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ANAND KARAJ MARRIAGE


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Gur Fateh to All!

Here's something that I'm hoping the Sikhawareness Cyber Sangat can provide some assistance with. There is common reference to the Anand Karaj ceremony, as it exists today, being formulated by the Nirankari Movement of Baba Dyal Das (not to be mistaken with the Sant Nirankari Outfit). Subsequently, during the early 20th century, at the peak of the Singh Sabha reforms, this was eventually recognised within the Indian law as the Anand Karaj Wedding Ceremony.

Firstly, if any of the foregoing has errors please could you kindly shed light on these and clarify the actual situation -if possible with necessary references.

Following from the above, I would be grateful if someone could shed some light on the following two areas:-

(a) What was the common practice for Sikh to get married prior to the Anand Karaj Wedding ceremony (whether it was in fact instituted by the Nirankari movement or Namdhari, as other sources suggest or in fact by Guru Ji following the writing of the of Lavan). I ask this, as many usually suggest that Sikhs were being married by Pandits around the fire altar or Vedi (some even go to say that this happened as late as the middle of the last century). This is also, apparently the method in which the first 4 Guru's had their marriages conducted (please verify this too should anyone have further details), however what about Sikhs of this period who were not from Hindu backgrounds??? Sure, most were, however it is known that many Muslims and Buddhists were also attracted to Guru Nanak Dev Ji's Message...

(B) There are a number of additional customary events associated with the Anand Karaj, some of which clearly are of Punjabi 'Cultural' heritage. I would grateful if someone could indicate amongst these, the importance of the carrying of the Sword (Kirpan -full length), Kalgi et al, the standing of the brothers around the Sri Guru during the Lavan (which is often reprimanded by the Granthis) and also in supplying responses to this topic if all could note the comments below from a Learned Gur Sikh Scholar, Sardar Serjinder Singh on this topic (provided below).

I look forward to hearing from you soon, please forgive any foolish comments in the foregoing.

Gur Bar Akaaal!

Note referred to:-

> Waheguru ji ka khalsa

> Waheguru ji ki fateh

> I wonder if anyone could provide instances of Anand

> Karaj ceremony referred

> to in any writings of the seventeenth century or

> earlier.

> I might be wrong but as far as I am aware Anand

> Karaj

> the current marriage ritual didn't exist before the

> nineteenth century. It is my opinion that couples

> from Sikh families were

> being married by

> Pandits around the fire altar or Vedi as late as the

> middle of the last century. My mother belonging to a

> Sikh family took Amrit

> from the five Singhs of the Mastuana Bunga and next

> day she was married by

> the Vedi ritual. The first references to Anand Karaj

> appear i during the

> nineteenth century in relation to the history of the

> Nirankari Movement.

> Akhand Paath and Anand

> Karaj find reference during the rise of reformist

> movements during early nineteenth century led by the

> inspirers of Nirankari and Namdhari movements.

> Whereas

> Anand Karaj has been the hallmark of Nirankaris the

> elaboration of the ritual aspect of Akhand Path was

> that of the Namdharis. The later tend to make the

> Akhand Path a substitute or analogy of Hindu Yagya

> by

> reciting Ved Mantars.

>

> Carrying a kirpan is part of the wider wedding

> tradition where the groom is treated as a prince

> with

> a Kalgi, a kirpan in hand and riding a horse and

> showered with coins or anything valuable such as

> nuts,

> dry fruit. The groom's marriage party is treated as

> royal guest by offering gifts on milni and waiting

> on

> them when they had their food. In a feudal society a

> prince leading away a princess was an ideal

> scenario.

> As it is there is nothing religious about the

> movements. The supporter brothers supporting the

> bride

> is most often unnecessarily criticised by Ragis or

> others. There is nothing to suggest that the

> brothers

> standing there are trying to substitute Waheguru ji

> as

> the mainstay of humans. It is just a close family

> display of love for their sister or cousin sister to

> reassure her that they are there in her married life

> to fall back to in an extended family.

>

> More important in religious terms is the symbolism

> of

> circumabulation around Guru Granth Sahib ji. This is

> the physical action equivalent to saying

>

> Hau Gholi Jeeo Ghol Ghumaee Tis Sache Gur Darbare

> Jeeo.

>

> In Indian culture if one wanted to show his or her

> devotion to a god, deity, or husband the ultimate

> action would be to go round the deity, or the pyre

> of

> the husband a number of times and then bow at the

> feet

> and sacrifice one's life. This is what the phrase

> Ghol

> Ghumai means or Hau Vaaree or Sadke means. We do

> this

> symbolically when we bow before Guru ji or go around

> Harmadir Sahib or aroud Guru Granth Sahib.

>

> During Lavan sometimes ignorant Ragis do not allow

> the

> circumambulation around Guru Granth Sahib. I find

> the

> whole activity charged with spiritual and temporal

> emotions emanating from Rag Soohi in Gurbani or from

> the actions of near and dear ones in the family

> displaying love.

>

> Trying to put it into a ritualistic straight jacket

> would be to make a rich emotional experience into

> something done nervousely and devoid of emotions at

> an

> important moment of one's life.

>

>

> Humbly

> Serjinder Singh

(Serjinder Singh Ji's comments taken from a posting on another Sikh Forum, please see http://www.sikhnet.com/Sikhnet/discussion....3?OpenDocument)

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