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Missionary in Sikhism


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I would like to take a change to start off this topic:

Lets go back 100 yrs back from now.....how was missionary of sikh faith back then?? As in what kinda strategy was used to spread guroo mahararj message to the "Human Kind"???

I know nirmalai's, takshali's and udhasis are known for this kinda mahan seeva... so i would like to lalleshvari as well how was it done breifly like the over strategy for nirmal's, takshal's and udasis???

Thanks in advance :D

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The Greatest missionary of sikhism were our Gurus by themselves. Just imagine how many became sikhs when Guru Nanak Dev ji did his "udhasi" all over the asia.

Also read below for further information.

source: http://www.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/discussion....A9?OpenDocument

The Sikh traditions suggest that Guru Amar Dass, the third Sikh Guru, assigned 22 trust worthy disciples specific areas in the country to preach the message of incipient Sikhism. These particular areas were called Manjis in the Sikh History. The word Manji means a traditional bed in vernacular language. It is said that Guru Nanak used to preach while sitting on the manji and that tradition possibly explains the choice of this designation. Following is the list of the Manjis proclaimed during the time of the third Guru. I am missing information in some areas. I will highly appreciate any help to complete the list

Beni Ji, village Chooni, Area Lahore, Madhoo/Khatri

Lalloo ji Dalae, Sabaharwal/Khatri

Mai Dass Narooli Maja

Allah Yar Peshawar Kabul

Darbari Ji Majitha Amritsar Mambae/Khatri

Sadharan ji Goindwal Goindwal Lohar (Blacksmith)

Kheda Ji Khemkharan Amritsar Brahmin

Sachan Sachji Madar Amritsar

KedariJi Batala Gurudasspore Lommba/Khatri

Sakhanji Dhimial Rawalpindi/Potiahar Khatri

Maheshji Sultanpore Sultanpore Khatri

Raja Ramji Doaba Brahmin

Boohaji Batala Trehan/Khatri

Paroo Jhulkaji Dalae

Sawan Malji Goindwal Kangra Bhela/Khatri

Gangoo Shahji

Fera ji Meerpore Jammu

Ganga Dassji Ghrooan Ambala Bhandari/Khatri

Mathoo Moorariji

Manak Chand ji Vairowaal Pathria/Khatri

Gang Shah ji Maloo Potaa Jhallandhar Arora/Khatri

Niranjiae Jaindala Amritsar Hindali/Jat

· Some Shah Kot Shakar Zhang ?

· His progeny is settled in Alwar

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Here's some key points from Darshan Singh's article;

There was a need at a rural level for educational institutions since Medieval times in india. The Hindus wouldn't send their children to the Muslim madrasas, the Hindu patshalas were only in the big cities. The Nirmalae filled this gap. They taught elementary sanskrit, gurmukhi and sikh scripture to rural children of all backgrounds. No charges were asked for. They gave free ayruvedic medicine to those who were ill. 'People in those days treated the vaid like God'. This led them to establish links with people of all castes and creeds. 'Many Hindu young men offered themselves to be inititaied into Sikhism with pahul of khanda'.

At first, they went around essentially as wandering ascetics. By the 19th century they established akharas at the banks of the Kumbh Melas and important tiraths. By the end of the 19th centruy they lived mostly in 'monasterys' (akharas, deras, mandals, dharamsalas).

The Nirmalas became a well-disciplined and highly respected organisation. They built dharamshalas at many places and admitted people of all faiths and shared their own meals with those who needed it.

On Sankrantii, Pooranmashi, Amaavas and on Gurpurabs they held recitations and commentaries from Gurbani.

'...because they frequently quoted from hindu scriptures, the ordinary hindu could not differentiate between Hinduism and Sikhism and was easily led into the fold of Sikhism, without having knowledge of it. Thus Nirmalas won wide acclamation from the Hindu masses as their teachers, preachers, physicians and mentors.'

The greatest strength the Nirmalae had was being placed by the Hindu pilgrimage centres. There they could make pilgrims conversant with their own viewpoint. This method was used by the Gurus themselves (ref. Janamsakhis discussions with sidhs, etc). Places such as Kurukshetra, Haridwar, Kashi, Prayag, Ujjain, Triambak and Jagannathpuri were important centres. Centres were also established upon request, hence deras were created in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and even Nepal.

The author then loooks to the Singh Sabha movement, internal problems and the writings of Giani Dit Singh denouncing the samprda as reasons for their declining influence.

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Great post veer ji... thanks a million :D

Can you provide information on difficulities nirmalaie been threw until now?? What problem did they face during such an challenging goal???

Did they ever had debates with rss/vhp (Hindu Extermist) ? I m assuming yes, how did they go about handling their propaganda against sikhs???

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The difficulty for the Nirmalae is that the goal posts have moved in a post-colonial Indian society, leaving the Nirmalae with a dual identity. This is evident from the general difference between Punjabi Nirmalae and Uttarkashi Nirmalae. The intake of new sadhus and patronage is vastly reduced because there is relatively little prestige or recognition attached to being a Nirmala sadhu in Punjab nowadays. The Udasis went one way, the Sewapanthis the other. The Nirmalae are generally sat much where they were pre-reform (with the exception of the Sant-baba style Nirmalae).

This is a common dilemna for any tradition. Do you modernise at the expense of compromising certain traditions or do you sit rigidly, with the possibility of becoming a barely living piece of history. The same problem exists for all the samprdava, to a greater or lesser extent - that with the older (trained by pre-reform babae) generation dying out, so will the original traditions and gyan.

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I agree with you jtsingh there.. old tradition has been lost unfortunately.. now if you takin this kinda seeva to bring old tradition of guroo sahiban's back in sikhi now you probably get labelled as rss or GOI Agent instead of gettin appreciation

... too much ignorance these days.. anything doesnt fit to their little beleif its anti-sikh :roll: :roll:

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Thankfully much of the Nirmala ways are still being kept alive, but I would say generally speaking, outside of Punjab (Herkhowal testifies to this). It is the world around them that has changed.

We can see in Nanaksar and some of the Sant Babae, how a watered down form of the Nirmalae functions, a form that I would say deliberately fits in with post-reform Sikhi.

The organisational structure and traditional practices still exist for Nirmalae.

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Thanks for your response

speaking of nanaksar.. baba harnaam singh bucho walie was a nirmala... you think nanaksar are much more alinged with nirmalie traditions.. as in learning different languages like- sanskrit, braj basha, arabic, farsi, urdu along with gurmukhi and respect to siri guroo granth sahib ji.. I go to my local gurdwara at nanaksar .. jatehdar looks quite educated... i ll do bachan with baba ji at nanaksar regarding this matter as well...

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Baba Nand Singh ji, was a shish of a Nirmala. Most of the distinctive Nanaksari practices have a Nirmala origin (importance of pooranmashi, celibacy, asceticism, vegetarianism, symbolism of 5Ks, long rehras/ardas/importance of aarti, Guruji as an avatar) yet they are not scholars and this is where they break away fromthe Nirmalae. Regardless, I think these practices constitute the link back to the Nirmalae from Baba Harnam Singh ji.

As I'm sure you're aware, there are a number of mainstream groups who link back to the Nirmalae.

I'm pretty confident that Nanaksar acknowledge this link. I know a fairly prominent Nanaksari Sant Baba who described the Nanaksars and Nirmalae as brothers. Baba Ram Singh ji is in with Sri Mahant Tirath Singh Sewapanthi, and prominent Nirmalae recently attended a smagam he held.

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Yes you are quite right...nirmalie and nanaksar are quite alinged with each other.

Yes it will be nice if they could start scholary work as well like they already have enuf dharamsala's across the western countries.. perhaps starting something from there...spreading literature in english, punjabi & hindi etc like atam marg org doing (www.atammarg.org) by sant waryam singh ji....

Best thing i like about them is they concentrate purely on prema bhakti which is really important in sikhism.. somebody had to represent prema bhakti so we get nanaksar and nirmalie :D

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One thing to clarify however, is that although Nanaksar can be traced back to the Nirmalae, they bare little or no resemblance to them nowadays, beyond the aforementioned practices. In my opinion Nanaksar can't be considered an upsamprda of the Nirmalae. This likewise applies to most other offshoots from the Nirmalae.

Again, Sant Jagjit Singh Herkhowal (a trained Nirmala) states quite clearly that his gurdev stated that many of the Sants of punjab were the 'enemies of knowledge'. At an ideological level, Nirmalae maintain their original function of mastering and spreading various forms of vidiya, as instigated by Guruji.

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I got one question in my mind for couple of days.. like to ask you.. how nirmaalie was effected in 84 riots??? did that period of time effected their ability to do missionary work because there was tenstion between hindu and sikh???

Also again how you guys normally handle rss propaganda??? show us some technique veer ji... there is enuf rss in western countries operating behind the mandirs and even inflatrated in gurdwara's??

I used to debate with this guy on the forums from toronto name net alias "Pandit" long time before.. he used to says things we got our people in gurdwara too... like in dixie gurdwara.. famous gurdwara in ontario.. he used says things like dumb sardars have alchohol behind the screens and say khalistan zindabad...... stuff like that pisses me off big time :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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As for the 84 riots and after, well samprdava were affected by that too. For example, Mahant Tarlochan Singh ji Sewapanthi of Dera Sant Pura in Yamun Nagar was murdered by hindu extremists in 1990. However, it is something I have never raised before, so am not able to comment on.

As for the RSS, well fanatics will be fanatics. Anyone with sound understanding of post-colonial creation of nationalist ideologies, or Sikhi will not find it difficult to defeat them. The issue is not so much are Sikhs part of Hinduism, but rather as Lalleshvari has stated numerous times and even Giani Sher Singh writes back in 1943, the real issue is what is this 'Hinduism' they claim Sikhi is part of?

My general advice for dealing with any fanatic/kutavadi is that a kuta only knows how to bark a lot. It may even bite if you give it opportunity. Why then waste your time with them?

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True say jt singh, but i also feel that if we first solve our internal problems and be united we can defeat the enemy quite easily... just imagine having scholarship of nirmaalie's strong hands/martial tradition of nihangs, fearless takshalis niskham seva of seeva panthis and missionaries such udhasi and nirmalie together can defeat the external enemies very easily :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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