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The Anand Karaj ceremony

The Anand Karaj ceremony is a joyous and festive event in which families and friends from both sides are heavily involved.

The following are other important points that must be adhered to by the Sikh couple and their families: Marriage is a partnership of equals. No consideration is to be given to caste, social status, race or lineage. No day is considered holier above any other, hence no astrological considerations are to be made and no superstitions are to be observed in fixing the date of the wedding. The religious ceremony is take place in a gurdwara or in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib.

Most Sikh weddings take place in the morning and are completed before noon. Following the ceremony is a langar or a formal lunch. The wedding event can last for the whole day and may spill into the next day.

Most families combine the wedding ceremony with the engagement ceremony called the “kurmai”, which is held just before the wedding vows or laava. The engagement ceremony can also be held as a separate event on a different day. It is usually conducted in the gurdwara or at the home of the groom-to-be. It involves ardas, kirtan, sagun (exchange of gifts) and langar. In the “sagaan” ceremony, the groom is presented with a kara, kirpan, Indian sweets, fresh fruits, dried fruits and nuts. The bride-to-be’s family in turn are presented with garments and sweets.

 

Ceremony At gurdwara the boy and girl should bow before the Guru Granth Sahib to betoken their acceptance of these instructions. Thereafter, the girl’s father or the principal relation should make the girl grasp one end of the sash which the boy wearing over his shoulders. The person in attendance the Guru Granth Sahib should recite the matrimonial circumambulation stanzas {Lavan of the Fourth Nanak, Guru Ram Das Sahib in the Suhi Rag of the Guru Granth Sahib (Pp. 773-4).

In the first round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord sets out His Instructions for performing the daily duties of married life.

Instead of the hymns of the Vedas to Brahma, embrace the righteous conduct of Dharma, and renounce sinful actions.

Meditate on the Lord’s Name; embrace and enshrine the contemplative remembrance of the Naam.

Worship and adore the Guru, the Perfect True Guru, and all your sins shall be dispelled.

By great good fortune, celestial bliss is attained, and the Lord, Har, Har, seems sweet to the mind.

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the first round of the marriage ceremony, the marriage ceremony has begun. ||1||

In the second round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord leads you to meet the True Guru, the Primal Being.

With the Fear of God, the Fearless Lord in the mind, the filth of egotism is eradicated.

In the Fear of God, the Immaculate Lord, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, and behold the Lord’s Presence before you.

The Lord, the Supreme Soul, is the Lord and Master of the Universe; He is pervading and permeating everywhere, fully filling all spaces.

Deep within, and outside as well, there is only the One Lord God. Meeting together, the humble servants of the Lord sing the songs of joy.

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the second round of the marriage ceremony, the unstruck sound current of the Shabad resounds. ||2||

In the third round of the marriage ceremony, the mind is filled with Divine Love.

Meeting with the humble Saints of the Lord, I have found the Lord, by great good fortune.

I have found the Immaculate Lord, and I sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord. I speak the Word of the Lord’s Bani.

By great good fortune, I have found the humble Saints, and I speak the Unspoken Speech of the Lord.

The Name of the Lord, Har, Har, Har, vibrates and resounds within my heart; meditating on the Lord, I have realized the destiny inscribed upon my forehead.

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the third round of the marriage ceremony, the mind is filled with Divine Love for the Lord. ||3||

In the fourth round of the marriage ceremony, my mind has become peaceful; I have found the Lord.

As Gurmukh, I have met Him, with intuitive ease; the Lord seems so sweet to my mind and body.

The Lord seems so sweet; I am pleasing to my God. Night and day, I lovingly focus my consciousness on the Lord.

I have obtained my Lord and Master, the fruit of my mind’s desires. The Lord’s Name resounds and resonates.

The Lord God, my Lord and Master, blends with His bride, and her heart blossoms forth in the Naam.

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the fourth round of the marriage ceremony, we have found the Eter ||4||

After the conclusion of the recitation of each of the stanzas, the boy, followed by the girl holding the end of the sash, should go round the Guru Granth Sahib while the ragis or the congregation sing out the recited stanza.

The boy and girl, after every circumambulation, should bow before the Guru Granth Sahib in genuflexion, lowering their forehead to touch the ground and then stand up to listen to the recitation of the next stanza. There being four matrimonial circumambulation stanzas in the concerned hymn, the proceeding will comprise four circumambulation with the incidental singing of the stanza. After the four circumabulation, the boy and girl should, after bowing before the Guru Granth Sahib, sit down at the appointed place and the Ragis or the person who has conducted the ceremony should recite the first five and the last stanza of the Anand Sahib. Thereafter, the Ardas should he offered to mark the conclusion of the Anand marriage ceremony and the Karhah Parshad, distributed’. And the groom departs with the bride

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