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The Sikh Wedding - Book By Mohinder Singh & Sondeep Shankar
From the Backcover of 'The Sikh Wedding' By Mohinder Singh And Sondeep Shankar
Though Sikhs follows several Panjabi marriage customs, their marriage rites are performed through Anand Karaj. According to popular tradition, the Anand form of marriage was popularised by Guru Ramdas, the fourth Guru, who composed the hymns called lavan for the purpose of solemnising Sikh weddings. The Anand form of marriage got legal sanction through the passage of the Anand Marriage Bill in the Imperial Legislative Council in 1909.
After fixing a suitable match negotiations are finalised through a simple ceremony called roka, which is performed in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. Thereafter, a suitable date for marriage is fixed. Generally a day before the marriage, engagement and ring ceremonies are also performed.
According to Sikh rehat maryada, the Anand Karaj is supposed to be performed during a simple ceremony in the ambrosial hours after Kirtan of Asa di Var. In actual practice, however, most of the Anand Karaj ceremonies are performed a little before lunch-time. After offering ardaas, the groom and the bride circumambulate the Guru Granth Sahib in a clockwise direction. This is done four times with the priest reading the lavan from the Guru Granth Sahib and the ragi jatha repeating each lavan set to music. The wedding ceremony concludes with the singing of first five and last stanzas of Anand followed by ardaas. Hukum is then taken by the granthi from the Guru Granth Sahib by opening it at random. Thereafter the congregation is served the karah prasad with which a Sikh wedding is concluded.
Through text based on Gurbani and popular tradition, the book tries to capture the spirit of the Sikh wedding through colourful pictures of various ceremonies connected with the wedding.
Dr. Mohinder Singh, an eminent historian and Director of the National Institute of Panjab Studies, New Delhi, has provided text for the book, while pictures have been taken by Sondeep Shankar, one of India's leading photographers.
Foreword To 'The Sikh Wedding' By Mohinder Singh & Sondeep Shankar
The National Institute of Panjab Studies was established in 1990 to promote research on different aspects of Punjabi life and letters. The Panjab University, Chandigarh, subsequently recognized the Institute as an advanced centre of learning. Apart from promoting and research, the Institute has also been organising lectures, seminars and conferences. Some conferences were also organized in colaboration with other institutions such as the Department of Multicultural Education, University of London, Department of South Asian Studies, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor and the Centre for Global Studies, University of California , Santa Barbara. To mark fifty years of India's independence the Institute organised an international seminar on 'Partition in Retrospect' in collaboration with the India International Centre, New Delhi.
In connection with the tercentenary of the Khalsa in 1999, the Institute took up a major research project of locating and cataloguing relics belonging to the Sikh Gurus and other historical personalities. Our research team led by the Director of the Institute, visited various parts of India and Pakistan, and located and listed a number of valuable relics. During their fieldwork, our team located some very precious relics such as the chola of Guru Nanak, the chola of Guru Hargobind, chola , dastar and other relics of Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Sahib Kaur, sword-belt, godri and flag of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Our team took pictures of these and other precious relics and recorded popular history connected with these objects. As a result of the initiative taken by the Institute, INTACH has taken up conservation of some these relics.
With a view to sharing the results of our research with the larger audience and creating awareness for proper preservation of the endangered heritage of Panjab and conservation of the valuable relics, the Institute decided to bring out a series of pictorial books under the Panjab Heritage Series.
Four books published in the first phase were launched in the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev in November, 2001. In view of the encouraging response the Institute is now preparing another set of four books in the second phase.
The Institute would like to record its gratitude to the Department of Culture, Government of India, for its initial grant for preparing a 'Catalogue of the Sikh Relics', to the Government of the National Capital of Delhi for its financial support for publication of these books and to various institutions and individuals for allowing the Institute's team access to their rich collections. I would also like to thank my colleagues on the Governing Council and staff of the Institute, without whose active cooperation it would not have been possible to bring out these volumes.
|Author||Mohinder Singh , Sondeep Shankar|