The Golden Temple, Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, India
Gurdwara: literally Gurus portal abode House or Door. In the early period of Sikhism, before the advent of the word Gurdwara, the word Dharamsala was used to refer to Sikh places of worship and service (Sewa). The word can be split into two: Gur or Guru referring to their Guru, Guru Granth Sahib i.e. Gurbani Waheguru the word Shabad and duwara meaning Door of the House

Although most Sikhs spell Gurdwara and refer it as the House of the Guru, that may not be the accurate spelling and meaning. If we look at the word Gurdwara closely in Gurmukhi, and compare it to each time it has been mentioned in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or Bhai Gurdas jis Vaars, there is no vava or w sound in it. The word is actually spelt Gur-duara. The word Dwara means place or home, but Duara means through or by means of. So the accurate defination of a Gurduara would be through or by means of our Guru. For a Sikh, every thing is achieved by meansby grace of the Guru.

Sikhism, has no room for symbolism or ritualism; Sikhs have neither idols nor altars in their Gurdwara. They have no sacraments and no priestly order. The essential feature of a gurdwara is the presiding presence in it of the holy Sikh Scripture, called the Guru Granth Sahib also referred to as Satguru. This essentially is the focal point of a Gurdwara. The other main component is the holy congregation called the Sadh Sangat who are present within this sacred structure in humble obedience of principles laid down by the Sikh Gurus.

The Sikhs hold high respect for the commandments laid down in the Guru Granth Sahib and most faithful adherents will adhere to these commandments at all costs. Within the Gurdwara the Sikhs engage in prayer (Simran or Naam Japna) and in voluntary service called Sewa. Langar, free community kitchen serves meals to anyone who visits this Sikh institution. All the facilities are generally managed on a voluntary basis by volunteers called Sewadars (lit. those who serve). Generally very few paid staff are maintained in Gurdwaras.

This is the place where the young Sikhs learn the essentials of their faith and as they grow older this becomes their spiritual training centre - the KHALSA training institution; a place for organised Satgur de Seva or service of the True Guru.

The Sikhs must believe in the following Values:
All humans are equal before God – No discrimination is allowed on the basis of Caste, Race, Sex, Creed, Origin, colour, education, status, wealth, etc. Sikh are not allowed to discriminate against their fellow humans on any basic at all. The Ten Gurus of the Sikhs have taught this and the following appears in the Sikh Holy Book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
From woman, man is born;
within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all. Guru Nanak, Raag Aasaa Mehal 1, Page 473 Under Guru’s Instruction, they sing the Lord’s Name,

and wear the garland of the Lord’s Name around their necks; they keep the Lord’s Name in their throats. They look upon all with equality, and recognize the Supreme Soul, the Lord, pervading among all. Those who sing the Praises of the Lord, Har, Har, obtain the supreme status; they are the most exalted and acclaimed people. ((2)) SGGS Page 599 Full Shabad He is within - see Him outside as well; there is no one, other than Him.
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