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Swami Parmanand is not really a Nirmala, but rather a Vedandist who recognises the same elements in Gurmat. Their Gurdev was Akhandanand Maharaj.

They certainly do sangat with Nirmalai Sants and learn from them, but they are not part of the Nirmala Upsampryada.

Swami Ji's pravachan on simran/bhagti/dhyaan are awesome, I would highly recommend coming and having his darshan for the remaining few days at Bhai Daljit Singh Nirmalas house in Tividale - 6am sharp.

They will also be at Nanaksar Taath - Wolverhampton fro the 2nd to 4th Sep - 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

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Your question is a bit like asking is Mangu Ram a Hindu because he worships Shiva but Babu Ram the Hindu worships Vishnu. When you open up a can of worms like 'Sanantan' Sikhism then you are left with a free for all with every tom dick and harry claiming to be an Udasi, Nirmala or whatever. On a side note, I remember attending a Niddar Singh talk and there was some Hindu guy dressed in what I could see as normal clothes, no tikka or bindis or any other paraphenalia but a Singh next to me told me 'he's an Udasi!' I have no doubt there's lots of people around now claiming to be Nirmalas, Udasis and Nihangs who probably have no knowledge of any of these orders but like the fact that they can look 'cool' to their friends.

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When I read that Nidar book on Hazur Sahib, it had the section about that Chadhu fellow in Hyderabad, who was pretty much the de facto head of state.

What was he? A sehajdhari, mona, udasi or what?

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Mona. which today refers to a Sikh who has cut his hair is probably the word term to use for Diwan Chandu Lal. He was a Sehajdhari Sikh whose background was of a Khatri from Dera Baba Nanak area. It is interesting that from the 16th to the late 18th century, Sehajdhari Sikhism was the national religion of most Khatris and Aroras outside of Punjab.

Edited by tonyhp32
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I don't know why we can't have masses of these types today as converts, will help in conversions for people who can't commit to the full Khalsa lifestyle for whatever reason. Could help us up numbers enormously in the west.

It just seems like common sense, especially seeing as so many Panjabi Sikhs are sehajdhari now anyway?

I heard there was another guy like this before as well called Diwan Kaura Mal, who used to help the Khalsa during the Moghul oppression.

How comes we got so strict? I know Khalsa sant soldier is the apex form of Sikhi, but leeway for others seems to have always been there, why not now?

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  • 9 months later...

My first post in a long time! For the sake of clarification...

Swami Parmanand Ji is a dashnami sannyasi, not a Nirmala or Udasi.

Nirmalas have always fallen into two types, those who were deredaar and those who were virakat. The former provided education to the community around them and propagated things like amrit sanskar, etc. The latter moved from place to place from itihasik gurdware to the ancient tiraths propagating dharam. Virakat maryada is different from deredar on some points. This does not fall into dharam singh upsamprday vs dya singh upsamrpdaya. I get the feeling that beyond Rare wale Sants and Hoti Mardan people are less aware of the many other branches of those whose guru pranalis fall under Bhai Dya Singh Ji, but they include just as many virakat sadhus as any other.

Bikramjit, I'm afraid you're a little out of your depth on this topic. Unfortunately people cannot wake one morning and find themselves an Udasi or Nirmala. I don't know how it works for Nihangs but you have to be formally taken on by a Nirmala, Sevapanthi or Udasi sadhu as a shish. This gives you a guru pranali which is recognised by the sampradaya and at least for the Nirmalas that means authorities in the bhekh knowing who you are. The one thing that has surprised me is the inner consistency within both the Sevapanthis and Nirmalas on their curriculum of study, siddhant and exegesis across centuries! Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised considering the perfection in Gurmat Sidhant, which leads me on to chatanga again raising this 'vedant vs gurmat' point...the point is advaita lies at the heart of both. The concepts of trehguna maya, agyan, nirgun braham, turiya, paramarth, atam-braham being one, the explicit reference to 'projecting falseness' onto experience are at the very heart of Sikh metaphysics! It is not possible to deny this because these words are used consistently and precisely in Gurbani! Show these words to someone well versed in an Indic form of qualified vedanta or monotheism and they will know exactly what it means in terms of metaphysics. The means by which we reach that state are different. Sachkhand has always been interpreted as turiya or brahamlok across the centuries.

Hope this helps

Edited by tSingh
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Okay, in the hopes that tsingh may respond. (Good to have you back by the way!)

So from what I understand Sikhi is an expression along the lines of advaita vedant, or the nondual understanding of the creation and the creator. This seems to come out in quite a salient fashion in Jaap Sahib (that is if I've managed to generally grasp its depth and content to any extent).

What I'd like to ask is: where does Sikhi actually noticeably differ from the other schools of advaita thought? In other words, what do you perceive to be it's more unique theological aspects? Do you see any? I guess what I'm asking is what new insights did Sikhi bring to our understanding of advaita vedant? Or do you see Sikhi in light of an attempt to try and reset already revealed advaita principles which had become somewhat deviated by man through entropy? If this makes sense.

If you do answer please do so simply - as if talking to someone of average intelligence (at best).

Edited by dalsingh101
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In general terms, the symbolic worship (upasana) of Akal Purush in His omnipresent form (vairat svarup) rather than worship through a anthropomorphic physical form (panchbhautik svarup). Our focus (ishta) toward which we enact worship is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji because we see no difference in identity between Ishvar and Satiguru.

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Only a flying visit! Good question. I'll keep it ultra terse and to the point - nirgunvaad, our sadhanas and the place of bhakti.

I get the nirgunvaad bit, but is our bhakti different from other bhakti movements in in anything other than a focus on the nirgun conceptualisation of a creator? How is the place of bhakti in our thing different to it's position in advaita vedant in general?

Plus what exactly do you mean by our sadhanas?

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In a sense bhakti is bhakti. It would be odd to consider one bhajananandi inferior to another! Yet because our sidhant is different, there are differences. In common with all forms of bhakti i) we have sharanaagati as the perfect state, complete surrender to Bhagvan, the rejection of mamtaa (I-am-ness) and kartritva (I am a causal agent) ii) we have the nine manners of bhakti iii) we have the same states of bhav and ras. Yet we have vairat svarup as the focus, we have the notion that bhakti is necessary for attaining purity prior to the guru-gyan that will bring kaivalya moksh, and we have the gurmantra as revealed by Akal Purakh (these are the sadhanas). For Gurmat Sidhant we do not recognise the four inferior types of moksh (salokya, samipya, etc) as ultimate, only kaivalya moksh of non-difference (hari harijan dui ek hai bib bichar kuch nahi, etc).

Bhakti and Advaita Vedanta, it is there...not in dry academic Advaita, but in practice figues like Madhusudan Sarasvati and Sachidanandindra Saraswati were vociferous proponents of bhakti combined with Advaita but like us, they recognised that the essential form of Braham is formless.

Personally I find questions of religious identity interesting but of limited relevance. That supreme Braham is singular and has always been a truth that has existed and has been realised as per Gurbani.

Edited by tSingh
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Personally I find questions of religious identity interesting but of limited relevance. That supreme Braham is singular and has always been a truth that has existed and has been realised as per Gurbani.

Seems like we are stuck with trying to resolve the paradox of having a God that is on one hand ਅਧਰਮੰ whilst having a lot of symbolic prescriptions (or ਰਸਮ) that come with the Khalsa way of life.

Personally I don't know how you see this as being of limited relevance, does it not lay at the very heart of the Khalsa way of life?

It's certainly something that I find difficult to fully grasp anyway. If we placed little emphasis on form it would be easier to understand, but instead we place an inordinate amount of importance on external form in our community. It seems paradoxical?

Edited by dalsingh101
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Entirely depends on what you take 'adharamang' to mean. Its in all classical descriptions of nirguna braham. Why is this of limited relevance? Because your Satiguru is telling you that a life that has any value is one in which the jiva has gained aatam-gyaan, so investing time and effort into pursuing how we are different and distinct is interesting but not the be all and end all.

You're question about how our siddhant is different is conflating the pursuit of brahamgyan with kshatriya dharam. The two are not opposed, but nor are they same thing. All can access brahamgyan and it comes as no surprise that the Khalsa rehitdhari Sikh has no exclusive claim on knowledge of Braham. The external form is the svarup of the Ishvariya Panth given to us by Sri Kalgidhar Swami Ji. This is why Nirmale keep kesh. In principle the treh mudra/panj kakkar are there for upholding and implementing the kshatriya dharam.

Edited by tSingh
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