Anand Karaj – Sikh Wedding Ceremony

The Sikh wedding ceremony is known as Anand Karaj – a heavenly union. It is a special ceremony in which two individuals join in a partnership of two equals. The ceremony is performed in the Gurudwara where the groom walks round the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji four times followed by the bride holding the scarf. During this time, the bride and groom are asked to bow in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji while other members of the wedding sing hymns to seek God’s blessings.These traditions are performed according to the Rehat Maryada which is an official Sikh code of conduct.

The whole Sikh community is God-loving and deeply pious and the same religious tone is found in their wedding invitation cards. Before distributing the marriage invitation to their relatives & friends, they first give it to the Gurudwara, invite their Lord and pray, so that all work goes according to his will. After inviting the Lord, they start the distribution among their society. Usually in Sikh family the invitations are sent in the names of the grandparents, even if they are deceased. The invitation card starts with Gurmukhi quote from the holy scripture, which means he himself made the task, he will take care. He himself gives power to his people to complete it and that is his wish.

The Sikh wedding ceremony is less than an hour, begins with Shabad Kirtan. First Groom arrives, shortly followed by the bride and seated. After the kirtan, couple and their parents stand and make a request to their Supreme Lord for the support,The lord gives his Holy order (Hukam-nama) to provide guidance to the couple. The father of the bride then hands one end of the groom’s scarf to his daughter.

Then wedding hymn is recited, these hymns describe the union of the soul to the God. The first round signifies, the ceremony has begun. The second round signifies, the divine unstuck sound resounds. The third round signifies, the mind is filled with divine love for the Lord. And the last round (fourth) signifies, the eternal Lord God is attained and the marriage ceremony is complete. According to their religious teaching, the marriage ceremony is not a contract or legal document, but a goal of living a spiritual life, performing good deeds, practicing love for God, becoming humble, removing the ego from one’s mind & commitment to seeking the sanctuary of the saints and they vow to help each other towards this goal.

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