Sikh wedding ceremony is the event of developing sacred bond of physical and legal relationship along with a holy union between two souls uniting two individuals, bride and groom through lavan. Commonly the Sikh wedding is also known as Anand Karaj which signifies a blissful union between the two concerned individuals in the sacred bond of love, care and commitment.
Significance and Custom of Anand Karaj:
This Anand Karaj includes the Sikh wedding custom of revolving around holy and sacred Guru Granth Sahib Ji four times with the four laava, the holy ceremonial hymns being recited. The revolving signifies the proof of constructing the sacred bond of marriage with Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the witness. Revolving with the center of Guru Ji is the belief that it is the center of married couple life and perceives the journey of the soul, crossing the world with the God. In the wedding ceremony, Guru Ji represents the core and the Sadh Sangat that is the congregation represents the support.
Laava in Sikh weddings:
Laava, the marriage hymns are traditional songs sung by the musicians in while the congregation encircling the holy and sacred Guru Granth Sahib Ji. There is the tradition of groom leading in clockwise direction and the bride along with holding the scarf following as closely as possible in walking steps. When the couple reaches and faces Guru Granth Sahib Ji, they take a bow of respect together and take their respective seats. The same activity is repeated for the remainder three verses. The four verses of Lavan signify the four stages of love and married life.
- First Lavan: This emphasizes the duty to the family and Sikh community. The first verse of lavan is in raag suhi. The lord gives you instructions for married life. Instead of embracing routine rituals and life of dharma, do nothing that creates distance between you and your God. Worship and adore the Guru to remove all difficulties from life. By its great effect, let know the bliss which passes all understanding and the lord.
- Second Lavan: In the second round of Sikh wedding custom, the lord guides you to meet the true Guru which let you ego dissolved away by the awe of infinite filling. The lord, the supreme soul is master of the universe who fills everything leaving none of the vacant spaces, deep in your heart as well as outside you sees only one God. It states that Guru is center of wedding, and it fills with ecstasy and joy forever.
- Third Lavan: In the third round of Sikh wedding ceremony your heart is enriched with divine love. This third lavan gives the understanding that both liberation and love lie within the Sadh Sangat that is the company of those who do sadhana and gather for worship and make the realize of destiny.
- The fourth lavan is the final stage of Sikh wedding which relates to stage of harmony, sahaj avastha and fulfillment of purpose of life. It is the step of uniting when married life is blended with love for God, in which becomes one soul forever.