The Sahaj Paath or Sadharan Path is the reading from beginning to end, with no time-limit for completion. of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scriptures, which can be done at the reader’s schedule. A Paath may be fulfilled by one or more readers, and the pace depends entirely on those reading.
Akhand Path (akhand = uninterrupted, without break; path = reading) is the non-stop, continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end. Such a recital is normally completed within 48 hours. The entire Holy Volume, 1430 ang, is read through in a continuous ceremony. This “recital” is considered a very holy practise and is said to bring peace and solace to the participants and the passive listener of the recitation. For it to be classified as an “Akhand paath”, this reading must go on day and night, without a moment’s intermission. The relay of reciters who take turns at reading the scripture must ensure that no break occurs in the reading. As they change places at given intervals, one picks the line from his predecessor’s lips and continues. When and how the custom of reciting the canon in its entirety in one continuous service began is not known. Conjecture traces it to the turbulent days of the eighteenth century when persecution had scattered the Sikhs to far off places. In those exilic, uncertain times, the practice of accomplishing a reading of the Holy Book by a continuous recital is believed to have originated. The Akhand Path can be held at the Gurdwara or at your home.
SUKHMANI SAHIB PATH
Sukhmani Sahib is the name given to the set of hymns divided into 24 sections which appear in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Holy Scriptures on page 262. Each section, which is called an Ashtpadi (asht means 8), consists of 8 hymns per Ashtpadi. The word Sukhmani literally means Peace in your mind. This set of Hymns or Bani is very popular among the Sikhs, who frequently recite it in their places of worship called Gurdwaras and at home. The full recital takes about 90 minutes and is normally undertaken by everyone in the congregation. According to Sikh doctorine, this Bani is believed to bring peace to one’s mind and compoundly peace to the world. This set of 192 hymns were compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji.