Marriage/About Namdhari Marriages

Namdhari Sikhs, and the particular branch of Sikhs they belong to wear all white clothes and turbans. They are pure vegetarians (no eggs), and do not drink coffee, tea, soda, or alcohol. Their headquarters is at Sri Bhaini Sahib, which is 25 kilometers southeast of Ludhiana.

 

 A very special & auspicious day that deserves to be celebrated. So at sunrise, several couples will be getting married in Sri Bhaini Sahib.

 

A special pavilion was assembled for the wedding ceremony. It is small and cozy, and it has enough room to hold 10,000 people. Up front on the stage, the guru of the group sits under a little pavilion, and a Kirtan salok is playing on the right hand side.

 

The wedding ceremony is scheduled for early morning before sunrise. The number of couples getting married depends on how many groups get both parties here, though. There are still some brides waiting on the side, and some grooms without anybody next to them, but its still early.

 

The People have been sitting on a sheet on the ground under the pavilion since 3:45 this morning, waiting.

 

The groom sits down first, cross-legged. He bows his head in the direction of the guru (from their position, the guru is hidden behind a screen, but can see around the screen, and see the guru either meditating or praying with his head down). An attendant ties a silk harness around the grooms chest and waist. Then the groom waits for the bride.

 

When the bride comes to the waiting groom, she puts a new set of prayer beads (theyre made from wool 108 beads in all) around his neck, bows to him, and touches his feet. This foot thing is a sign of respect. A priest comes by, chants something in the grooms right ear, then his left. He repeats this with the bride, and moves on to another couple. The bride and groom remain sitting cross-legged, facing forward, and not communicating. Their job is to meditate and reflect on spiritual things. Some do their job well; others look like theyre dozing.

 

An attendant and priest come by with amrit (holy water), and the groom takes several sips of the amrit that is dribbled into his hands. The priest sprinkles the grooms head with the amrit, chanting, and then flicks some more amrit onto the grooms forehead. The groom waits until the priest moves on, and then wipes his face on his sleeve. The attendant pours some water onto the grooms hands to rinse them off. This procedure is repeated for the bride.

 

In the meantime, on the stage there is a Kirtan salok, and the guru is still under his pavilion. Theres a whole lot of Kirtan salok and chanting going on. Many men are walking in a procession around the right side of the pavilion, and many women are on the left.There is a fire burning in front of the couples with a man spooning ghee onto it every few seconds - during the ceremony, the couples will circle the flames, as the fire bears witness to the marriage.The couples are in a big circle around the fire & couples are walking counter clockwise around the fire, and they make four loops. They sit back down, and the people up front chant mantras from the holy books. At the end of each mantra, the crowd joins in for the last couple of phrases either they are well known mantras, or the last verse is repeated. They are in line to get close to the stage to say a prayer in front of the guru.

 

Up front the Kirtan are still playing, and the screen is down so everybody can see the guru. After the "Ardas" satguru has left the stage, and some others are arranging another podium. Then everybody shouts "Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!", and all stand up to see the "Guru Granth Sahib" (holy book). They are placed in the new podium.

 

know that these people are all getting married?"