Lavan Defined: Unite in Matrimony

Nuptual Rounds

Lavan Wedding Rounds
Lavan Wedding Rounds. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Definition of Lavan:

Lavan is the phonetic Romainzed simplistic spelling of several similar words related to verses of Sikh scripture and nuptial rounds of the Sikhism marriage ceremony.

  1. Lavan [phonetic sp. laav-aan] refers to nuptial rounds made during a wedding ceremony.
  2. Lavan [phonetic sp. laav-ann] means to apply, attach, bind, blend, join, link, merge, or unite.
  3. Lavan [phonetic sp. laav-an] poetic in scripture.

    In Sikhism, Lavan is the title of a set of four Laav,  a nuptial hymn of four verses written by Fourth Guru Raam Das. Lavan is plural while Laav is singular. Lavan indicates the entire set of four Laav matrimonial verses.

    Lavan is read by the granthi (priest) from the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib during the Anand Karaj marriage ceremony. Tethered together by the palla, the bride follows the groom around the holy scripture as each Laav is sung by ragis (musicians). Lavan binds the bride and groom together through matrimony, uniting them spiritually with each other and God.

    Pronunciation and Spelling of Lavan

    Pronunciation:

    1. Laav sounds like love and Laavaan like love-on. First and second syllable aa has a long sound. Second syllable N has a nasal sound.
    2. Laavann sounds like love-unn. First syllable aa has a long sound and second syllable a has a sort sound. Second syllable nn is a nasal sound pronounced with the tongue touching the roof of the mouth.
    1. Laavan sounds like love-un. First syllable aa has a long sound. Second syllable n is pronounced with tongue touching upper teeth.

    Alternate Spellings:

    1. Singular spellings: Laav, Laaw. Plural spellings: Laawaan, Laavaan.
    2. Lavann, Laavann, Lawan, Lawann.
    3. Laawann, Laavan.

    Examples in Scripture of Lavan:

    Sikh scripture is poetic in nature, phonetic spellings and translations may vary.

    These interpretations are my own .

    • "Sabhnaa saahurai vannjanaa sabh muk-laavann-haar ||
      Everyone shall go to their Lord Husband, and all shall be given a ceremonial send-off after their marriage." SGGS||50 Guru Arjan Dev
    • "Sabhnaa jeeaa kaa ek daataa jotee jot mi-laavann-haar ||
      Of all beings there is only the One Giver. He blends our light with His Light." SGGS||68 Guru Amar Daas
    • "Bisman bisam bha-e bismaadaa aan na beeou doosar laavan ||
      I am amazed, struck by His wonder, He is second to no other. SGGS||717 Guru Arjan Dev
    • "Har pehlarree laav parvirtee karam drirraa-i-aa bal raam jeeo ||
      In the first round of the marriage ceremony, the Lord sets out His Instructions for performing the daily duties of married life." SGGS||773 Guru Raam Daas
    • "Sabh teree jot jotee vich varteh gurmatee thudhai laavan-ee ||
      O Luminous Lord of Light infused within all  linking us to to the instructions imparted by the Enlightener ." SGGS||1314 Guru Raam Daas