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Meaning of the 4 Pheras in a Sikh Wedding Ceremony

A Sikh wedding is a beautiful representation of elegance, purity and serenity. The Sikh wedding religiously called as Anand Karaj takes place in a Gurudwara in the respected presence of holy book ‘The Guru Granth Sahib Ji’ and is held with extreme soberness.

Like every other Indian marriage, Sikh marriage also has its share of pheras. The pheras in a Sikh wedding are known as ‘laavan’ and the count to be four in number. The word ‘laavan’ is a spiritual term used for the union of ‘Atma’ (Bride) with the ‘Parmatma’ (Groom). Each phera has a verse associated with it which describes the various stages of the marital love and the importance of a wedding. We at WebAbout will share the importance and meaning of each phera(Laavan) in the Sikh wedding:

1.First Laavan

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The first verse is “Har pahl di lav par virti karam dridaya Bal Ram jio

The first verse is sung in Raag Suhi which was composed by Guru Ram Das Ji. The first phera proclaims the start of the marriage ceremony. It states the piousness of the marriage ceremony. The verse tells the bride and the groom to stay on the path of dharma. The real happiness is in finding the truth and following what the real guru says. Meditate god’s name and know your true identity.

In all, the axis of the marriage is spiritual meditation and the couple must practice the same in order to have a happy married life.

2.Second Laavan

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The second verse is, “Har dooj di lav Satgur purukh milaya Bal Ram jio….”

It tells the couple to put aside the ego and other materialistic things and search for the true guru. The guru who has an omnipresence is everywhere. It is inside you and in every space you see outside. He is the supreme soul and is the master of the universe. You must sing his praise and songs to please him. Prophet Nanak proclaims that the music of the spheres resounds with the second phera.

3.Third Laavan

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The third verse is: “Har teej di lav man chao bhiya bairagiya Bal Ram jio…

The third phera is the representation of true love for god. The bride accepts that she has met the divine saint who made her love the absolute being. She narrates that I have found the almighty and I sing his praise. I speak in a slow language of the infinite, the name of my true god. The pious name of the divine har har har resonates in my head and makes me complete. In this verse, Guru Nanak Ji proclaims that the heart of the couple must be filled with the divine love of the lord.

4.Fourth laavan

Sikh wedding

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The fourth verse: “Har chouth di lav man sahaj bhiya Harpaiya Bal Ram jio….”

The fourth phera explains that the couple has found the peace and equilibrium of their mind because they have reached the god with great ease. The god blends with the heart of the bride and now it blossoms with his name. Guru Nanak Ji proclaims that now finally the divine is attained.

And finally “Vivah hoa mere Babulla…” a Shabad sung in Raag Sri Mahall declares that the ceremony is completed and the bride is now connected with the God and the groom and all ready to leave her parents to be with her in-laws. At this time, every eye is filled with tears while bidding goodbye to the bride. However, nowadays the Anand Karaj is followed by a luxurious lunch, lots of Punjabi music and dance.

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