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Sikh Presence @ Kumbh Mela


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Gurfateh !

Echoing 'Malwe Da Sher' Bai ji's sentiments in his recent post ---

"Something cheerful for once instead of the recent gloom... "

Here is something a bit more inspirational than all the gloom and hatred that has descended on SA of late - a picture I found recently - it is titled 'Sikh Sadhus Arriving at Kumbh Mela by Horse 2007'

I think it is a wonderful image - evocative of the original Nirmaley being sent out by Guru Sahib "for the propagation of Gurmat updesh, adhyatmic gyan, Brahmvidya and dharma" (Tirath Singh Nirmala 2006 - Bhavrasamrit Teeka.)

Beautiful .....

Perhaps tSingh Bhai Sahib or Kam1825 Bhai Sahib could shed some light on who the individual 'Sadhus' are ?


Enjoy !


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Malwe Da Sher,

I'm not sure which dals send their Singhs. But during the last Mahakumbh Mela I remember seeing photos of Nihangs, Nirmele and of course Udaseen Sadhus attending.

Going to Kumbh Mela is a great way to do parchar and spread the message of your faith which is why Sarmpradhayas of various faith denominations from all over India attend the Kumbh Mela. Long ago, Sikhs would attend these melas. Our Maharajas from Sikh Riasats in Malwa would attend these melas sometimes getting into violent confontations with the armed Naga Sadhus.

The Naga Sadhus are a very arrogant bunch. Once long ago there was even a story in which the Naga Sadhus insulted and desecrated an Akhand Paath being conducted by Nirmalas and Udaseens. The Naga Sadhu stopped the Akhand Paath by force, beat up the Nirmala and Udaseens.

They were also very disrespectful to the Guru Granth Sahib.

These Nirmala and Udaseen Sadhus went to the Maharraja Patiala who along with some of his army was also attending the Mahakumbh Mela. Hearing what the Naga Sadhus had done was too much for the Singhs and Maharaja of Patiala to tolerate. So he collected his men and massacred hundreds of Naga Sadhus that day. The Naga Sadhus were only saved because of the British force that came as soon as it heard of the violence. From that day on, the Naga Sadhus never messed with Singhs.

So I think it is crucial for Singhs like the Nihangs to attend just incase.

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Gurfateh, a good photo.

I've not met these mahapurush formally, but i think thats Mahant Paal Singh Ji in the bhagva, and furthest left is Mahant Santokh Singh Ji of Paldi pind. The others i can't see clearly enough. This is at allahabad (near the nirmal chauni) last year. Where did you find this photo?

That sentence you quote is a bit hammy. Basically, they are there for prachar, but also for a bit of interaction (Sri Mahant gets invited to other programmes by other groups and speaks, some of the Udasis and Nirmalay visit each other and others). I've read of one case (way back in the day) when a nirmala sought out a jivanmukt sannyasi (of no apparent affiliation to a samprday) as a new gurdev and wandered the himalaya with him for a few years. It was also used as an oppurtunity for the main players to agree on certain things, like for example Mahant Ganesha Singh being directed to compose his history of the nirmalas - Itihas Nirmal Bhekh, so it serves a number of purposes. the nirmalay and udasis have been attending every kumbh for a very long time. the nirmalay set up the panchayti akhara as a way of better organising themselves at each kumbh location (hence there are panchayti akhara deras at ujjain, nasik, allahabad and of course haridvar). I can't remember the earliest attendance, but it goes back to the 1700s.

I presume Ustad Niddar Singh Nihang would know more about this than I, but the naga sadhus (juna akhara) were established by the great scholar Svami Madhusudan Sarasvati, author of the very technical advaitsiddhi (one of the earliest texts translated into braj by a nirmala) as a martial order of sadhus to defend against moghul hostilities back when. There is one story about Svami Madhusudan's actions which implies some form of conflict with the moghuls of the day in and around mathura. From what I've seen they no longer have those martial traditions, but you'll find lots of photos of them naked smeared in ash sporting a talwar, or even in one i've seen with a kamarkasa, a kataar and a narsinha.

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Nothing wrong with Hamming it up every now and again Luvvie !

Thanks for the reply - The picture came from Corbis.com

This is the low resolution version - you can buy the high resolution image and the rights to use it from corbis.com

Here are the details

42-18223517| RM| © Kazuyoshi Nomachi/Corbis

Sikh Sadhus Arriving at Kumbh Mela by Horse

Image: © Kazuyoshi Nomachi/Corbis

Photographer: Kazuyoshi Nomachi

Date Photographed: January 13, 2007

Location Information: Allahabad, India

Thanks again Mate !

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