Monday, September 11, 2006
The eternal beauty of 'Anand Karaj'


Guru Ram Das Ji explains on Ang 788 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the meaning of marriage to a Sikh couple: “They are not said to be husband and wife who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies.”




ਮ:
mehlaa 3.
Third Mehl:

ਧਨ ਪਿਰੁ ਏਹਿ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਬਹਨਿ ਇਕਠੇ ਹੋਇ
Dhan pir ayhi na aakhee-an bahan ikthay ho-ay.
They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together.

ਏਕ ਜੋਤਿ ਦੁਇ ਮੂਰਤੀ ਧਨ ਪਿਰੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਇ ॥੩॥
ayk jot du-ay moortee Dhan pir kahee-ai so-ay. 3
They alone are called husband and wife, who have one light in two bodies. 3

Guru Ram Das Ji composed the Lavaan, the four Shabads to celebrate a holy union between the human soul(Atma) and God(Paramatma). The Guru wishes that our married life should also be moulded on the ideal laid down for our union with the Paramatma. The bride and bridegroom then share their life, happiness and sorrow, from two individuals they become ‘Ek Jyot Doe Murti’ meaning one spirit in two bodies.

The Four Lavaans:

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ

soohee mehlaa 4.

Soohee, Fourth Mehl:

ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿਲੜੀ ਲਾਵ ਪਰਵਿਰਤੀ ਕਰਮ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

har pahilarhee laav parvirtee karam drirh-aa-i-aa bal raam jee-o.

In the first round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord sets out His Instructions for performing the daily duties of married life.

ਬਾਣੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਵੇਦੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਹੁ ਪਾਪ ਤਜਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

banee barahmaa vayd Dharam darirhHu paap tajaa-i-aa bal raam jee-o.

Instead of the hymns of the Vedas to Brahma, embrace the righteous conduct of Dharma, and renounce sinful actions.

ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਹੁ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇਆ

Dharam darirhHu har naam Dhi-aavahu simrit naam drirh-aa-i-aa.

Meditate on the Lord's Name; embrace and enshrine the contemplative remembrance of the Naam.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਆਰਾਧਹੁ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਗਵਾਇਆ

satgur gur pooraa aaraaDhahu sabh kilvikh paap gavaa-i-aa.

Worship and adore the Guru, the Perfect True Guru, and all your sins shall be dispelled.

ਸਹਜ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਹੋਆ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਇਆ

sahj anand ho-aa vadbhaagee man har har meethaa laa-i-aa.

By great good fortune, celestial bliss is attained, and the Lord, Har, Har, seems sweet to the mind.


ਜਨੁ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਲਾਵ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਆਰੰਭੁ ਕਾਜੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥੧॥

jan kahai naanak laav pahilee aarambh kaaj rachaa-i-aa. 1

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the first round of the marriage ceremony, the marriage ceremony has begun. 1

ਹਰਿ ਦੂਜੜੀ ਲਾਵ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

har doojrhee laav satgur purakh milaa-i-aa bal raam jee-o.

In the second round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord leads you to meet the True Guru, the Primal Being.

ਨਿਰਭਉ ਭੈ ਮਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

nirbha-o bhai man ho-ay ha-umai mail gavaa-i-aa bal raam jee-o.

With the Fear of God, the Fearless Lord in the mind, the filth of egotism is eradicated.

ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਭਉ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਹਦੂਰੇ

nirmal bha-o paa-i-aa har gun gaa-i-aa har vaykhai raam hadooray.

In the Fear of God, the Immaculate Lord, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, and behold the Lord's Presence before you.

ਹਰਿ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਪਸਾਰਿਆ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਰਬ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰੇ

har aatam raam pasaari-aa su-aamee sarab rahi-aa bharpooray.

The Lord, the Supreme Soul, is the Lord and Master of the Universe; He is pervading and permeating everywhere, fully filling all spaces.

ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੋ ਮਿਲਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਮੰਗਲ ਗਾਏ

antar baahar har parabh ayko mil har jan mangal gaa-ay.

Deep within, and outside as well, there is only the One Lord God. Meeting together, the humble servants of the Lord sing the songs of joy.

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੂਜੀ ਲਾਵ ਚਲਾਈ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦ ਵਜਾਏ ॥੨॥

jan naanak doojee laav chalaa-ee anhad sabad vajaa-ay. 2

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the second round of the marriage ceremony, the unstruck sound current of the Shabad resounds. 2

ਹਰਿ ਤੀਜੜੀ ਲਾਵ ਮਨਿ ਚਾਉ ਭਇਆ ਬੈਰਾਗੀਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

har teejrhee laav man chaa-o bha-i-aa bairaagee-aa bal raam jee-o.

In the third round of the marriage ceremony, the mind is filled with Divine Love.

ਸੰਤ ਜਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਮੇਲੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

sant janaa har mayl har paa-i-aa vadbhaagee-aa bal raam jee-o.

Meeting with the humble Saints of the Lord, I have found the Lord, by great good fortune.

ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇਆ ਮੁਖਿ ਬੋਲੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਾਣੀ

nirmal har paa-i-aa har gun gaa-i-aa mukh bolee har banee.

I have found the Immaculate Lord, and I sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord. I speak the Word of the Lord's Bani.

ਸੰਤ ਜਨਾ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਕਥੀਐ ਅਕਥ ਕਹਾਣੀ

sant janaa vadbhaagee paa-i-aa har kathee-ai akath kahaanee.

By great good fortune, I have found the humble Saints, and I speak the Unspoken Speech of the Lord.

ਹਿਰਦੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਉਪਜੀ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਭਾਗੁ ਜੀਉ

hirdai har har har Dhun upjee har japee-ai mastak bhaag jee-o.

The Name of the Lord, Har, Har, Har, vibrates and resounds within my heart; meditating on the Lord, I have realized the destiny inscribed upon my forehead.

ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਤੀਜੀ ਲਾਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਉਪਜੈ ਮਨਿ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥

jan naanak bolay teejee laavai har upjai man bairaag jee-o. 3

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the third round of the marriage ceremony, the mind is filled with Divine Love for the Lord. 3

ਹਰਿ ਚਉਥੜੀ ਲਾਵ ਮਨਿ ਸਹਜੁ ਭਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

har cha-utharhee laav man sahj bha-i-aa har paa-i-aa bal raam jee-o.

In the fourth round of the marriage ceremony, my mind has become peaceful; I have found the Lord.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਸੁਭਾਇ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਇਆ ਬਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਜੀਉ

gurmukh mili-aa subhaa-ay har man tan meethaa laa-i-aa bal raam jee-o.

As Gurmukh, I have met Him, with intuitive ease; the Lord seems so sweet to my mind and body.

ਹਰਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਲਾਇਆ ਮੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਾਇਆ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ

har meethaa laa-i-aa mayray parabh bhaa-i-aa an-din har liv laa-ee.

The Lord seems so sweet; I am pleasing to my God. Night and day, I lovingly focus my consciousness on the Lord.

ਮਨ ਚਿੰਦਿਆ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਵਜੀ ਵਾਧਾਈ

man chindi-aa fal paa-i-aa su-aamee har naam vajee vaaDhaa-ee.

I have obtained my Lord and Master, the fruit of my mind's desires. The Lord's Name resounds and resonates.

ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਠਾਕੁਰਿ ਕਾਜੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ਧਨ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਨਾਮਿ ਵਿਗਾਸੀ

har parabh thaakur kaaj rachaa-i-aa Dhan hirdai naam vigaasee.

The Lord God, my Lord and Master, blends with His bride, and her heart blossoms forth in the Naam.

ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਚਉਥੀ ਲਾਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਅਵਿਨਾਸੀ ॥੪॥੨॥

jan naanak bolay cha-uthee laavai har paa-i-aa parabh avinaasee. 42

Servant Nanak proclaims that, in this, the fourth round of the marriage ceremony, we have found the Eternal Lord God. 42

The four Lavaan give the Sikh couple spiritual guidance for their life ahead. Guru Sahib has given in the four Shabads, a formula for a successful marriage. The Shabads describe the sacred journey of the soul through this world to the final destination, i.e the merging with the infinite. If one follows this sacred path and applies it properly to the institution of marriage, it should result in happiness and fulfillment –Anand (Bliss).

First Lavaan (Emphasizes the performance of duty to the family and the community)
By the first nuptial circuiting The Lord sheweth ye His Ordinance for the daily duties of wedded life The Scriptures are the Word of the Lord, Learn righteousness, through them, And the Lord will free ye from sin. Hold fast to righteousness, Contemplate the Name of the Lord, Fixing it in your memory as the scriptures have prescribed. Devote yourselves to the Perfect and True Guru. And all your sins shall depart. Fortunate are those whose minds Are imbued with the sweetness of His Name, To them happiness comes without effort; The slave Nanak proclaimeth That in the first circling The marriage rite hath begun.

Second Lavaan (Signifies the stage of yearning and love for each other)
By the second nuptial circuiting, Ye are to understand that the Lord Hath caused ye to meet the True Guru, The fear in your hearts has departed; The filth of selfness in your minds is washed away, By having the fear of God and by singing His praises I stand before Him with reverence, The Lord God is the soul of the universe! There is naught that He doth not pervade. Within us and without, there is One God only; In the company of saints Then are heard the songs of rejoicing. The slave Nanak proclaimeth that in the second circling Divine Music is heard.

Third Lavaan (Signifies the stage of detachment or Virag)
In the third nuptial circuiting, There is a longing for the Lord And detachment from the world. In the company of the saints, By our great good fortune, We meet the Lord. The Lord is found in His purit, Through His exaltation, Through the singing of His hymns. By great good fortune we have risen. In the company of the saints Wherein is told the story Of the Ineffable Lord. The Holy Name echoes in the heart: Echoes and absorbs us. We repeat the Name of the Lord, Being blessed by a fortunate destiny Written from of old on our foreheads. The slave Nanak proclaimeth That in the third circling The love of God has been awakened in the heart.

Fourth Lavaan
(Signifies the final stage of harmony and union in married life during which human love blends into the love for God)
In the fourth nuptial circuiting, The mind reaches to knowledge of the Divine And God is innerly grasped: Through the Grace of the Guru We have attained with ease to the Lord; The sweetness of the Beloved Pervades us, body and soul. Dear and pleasing is the Lord to us: Night and day our minds are fixed on Him. By exalting the Lord We have attained the Lord: The fruit our hearts desired; The Beloved has finished His work. The soul, the spouse, delighteth in the Beloved’s Name. Felicitations fill our minds; The Name rings in our hearts: The Lord God is united with His Holy Bride. The heart of the Bride flowers with His Name. The slave Nanak proclaimeth That in the fourth circling We have found the Eternal Lord. (SGGS 773 -74)

The ceremony is concluded with the customary singing of the six stanzas of the Anand Sahib (Song of Bliss), followed by Ardas (prayer), and Vaak (a random reading of a verse from Guru Granth Sahib). The ceremony, which takes about an hour, ends with the serving of Karah Parshad to the Saadh Sangat.
 
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