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Summary of Question:Gurudwara Customs For The Physically Challenged
Date Posted:Thursday, 7/15/2004 7:29 PM MDT

Sat Nam.

Some years ago I was in a car accident involving a head injury that messed me up in terms of my balance, and caused a back injury that afflicts me to this day. I am in treatment for it and probably will be for life. (Big deal, I'm just glad i can walk and work.)

But some days are worse than others, and at times it hurts like anything to pay my respect at the Guru's feet when I go for worship. It is then difficult to rise from the floor; the aged aunties who are old enough to be my mother or grandmother have an easier time some days, and I feel a bit ashamed! I'm no old woman and the pride gets in the way, I fear. I've been told that it is acceptible to simply bow or to touch the floor in front of Guru Granth Sahib, but I'm not sure this is correct. I don't want to trash the Divine Creator. Any insight?

Blessed be,


Sat Naam, Elizabet.
It is OK to to touch the floor with your hand and then to your forehead. Another option, perhaps? is to rise back up in stages. You kneeel, you bow. You push up with your hands so you are kneeling again. Then you slowly push yourself back upright. I don't know if this works.
It is time for Sikhs everywhere to recognize different abilities and to not judge them. One of our sangat has bad rheumatoid arthritis and is unable to kneel to bow her head to the floor. When she got married recently she sat on a low stool (our Guru is up on a stage that has 3 stairs to get to it). So, you are not trashing the Guru. It is better to show up than not, don't you think?
Guru ang sang,

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