Ramgarhia Board Northampton Gurdwara Sahib is authorised for Registration Marriages as well as Anand Karaj in the Darbar Sahib.
Anand Karaj meaning “blissful union” consists of the couple walking around Guru Granth Sahib Ji four times as the Lavan (Marriage Hymns) are being recited and is the sign of making commitment with the Guru Ji as a witness. This also signifies that Guru Ji is the centre of the couple’s life and the understanding of the journey of the soul crossing this world to be One with God. During the marriage ceremony, Guru Granth Sahib Ji represents the core while the Sadh Sangat represents the support.
Lavan, the Four Wedding Rounds
‘Lavan’ literally means ‘break away’ since the bride is breaking away from her parents’ house and uniting with the husband’s family. The verses of the Lavan describe the stages of marital love between the husband and wife, as the marriage of two people in the unity of two souls.
First Lavan “Har pelhi lav parvirti karam dridaya Bal Ram jio…” The first verse is about letting go of the past and embarking on a new beginning. It stresses that the centre of the marriage is spiritual and that the success of the marriage rests on the couple having a daily spiritual practice.
Second Lavan “Har dooji lav Satgur purukh milaya Bal Ram jio….” The second verse states that the Guru Ji is the centre of the marriage and the marriage is filled with joy and ecstasy.
Third Lavan “Har teeji lav man chao bhiya bairagiya Bal Ram jio….” The third verse gives the understanding that both love and liberation lie within the Sadh Sangat – the company of those who gather together for worship. It is through this that we realize our destiny.
Fourth Lavan “Har chouti lav man sahaj bhiya Har paiya Bal Ram jio….” The fourth verse is the final stage which relates to harmony and the fulfillment of the goal of life. It is the stage of union when married life is completely blended with love for Guru Ji and the couple becomes one Soul in two bodies.
“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.”
(Guru Amar Das, Pauri, pg. 788)