Anand Karaj Weddings in India – Part 4

Continued: Rituals of a Sikh Wedding

Soorma and Kalgi – The groom’s sister-in-law applies a black dot of kohl on the side of his forehead. The sister of the groom then ties a piece of jewellery on his turban and stands between him and the door to receive gifts and blessings.

Baraat: With great pomp and show, song and dance, the groom and his relatives travel to the bride’s place, the groom traditionally atop a mare.

Milni – The baraat is welcomed at the gate of the wedding venue, which is traditionally the Gurudwara, by the bride’s side. They are welcomed in by the bride’s side who sing hymns and utter their faith in God’s workings.

Anand Karaj –The ceremony takes place at the Gurudwara prayer hall during the daytime or afternoons. The Guru Granth Sahib is placed at a site of prominence and the marriage ceremony is designed around it. The bride and the groom sit side-by-side – bride on the left side of the groom, facing the Guru Granth Sahib. The ceremony starts with the couple and their parents standing up to offer Ardaas to ‘Waheguru’, after which singing of Shabads or hymns is done. The couple then bows down before the Guru Granth Sahib. The father of the bride places a saffron colored scarf on the groom’s shoulder and the other end of the same on his daughter’s hand. Thus, they are joined and ready to take the Lavaas or vows of marriage.

LavaanPheras – The person conducting the marriage recites the four Lavaa or stanzas from the Guru Granth Sahib. After he has completed reading the first stanza, the couple rises and slowly walks around the Guru Granth Sahib in clockwise direction, with the groom leading the bride.  After completion of the round, they come back to their positions but remain standing for the remaining three hymns.

Anand Sahib – After completion of the LavanPheras, the raagis sing out the hymns of Anand Sahib. An Ardaas is offered as an indication that the wedding ceremony is now complete. A random Hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib is recited while Karah Prasad is distributed.

Wedding Lunch – Also involves a ceremony signifying the bride’s first meal with the groom.

Doli and Vidaai – The bride prepares to leave her parent’s house after a ceremony known as SadaSuhagan where she wears the ornaments and outfit gifted by the groom’s side. The bride throws rice grains over her shoulders and into her mother’s outstretched hands, thus wishing her parent’s eternal prosperity. She gets into a decorated car with her husband and drives away towards her new home.

The Sikh Marriage is a celebration of familial union, a ceremony where two Sikh individuals are bonded in holy matrimony, in an equal partnership. The event is festive, joyous, elaborate and extensive, where families play keen roles and the atmosphere is not extremely formal. The openness of choice, upholding of family culture, belief in blessings and celebration, rejection of orthodox practices and social evils, being checking castes, horoscopes, dowry and other practices, makes the marriage holy and complete.

Aishwarya Says:

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