keep your head covered all night, and sleep on the floor. We are reminded that Guru Arjun kept the first Granth Sahib on his own bed, while he slept on the floor. If building a new home, plan a separate room for the Guru.

Preparing the Room

Before permanently installing the Guru, the room must be thoroughly cleaned, and freshly painted. (The room does not need to be painted for temporary installment.) Make sure the lighting is adequate, and positioned properly to assist the readers, but not glare into the eyes of the Sangat. Carpets are provided for the Sangat to sit upon. White sheets may be put down to cover the rug - if sheets are used, they must be sheets used exclusively for this purpose, and must be cleaned before each use.

A platform may be constructed, upon which the Guru may reside. This is especially helpful in large Gurdwaras, to give everyone the opportunity to gaze upon the Guru.

A canopy must always be suspended over the Palki Sahib and Guru. This may be suspended from the ceiling, or it may be part of the Palki Sahib itself.

Pictures of the Gurus, or of other Gurdwaras, can be hung on the walls of a Gurdwara, though even these are not necessary, and should be kept to a minimum. It is not appropriate to have pictures of any man or woman. Nor is it appropriate to have statues. Flowers are often brought in to beautify the room; incense, oil lamps and candles are often lit. These decorations have no ritual significance—they are simply a personal expression of love for the Guru, creating a more beautiful environment in which to meditate upon God and Guru.

A light is always kept on in Gurdwara, to signify that the Guru’s Light is always manifest, and accessible to all people at all times.
The Gurdwara is to be kept clean.

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