Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wedding Invitation

The SUMMER season is here and this means WEDDING SEASON is here. I came home for the weekend and found some wedding cards lying around. I have noticed that every single wedding card has Gurbaani printed on them. Popular lines from Gurbaani used in cards is:
ਲਖ ਖੁਸੀਆ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀਆ ਜੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥
lakh khushee-aa paatshaahee-aa, je satgur nadar kare-i.
Hundreds of thousands of princely pleasures are enjoyed, if the True Guru bestows His Glance of Grace.
(Ang 44)

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਜਿਨਾ ਧੁਰੇ ਪਇਆ ਸੰਜੋਗੁ ॥੧॥
naanak satgur tinaa milaa-i-aa jinaa Dhure pa-i-aa sanjog. ||1||
O Nanak, he alone meets the True Guru, who has such union pre-ordained. ||1||
(Ang 957)

I remember last summer we received a wedding card, which advertised the Anand Kaaraj and the reception PARTY on the same piece of card. It was IRONIC that a few lines up it had Gurbaani and few lines down it said, “COCKTAILS will be served” and “BEER BAR will be open”. Sat Naam, Waheguru.


Can you imagine a Muslim advertising a Muslim wedding and just underneath writing “PORK SCRATCHING will be served with refreshments”? I DON’T THINK SO. Nor can you imagine a Hindu wedding card saying “BEEF KEBABS will be served with chutney in lunch.” However, “Sikhs” advertise BOOZING and Anand Kaaraj on the same card. (Just the fact that people distribute SHARAAB (alcohol) after having Anand Kaaraj, which is taking an OATH to Waheguru with Guru Jee as the witness makes a mockery of the "VOWS"). Very depressing thought! Rab Bhalla Kare.

Gurbaani is the revealed Word of God.
ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥
baaNee guroo, guroo hai baaNee, vich baaNee amrit saare.
The Word, the Baani is Guru, and Guru is the Baani. Within the Baani, the Spiritual-life giving Nectar is contained.
(Ang 982)

However, how much respect do we show Gurbaani? To make a card “LOOK NICE” we risk the beadbi (violation of sanctity) of Gurbaani. Most, if not all, wedding cards in UK and the West are thrown in the bins once the wedding has happened (unless you are Gursikh and show respect to Gurbaani or for some reason you have a hobby to collect and archive wedding cards!). I am shocked that no one realizes this and year on year every card has Gurbaani printed on them. How can we expect SUKH (peace and happiness) when we treat Gurbaani in such an intolerable (and sorry to say) cheap way. Rab Rakha!

Newspapers, for example DES PARDES and others, have Gurbaani printed in articles relating to Sikhi or on a top of an event poster printed. However, the same newspapers advertise JAADOO TOONAA (black-magic) and other wacky and silly stuff. Newspapers are generally thrown in the bin and sometimes while the newspaper is on the table people put their chaa da cup (cup of tea) on top of the newspaper) or some Auntian (aunties) use newspaper pages for covering the bottom of cupboards to keep the cupboards clean. Where is the SATKAAR (respect) for the WORD OF GOD printed on those pages?

We conveniently do Matha Tekh and say “Guru Jee, Guru Jee…” at the Gurdwara, but at home we print Gurbaani on cards, throw newspapers with Gurbaani in it in the bins etc. Is this not HYPROCISY?

So, what can we do about it?
… I think firstly if someone in your family is getting married then MAKE THEM AWARE of the abuse of Gurbaani and kindly ask them to print a card WITHOUT any Gurbaani. End of the day a simple card with adequate information is enough. Secondly, create awareness of the issue in your COMMUNITY. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of printing and simply make people STOP and THINK about the issue. Hopefully when someone sees Gurbaani on a wedding card, newspaper and calendar, they will think and realise not to put it on the floor, throw it in the bin or use it as a table mat.


Anonymous said...

However, “Sikhs” advertise BOOZING and Anand Kaaraj on the same card. (Just the fact that people distribute SHARAAB (alcohol) after having Anand Kaaraj, which is taking an OATH to Waheguru with Guru Jee as the witness makes a mockery of the "VOWS"). Very depressing thought! Rab Bhalla Kare.

Very Very Depressing.
Really we all need to be more aware about how to respect word of Guru .

Anonymous said...

Hiya. I am getting married this summer and I faced the same dilemma and also whether to give the card to 'gora' friends who will not know the importance of Gurbani on the card? Also on a related topic, last week we went to Poonam in Southall and asked for 1lb barfi (yummy!)and the guy presented it in a box with 'Ek Onkar' on is shocking that the symbols are used as a commodity by shops... does the guy look to see whether a Sikh/Muslim/Hindu has walked in the door or is the box given to everyone and people will simply throw it away. I agree with you that we need more awareness amongst our own communities on the importance of Gurbani and the implications of using it as a means of corporate branding/globalistion.

jatinder singh khalsa said...

erm paaji
i swear weddings aint supposed to ave sharaab in em

is jus anand karaj, ave langar, go home

thas the kind of weddin i like

by printing gurbani everyehere we are making it seem cheap :@

Puja said...

Manvir ji, very nice post, really makes me think about all the places i see Gurbani writings.
i have a sikh friend, she has painted Ek Onkaar symbol in her bag, its pretty and looks very good. according to her, this is a way of making others aware of her religion, when people see the beautiful Ek Onkaar on her bag they ask her what it is, and then she proudly explains them what it means and introduces them to sikhism. but think about all the places that she puts that bag at, on her shoulder most of the day, on the classroom floor, on the bus seat, where u dont know whose butt was sitting before u put ur bag there, and worse of all..on the restroom floor. Hai Rabba !!!
i think we'll have a chat tonight and i'll forward her your post.
Dhan Satguru.

Puneet Kaur said...

Gurfateh ji

Very very important points brought up in this post as everyone must have respect for Gurbani.
Gurbani da satkar karna baut jaroori hai.thankfully my mother takes care of all such cards or mithai boxes that have Gurbani printed on them & whenever we go to Gurudware she gives it there for they know how to keep such things with respect.

about serving alcohol & non-veg at weddings esp after Anand karaj; people have to realize the true meaning of an Anand Karaj...we need to sit with patience n respect before Maharaj.its very sad how people just offer drinks n stuff to display their wealth... nobody takes interest in the kirtan or katha while an Anand karaj is going on and its really sad for we r disrespecting Guru Maharaj.

we have to realize that wealth,friends n family are here temporarily... only Guru Maharaj is here for us always if we remember HIM and waken up to this truth!

Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji has said in Devgandhari Mehla Nauva
Jagat Mein Jhooti Dekhi Preet Apne Hi Sukh Syo Sabh Lage Kya Dara Kya Meet...

we have to realize the truth!

Guru Rakha

Anonymous said...


just as many people read this blog please beware to change a minor grammatical "double negative"
you said "kindly ask them not to print a card WITHOUT any Gurbaani."
which effectively means "kindly ask them to make sure to print a card that does have gurbani."
just remove the "not" and problem solved :D

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Anonymous Jee - Thanks for letting me know about the typo. I've corrected it.

Karpal Chana said...

An interesting topic and one which would be difficult to reconcile. All we can ask for is that everyone treats all wedding cards with respect. However I feel this topic to be at odds when this website discusses the passing away of Bhai Mohinder Singh Ji Kala Sangha and that his photograph and that of other deceased Sikhs are posted on the website for anyone to copy and abuse if they wished. It would appear that sometimes Sikhs are more obsessed with publishing these kind of images on the internet and newspapers that I ask what is more disturbing, Gurumukhi text in a wedding card that might be thrown away or images of the deceased that could be abused at will. Sorry to complicate the issue.

Wedding invitation cards said...

The words were really magical and truly inspirational..Thanks for posting.

Card Eva said...

Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I’m truly grateful and really impressed. Sikh wedding cards