ANAND KARAJ LAVAAN | The Sikh Wedding Ceremony | Read along Shabad Kirtan | Gurbani





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Uploaded on Oct 15, 2010

Anand Karaj (Punjabi: ਅਨੰਦ ਕਾਰਜ, anand kāraj) is the Sikh marriage ceremony, meaning "Blissful Union" or "Joyful Union", that was introduced by Guru Amar Das. The four Lavan (marriage hymns which take place during the marriage ceremony) were composed by his successor, Guru Ram Das.

The history of Anand marriage ceremony is traced back to the time of Guru Amar Das (1479--1574), who composed the long 40 stanza hymn Anandu, in the Ramkali measure, suitable to be sung or recited on all occasions of religious import. His successor, Guru Ram Das, composed a four stanza hymn, Lavan, which is recited and sung to solemnize nuptials

Guru Amar Das (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਅਮਰ ਦਾਸ) (5 May 1479 -- 1 September 1574) was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 26 March 1552. Guru Amar Das Ji became Sikh Guru at the age of 73 following in the footsteps of his teacher Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji, who died on 29 March 1552 at age 48.

Guru Amar Das ji established his headquarters in the town of Goindwal Sahib, which was established by Sri Guru Angad Dev Sahib Ji. Guru Amar Das Ji strongly discouraged the caste system. He raised the status of women by prohibiting the practice of Sati (a wife's suicide on her husband's funeral pyre) and "Parrda" (veil covering the face).

He created the prayer ritual called Anand Sahib, which is one of the Five Banis recited daily. He also contributed 907 hymns to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib!

Guru Amar Das Ji established 22 branches called Manjis and appointed a local Sikh preacher for each location.

Guru Amar Das ji died on 1 September 1574(1574-09-01) (aged 95) in Amritsar, Punjab and was succeeded by Guru Ram Das (4th Guru of Sikhism).

The 4 verses of Lavan explain the four stages of love and married life. After translation into English the Lavan quartet or the Sikh epithalamium would read as follows:

First Lavan (Emphasizes the performance of duty to the family and the community)
By the first nuptial circuiting The Lord sheweth ye His Ordinance for the daily duties of wedded life The Scriptures are the Word of the Lord, Learn righteousness, through them, And the Lord will free ye from sin. Hold fast to righteousness, Contemplate the Name of the Lord, Fixing it in your memory as the scriptures have prescribed. Devote yourselves to the Perfect and True Guru. And all your sins shall depart. Fortunate are those whose minds Are imbued with the sweetness of His Name, To them happiness comes without effort; The slave Nanak proclaimeth That in the first circling The marriage rite hath begun.

Second Lavan (Signifies the stage of yearning and love for each other)
By the second circumambulation, Ye are to understand that the Lord Hath caused ye to meet the True Guru, The fear in your hearts has departed; The filth of selfness in your minds is washed away, By having the fear of God and by singing His praises I stand before Him with reverence, The Lord God is the soul of the universe! There is naught that He doth not pervade. Within us and without, there is One God only; In the company of saints Then are heard the songs of rejoicing. The slave Nanak proclaimeth that in the second circling Divine Music is heard.

Third Lavan (Signifies the stage of detachment or Virag)
In the third roundabout, There is a longing for the Lord And detachment from the world. In the company of the saints, By our great good fortune, We encounter the Lord. The Lord is found in His purit, Through His exaltation, Through the singing of His hymns. By great good fortune we have risen. In the company of the saints Wherein is told the story Of the Ineffable Lord. The Holy Name echoes in the heart: Echoes and absorbs us. We repeat the Name of the Lord, Being blessed by a fortunate destiny Written from of old on our foreheads. The slave Nanak proclaimeth That in the third circling The love of God has been awakened in the heart.

Fourth Lavan (Signifies the final stage of harmony and union in married life during which human love blends into the love for God)
In the fourth walk-around, The mind reaches to knowledge of the Divine And God is innerly grasped: Through the Grace of the Guru We have attained with ease to the Lord; The sweetness of the Beloved Pervades us, body and soul. Dear and pleasing is the Lord to us: Night and day our minds are fixed on Him. By exalting the Lord We have attained the Lord: The fruit our hearts desired; The Beloved has finished His work. The soul, the spouse, delighteth in the Beloved's Name. Felicitations fill our minds; The Name rings in our hearts: The Lord God is united with His Holy Bride. The heart of the Bride flowers with His Name. The slave Nanak proclaimeth That in the fourth circling We have found the Eternal Lord. (SGGS 773 -74)

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