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Sikh Weddings Simple? No, They Are Indulged In Brahmanwad

Chaan Pardesi

Writer
SPNer
Oct 5, 2008
428
771
London & Kuala Lumpur
Sikh Weddings should be simple , not indulged in brahmanwad

Practises like the maiyaa'n ceremony, throwing rice over the head, the red cloth held over the bride/groom, even things like tika ceremony,
mother placing her flour print hands on the wall, mama carrying the
bride/groom after mayaa, the sehra worn and sometimes ure forced to
remove not only the sehra but other markings on the turban be...fore the wedding, what is punjabi culture, hindu influence, sikh requirement, is cultural practises acceptable at a sikh wedding? Then the extravagance sangeet, hotel, booze, dinner, suits, gold,,,, etc... irreversible acceptable cultural requirement? where is the line drawn between culture and religion and if such a line can or should be drawn?

Gurmukho,This was a comment on one of the facebook pages that made me think and ask, what really is a SIKH wedding.As I do not see SIKH weddings anymore....

Getting on with the subject, I have now realised it is rather a deeper issue than when I first thought abt it this morning.It would require more space than here to expose the deliberate non sikh practices during
marriages.However, I will make a start that will show how despite our
Sikh identity we remain often confused between Punjabi culture and Sikh
[religious] culture.

May I point out that perhaps there appears a confusion in the
title-TRADITION OR RITUAL.MOST of the practices we are talking about in
Sikh weddings are traditional rituals!A tradition justified based upon
Sikh Code is totally another subject.It cannot be a ritual.A ritual
does not have to be traditional.It could have started dekho dekhi..and
yesterday!

A Sr Jespal Singh ji from California, interjected with a two identity theory,
which I find rather baffling.If we follow his line of thought someone
may say we have a dozen identities - if we consider our social,
educational, financial,professional, academic etc identities.However, I
shall refrain from going any further into these multi identity
theories; as they are not relevant to the issue at discussion- which is
ANAND KARAJ wedding- free from ritual etc.and is solely a Sikh practice.

To understand the back ground of the rituals, we need to understand the
history/demographics of the Punjab and inter communal links within the
Punjabi religion based communities.

Punjab is the only country that has one language and yet divided on the
issue of language and its alpahabet three ways.Likewise it is divided
on it's culture.It has A Punjabi culture, but this is then divided into
Muslim Punjabi culture, Hindu Punjabi and Sikh Punjabi culture.So there
are four separate entities of Punjabi culture.

The Sikh Punjabi culture is again dividied into that has come from the
dominant hindu origins.This is followed by culture that has crept into
Sikhism from the muslim dominated regions, esspecially around the NWFP
and the Patohaar region and other regions of the muslim dominated
western Punjab.

The three main practices that have crept into the Sikh Punjabi culture
from islamic region of Punjab are the Veil[ghundd]that women take ,
some even to this day.The second is the wearing of the salwaar kameez
that can be seen among the Patohaari and other western Punjabi male
Sikhs esspecially those from Dera Ismail Khan and the western Punjab
regions.Lastly, but certainly not the least is the artitecture of the
Sikh Gurduaras- heavily influenced from the islamic artitecture-the
gobinds are not Sikh in origin.Apart from these three aspects very
little else otherwise was taken or accepted into Sikhism.

The Hindu Punjabi culture on the other hand has made big inroads and
also fermented and flourished strongly from within the Sikhs themselves
, because the greater majority of converts to Sikh religion came from
hindu backgrounds;where often one or two members of the family had
converted to Sikhism, and continued to remain in touch and interact
with their relatives who remained hindus,thus creating an environment
that continued to excercise what was mostly their past
practices.According to historical records 75% of the Sikhs came from
hindu background and 25% from Muslim background.To this must be added
the large number of hindu females married into Sikh households, but
whose relatives continued to be hindus.Interactions between the newly
converted Sikhs [in many instances no formal initiation into Sikh faith
ever took place at all] and Hindus continued closely socially,spiritually and culturally often influenced by the fear of the invaders religion islam; and thus developed among the minority Sikhs,practices which had no legal basis from Sikh viewpoint, nor were challenged by Sikhs who knew they were wrong.

Added to this one must understand, Sikhs were not in control of their Gurduaras from about 1715 to about 1920s.The Gurduaras were run by Nirmalla sadhs , who leaned towards idol worship and hinduism.Even many Sikh scholars were the product of vedic centres like Haridwar and Kaashi and returned to Guru Ki Kashi at Talwandi Sabo to "teach" about Sikhism which was mainly confined to reciting and understanding Guru Granth sahib and little attention was paid to the creeping hindu "boa constrictor",
which was tightening its hold over Sikhs, esspecially through
ritualistic practices.

Bhai Kahan Singh was the first Sikh scholar that raised his voice
against this encroachment of hinduism.His book HUM HINDU NAHI is a
timely reminder to the Sikhs even to this day.But being a mainly
peasant community and led by Sikhs who often leaned towards hinduism
and sharing many similarities with hindus, did not see the pitfalls of
small unsikh practices here and there.In this period movements like
Singh sabha, and Gurduara Sudhar Lehar[Gurduara Refomist Movement ]
emerged to halt the onslaught of the more fanatical hindu groups like
arya samaj. Later on the instigation of Arya Samaj, a Sikh group
orientated towards hinduism, called Nirankaris emerged who preached
Sikhism from Guru Granth sahib initially,but practiced hindu rituals
came about confusing the next generations of Sikhs!Now they have
abandonned the Guru Granth sahib and appointed a human guruship!

However the practice of rituals at Sikh weddings does not start here
but it begins much earlier-Nanak Satguru tina milaya jihan dhurre payaa
sanjog,tells us the oldest and one of the closet relationship that
develops between a female and male.Begining with the advent of the Sikh
faith, new thinking developed among its follows based upon the
teachings of Guru Nanak Ji.In a way Guru Nanak Ji revolted against the
established practice of the Hindu faith.He rejected the janeuu!It is
clear that in retalition the hindu religion never accepted the Sikh
faith as an independent religion.It has since awaited every opportunity
to derail Sikhi and continues to eradicate through any means possible
the identity and autonomy of the sikh religion.This has been seen
through politics, socially and it became more aggressive lawfully
through the denial of the Sikh identity in the constitution, after the
so called independence.These non Sikh ritualistic practices should be
seen in this context, a subtle conspiracy to wipe out the Sikh identity
and absorp it within the greater Hindu Kaal.This why it is more
important for us to understand why such practices should be dropped and
why we should clearly not practice such rituals and throw them out and
adopt the simpler Anand Karaj ceremony.

As said at the begining this article had got longer, thus it will be
necessary to write it separately and conclude it properly with the
historical back ground.Anyone wishing to swing boomrangs, that is okay
as long as they do it academically, with facts rather than waffle with
some qoute from here and there for the sake of it or just simply
because they have witnessed it.Witnessing anything in Sikhism today is
no justicfication that it is certainly condoned in the Gurbani or
proper Sikh religion based upon rehatnamas , Gurbani or historical
precedents in Sikh practice.
 
May 24, 2008
546
885
A very affluent customer ( Hindu ) of mine was telling me that Sikhs these days are spending a lot more on marriage even than Banias who are very notorious in this regard . Sikhs are looking at splurging even at a slight pretext be it Reception ,Gharoli , Mehndi , {censored}tail , Roka , Thaka & a Akhand Path . These all ceremonies are in addition to the wedding & together they cost three times more than the marriage function , all these are basically waste of time & money . Showmanship , Meism & ego boosting exercises nothing more .
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Writer
SPNer
Jul 14, 2007
4,576
1,608
Sikh Rehat Maryada on Marriage ceremonies extracted from
http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_four_chap_eleven.html

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Article XVIII

a. A Sikh man and woman should enter wedlock without giving thought to the prospective spouse's caste and descent.
b. A Sikh's daughter must be married to a Sikh.
c. A Sikh's marriage should be solemnized by Anand marriage rites.
d. Child marriage is taboo for Sikhs.
e. When a girl becomes marriageable, physically, emotionally and by virtue of maturity of character, a suitable Sikh match should be found and she be married to him by Anand marriage rites.
f. Marriage may not be preceded by engagement ceremony. But if an engagement ceremony is sought to he held, a congregational gathering should be held and, after offering the Ardas before the Guru Granth Sahib, a kirpan, a steel bangle and some sweets may be tendered to the boy.
g. Consulting horoscopes for determining which day or date is auspicious or otherwise for fixing the day of the marriage is a sacrilege. Any day that the parties find suitable by mutual consultation should be fixed.
h. Putting on floral or gilded face ornamentation, decorative headgear or red thread band round the wrist, worshipping of ancestors, dipping feet in milk mixed with water, cutting a berry or jandi (Prosopis spieigera) bushes, filling pitcher, ceremony of retirement in feigned displeasure, reciting couplets, performing havans (Sacrificial fire), installing vedi (a wooden canopy or pavilion under which Hindu marriages are performed), prostitutes' dances, drinking liquor, are all sacrileges.
i. The marriage party should have as small a number of people as the girl's people desire. The two sides should greet each other singing sacred hymns and finally by the Sikh greetings of Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh.
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'.
k. Persons professing faiths other than the Sikh faith cannot be joined in wedlock by the Anand Karaj ceremony.
l. No Sikh should accept a match for his/her son or daughter for monetary consideration.
m. If the girl's parents at any time or on any occasion visit their daughter's home and a meal is ready there, they should not hesitate to eat there. Abstaining from eating at the girl's home is a superstition. The Khalsa has been blessed with the boon of victuals and making others eat by the Guru and the Immortal Being. The girl's and boy's people should keep accepting each other's hospitality, because the Guru has joined them in relationship of equality (Prem Sumarag).
n. If a woman's husband has died, she may, if she so wishes, finding a match suitable for her, remarry. For a Sikh man whose wife has died, similar ordinance obtains.
o. The remarriage may be solemnized in the same manner as the Anand marriage.
p. Generally, no Sikh should marry a second wife if the first wife is alive.
q. A baptised ought to get his wife also baptised.
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