Anand Karaj

Anand Karaj
Depiction of a Nihung Singh and his wife

A lot of the Nihung Singhs that came into Kalgidhar Maharaj’s Hazuri were Bihangam (unmarried/free birds) but Bhai Mani Singh Ji, Bhai Nand Lal Ji, Bhai Chaupa Singh Chibbar, among other Gursikhs were grehasthi (householders).
Puratan Nihung Singhs carried out the Anand Karaj ceremony by doing Parkarmas around Kalgidhar Maharaj along with Laavan da Paath. Now, Nihung Singhs do Parkarmas around Guru Granth Sahib Ji along with the Laavan da Paath. The appropriate time of Soohee Raag (Raag which Laavan are set in) is before 12pm (Raags have a time of day which they resonate the most). Keeping this in mind, Nihung Singhs will definitely carry out the Anand Kaaraj before 12pm. In the difficult decades living in the Jungles, there was a special way of how the Anand Karaj ceremony was conducted. Nihung Singhs held 5 Nihung Singhs to the esteem of Guru Panth then did Parkarma and 4 Laavan da Paath around the 5 Nihung Singhs. At that time, it was difficult having Darshan of Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Saroop. Secondly, as it was a rough time of war, Nihung Singhs had to be cautious of attacks. If Guru Maharaj’s Saroop would stay in the Panth’s Special Treasuries and Maharaj would be Prakash after winning a major battle when there was a safe place available. During safe times, Nihung Singhs would conduct an Akhand Paath and carry out the Dussehra (10-day Gurbani recitation and final rites [antim sanskar]) for the recently Shaheed Fauja.  In the rough time of War, Nihung Singhs would get Darshan of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj just by looking at the Panth-Khalsa.
Within the Jatha of Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, there would be Five Tyaar-Ber-Tyaar Farla-adorning Nihung Singhs. During Amrit Vela, Sant Ji would have Darshan of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj and Darshan of These 5 Farladhari Singhs.
A Nihung Singh considers a person’s ancestry, family and their line of work in their marriage because Kalgidhar Maharaj’s Bachan in the Rehatnamey are as the following:
ਬਿਆਹੁ ਕਰੈ ਆਪਣੇ ਬਰਨ ਆਸ੍ਰਮ ਕੁਲ ਦੀ
ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਨਾਲ ਬਰਤਨ ਕਰੇ।
ਜਿਸ ਵਿਚ ਸਿਖ ਨੂੰ ਦਾਗ ਲਗੇ, ਸੋ ਕਰਮ ਨਾ ਕਰੇ।
(ਰਹਿਤਨਾਮਾ ਭਾਈ ਚਉਪਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਛਿੱਬਰ)
Nihung Singhs look at Higher Traits/Merits of a family but not at the wealth. For example, if Sikhi is not practiced in a family but they are wealthy then the Nihung Singhs do not marry into that family. They also never become greedy for dowry. It is stated in the Rehitnamey that:
ਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਸਿਖ ਸਾਕ ਸਿਖ ਨਾਲ ਕਰੈ।
ਦੇਣ ਲੈਣ ਦਾ ਲਾਲਚ ਨਾ ਕਰੈ,
ਹਾਣੁ (ਉਮਰ) ਦੇਖੇ, ਹੱਡ ਸੁੱਚਾ ਦੇਖੇ,
ਮੱਥਾ ਮਿਲਦਾ ਦੇਖ ਲਏ।
Along with this, the Rehitnaamey especially mentions similar age and pure bones (high spiritual life). It also says to look for someone of similar wealth. After considering all of this, the Grihasth (household) stays well.
Many times, Nihung Singhs became the guardians of poor sisters and daughters. To uplift others, Singhs have married a poor person’s daughter. There is an example of this in the history of Nihung Singhs. One time, the entire panth (Budha Dal and Tarna Dal) got together at Tarn Taran Sahib. At this instance, the Meet Jathedar (Vice or Deputy Jathedar) was Baba Tapa Singh and there was a Diwan arranged. There were 15,000 Singhs adorned in that Diwan. A poor Sikh made a humble request to Jathedar Ji for a Singh to marry his daughter: “I am poor and cannot give dowry. My daughter is not that beautiful and that’s why she can’t get married.”
“Khalsa Ji, You are Gareeb Niwaaz (Merciful to the Poor/Protector of the Impoverished) and because of this I have come to you for help”. 96 Crori Baba Naina Singh shouted loudly: "Will anyone get married to this unmarried girl?" After Baba Ji’s repeated calls to action, no Nihung Singh came forward and Baba Tapa Singh - who was a senior at the time -  married the poor man’s daughter and settled in Ledha Khaadr near Paonta Sahib.
In Puratan times, the Jathedar of Dals used to arrange marriages. An example of this is Tarna Dal’s 12th Jathedar Baba Bishan Singh Ji, who arranged many marriages and conducted the seva for the Anand Kaaraj ceremonies. Among Nihung Singhs, separating and abandoning someone’s daughter is not seen as a good act. If any Singh abandoned someone’s daughter then Puratan Nihung Singhs would have the Singh summoned in front of the Punj Piaare. After a Gurmatta, the Singh’s face would be literally painted black or something along these lines in the Hazuri of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj.

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