The word Ardas, meaning a request, a supplication, a prayer, a petition or an address to a superior authority. It is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis (prayers); or completion of a service like the Paath, kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done.
The Ardas is usually done standing up with 'folded hands'. The beginning of the Ardas is strictly set by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. When it comes to the conclusion of this prayer, the devotee uses:
The word Waheguru - 'Waheguru please bless me in the task that I am about to undertake' when starting a new task.
Or the words Akal Purakh - 'Akal Purakh, having completed the hymn-singing, we ask for your continued blessings so that we can continue with your memory and remember you at all times'.