The Lavan in English

The Lavan is so beautiful! Guru Ram Das Ji wrote it for his own wedding. I love to read it every day out loud with my wife. Here’s my translation of it:


LAVAN: SOOHEE, FOURTH CHANNEL OF LIGHT:

1. In the first round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord gives you His Instructions for performing the daily duties of married life. Instead of performing rituals by routine, embrace the righteous life of Dharma, and do nothing that separates you from God. Meditate on God’s Name. Embrace and practice Simran – the continuous remembrance of your True Identity. Worship and adore the Guru, the Perfect True Guru, and all the errors of your past shall be washed away. By your great destiny, you shall know that bliss which passes all understanding, and the Lord – Har, Har, will become sweet to your mind. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this first round, the marriage ceremony has begun.

2. In the second round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord guides you to meet the True Guru – the Primal teacher. Filled with the awe of the Infinite, your ego dissolves away. In awe of the One who is forever pure, sing His Wonderful Praises and see God in all. The Lord – the Supreme Soul, is the Master of the Universe. He fills everything, everywhere. He fills all spaces. Deep within you, and outside as well, there is only One God. God’s humble servants meet together and sing the songs of joy and ecstasy. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this second round, the music of the spheres resounds.

3. In the third round of the marriage ceremony your heart is filled with Divine Love. By my great destiny I have met the humble Saints who love the Lord and I have found God. I have found the pure Lord and I sing His Wonderful Praises. I speak the Word of the Lord’s Bani. By great destiny I have found the humble Saints and I speak the silent language of the Infinite. The Lord’s Name – Har, Har, Har, vibrates and resounds within my heart. Meditating on God, I have realized the great destiny inscribed upon my forehead. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this third round, the heart is full with Divine Love of the One God.

4. In the fourth round of the marriage ceremony I have found God and my mind is filled with peace. Living as a Gurmukh, I have met Him with simple ease. My mind and body are full of sweet delight. I am pleasing to God – and night and day I lovingly focus my awareness on the One. I have merged with my Lord and Master and all my desires are fulfilled. The Lord’s Name resounds and reverberates within me and all around me. The One God, my Lord and Master, merges with His Divine Bride and her heart blossoms with His Holy Naam. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this fourth round, we have become One with the Eternal Lord.

Wahe Guru!

30 Responses to “The Lavan in English”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sat Nam!

    Forgive me my ignorance, but do the newly weds promise something to each other too? Like to take care of each other, to be faithful, to raise the children as good sikhs etc?
    The love for Waheguru is of course very important in life, but each others love as well, isn’t it?
    And just out of curiosity; do you fall in love before or after marriage? I am the laughing stock for my punjabi friends with having a love -marriage.
    I do not want to start a discussion on arranged marriages, but i am simply curious.
    Thank you anyhow for the translation.
    manpreet

  2. SatKirin Kaur says:

    In our wedding process the Minister
    usually discusses all of these points with the couple…..actually asks them if they are really willing to do these rounds and with all the implications of a lifelong committment…challenges and changes considered.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sat nam!

    Thank you for your quick answer.
    But who is the minister? Is it the granthi? Or a member of the sangat?
    And please, what is “in our wedding process”? Do you mean during the wedding, before lavaan.
    Or is it on some other occasion, when the young couple makes their plan to marry clear to “the minister”
    Sorry i am asking so much, but very often marriage is just a quick way for getting legal papers. It makes me very sad, though i try to understand.
    Thank God i know some “real” couples too.
    Hope i did not hurt anyone.
    manpreet

  4. isingh says:

    Today’s(Thursday’s) Hukam is the lavan! what a coincidence! :)

  5. kiran says:

    Having this translation is a really good idea, Thanks very much for that….it now gives me a good idea of what level of commitment that we are making to eachother when getting married in the Guru Ghar. I always found wedding boring…maybe because I didnt have a clue of what they were saying….maybe if all the ministers explained in english what was going on then that way we wouldnt be bored and that we woould like to see the whole ceremony and not just the 1st 5 minuts of it and skipping to go straight to the reception!!!! Now that I know, I will not be doing that again!!!!!

    Dear Manpreet

    sweety you should Not feel like a lauging stock!!!! No one should ever make you feel ashamed of having a love marrige….you should be proud that you went out there and found a husband with out your mum’s help!!! Im proud of you and so should the people around you!!! since these people around you make you feel like this…is it really worth you knowing them??? Are they really worth you wasting your time thinking about their negativity towards you??

    You have to remember that you are living your life for you, your husband, your children and most importantly Waheguru ji!!!! He is the one who gave you life so DONT waste it on negativity and make the most of it!!! For every minute you waste on being angry or thinking negatively that 60 seconds of happiness and peace wasted!!! (Good Quote innit)

    if ever you need someone to talk to then please do not hesitate to email me at [email protected], for we are all Sikhi’s on a similar path towards enlightenment!!!!

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Wahegure je ke Fateh!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sat Shri Akal!

    Please, please don’t think i am angry or negative towards my punjabi friends. Maybe it is a blessing that i can make them laugh!
    You know in Europe there is an immigration stop since 1974. Most “foreigners” who try to get in, have to use all kind of systems. Asking asylum (with all respect for the people who really need this procedure and are real refugees!), getting married with people with a permanent stay, adoption or staying illegal in the country are the possibillities for my Punjabi friends. So very soon after they arrive their dreams of having a better life over here, are fading away. They take it out on the people who are closest to them. That means me!
    So i understand and am not angry with them!
    Since the American sikhs are following as well a lot of cultural aspects of Indian life (food, dancing etc..), i just was wondering if they had arranged marriages too?
    I realise that both ways are influencing each other these days. There are indeed love marriages in India and arranged marriages in the west.
    So sorry,but maybe i shouldn’t be so curious!

    love,
    manpreet

    nice to be called sweety

  7. Anonymous says:

    Manpreet Ji,it sounds like you been through so much in your relationships.But whatever is happening or happened with you is not that they wanted to take it out on youself.But it’s all planned by HIM we are just the source to help someone or find the way for someone.When you feel like disappointed or completely shattered,all you can do is pray to Waheguru to give you strength to fight against all the add in the life and to be with you in all kind of situations.
    Wish you all the best.

  8. Amar says:

    i am looking for the 4 lavan written in punjabi, as i am trying to make a program for my sisters wedding. i plan on having the english translation, which you have already so graciously provided on this site, along with the punjabi version, the exact writings in punjabi. if you could be so kind as to provide this for me, it would be greatly appreciated. thank you in advance.

  9. Antonia D'Onofrio says:

    Amar, here are 3 web sites that can be of help. The first one tells you where to find the Punjabi version of each lavan in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

    Where to find the Punjabi version for each of the 4 lavan

    http://www.akj.org/skins/default/articles.php?id=15

    The next two are additional sources of information.

    Overview of the wedding.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anand_Karaj

    http://www.realsikhism.com/marriage.html

    Yours truly, Toni

  10. Amar says:

    thank you for your efforts in helping me. i appreciate it very much. i was, however, hoping to find the punjabi script, in punjabi writing, on the web somewhere, and hoped to copy it and paste it into the program i intend to make. if there are any sites that would be able to help with this, please let me know. thank you very much.
    amar

  11. Antonia D'Onofrio says:

    Amar,

    I will check that out. There are sites you can copy and paste. But I can’t remember them off the top of my head. They are all a jumble in my mind because there are so many of them. Maybe right here on siknet they have the Punjabi version of the lavan. I will take a look later tonight.

  12. Antonia D'Onofrio says:

    Amar, I have found what you are looking for, right here on Sikhnet.

    There are 4 laavan and each one is in Punjabi at these links.

    Laava 1
    http://www.sikhnet.com/sggs/translation/0773.html

    Laava 2
    http://www.sikhnet.com/sggs/translation/0774.html

    Laava 3
    http://www.sikhnet.com/sggs/translation/0775.html

    Laava 4
    http://www.sikhnet.com/sggs/translation/0776.html

    You should be able to copy and paste, but make sure you have the right Gurbani font or it won’t work.

    Toni

  13. Amar says:

    thank you very much for your help. it is greatly appreciated, and i am sure that i will be able to use this. if not, i will be back here again, lol
    sincerely,
    amar

  14. Harminder says:

    During the laava, why does the lady walk behind the man? Why cant the bride and groom walk side by side, because Guru ji kept equality between the man and woman right from the beginning.
    Thankyou

  15. Kal says:

    I was also wondering that. My fiance and I have even considered modifying this and walking side by side during this time. Being tied to my husband and walking behind him in life… hmmm.

    Thank you for your beautiful translations. They are really helpful!

  16. Vishav says:

    SSA

    The One God, my Lord and Master, merges with His Divine Bride and her heart blossoms with His Holy Naam. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this fourth round, we have become One with the Eternal Lord.

    Why is there a gender bias in this? So that means the bride has a master. Are’nt male and female equal? Why is it stated that Bride has a master?

    Sorry for this but someone asked me this question and I did’nt have a clear answer.

    Gurfateh

  17. Guruka Singh says:

    Harminder Ji – Many years ago Shanti Kaur questioning the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan about the practice of having the Palay (the shawl) wrapped over the man’s shoulder, and the woman holding it from behind as the man leads the woman. She thought this was some old non-Sikh practice and was wondering why we do this. Especially from the aspect of why the woman had to be in the back and following the man (being subservient).

    The first answer that Yogi Bhajan gave Shanti Kaur was, “Well, someone has to go first.” (chuckle) But he was just testing her, and of course she wasn’t satisfied with that answer. When she pushed the point, he replied, “It is all in your point of view. You see the woman following the man subserviently. What I see is that marriage is a carriage in which the husband and wife ride to Infinity together. The horse is in front and the driver sits behind and holds the reins.” He was teaching her that people filter things through their own frame of reference and that it is not “this or that” but that there are many levels of meaning.

    Vishav Ji – There is no gender bias. It is an analogy. The bride is the soul and the master is God. When the soul merges in God, the marriage is consumated. You will find this analogy all throughout the Guru Granth Shaib. Guru Ram Das Ji is saying that in the final round of the lavan, not only are the bride and groom merged, but the soul is merged with the One.

    …..G

  18. Kal says:

    After careful consideration of both of our feelings, translations online and from those who have studied it, My now-husband and I decided that we did not want to have him leading me or have me “holding the reigns” on him. We walked side by side during our wedding and pledge to do so in our life as well. I don’t feel any less married and it honestly didn’t stir up as much controversy as we thought it might, in fact, some aunties even said they wished they had thought of it!

  19. Vishavtej Singh says:

    SatSriAkaal
    Thank You Guruka Ji. Even I thought about this myself. I knew everything and the beauty of Gurbanibut I was’nt able to convince someone because it was my own shortoming of not expressing the reason in words and that too in a instant of that question put up to me. Here is what I think.

    There is certainly a difference between man and woman, it is not given by God but by our own Karmas and because of what is on our Chitr Gupt. Whatever we do or see our conscious or subconscious is effected by it and there are some emotions as a stimuli to what we see and what we go through. For example if a person smpokes for first time, it isn’t a habit. He can get rid of it easily at that time because it is not yet imprinted on our soul as deeply. And if he smokes more frequently, the engraving has deepened a little more and it becomes harder to quit. And if a person smokes everyday, it has become a habit and we all know that old habits die hard because it is the soul which has been deeply effected. And our habits then become our sanskaars(values) and actions as the time passes and at the time of death if our sanskaars are the not washed way with Sanskaars of Dharma, and God’s name is not our Sanskaar, then there is rebirth and we inherit the same sanskaars from our previous body on our soul and even if we think something and never do it, still its on our soul. This the concept of Chitr Gupt. So the physical and mental difference between man and woman is primarily because of our own Chitr Gupt. A man can never have same feeling and same “Mamta” as of a mother. A woman is more gentleand her feelings of being a mother, a bride and her feminine feelings are not same as of a man. There are manly and womanly things and also feelings. A female or a bride longs more for her lover or a soulmate than a male. When animals mate they try to attract each other by different actions. In some cases they spread their wings and dance (for example a male peacock), they have rounds of fight with each other. What I mean is that some things are natural and that too of our own nature.So if a Bride longs more for her husband it is a very logical and justified statement. The Lord is our master but our soul longs for her as a bride for her groom. There are two concepts involved in this. In the first place there is a relationship with God as a master and then the longing to meet him is that of a bride with her lover or husband. So he is like a husband as well as a master. We sometime can not understand something because our own level of understanding is low. This is the reason why repetition of Gurbani would reveal the facts and the truth if we spend time. We cant judge a person as correctly by meeting him the first time, it takes a little time. So whoever is like me should try to understand Guru over the period of time.

    Gurfateh.

  20. kal says:

    Oh come on! Seriously? I can’t even begin to comment on that. Its such a shame that your sexism is so deeply rooted and finds so much solace in your interpretation of your religion… A lot of religions are doing that these days: christianity, Islam, etc. Why should you be any different right? I was first drawn to Sikhism because it did teach different, but I can see there are men like you in every faith.

  21. lk says:

    I chanced upon this site searching for lavan translations for my fiance.. I myself am not religious.. or to explain it better, I have a different perception of religion and dont believe in rituals… The comments by some people who were arguing about why the bridegroom leads seems ridiculous.. Isnt it funny to see how people can have different interpretation of the same thing just to boost up their egoes be it men or women.. and hence gender war persists and the quest for power continues..

    Waahe guru..

  22. Prabhu Singh says:

    Ik Ji, your “different perception of religion” where you “dont believe in rituals” is not so different. That is one of the fundamental messages of Guru Nanak. He gave this Dharma (righteous way of living) so that our whole lives would have consciousness. We would leave behind ritual in favor of righteous actions.
    We can’t say what boosts someone’s ego or not, people have different experiences. Following the way of Gurmat (leaving behind rituals) and surrendering our manmat (the way of our untrained minds) we can eliminate ego and understand truth and see it every where.

  23. Vishav says:

    I think you misunderstood me. It is really the analogy in Guru Granth Sahib. And it different at different instances. God is also called mother of all at different occassions. It is not really sexism but an analogy. Here I was only talking about what is written in Laavan and why it is written. Different analogies are used to explain it better to people.
    It can’t be judged only from this explanation. I just tried to understand and then explain what Guru Sahib must have meant here. And my only purpose was to explain it better to one of my friends that it is not bias but an analogy. There is obviously a basic difference between the term Masculine and Feminine. And it is because of our Karmas. And to clear your misunderstanding about Sikh Dharam, I ll advise you to look into the deeper meanings and not only like a story.

    SSA

  24. Vishav says:

    Also there is no use of fulfilling one’s ego, and that too through Gurbani. It would be too much shameful to do that. And I did not try to do that. I did’nt interpret it. Its already clearly written. I ve only tried to give a reason behind it.
    “The One God, my Lord and Master, merges with His Divine Bride and her heart blossoms with His Holy Naam. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this fourth round, we have become One with the Eternal Lord.”

    Someone really asked me if it is gender bias. And this is why I asked it here. I am 19 and it is a still long time for me to get married. I had no reason to come up to Lavaan blog and comment on it, just to fulfill my Ego. And yes, every religion has all kind of people. There is no faith in this world in which you find that there is something magical to make a person wise. It take time and effort to do that.
    Thank You
    Sat Sri Akal.

  25. Khabir says:

    This may seem fundamentally wrong, ridiculous or even ludicrous if you must, but my understanding of the Lavaa is that its not intended for any marriage ceremony.

    Isn’t that the point of Gurbani, ceremonies are for men, not for God.

    That’s why we now have a “Sikh Culture”, designed by men, for men. It has nothing to do with God.

    You can commit yourself to each other by exchanging soda can rings or jumping through rings of fire together on a blazing motorcycle. Just don’t forget that you are doing it for you. For you and him (or her). For you and the society you live in.

    But if you want to talk about marriage in spiritual terms, read and understand the Lavaa. Because true marriage is not between human beings, but between you and God.

    When I read the Bani, I get a sense that the writers (whether one of the 10 gurus accepted by Sikh Culture or the other gurus who are not accepted as such) are mostly amused at how silly we people are. Most of the time they are poking fun at our “religious” practices. I’m sure if the same writers were around today, they’d be poking fun at walking around the Granth 4 times….

    There is a fundamental difference between Gurbani and Sikh Culture.

  26. Vishav says:

    Its Guru Granth Sahib, not “Granth”. and how did u even write ” this, “”if the same writers were around today, they’d be poking fun at walking around the Granth 4 times….””
    This is ridiculing of Guru Sahibaan, Gurbani and Anand Karaj.  i request mods to delete this comment from KHABIR.
     
     
     
     
     
     

  27. Khabir says:

    Oh no… you said “Gurbani” and not “Sri Gurbani Sahib Ji”…

    You should also consider “Sri Guru Sahibaan Ji”

    If not, some people may consider it an insult and ask for your comment to be deleted.

  28. Rashmeet says:

    i want 2 write it in  weing card help me out how cn i do that. firstly in punjabi and then  meaning of first line translated in english

  29. Inderjit Singh says:

    Dear Guru Ka Sikhs, my beloved sisters and brothers. First of all, lets all unite, and then we can have healthy conversations. Please know, this is our Guru we are talking about, so lets not loose our grace, for we are the graceful khalsas.

     Guru has made everything very easy and clear. When we love(really love) the guru, these questions about equality and rituals and everything will all be put to rest. Khalsa ji, clock is ticking, time is very little, lets start following guru, our souls, hearts, and knock off our agendas. LEts not have any more fighting over this here. LEts unite as guruka sikhs and let love answer all the questions for each one of us. We dont need our answers to be told to anyone or accepted by anyone. If we love the Guru, he will guide us, and only guru knows what each one of the students needs, in their stage. Lets all hope and pray, we all achieve this love, after that any type of marriage you chose, will last and will be succesful forever. If all were the same, there will be no fun travelling… The fun is to be different and still united. Thats marriage.

    Fateh.

  30. Khabir says:

    There is only one agenda. The Truth. And the truth about the Lavaa is that its not about marriage between man and woman but marriage between soul and Guru.

    The first laav is about how your karam or deeds must first change, don’t INDULGE IN RITUALS (that’s the STARTING point!!), embrace good living and do nothing which separates you from God (ie don’t act on your ego, but follow the Guru). Once you do this…
    The second laav says your journey has begun, and you are travelling to meet the Lord. Here, your ego dissolves away. You are in awe at the unity of the whole scheme of the universe and you sing glorious praises of the Lord and see God in everything. When this happens, the music of the universe resounds. You are plugged in, like Neo plugging into the Matrix, and you finally experience the unity of existence, how all that exists is ONE. Things finally make sense. With your ego dissolved, the only barrier separating you from the rest of existence is removed and you are one with the universe. When this happens…
    In the third laav, you are filled with Love. You have found God and you sing his wonderful praises and speak his words of wisdom. Once connected to the “Matrix” of God, you communicate with the universe in a silent language of understanding of how it all fits together. You realise that not much is within your control (ie capable of being altered by actions motivated by your ego). Everything is in the hands of the Lord. This obliteration of the Self connects you with The Other, and this is Love. When your deeds are not for your ego, The Self, but for The Other, God. When you heart is filled with this Divine Love…
    In the fourth laav, you are at peace. Guided by Him in your actions, you meet him all the time. Daily, hourly, by the minute, he resonates within you. Your entire being is no longer in conflict, you no longer have to reconcile your ego and the rest of existence. You have merged with the Lord and you WANT nothing, for only your ego WANTS something for yourself. The marriage of you (the bride) and God (the groom) is complete and your being becomes ONE.

    For a slightly more accurate translation of the Laava, see:

    1. In the first round , the Lord gives you His Instructions for your deeds in worldly life. Instead of performing rituals, embrace the righteous life of Dharma, and do nothing that separates you from God. Meditate on God’s Name. Embrace and continuously remember your True Identity. Worship and adore the Perfect True Guru, and all the errors of your past shall be washed away. By your great destiny, you shall know that bliss which passes all understanding, and the Lord, will become sweet to your mind. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this first round, the marriage has begun.
    2. In the second round, you are led to the True Guru – the Primal teacher. Filled with the awe of the Infinite, your ego dissolves away. In awe of the One who is forever pure, sing His Wonderful Praises and see God in all. The Lord – the Supreme Soul, is the Master of the Universe. He fills everything, everywhere. He fills all spaces. Deep within you, and outside as well, there is only One God. God’s humble servants meet together and sing the songs of joy and ecstasy. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this second round, the music of the universe resounds.
    3. In the third round your heart is filled with Divine Love. By my great destiny I have met the humble Saints who love the Lord and I have found God. I have found the pure Lord and I sing His Wonderful Praises. I speak the Word of the Lord’s spiritual wisdom. By great destiny I have found the humble Saints and I speak the silent language of the Infinite. The Lord’s Name vibrates and resounds within my heart. Meditating on God, I have realized the great destiny inscribed upon my forehead. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this third round, the heart is full with Divine Love of the One God.
    4. In the fourth round I have found God and my mind is filled with peace. Living as one guided solely by the Lord, I have met Him with simple ease. My mind and body are full of sweet delight. I am pleasing to God – and night and day I lovingly focus my awareness on the One. I have merged with my Lord and Master and all my desires are fulfilled. The Lord’s Name resounds and reverberates within me and all around me. The One God, my Lord and Master, merges with His Divine Bride and her heart blossoms with His Holy Name. Servant Nanak proclaims that in this fourth round, we have become One with the Eternal Lord.