The standard Sikh marriage ceremony known as the Anand Karaj is centered around
of a four stanza hymn composed by Guru Ram Das ji. During the marriage ceremony
the couple circumscribe the Guru Granth Sahib ji as each stanza of the Lawan is
read. The first round is the Divine consent for commencing the householders life
through marriage.The second round states that the union of the couple has been
brought about by God. In the third round the couple is described as the most
fortunate as they have sung the praises of the Lord in the company of saints. In
the fourth round the feeling of the couple that they have obtained their hearts'
desire and are being congratulated is described. Guru Ram Das Sahib composed a
beautiful bani called Laavan about the meaning of marriage to a Sikh couple –
Effectively, the Guru defines a Sikh marriage in these 2 lines: "They are not
said to be husband and wife who merely sit together. Rather they alone are
called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies." Guru Ram Das composed
a hymn known as 'Lawan' in Suhi Mohalla 4, page 773 of Guru Granth Sahib, and
asked his Sikhs to recite them to solemnize marriages. The Sabad 'Lawan'
embodies in itself a lesson for the couple to develop true love for each other.
In reality this Sabad is for a human being to develop love for the divine
ridegroom.The Guru composed the following Sabad to instruct his Sikhs in the
practice of their religion :
"He who calleth himself a Sikh of the true Guru, should rise early and meditate
on God; He should make an effort early in the morning, bathe in the inner tank
of nectar; Repeat God's Name under Guru's instruction, and all his sins and
transgressions shall be erased; At sunrise he should sing the Guru's hymns, and
whether sitting or standing meditate on God's Name; The disciple who at every
breath meditateth on God, will be dear to the Guru; The Guru imparteth
instruction to that disciple to whom my Lord bestows His grace; The servant
Nanak prayeth for the dust of the feet of such a disciple of the Guru who
himself repeateth God's Name and causeth others to do so."