ANAND KARAJ: Aanand Kaaraj is the Sikh marriage ceremony. The exact date of its origin is not known but references can be found that the marriage of the children of Guru Sahib had been performed by way of this ceremony. Guru Sahib had made it obligatory for a Sikh not to marry except through Aanand Kaaraj ceremony. In Sikh marriage system, the couple circumam bulates Guru Granth Sahib four times in clockwise direction while hymns from Guru Granth Sahib (at pp. 77374) are read and the ceremony is complete after an Ardaas (the Sikh prayer). Some Sikhs don\’t perform nuptial rounds around Guru Granth Sahib because they believe that this is copy of the Sapatpadi, the Hindu marriage ceremony.They profess that simple recitation of four hymns from Guru Granth Sahib followed by an Ardaas completes the ceremony. According to the Aanand marriage ceremony, both the partners should be Sikh or at least they should declare that they accept Sikhism as their religion and promise to have initiation as early as possible. An Act “Aanand Marriage Act” was passed, on October 22, 1909.
It does not mean that the Sikh marriage ceremony has its origin from this date. Bhai Daya Singh, in his Rahitnama (code of conduct), has mentioned the Sikh wedding rites. The real Nirankaris, Baba Dayal and Baba Darbara Singh, resurrected these ceremonies in the early years of the nineteenth century.