Anand Karaj

The Anand Karaj ceremony is conducted in the Diwan Hall of a Gurdwara Sahib and you can easily book it online. The service is traditionally performed in Punjabi, according to the principles set out in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji in the Gurmukhi Script.

The families and friends of the Bride and Groom gather in the Diwan Hall, for the Anand Karaj – the blissful union. The congregation assembles together in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Scripture). The Groom enters the hall, bows before Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and awaits the bride. At the start of the Anand Karaj, the bride and groom bow before Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and then sit side by side at the front of the hall. The couple and the parents stand up to offer Ardas (prayer), signifying that the parents have given their blessing for the Anand Karaj to take place. Everyone else remains seated while the Ardas is read, a prayer for the success of the marriage. Ragi’s sit on a low stage and perform kirtan – ‘Keeta Loree-ai Kaam’, to seek God’s blessing and to convey a message that a successful martial union is achieved through grace:

“Whatever work you wish to accomplish, tell it to the Lord
Your affairs will be resolved the True Guru gives his guarantee of truth
In the society of saints, you shall taste the treasure of the ambrosial nectar
The Lord who is the merciful destroyer of fear, preserves and protects those who serve him,
O Nanak, singing the glorious praises of God, one see the unseen Lord” (Sri Guru Granth Sahib)

The Ragi councils the couple with the verse ‘Dhan Pir Eh Na Akhee-an’. They are advised that marriage is not merely a social and civil contract, but a spiritual process uniting two souls so that they become one inseparable entity. The couple is reminded that the spiritual nature of family harmony is given emphasis by the example of the Sikh Gurus’ who themselves entered matrimony and had children.

The husband is to love and respect his wife, encourage her with kind consideration, recognize her individuality, regard her as his equal, offering guidance and support. The wife is to show her love respect and loyalty, support her husband, harmonize with him, and share in happiness and sorrow, prosperity or adversity. The couple is to ally themselves with each other to achieve a harmonious union, intellectually, emotionally, physically, materially, and spiritually. The Bride and Groom, affirm the acceptance of their martial obligations and bow together before Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The bride sits to the groom’s left directly in front of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

​The Groom’s sister then drapes a long scarf or length of turban cloth, called a Palla around his shoulders, and places the right end in his hand. The bride’s father takes the left end of the Palla, arranges it over his shoulder, and gives the bride the left end to hold, signifying that she is now leaving his care to join her husband. The Ragis sing the hymn: ‘Pallai Taiddai Lagge’ symbolizing joining the couples by the Palla to each other and God. Lavan, the Four Anand Karaj Rounds the Granthi (Sikh Priest) initiates the four Anand Karaj hymns of Lavan representing four stages of love.

The hymns describe the development of martial love between husband and wife, which is parallel to that between the soul (bride) and God (the husband). The Bride and Groom will walk around the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, as the Ragi’s sing the words of Lavan. Holding his end of the pall, the Groom walks around the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the bride follows the Groom holding on to her end of the Palla. The couple makes their first martial adjustment by keeping in step with each other. They bow together before the Guru Granth Sahib Ji concludes the first Anand Karaj round they will resume sitting. Every time the bride and groom arise or sit down during the ceremony they will bow down to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji out of respect by touching their foreheads to the ground. The second, third & fourth Lavan are conducted in the same manner.

Bheta: $1400 (includes Bhai Ji Kirtan Seva)

Gurdwara Sahib Maryada Rules as applicable to Anand Karaj:

  • Dancing and beating Dhol is not allowed within the Gurdwara premises.
  • The room can be provided for Bride and Groom to get ready before Anand Karaj
  • Sehra and Kalgi should be removed from the Groom before entering the Diwan hall.
  • The Bride and Groom are expected to sit on the carpet of the Diwan Hall as everyone else and the use of a cushioned mat or a Gaddi is restricted.
  • During the Lawan ceremony, there should be no one accompanying the Bride and Groom.
  • Flowers should not be showered on the Bride and Groom but can be offered to Guru Sahib.
  • No one is allowed to sit higher than Guru Sahib in the Diwan Hall. Therefore people with a physical handicap can take advantage of the seating offered in the back rooms of the Diwan Hall.
  • No one is allowed to come into the Gurdwara premises intoxicated or while under the influence of any substance.
  • Vegetarian food can be catered in the Langar hall
  • Reciting of any poetry like singing Sehra or other similar songs is prohibited in the Diwan Hall. 
  • Anand Karaj, Lawan, Kirtan, and Ardas will be conducted by the Ragi Jatha of the Gurdwara Sahib.

Let us know if you have any questions.