UK Sikh Youth Bodies Issue Joint Statement For Sanctity of Anand Karaj Ceremony

Joint Statement of All UK Sikh Youth Bodies

Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Jee Ke Fateh

Wonderful Lord’s Khalsa, Victory is to the Wonderful Lord.

With the Kirpa of Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee we are pleased to announce that all Panthic Sikh bodies across the UK have outlined the initiative that will prepare all would-be participants of the Sri Anand Karaj Ceremony.

This program has been designed to implement the guidelines as governed by the Sikh Rehat Maryada and Guidelines from Sri Akal Thakt Sahib in a fair and consistent manner, for all those that choose the spiritual union of the Sri Anand Karaj Sahib.

Background – Protests

It is with great sadness that we have witnessed the widespread abuse of this ceremony in many of our Gurdwara Sahibs. Driven by greed; extremist caste-ego dictators in control of many Gurdwara Sahibs have financially exploited this spiritual practise. Constructing lavish buildings with aim of generating marriage-day revenues, coupled with lavish party halls to further franchise this event. Many Gurdwaras have become commercial enterprises, rather than schools of Gurmat and Spirituality that they were designed for.

In 2007 Panth Dhardi Sikhs across the UK began a campaign to bring awareness to this abuse. Protestors held 3 major concerns surrounding “Sham” Anand Karaj ceremonies.

I. The sacrilege of the Holy Ceremony.

II. The Disrespect (Mockery) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee.

When Sri Anand Karaj commitments are combined with Hindu/Christian/Muslim ceremonies too.

III. Perilous concerns about the knock on affect on young Sikhs who witness a ceremony lacking any Sikhi authenticity, left confused about their faith and what’s expected of them.

Those witnessing such “artificial” ceremonies are left with the impression that the importance of marrying into the Sikh faith and raising the next generation as Sikhs is of little or no importance.

With one marriage having influence on countless other young impressionable minds who bear witness; the effects of which is causing an exponential decline in Sikh-with-Sikh marriages, with the inevitable repercussions that would bring for future generations.

Background – 2007 Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Sandesh.

In 2007 Sri Akal Thakt Sahib (The Supreme Sikh Spiritual Throne), issued a Sandesh (Reminder), which reiterated the original mainstream SGPC Maryada .

This stated that, “Anand Karaj Ceremony is for those committed to the Sikh Faith only”. And “anyone who is not a Sikh should embrace the Sikh faith first” (denouncing previous faith).

As a minimum commitment to the Sikh faith, newcomers to the Sikh Dharm should include “Singh” or “Kaur” in their name. (Both Passport and Driving Licence)

This Sandesh was on the whole ignored by Gurdwara Committees- Others used elaborate, creative and cunning methods to proceed with mock name changes.

Way forward

Pre-Anand Karaj Education Program for all participants

In August 2015 Panthic organisations & Gurdwara Sahib’s across the UK gathered in Southall and reiterated that Sri Anand Karaj must be conducted in line with Sikh Reht Maryada and agreed that an education program should be developed for all would-be participants.

It is under the directions of this unanimous Panthic approval, which was endorsed by Sikh Council UK, Sikh Federation UK and Federation of Sikh Organisations UK and 100’s other organisations and Gurdwara Sahibs, that this program was inaugurated.

This education program will be commissioned and spearheaded by leading organisations in Parchar; “Basics of Sikhi” and “Sikh 2 Inspire” & “Khalsa Foundation” teams, Headed by Bhai Jagraj Singh, Bhai Sukhraj Singh & Bhai Jagjit Singh respectively.

This program is designed to be welcoming, interactive, enlightening and will be geographically convenient for all participants.

It will cover core principles of the Sikh faith, as well as easy bite size insight into the Sri Anand Karaj; it’s protocols and correct conduct.

It will nurture and inspire participants and give them the best possible Dharmic education to start their spiritual journey together into married life.

This course is welcome to all persons, regardless of faith, caste, creed, colour, and gender.

This course is devised to emphasise the Spiritual importance of the ceremony, and will allow those who have completed the course to make an informed decision into proceeding with an Anand Karaj ceremony.

It will welcome and embrace those who have a genuine appreciation of Sikhi to join our beautiful faith and bring back the Sanctity to Sri Anand Karaj, free of disrespect from members of our community and others.

The course will be overlooked by well-respected 5 Singh’s (Panj Pyare) to ensure the course and it’s conduct is always aligned with Gurmat values and is continuous working towards the betterment of the Panth.

We thank all organisations and individuals who have committed to this truly pioneering sewa and humbly request all organisations and Gurdwara Sahibs to lend support and expand to this initiative.

This is an opportunity for all Panthic organisations to come together and make positive partnerships to inspire our next generation

Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Jee Ke Fateh

Wonderful Lord’s Khalsa, Victory is to the Wonderful Lord

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