A Sikh Marriage

I'm not getting off the topic. Please do remember that we need to CLEARLY state our views so that there is no room left for misinterpretation.

The way you wrote clearly suggested that Sikhs would disapprove of atheists having a happy married life. Sikhism is an ALL EMBRACING religion. We also respect people who don't believe in God. We are NOT supposed to look down upon them. The Spiritual journey is something each of us will take on our own. Some are ahead and some behind. NO BIG DEAL!!!!

The 4 verses of Lavan explain the four stages of love and married life.

* The first verse emphasises the performance of duty to the family and the community.

* The second verse refers to the stage of yearning and love for each other.

* The third verse refers to the stage of detachment or Virag.

* The fourth verse refers to the final stage of harmony and union in married life during which human love blends into the love for God.

.....The bride's past and present becomes the bridegroom's past and present. Her present becomes his and his hers. They feel and think alike and both are completely identified with each other, i.e., they become 'Ek Jot Doe Murti' meaning one spirit in two bodies......

.....The groom is first seated before Guru Granth Sahib and when the bride comes she take her place on his left. The couple and their parents are asked to stand while the rest of congregation remains seated. A prayer is then said, invoking His blessings for the proposed marriage and asking His Grace on the union of the couple. This connotes the consent of the bride and the bridegroom and their parents. The parties then resume their seats and a short hymn is sung..........

The impression I'm getting is that the EMPHASIS is between love of two people - bride and bridegroom. This UNION they ACHIEVE between themselves is compared to the UNION of man and God. I think it is beautifully explained.

What I'm trying to say is that the responsibility lies with the man and woman to COMMIT and LOVE EACH OTHER and not to God. Of course, Godly life will DEFINITELY promote this love they have for each other.

The impression I got from your post is that by loving God they will end up loving each other. This was my interpretation of Manjinder Singh's post which he has corrected. It just gives an impression that if you seek God everything else will follow. This is NOT true. In such a scenario how do you account for human responsibility. This is the reason I always quote Guru Nanak: "Truth is high, but higher still is truthful living."

Js Singh ji, you need to understand that we MUST be clear in our views so that we don't mislead others through our posts.

Marriage is a COMMITMENT between a man and a woman. It is NOT a commitment between man/woman and God. Sikhism expects a husband's love and commitment for his wife (and vice versa) to be so great and pure that within the confines of this love and commitment he/she will experience Divinity.

Pardon me for this lengthy post. All I'm trying to stress is that the Love and Commitment is between a husband and a wife. According to Sikhism, this UNION (of marriage) has the POTENTIAL of achieving greatness that the union between God and man symbolises. The joy that comes in experiencing Divine love can be experienced by a husband and his wife if they love each other PURELY and UNCONDITIONALLY. It is in this sense that the union between the two is that of "two souls becoming one" rather than a mere physical union of bodies.

......The symbol of the Bridegroom coming to wed His bride ("sahu viahan aia") is central to the Guru Granth Sahib. The 'wholly-other,'[16] who completely eludes apprehension and comprehension is through the symbol of the Bridegroom instantly, 'participatingly', represented as the 'wholly-this'! The relation of the 'bridegroom' is entirely from our physical world, but as symbol it has the capacity to evoke numerous religious emotions: along with love, the sentiment for the Bridegroom, is the 'mysterium tremendum'[17] - for the Punjabi bride doesn't meet her groom till her wedding night. Symbols are truly, as says Paul Tillich, the language of religion.

The theological as well as the psychological completion that he in his conception of God found in the combination of symbols 'Lord' (fascination-mystery-authority) and 'Father'[18] (love-sentimentality) is accomplished in the Guru Granth Sahib symbol of the Bridegroom. That the atmosphere during the wedding is not wholly one of festivity, but also one of contemplation - "bibek bichar" (let us sing songs of truth of life, line 5), throws light upon the thrust of Guru Granth Sahib - the merging of physics and metaphysics. Joyous singing "gavahu gavahu" and thinking (bibek bichar) go hand in hand.

Furthermore, it is interesting to see how the Guru shifts so smoothly between symbolism and literalism. The offspring of the 'symbolic' marriage are 'literally': sat (truth), santokh (contentment), daya (compassion) and dharam (duty).

Symbols, like metaphors, similes and emblematic parallelisms, flash forth beautiful images. I should have mentioned that the symbolic Bridegroom is conjured up in highly aesthetic terms, for a reiteration of sundar (beautiful) occurs three times in His description. And of course the bride whom He marries is beautiful. In Rag Asa, Guru Nanak exclaims:

"mera piru raliala ram"

My Lord is the most beautiful inebriation! Besides enriching the senses, the palpable images of the Guru Granth Sahib enrich the mind, for without ever stating or explaining, they stir the imagination to find the connection between the palpable and the impalpable.