Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

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Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby Guest » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:41 pm

Dear learned Sikh Souls

I am getting married next month and I am really curious about few things about Lavan phere in particular:

1. I have read that Guru Ram Das ji had written four lavan which later became part of sikh matrimony tradition. My question is - Is this lavan phere tradition started my Guru Ram Das ji himself? If yes, can someone please quote me from Guru Granth Sahib?

2. Is the tradition of bride following the groom while taking marriage vows during lavan phere written down in Guru Granth Saheb? If yes, please quote me from Guru Granth Saheb.

3. As Guru Granth Saheb holds equality for both men and women, can bride and groom take two lavan phere each leading the other? Is it written in Guru Granth Saheb that groom has to lead for all four lavan phere? Is yes, please quote me from Guru Granth Saheb.

Thanks.
GSingh
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby Amrit.S » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:15 pm

1. I'm guessing from this website, it says that Guru Ramdas ji had used the lavaan in his own marriage ceremony, so we can conclude that yes, it was a tradition of having the lavan read during Anand Karaj started by Guru Ramdas ji.

"The four nuptial rounds were written by Guru Ram Das for his own wedding. They explain the journey of the souls toward the Almighty. In them he tells us of the duties that a person undertaking a life of marriage should perform."
http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Laava

"Guru Amar Das started performance of the ceremony of Anand Marriage (Ceremony of Bliss) by reciting Anand Sahib and Guru Ram Das supported it through marriage Shabads (hymns or four Lawan) composed in Suhi Rag enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture. -Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.773"
http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/sikh-insti ... karaj.html

2. There's a good history behind this where brahmical rituals had invaded gurdwara's in India (and in Pakistan as we know today). Marriage of Sikhs was done around a fire, but later it was changed by Singh Sabha movement. I remember reading, but forgot where I read it, it said that they changed back to the how Anand Karaj is suppose to be done, but still there were some differences. For example, instead of walking around the fire, you are now doing a parkarma around Guru Granth Sahib ji. This is mentioned in the Sikh Code of Conduct from the SGPC.

"During the time of Maharaja RANJIT SINGH and his successors, however, this ceremony fell into partial disuse under renewed Brahmanical influence at court as well as in society.
The Nirankari reform movement of the mid 19th century made the practice of Anand ceremony a vital plank in its programme as did the later, more widely influential Singh Sabha. But there was opposition from the Arya Samajis and Brahman priestly classes, the former anxious to prove that the Sikhs were but a sect of the Hindus and hence subject to Hindu Law, and the latter apprehensive of a reduction in their clientele and income. The Sikh form of wedding ceremonial eventually received legal sanction through the Anand Marriage Act which was adopted in 1909."
http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Anand_Karaj

"Prior to the year 1909, the marriages in many Sikh families were ceremonised according to Vedic Mantras. The Sikhs were not very comfortable with Vedic marriage ceremony. Towards the end of 19th century, the original Nirankaris supported performance of Sikh marriage keeping in view the Sikh philosophy. The Singh Sabha reformers adopted this rite of marriage. There had been a demand for an independent marriage ceremony Act. Keeping in view the Sikh pressure, a Bill (Anand Marriage) was introduced in the Imperial Legislative Council on October 30, 1908 by Tikka Ripudaman Singh of Nabha which was passed into a law on October 22, 1909. The Act was strongly supported by Sunder Singh Majithia, Kahan Singh and others. - Anand Marriage Act 1909, Act No:V11 of 1909.
Marriage Hymns composed by Guru Ram Das"
http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/sikh-insti ... karaj.html

3. This is the maryada as per the Sikh Code of Conduct, by SGPC and is done as per the maryada.

Many times, you have asked to give quotes from Guru Granth Sahib ji to prove your statement. Like I say to many people, Guru Granth Sahib is not a compilation of rules, but hymns. Gurbani is the word of God.
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby Punjabi G » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:23 pm

G Singh Ji,

First off congratulations on the big day! Based on the name, I am assuming that you are the groom! Guru Granth Sahib does not contain any diktat on how and what kind of ceremony should take place. It is a spiritual guide and should be understood in that sense. Practice of Anand Karaj ceremony was adopted by Sikh panth.

If bride or groom being in the front is bothering you, you can switch positions or walk parallel. Do consult with local gurudwara first where Anand Karaj will be taking place. It's not really that big of a deal as I often see people wondering about it. Another friend of mine once asked same questing about groom being in the front and "leading". I told her to look carefully next time and you can see who is wearing palla around the neck and who is holding it in the hand..;-)

Poor groom is simply being steered so welcome to the married life!!
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby suji singh » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:18 pm

Lavan has nothing to do with marriage ceremony, they are about union with Akal Purkh. In each of the four stages of life, four Lavan, man incrementaly gets closer and closer to the ultimate marriage with the Lord. Incorporating Lavan in a marriage ceremony is merely a tradition, nothing more. You may benefit by reading Lavan with an effort towards understanding them.

"In the Sikh canonical literature the human soul is likened to a bride whose marriage (union) with Lord husband is the ultimate end of human life. The very first laav (singular of Lavan) with which begin the marriage rites is the Lord's ordinance showing the way for leading a happy wedded life. The twofold emphasis here requires man to be ever absorbed in the Divine Name and to hold fast to his moral and social obligations. This endeavour for simultaneous perfection in spiritual as well as social spheres is required to move successfully towards the goal of mukti, the ultimate end of human life." from Lavan in SikhiWiki.

SGGS does not dictate how marriage should be performed. The evolution of marriage ceremony, Anand Karj, is more cultural than religious. I wonder if Guru Ram Das would have approved the current use of his Lavan for this temporal ceremony.
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby Theodorus » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:56 am

G Singh ji,

I told her to look carefully next time and you can see who is wearing palla around the neck and who is holding it in the hand..;-)

Poor groom is simply being steered so welcome to the married life!!


Very well said ;-)
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby Serjinder Singh » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:00 am

Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh

"The four nuptial rounds were written by Guru Ram Das for his own wedding. They explain the journey of the souls toward the Almighty. In them he tells us of the duties that a person undertaking a life of marriage should perform."
http://


Guru Ramadas ji wrote his bani after becoming Guru ji I presume. Before becoming Guru ji he was already married to Bibi Bhani with the blessing of third Guru ji. I therefore, do not think Guru Ramdas ji wrote it for his own wedding. Third Guru ji believed any bani not written by existing or previous Satguru ji was unacceptable, a kachi bani. Of course, the laavan shabad is a Pakki bani as it was written by Guru Ramdas ji after becoming Guru under the imprint 'Nanak'. One can accept of course the suggestion that Ramakali Anand pauris would have been recited at Guru Ramdas or Bhai Jetha ji's wedding as these were written by third Guru ji and was a Pakki bani at that time.

Singh Sabha wasn't the first to popularise Anand Marriage. It was first popularised by Balak Singh the founder of Niranakari samparday during early nineteenth century. Later the Namdhari Bhai Ram Singh ji made it popular by holding mass Anand Karaj ceremonies in rural Panjab. Of course, Singh Sabha later took it up as one of its campaigns to get rid of brahamanic domination of Vedic wedding rituals.

Humbly
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby himmat_singh » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:06 am

Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

suji singh wrote:Lavan has nothing to do with marriage ceremony, they are about union with Akal Purkh. In each of the four stages of life, four Lavan, man incrementaly gets closer and closer to the ultimate marriage with the Lord. Incorporating Lavan in a marriage ceremony is merely a tradition, nothing more. You may benefit by reading Lavan with an effort towards understanding them.

"In the Sikh canonical literature the human soul is likened to a bride whose marriage (union) with Lord husband is the ultimate end of human life. The very first laav (singular of Lavan) with which begin the marriage rites is the Lord's ordinance showing the way for leading a happy wedded life. The twofold emphasis here requires man to be ever absorbed in the Divine Name and to hold fast to his moral and social obligations. This endeavour for simultaneous perfection in spiritual as well as social spheres is required to move successfully towards the goal of mukti, the ultimate end of human life." from Lavan in SikhiWiki.

SGGS does not dictate how marriage should be performed. The evolution of marriage ceremony, Anand Karj, is more cultural than religious. I wonder if Guru Ram Das would have approved the current use of his Lavan for this temporal ceremony.


Exactly. Thank you Suji Singh ji.

Public ceremonies linked to life events ( not only in Sikh society, but including it) continue to evolve from basic affirmations which are then visualised and manifested through disciplined truthful adherence to the affirmations, to more and more elaborate rituals, accompanied by great cost, pomp and show, and the ceremonies are not limited to wedding ceremonies alone.

The extent of ceremonies all depends on how much the main performers and side actors, believe they have to do publicly in order to satisfy the audience, and themselves. This is the serpent maya at work. The stage managers, caterers and theatre owners love ever bigger shows as they rake in profits. Meanwhile the all-mighty Lord continues to watch, as He did before, and as He will after. He, the inner-knower does not require any performance. He would be convinced by even silent thoughts, so fully knows whether plays are genuine re-affirmations of inner thoughts or not.
Ritualisation has an uncanny power of making its way into people's lives, especially when they have too much time and/or disposable money on their hands.


No disrepect is intended to the inititiator of the thread, and I wish you well for your future.

Sat Sri Akal
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby deepharn » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:07 am

This is a very interesting query from none else than simpleheart.

I have a view on the last two questions -

simpleheart wrote:2. Is the tradition of bride following the groom while taking marriage vows during lavan phere written down in Guru Granth Saheb? If yes, please quote me from Guru Granth Saheb.

3. As Guru Granth Saheb holds equality for both men and women, can bride and groom take two lavan phere each leading the other? Is it written in Guru Granth Saheb that groom has to lead for all four lavan phere? Is yes, please quote me from Guru Granth Saheb.


My Response
2. According to my understanding, No in SGGS Ji but yes in Sikh Rehat Maryada.

3. Spiritual Equality, Yes, as I understand from the bani contained in SGGS JI, teachings of tenth master and sikh rehat maryada.

My first reaction, and take it easy, was this is the only time - so dont miss the only chance of leading even if it is just the 4 phere. Rest of the life, as most married men would share the secret, man never gets a chance to lead and only follows.

Thought Experiment -
On serious thought - 4 lavaan phere, principle of spiritual equality - ok, so how do we do it -
Alternatives -
(a) First and third lavaan man ahead. second and fourth lavaan female ahead.
(b) First and third lavvan female ahead, then second and fourth male ahead.
(c) Every lavaan divided in two parts - first half man ahead, second half - female ahead.
(d) No, first half of lavaan, female ahead and second half, male ahead.

Issues
(a) How to decide, who will be have the first priority - toss a coin - head for male and tail for female, but why, why not the other way around - head for female and tail for male - How to resolve this?
(b) Who will bring the coin for tossing, grooms side or brides side?
(c) Will that coin be made of gold, silver or platinum which will be tossed?
(d) After the tossing, who will own the coin?

Another alternative
Male and female will walk together, none following the other.

Issues
(a) Who will walk on the inner side nearer SGGS Ji.
(b) Toss a coin and then the related issues a to d discussed above.

Still another alternative
Male and Female will not walk around SGGS Ji but will stay where they are - standing or sitting

Issues
(a) who will sit which side?
(b) Toss a coin and then the related issues a to d discussed above.

Conclusion of the Thought Experiment
Let us Flow with the established norms, having considered the alternatives, and let male lead all the four lavaan phere. This could be derived from the following logic - in the patriarchal society, which most of the world is, man, generally elder to the partner, is expected to be the main bread winner, providing care, shelter and protection to his wife and children throughout the marriage during different phases of motherhood and childhood. Leading, grappling with difficulties and fighting odds, making an easy way for the family to follow smoothly - illustratively.

Hope you enjoy your wedding ceremony next month and are allowed to lead the 4 pheres happily.

Thanks
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby Guest » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:35 am

Dear Respected readers
Sat Sari Akaal
I would like to thank everyone who contributed their thoughts to me query.

Here are my few thoughts from all the input I received in regard to my queries:

1. I understand that the present form of lavan phere was adopted to adhere to Sikh philosophy than Vedic. Aren't we still on the Vedic track by incorporating phere around SGGS?

2. Ok, it is written in Sikh Maryada that groom has to lead his bride for all four lavan. But, was equality given a thought while laying down this rule of conduct? Was women given equal status/role in SGPC when so called Sikh Maryada was written down? Husband and Wife start their wedding life from lavan phere around SGGS which hold equality for both men and women, but why is there no equality starting from the marriage ceremony? Why did SGPC ignore this point while laying down this rule of conduct? Isn't this rule biased in the favor of men because men controlling SGPC laid them down?

3. What credibility would you give to such an authority ( SGPC) whose head Jagir Kaur killed her own daughter just because the guy she fell in love with and got married to was from a lower case and below her status? Where was Sikh Maryada at that time?

4. Gone are the days of typical patriarchal society where Man is expected to be the main bread winner. We are living in a society where Man and Woman are equally contributing in all aspects of marriage, in fact I give high regard to woman who leaves behind her home,family and everything to be with her husband into a new family. She is the one who has to make most of the compromises and sacrifices right from her marriage, so why not give her equal status right from the wedding ceremony of lavan phere?

Guru Nanak Devji's following words is the highest testimony in my opinion that why Women should be given highest regard -
"From woman, man is born; with woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? From her, kings are born. Without woman, there would be no one at all. "

Just the above words from Guru Nanak Devji inspires me to give my wife equality right from the marriage ceremony of lavan phere.

Best Regards
Thanks
GSingh
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Re: Anand Karaj Lavan Phere Query

Postby Amrit.S » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:08 pm

Serjinder Singh wrote:Waheguru ji ka khalsa
Waheguru ji ki fateh

"The four nuptial rounds were written by Guru Ram Das for his own wedding. They explain the journey of the souls toward the Almighty. In them he tells us of the duties that a person undertaking a life of marriage should perform."
http://


Guru Ramadas ji wrote his bani after becoming Guru ji I presume. Before becoming Guru ji he was already married to Bibi Bhani with the blessing of third Guru ji. I therefore, do not think Guru Ramdas ji wrote it for his own wedding. Third Guru ji believed any bani not written by existing or previous Satguru ji was unacceptable, a kachi bani. Of course, the laavan shabad is a Pakki bani as it was written by Guru Ramdas ji after becoming Guru under the imprint 'Nanak'. One can accept of course the suggestion that Ramakali Anand pauris would have been recited at Guru Ramdas or Bhai Jetha ji's wedding as these were written by third Guru ji and was a Pakki bani at that time.

Singh Sabha wasn't the first to popularise Anand Marriage. It was first popularised by Balak Singh the founder of Niranakari samparday during early nineteenth century. Later the Namdhari Bhai Ram Singh ji made it popular by holding mass Anand Karaj ceremonies in rural Panjab. Of course, Singh Sabha later took it up as one of its campaigns to get rid of brahamanic domination of Vedic wedding rituals.

Humbly
Serjinder Singh


Thank you!
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