Ardas and Teaching my Son Narayan

This past Sunday I was in Gurdwara and we were standing for Ardas. Narayan was whining about how he was tired, didn’t want to stand, and was not really listening to me about being respectful. I then whispered to him how important it was to stand tall, still and pray. To remember those Sikhs who came before us and sacrificed a great deal to maintain the Sikh way of life. I realized he didn’t really understand what this was all about, and that I had to start explaining more about why we do these different things (Specifically “Ardas”). Now that he is getting older (4-1/2) it is easier for him to understand spiritual things, and to relate to this all.

I whispered in his ear about the moguls trying to convert the Sikhs to Islam and all the torture that they committed on the Sikhs. His eyes lit up; he was interested. I told him later I would tell him some stories.

After Gurdwara I ran into my office and printed out a document which had an explanation of Ardas with pictures (by Prof. Onkar Singh, Phx.) and took it home with me. Since then every night before Narayan goes to sleep I have been reading a page or two of the stories from Ardas. Each time re-enforcing the concept of why we do Ardas. Narayan is especially intrigued by the torture parts. For some reason anything with blood/injuries/fighting/etc is very interesting.

Today I just finished the story about Bhai Mani and getting cut up at every joint. I looked at the next page and saw the picture of someone being scalped. Phew! Some heavy duty stuff when you think about what these Sikhs went through and how brave they were! It make you realize how easy we have it!

I am feeling my time coming to really start teaching Narayan about many of the Sikh concepts. In the past he didn’t understand or relate much. I think now he is starting to understand more, so it is exciting for me to start sharing with him. This is new for me. This is my first time being a father…so it is nice to share these things which give so much more meaning as to why we are Sikhs and should live a certain way. It’s also cool that he is interested in it!

I think as parents we just have to take the time to explain these things in a way that they can relate to and enjoy. Now that I started with this….I feel like flood gates have opened and there is so much that I need to start teaching him. Such is the life of a Parent right? All I know is that I want to do my best to instill the values of Sikhi in a way that he understands and appreciates. Then it is up to Guruji to guide him when he is older. I have seen many friends who used to be Sikhs but don’t practice anymore. I try to keep a very open mind with this. Ideally I want Narayan to live the Sikh lifestyle. However if he chooses not to, my prayer is that he at least lives a conscious and spiritual lifestyle. It hurts to see loved ones throw it all away just to be a regular “Joe” and “fit in”. I for one…like to stand out. I think Guru Gobind Singh intended for us to stand out, be leaders and protectors.

So much to learn and share as a parent. It’s an interesting journey that I am on :)

PS. You can read about the meaning of Ardas on SikhiWiki at:

13 Responses to “Ardas and Teaching my Son Narayan”

  1. dear bro
    fateh ji,
    wht u r teaching narayan is really nice. we as parents must teach our child and let them know our background. kids are the pillars of our future. if the pillars are not strong the building cant stand tall. my humble request is when u have this kind of stuff that u teach narayan , pls do share with us , i am sure their r many dad n mom all over the world who wanna teach their kids but still dont know how , this may make them start! the key is needed bro!

    guru kirpa

  2. Pramajot, of course I will share :) That is what I thought I was doing by posting this message and others on this blog. I’ll share however I am able. Overall this is new for me teaching my son and leading this new role as a father.

  3. Bhai Sahib its great that you are inspiring and educating your children about Gurmat. May Guru Ji bless you with even more success.

    Guru Amar Daas Jee says:
    “Baa-baaNee-aa Ka-haaNee-aa, Put Supat Karein.”
    Translation:- “Telling the Stories of the Forefathers (i.e. Guru Sahib and the Great Gursikhs), makes children into good children.”
    (Ang 951)

  4. SatKirin says:

    Stories for Khalsa Children is still resounding in my mind as we used these story tapes when you were little.

    I met a lady at Winter Solstice from Los Angeles who teaches Yoga in LA. She is a playwrite and is very interested in continuing this project and making more story CD’s.

    She is from Turkey, and studies at Golden Bridge.

    I will look her up.


    Also, How do I get my icon picture up onto this post?

  5. SikhsRus says:

    Gurumustak Ji,

    Great post! From what little I know about you and Arjan, Narayan is going to turn out just fine and probably will inspire a lot of people just like his dad is doing thru Sikhnet and blog!


  6. SikhsRus says:

    From teaching kids, I just remembered, for those Sikhs and non-sikhs that are living in California and are willing to teach Punjabi, here is a link about becoming a Punjabi teacher:

    It is great that Punjabi is also included as one of the major languages.

  7. Jasvir Singh says:

    I didn`t know anyother way to ask a question, thought do it in this section.Can you ask Guruka Singh if he can explain how to sit down on the ground(right posture) to do meditation(Naam simran)? Please explain with video if possible.

  8. Gurbakhash says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
    This blog is awesome! Honestly, I don’t know how to express my gratitutde. I always wanted to become an Amritdhari but for some reason, I was never able to make up my mind. Recently, I have started reading the blogs of many Gursikhs like you and others who are continually inspiring me. Thank You so much!

  9. we just got back from a “kirtanâ€?…i put it in parantheses cuz we never made it to the Kirtan part cuz people started giving us dirty looks cuz my daughter wouldn’t sit still (wasn’t loud AT ALL but kept saying “hiâ€? to other “babiesâ€? and back and forth between me and her mom)…so we left. just curious what your experience has been with a toddler(14 months)? any advice you can dish out about this matter would be greatly appreciated. I guess I’m asking what is appropriate and what isn’t?
    she hasn’t hit the terrible two’s yet but should we wait until they’re over? is it worth taking a child who doesn’t understand gurbani to the Gurdwara?


  10. Ik Singh…I think this is a common issue. We have dealt with this same thing. It mostly comes from those who are not parents and don’t have kids (or are much older and forgot about how it was). I think even I used to think things about parents and kids when a baby/young kid made noise or did something. Now from the other side I have a whole different picture. This gives me a little more understanding. There is however a balance that you can find. Of course if noise from a child is really excessive you would want to do what you can to move to the back or an area away till things are calmer. It is good for these children to be at Gurdwara and you should not feel like you are being pressured away. Find the balance to take care of both sides.

    Hope this helps…

  11. Hari Narayan Singh says:

    What a beatiful experience, my brother…
    sharing the path with little Narayan! what a delicious gift!
    Blessings from Chile
    thank you.

  12. satnaam says:

    I have a son your son’s age. I experience the same thing. He doesn’t understand the importance of standing respectfully thru ardas. But as time goes on, he’s getting better. And you’re right. The tragedies that our previous singhs have gone thru and their pictures in the temples intrigue my son. But those atrocities are flabergasting to me as an adult so why wouldn’t they gain his attention too? It’s a good starting point for explaining to him our religion and the strength of sikhs. I’m realizing now what a big responsibility I have on my shoulders to try to keep him linked strongly to sikhi jeevan. & you are a great inspiration!

  13. Mindi SIngh Pabla says:

    Are you planing to send Narayan to Miri Piri Academy in Punjab? Personally I think you should. He’ll have a better understanding of two different cultures and the way they live.