UNITED SIKH RELIGIOUS & EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, INC.
(A non profit Organization, contributions are tax deductible)
15302 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa FL 33592
GUIDELINES FOR OPERATIONS AT USREF GURDWARA AND SIKH HERITAGE COLLEGE
- Supreme Leadership of this Gurdwara resides with Guru Granth Sahib. Generally, all the programs and events held in the Gurdwara and on behalf of USREF shall be in accordance with the best prevailing practices in Sikhism and with special reference to Sikh Rehet Maryada. In case of any conflict, management will make and implement decisions in accordance with the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib.
- Emphasis will be on engaging and educating the Sangat about Sikhism and true Gurmat values based on Guru Granth Sahib’s teachings. Attention shall be paid to identifying and correcting some of the existing “Manmat” practices among Sikhs which go against the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib (True Gurmat).
- One of the goals of Sikh Heritage College, a wing of USREF, is to propagate the Gospel of Guru Granth Sahib for benefit of mankind. In order to ensure dissemination of only top quality material through internet and other means, USREF appointed religious committee shall select/approve all such materials before launching into broadcast/publication.
- Sometimes, Sangat members want Sehj Path of Guru Granth Sahib to be done on their behalf. This will be coordinated by Granthi Singh and Pathi Singhs. They will try to accommodate such requests as timing and circumstances permit. USREF Gurdwara discourages “selling’” of Paths and will not ‘quote’ a price for such service. Pathi Singh(s) will be remunerated by the Gurdwara for doing the Path. However, the interested party may make a donation to the Gurdwara in this context.
- Akhand Paths may be held in the Gurdwara from time to time on Gurpurbs and special occasions. This should be treated as an occasion to connect with Guru Shabad, indulge in meditation and seeking Guru’s blessing through attentively listening to Gurbani. The emphasis should be on participation, listening, correct recitation and performing Sewa.
- Everyone is welcome to attend the religious services at the Gurdwara, without discrimination. No negative references shall be made against any person, community or faith. People unfamiliar with Sikh practices shall be treated with tolerance and friendliness and may be suitably guided.
- All persons who do Kirtan, give a lecture, discourse, recite a poem or any other kind of performance in the Gurdwara must take utmost care to 1. Keep these guidelines in mind, 2. Refrain from any kind of political propaganda, 3. Maintain emphasis on Gurmat , 4. Promote cordiality, spirituality and peacefulness 5. Refrain from advancing personal agenda or self promotion and above all maintain high respect for Guru Granth Sahib. It is possible that divergent views may be expressed by different individuals on the same religious subject but the intention should be to keep in mind the spirit of learning and thoughtful inquiry to enlightenment.
- Any privately sponsored event to be held at the Gurdwara, such as marriage ceremony, Akhand Path, or other ceremonies (Mirtak Sanskar, Pagri Sanskar etc.), must be approved by the governing body in consultation with Giani Ji. The sponsoring family of such event shall discuss the details with Giani Ji and the representatives of management, to ensure that everybody is cognizant of what is involved. All responsibility for expenses and other details shall be borne by the sponsoring party including Langar Sewa, clean up, and other special costs associated with the event. Guidelines may be provided to the sponsoring party.