Akal Takht Bans Carrying “Saroop” for Destination Weddings

by Manjari Singh

In a significant move to preserve the sanctity of Sikh religious traditions, the Akal Takht has taken a firm stand against destination weddings involving the “saroop” of Sri Guru Granth Sahib for Anand Karaj ceremonies. The decision comes as a response to the growing trend of outdoor destination weddings at resorts and beaches, where Sikh principles were being violated.

The five high priests, led by Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh, have imposed a blanket ban on destination weddings with Anand Karaj ceremonies conducted outside gurdwaras. This decision reflects the Akal Takht’s commitment to maintaining the sacredness of Sikh traditions.

Giani Raghbir Singh stated that the ban was instituted following numerous complaints received by the Akal Takht Secretariat. These complaints highlighted the alarming trend of carrying the “saroop” to beachside resorts and similar venues for the performance of Anand Karaj, a practice that goes against Sikh tenets.

It is important to note that the Akal Takht had previously issued a “hukumnama” on March 16, 1998, that banned the transportation of the “saroop” outside of gurdwaras for Anand Karaj ceremonies held in hotels, banquet halls, clubs, and marriage palaces. These venues often include features such as orchestras, dancers, pubs, and bars, which are incongruent with Sikh values. The “saroop” of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not meant to be taken to places where alcohol, non-vegetarian food, or tobacco is served or consumed.

This ban reaffirms the Akal Takht’s commitment to preserving the integrity of Sikh practices, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the principles set forth in the Sikh code of conduct. Anand Karaj, the Sikh wedding ceremony, is a sacred event that symbolizes the union of two souls in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib. It is meant to be conducted in an atmosphere of spiritual reverence and purity, in alignment with Sikh teachings.

Destination weddings have gained popularity in recent years due to their picturesque settings and unique experiences. However, the Akal Takht’s decision underscores the need to prioritize the sanctity of religious traditions above personal preferences and contemporary trends. Sikhism places great importance on maintaining a strong connection with its religious roots, and this ban seeks to protect and honor those principles.

While this decision may be met with mixed reactions from those who have chosen destination weddings, it serves as a reminder of the deep reverence and respect that should be afforded to the sacred “saroop” of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the spiritual significance of Anand Karaj.

Manjari Singh

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