Visiting a Gurudwara

Though a Gurudwara is traditionally open at all hours for visitors, the Johnston Gurudwara is in its beginning phase and working within limited hours. We welcome visitors during our weekly services between 11am and 2pm, or by appointment.

As with visiting any place of worship, there are a few traditions and rules we follow. They are -

  • Dress Modestly - Like any other sacred space, you will want to plan on dressing modestly when visiting a Sikh temple. It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing as you may sit with others on the floor in the main prayer hall.
  • Cover your head - Everyone must cover their heads before entering the gurudwara. Sikh men customarily wear turbans, while Sikh women typically wear head scarves as part of their traditional dress. If you do not have a head covering, inquire about borrowing one when you arrive at the temple.
  • Remove your shoes and wash your hands and feet - Many gurudwaras have a water tap just outside the entrance of the main prayer hall. It is customary to remove your shoes here and place them on the shoe racks provided, and wash your hands and feet. Shoes are fine in the entry area and the restrooms.
  • In the main prayer hall, be aware of the Guru Granth. - Respect for the place, for the fellow worshippers, and most of all, for the Guru embodied in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book. Be careful not to point your feet towards nor turn your back on the Guru Granth. During a worship service, women and men each sit on a different side of the room. There are few chairs at the back of the hall strictly for elderly or who may have trouble sitting on the floor.
  • Accept prashad if it is offered to you – Accept prasad, a sanctified delicacy made from wheat flour, butter, and sugar.
  • Cell Phones - Cell phones are a way of life and we utilize technology within the sanctuary as well. Please silence or turn off your cell phone when in the sanctuary.

 

Inappropriate Gurudwara Conduct

The gurdwara is considered the house of the Guru Granth Sahib, ceremonies and practices not condoned include:

  • Any other book or scripture level with, or above Guru Granth.
  • Rituals involving burning lamps & incense.
  • Sounding a gong.
  • Idol worship or bowing to statues or pictures of the ten gurus.
  • Keeping water beneath the cot on which Guru Granth rests.
  • Sitting with legs extended or feet pointed towards Guru Granth.
  • Sitting on a cushion, chair, or in any position or posture designating rank.
  • Massaging, pressing or rubbing floor, walls, or legs supporting the Guru's cot.
  • Smoking, drinking, dancing, or parties