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Controversial Inter-Religious Marriages in Gurdwaras

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    Inter-religious marriages in Gurdwaras

    Sikh Reht Maryada

    THE CODE OF SIKH CONDUCT AND CONVENTIONS
    http://www.sgpc.net/sikhism/anand-sanskar.asp

    Anand Sanskar : (Sikh Matrimonial Ceremony and Conventions)

    (b) A Sikh's daughter must be married to a Sikh.
    (k) Persons professing faiths other than the Sikh faith cannot be joined in wedlock by the Anand Karaj ceremony.



    [​IMG]

    Translation:

    Ik Ongkar Sri Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
    Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Sri Amritsar
    Giani Joginder Singh, Jethadar

    Date: 16-8-2007

    Anand Sanskar"Marriage Ceremony"

    This is a message to all the Sikh Sangat that according to the Rehat Maryada only Sikh couples (male/female) can engage in the Anand Karaj Ceremony. If the couple or either one of them is not a Sikh, then they must embrace the Sikh faith.

    This includes that they must change their second name to Singh or Kaur in their official document (e.g. driving licence, identity card, passport) before the marriage.

    (signed) (Joginder Singh)Jathedar
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Soul jyot ji,

    Thanks for posting the hukumnaama from the Akaal takhat. Do you know if there is any exception for the Sindhis in some other Hukumnaamas? The reason I asked you this is because lots of Sindhis have anand Karaj ceremonies and their names do not end with Singhs and Kaurs.

    There are also famous Sindhis who do keertan and if I am not mistaken they have done the same in the Darbar Sahib.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh



    Personally for me it is just one more futile thoughtless thing by the honchos who have the power
     
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  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Tejwant singh ji

    How is it futile,thoughtless? If a muslim boy is marrying sikh girl and they have no plan to follow sikhism then why to allow their marriage in Gurdwara.

    I don't have problem with sindhi or other non sikh couple marrying in Gurdwara if they have faith in Guru granth sahib but one sikh and other non sikh is marrying with no intention to follow sikhism is mockery of Guru granth sahib and sikhism.
     
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  5. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Kanwarddep Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    You write:

    I have no idea about their intentions. That is why the concept, meaning and other things should be taught like a course for one month for them. If after that it is found out that there is no plan to follow the Sikhi marg,then it is fine to refuse. The idea is to sow the seeds of Sikhi otherwise why would they have anand karaj?

    Kanwardeep Singh ji, here you are contradicting yourself from your above claim and the post is laced with double standards. How can one claim to have faith in SGGS, our only Guru when they are not going to live the Sikh way of life? What is the benchmark of determine that people in the second part of your post have faith in SGGS but in the previous they do not.

    I understand as you mentioned that many more non Sikhs are visiting gurdwaras, then ever before, then if that is true then ho do you know what their intentions are? They may visit a Hindu temple and a Muslim tombstone the same day and make this as one more mechanical ritual which Guru Nanak made us get rid of. the question arises, if they love Guru so much then why don't they become Sikhs, even Sehadhari Sikhs?

    So, please elaborate your thought process in this double standard.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Whenever a sikh Girl marry outside the faith ,mostly to muslim or Hindu then there 99.99% chance that she will follow her husband's faith.One don't need to be a psychic to know this
    there are living ,walking examples everywhere.The marriage in Gurdwara is just to save the face of family, nothing more than that.

    On the other when a sikh boy marry outside then when one cannot predict that the family will practice sikhism or not

    Could you please define What is the defination of sehajdhari? for many many Hindu's there is no such thing as sehajdhari.They very well know that neither turbaned sikhs will accept them as sikhs nor any Gurdwara will consider them as sikh,so they continue to call them hindu.If 2 non sikhs want to marry in Gurdwara then I find no reason other than their faith in Guru granth sahib.2 non sikhs will not have anand karaj just to save the face in the society.
     
  7. spnadmin

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    Moderation question.

    It has been very difficult to follow this conversation and some of the difficulty revolves around one issue: how/why 2 non Sikhs would marry in a Gurdwara in the first place?

    To make sense should someone state that nonkeshdhari/sehajdhari are not Sikhs.

    Here is where I become confused
    I confess I am not sure what is being assumed here. I also can't figure out if nonkeshdhari/sehajdhari are considered Hindus, by Hindus, by Sikhs or by both Hindus and Sikhs.

    It could be that one Sikh and one non Sikh might want to marry in a Gurdwara. For example, a Hindu and a Sikh. But is someone assuming that a Hindu/Sikh relationship is the same as a Hindu/nonkeshdhari Sikh relationship.

    Another related point. Is there the assumption that Akal Takht has forbidden anand karaj to nonkeshdhari Sikhs, because AT is using the broader meaning of non-Sikh to include nonkeshdhari "Sikhs."

    This must be very hard for many readers to follow. Next up then would be how to decide whether a couple planned to live in the Sikh Marg (Tejwant Singh ji) and consider all the important issues that crop up around that for an inter-faith couple and their sangat.
     
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  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I don't think here there is any discussion of keshdhari.

    The answer to your other question is the same that why would non sikhs love to visit Gurdwara' s,kirtan ,gurbani and langar.similarly many non sikhs who regularly visit Gurdwara
    may want to have an anand karaj

    I don't think akal takht has forbidden marriage of non keshdhari sikhs but I think DSGMC has policy against it.
     
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  9. spnadmin

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    This is helpful. Thank you. Something tells me that the boundaries for marriage in a Gurdwara may be more flexible in India than in the US. Anand karaj among 2 non-Sikhs IMHO is an almost zero occurrence in the US

    The more current problem faced in the West is Anand karaj of 1 Sikh and 1 non-Sikh;

    My observation depends on the assumption that we are not saying that sehajdhari/nonKeshdhari are non-Sikhs. Otherwise I am back to being confused.
     
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  10. hpannu

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    Soul jyot Kaur Ji,

    Thanks a lot for posting the Akaal Takht Hukamnama !

    Sikh Rehat Maryada clearly states only a SIKH can get married to a SIKH !

    If one or both the couple are not keshdhari then Giani Ji during SIKHYA given to the newly married couple - guides them to live the SIKH way of life, not to cut their hair from now on.

    It is different story newly married couple follow the guidelines laid out to them or not.

    Believe me i tried my best to get this implemented at our Gurduara Sahib ! it's a shame i was unable to convince everyone in the management.

    Harjot Singh Pannu
     
  11. spnadmin

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    hpannu jj

    Now I am back to GO. Where do you see anything about
    Nothing is in the hukamnama about that. Please know that many readers become either confused or infuriated when a conversation keeps wobbling on an issue that refuses to be cleared up.

    I asked Kanwardeep Singh ji directly about the way nonSikh was being defined. So did Tejwant Singhji. Keshdhari is not being used in this conversation to define who is Sikh. To debate hair as a defining variable takes us into a different discussion.
     
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  12. Archived_Member16

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    FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES:

    source:
    http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_four_chap_eleven.html

    SIKH REHIT MARYADA - Chapter XI - Article XVIII ( ANAND SANSKAR )

    Sub-section (j):

    "( j ) For marriage, there should be a congregational gathering in the holy presence of Guru Granth Sahib. There should be hymn-singing by ragis or by the whole congregation. Then the girl and the boy should he made to sit facing the Guru Granth Sahib. The girl should sit on the left side of the boy. After soliciting the congregation's permission, the master of the marriage ceremony (who may be a man or a woman) should bid the boy and girl and their parents or guardians to stand and should offer the Ardas for the commencement of the Anand marriage ceremony.

    The officiant should then apprise the boy and the girl of the duties and obligations of conjugal life according to the Guru's tenets.

    He should initially give to the two an exposition of their common mutual obligations. He should tell them how to model the husband-wife relationship on the love between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul in the light of the contents of circumambulation (Lavan) hymns in the Suhi measure (rag) section (The bulk of the Guru Granth (the Sikh holy book ) is divided on the basis of the ragas (measures) of the Indian classical music. Suhi is one of the ragas featuring in the Guru Granth Sahib) of the Guru Granth Sahib.

    He should explain to them the notion of the state of "a single soul in two bodies" to be achieved through love and make them see how they may attain union with the Immortal Being discharging duties and obligations of the householders' life. Both of them, they should be told, have to make their conjugal union a means to the fulfillment of the purpose of the journey of human existence; both have to lead clean and Guru-oriented lives through the instrumentality of their union.

    He should then explain to the boy and girl individually their respective conjugal duties as husband and wife.

    The bridegroom should be told that the girl's people having chosen him as the fittest match from among a whole lot, he should regard his wife as his better half, accord to unflinching love and share with her all that he has. In all situations, he should protect her person and honour, he should be completely loyal to her and he should show much respect and consideration for her parents and relations as for his own.

    The girl should be told that she has been joined in matrimony to her man in the hallowed presence of the Guru Granth Sahib and the congregation. She should ever harbour for him deferential solicitude, regard him the lord master of her love and trust; she should remain firm in her loyalty to him and serve him in joy and sorrow and in every clime (native or foreign) and should show the same regard and consideration to his parents and relatives as she would, to her own parents and relatives.

    The boy and girl should bow before the Guru Granth Sahib to betoken their acceptance of these instructions. Thereafter, the girl's father or the principal relation should make the girl grasp one end of the sash which the boy is wearing over his shoulders and the person in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib should recite the matrimonial circumambulation stanzas {Lavan of the fourth Guru in the Suhi musical measure section of the Guru Granth Sahib } (Pp. 773-4). After the conclusion of the recitation of each of the stanzas, the boy, followed by the girl holding the end of the sash, should go round the Guru Granth Sahib while the ragis or the congregation sing out the recited stanza.

    The boy and girl, after every circumambulation, should bow before the Guru Granth Sahib in genuflexion, lowering their forehead to touch the ground and then stand up to listen to the recitation of the next stanza.There being four matrimonial circumambulation stanzas in the concerned hymn, the proceeding will comprise four circumambulations with the incidental singing of the stanza.After the fourth circumabulation, the boy and girl should, after bowing before the Guru Granth Sahib, sit down at the appointed place and the Ragis or the person who has conducted the ceremony should recite the first five and the last stanza of the anand Sahib. Thereafter, the Ardas should he offered to mark the conclusion of the Anand marriage ceremony and the sacred pudding, distributed."
     
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  13. hpannu

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    SPNADMIN ji,

    Quote:
    <table border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width=""> <tbody><tr> <td class="alt2" style="border: 1px inset;"> If one or both the couple are not keshdhari then Giani Ji during SIKHYA given to the newly married couple - guides them to live the SIKH way of life, not to cut their hair from now on. </td> </tr> </tbody></table>
    I apologize for the confusion. i will clear it up - I was referring to the anand KARAJ ceremony, not the Akal Takht Hukamnama in any way in the above quoted message.
    Since the SRM says only a SIKH can get married to a SIKH.
    During ANAND KARAJ ceremony in the SIKHYA message to the newly married couple, If one or both the couple are not keshdhari then Giani Ji during SIKHYA given to the newly married couple - guides them to live the SIKH way of life, not to cut their hair from now on.

    Once more i apologize for the confusion.

    Thanks,
    Harjot Singh
     
  14. hpannu

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    SPNADMIN Ji - We are all Sehajdhari - meaning Sehaje Sehaje trying to follow GURU's teachings. In order to avoid confusion i will say that no one of us is a perfect SIKH, Guru de Marg te chalan lai bahut kamaiyan karniyan pendian - VIRLA hi koi SIKH he jo us te uttarda he. I consider myself to be a SEHAJDHARI SIKH :blueturban:

    Thanks,
    Harjot Singh
     
  15. spnadmin

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    hpannu ji

    There is still confusion. You may want to rephrase your comments. It is your personal opinion that the couple be told they must keep hair following anand Karaj.

    So far there is no ordinance by Akal Takht or by the Sikh Rehat Maryada that keeping kesh is required for Anand Karaj.
     
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  16. hpannu

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    SPNADMIN Ji,

    This is not my personal opinion and i am not saying there is an ordinance by Akal Takht. Ask your Giani Ji what is the Maryada - he will tell you it's Giani Ji's job to tell the newly married couple, GURU VALE BANO, je amrit chakeya hoy taan good if not Subhag Jori ne amrit chakna hai. And if Kesh nahin rakhe hoye taan Kesh rakho, it's part of SIKHYA that Giani Ji's give to newly married couple. I know i was given that SIKHYA and i have attended numerous weddings with the same message.
    It's a different thing people follow those teachings or not.

    Bhul Chuk Maaf,
    Harjot Singh
     
  17. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Back to topic

    This discussion is totally pointless because majority of Gurdwara's hardly care about hukamnaama.They are freely marrying anybody as long as the Gurdwara get good bheta
     
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  18. spnadmin

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    hpannu ji

    You say, A Giani ji says to the not keshdhari couple during Anand Karaj "Live the Sikh way of life. That means Don't cut your hair."

    I ask, "What rehat is he getting that from?"

    The Anand Karaj is clearly laid out in SRM. That advice is not included. This is what Giani ji should be talking about

    The officiant should then apprise the boy and the girl of the duties and obligations of conjugal life according to the Guru's tenets.

    He should initially give to the two an exposition of their common mutual obligations. He should tell them how to model the husband-wife relationship on the love between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul in the light of the contents of circumambulation (Lavan) hymns in the Suhi measure (rag) section (The bulk of the Guru Granth (the Sikh holy book ) is divided on the basis of the ragas (measures) of the Indian classical music. Suhi is one of the ragas featuring in the Guru Granth Sahib) of the Guru Granth Sahib.

    He should explain to them the notion of the state of "a single soul in two bodies" to be achieved through love and make them see how they may attain union with the Immortal Being discharging duties and obligations of the householders' life. Both of them, they should be told, have to make their conjugal union a means to the fulfillment of the purpose of the journey of human existence; both have to lead clean and Guru-oriented lives through the instrumentality of their union.

    He should then explain to the boy and girl individually their respective conjugal duties as husband and wife.


    If Giani ji adds about hair, then he is doing that on his own steam.

    There is a reason I have to persist - yes, I know some think the discussion is useless. A day from now, a week from now, a year from now, someone is going to read this thread and leave wondering, "What are they talking about?" So it is important to sort out what is rehat and what is not rehat. Whether we keep hair or we do not keep hair, it is a wonder that we make up the rules as we go along.

    p/s the officiant in a Sikh wedding does not have to be either a Giani ji or a Granthi ji. In addition, "He" can also be a "She."
     
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  19. findingmyway

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    Here are 2 common scenarios:
    1) Both boy and girl are born into Sikh families and on the outside for all intents and purposes appear as Sikhs. However, neither of them has interest in following Sikhi and are currently happy in their party, career and fashion lifestyle. Rarely go to Gurdwara. According to SRM they are allowed to have an anand karaj.

    2) One partner (doesn't matter which) is Sikh but other is not. However other person is very interested in Sikhi but they are not ready to make that commitment to becoming a Singh/Kaur officially yet as its a big deal. They go to Gurdwara, try and learn some of the language, do voluntary work (seva) but according to SRM they are not allowed to have anand karaj so either they get pushed away from Sikhi or they have to prolong their relationship before gettign married until the non Sikh partner is ready and very long engagements aren't good either.

    I would argue that the non-Sikh person in scenario 2 is showing more respect for Sikhi and the Guru Granth Sahib even though they officially haven't been given the title Sikh compared to couple 1 so banning them from having an anand karaj could have a detrimental effect. There are many Sikh couples having an anand karaj but they don't really care about the Guru Granth Sahib or the way of life, yet they are still classed as Sikh. They are the ones that make the ceremony less meaningful by not taking it seriously.

    Kanwardeep Ji, you say that 99.99% time the woman converts to the man's religion. I would say that only holds true for muslims. In other faiths, my observation has shown the woman is often the one who decides the dominant faith in the household as she is the one instilling those values in the kids. It can go either way depending on which partner has stronger views about their faith.

    I have said in another thread too that I admire the way churches work in this respect. The priest meets with the couple to discuss issues and run through a rehearsal before the wedding. Surely that is the only way to understand the couple and for the couple to understand the ceremony and the lifelong commitment they are entering into. A wedding day is quite stressful nowadays and most couples will probably not be focussing on what the speakers in Gurdwara are saying!
     
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  20. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Jasleen

    Your observation is for true for western society and not for Patriarchal Indian society.
    In Indian society you can easily see sikh women married to Hindu men and you can see whether they are raising their children as sikhs or Hindu.Most of women here adopt husband's faith.Jagdish tytler,Amitabh Bachan ,Varun Gandhi all had/have sikh mothers
    and How much sikhs they are we all know.Similarly all the daughters of PM manmohan singh are married to non sikhs.Not even a single grand child of Manmohan Singh is a sikh.My own
    cousin sister wha was very much practicing sikh married Hindu and went to USA ,after that
    she cut her hair and her both children are non sikhs.
     
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  21. LostBoat

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    In my opinion I do not think that Guru ji would discriminate between people on the basis of religion. I also do not agree with the setting of statutes and rules by the SPGC or any other organisations I believe our sole guide is the guru and if the guru does not have the right or desire to discriminate between people of different faiths then we should not. Therefore I propose the motion that Inter-religious marriage should be allowed between a sikh and those of any faith be they a polytheist, atheist or a theist.
     
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