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Buddha dal, amrit sanchar!


drawrof
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waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh!

I have returned from a trip to india, and I found that there is a practice occuring within the buddha dal that doesn't make sense to me as a sikh..

The "mazbhi" sikhs are asked to stand "alag" and then they are given amrit from a different batta. My first question is... does every ablakhi drink from the same batta in the end? or is the amrit sanchar completely segregated

I myself had the priveledge to have undergone the amrit sanchaar ceremony at hazoor sahib in which there were 2 lines, and, in the end, we all drank from one baata... hence the whole concept of 4 varnas becoming 1... is implemented.

Now, according to the information that I received from prominent members of the buddha dal (and tarna dal in some cases)... the 4th pauri sikhs (mazbhis, sudras) are generally not allowed to eat side by side with the non-mazbhi sikhs. I was also told by a very prominent member of the buddha dal that they are designing another sarovar for the mazbhis (in that chawnee) so that they will not have to bathe with them. I would like someone from this forum to explain how this is relevant to sikhi or the practicality in the dal panth....

apparently, The sketch of the sikhs by lt. malcolm also refers to similar practices. Ie. the only time mazbhi's sat with the non-mazbhi sikhs was during the gurmatta....

I was also told of an incident, recently, where a mazbhi sikh was given a farla and was then beaten because he didn't share that he was a mazbhi. Another thing that was mentioned by a prominent member of the buddha dal was that if a mazbhi were to touch his baata, then he would put it in fire to purify it.

Is it me, or am I missing something here?

waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh

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Guest Javanmard

mazhbi: low caste Sikh.

That's maybe one of the only problems I have with Budha Dal personaly and that is an issue Budha Dal will have to deal with.But then again (even though I disagree with it) the position of Budha Dal is more honest than that of the SGPC who claim to be egalitarian but is in fact dominated by Jatts hence the existence of Ramgharia or Ravidasi gurdware.

There is a problem and it needs to be solved NOW!

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The treatment of Mazbi Sikhs by the Budha Dal is indeed seemingly at odds with the egalitarian principles of Sikhism. Whilst the Dal are quite open about how they treat Mazbi Sikhs in the Dal and even how women are adminstered amrit (also slightly differntley) I have never been satisfied with the reasons that they have for these differences.

I would also ben keen to hear hwo the Dal reconciles this - and if indeed this is somethign that is defended or just a fact of life in Indian society.

In Oberoi's book 'Construction of Religious Boundaries' there are a number of refernces to how 'low caste' sikhs were treated in the late 19th century iunclduing a seperate Ghat at the Sarovar of the Marimandir where they had to bathe seperately. Fortunately even the SGPC with its rampant disregard for Sikh values and its own Jatt nepotism does not continue to propogate this vile practice.

Finally on Nihal Kaurs Q re:high and low castes I woudl be keen to understand the heirarchy within 'castes' or biradaris as well. Within the Khatri Sikh community there is a well established pecking order, but what is it within Ramgharias and Jatts?

Aman

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Guest Javanmard

One also has to keep in mind the fact that casts also change their position in society. Jatts are classified as shudras but Jatt Sikhs because they joined the Khalsa are considered kshatriya even though many have not discontinued with the habit of drinking alcohol made out of grains (sign of low caste) whereas wine is the kshatriya drink par excellence because of its nobility (and less likely to get you drunk).

I think the reasoning of Budha Dal is: everyone can be a Sikh but sepately. This apparent contradiction exists in other medieval movements in India and shows how resilient castism is. REgarding the separate amrit for women... kirpan da amrit is not for women alone but is more suited for women and I guess it just became a norm among the Nihangs.

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I thank everyone for their replies,

I spent some time with naamdhari's and it appears that they follow the same convention. The reason for the seperation, as I have been told, is that the mazbhi sikhs (which also includes sikhs who are of non-indian origin (ie. muslims, black, white, chinese) tend to have "dirty" habits.. and it is justified as a process where the "Dal" are less prone to catching diseases as "these sikhs" are more likely to contract diseases from their relatives at home. I have also been told that guru gobind singh kept the mazbhi's at a distance. The other justification I have had, which I don't find adequate, is that mazbhi's are actually empowered because under brahman control.... lead was put into their ears if they heard religious sermons etc, but within sikhi...they can all partake in the congregation within the gurdwaras.

I would also have to state though that the "jatt" domination of gurdwara's is also a byproduct of increased wealth from Jagirdari's, old wealth, and the green revolution...as well as larger numbers of jatt people. In essence, the problem is not one of just "jattism" but more of a segregated punjabi/indian mindset that employs divide and rule to gain control. Realistically, you have jatts/takhans/etc fighting over domination of gurdwaras based on district, got, present day social status... in essence this is masand-type personality.

The preoccupation with the 4th pauri is going to extremes though, I was told by a naamdhari that his nephew, who is a prominent scholar amongst the naamdhari's is collecting old works and he is trying to prove that "sangat singh" was not a 4th pauri etc... the whole point /mission is to prove that guru gobind singh, at no time, employed mazbhi's in reputable ranks or for significant tasks among sikhs.

The truth about everyone under the sikh umbrella is that casteism is still applied...whether it be beyond the conventions of indian caste...which father in the west will let his educated daughter marry a hard-working factory worker of the same "indian" caste?

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Guest Javanmard

Guru Gobind SIngh always warned us against hypocrisy and fact is that the majority of people in our community are hypocrites. How many people who claim to hold the egalitarian ideals of SIkhi would accept someone of another caste let alone another religious or cultural background into their family? very very few!

Let's say is honestly: in many Sikh homes a lot of racist statements are made and that's a sad fact! :cry:

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Amrik Singh and Nihal Kaur,

I would hesitate to stick with the order of high to low as mentioned in Amrik Ji's post, as Lalleshvari has indicated caste mobility is something to be duly considered.

Jatts, Tarkhans and Kalal (later collectively known as Alhuwalias) have all experienced upward mobility in their own right and subsequently tried to establish their own status.

In the instance of Jatts this is most profound, as only Sikh Jatts have acquired this upwards mobility (compare the status of Sikh Jatts, even those who are Monas yet are still known as Sardars) with their Hindoo and Muslim counterparts where they are still viewed as Shudras (as they, like the Tarkhans, Lohars, Mistry and Kalals also work with their hands...interestingly as do Chamars and Churas, who are largely considered to be even lower by the aforementioned groups).

Jatts largely gained this mobility due to not only the attempted egalitarian stance of the Sikhs, but mainly due to the impact of British administration in Punjab. In the case of the Tarkhans and Kalals, the great Jassa Singhs of the Ramgharia and Ahluwalia Misls played prominent roles in raising their status upwards, being of Tarkhans and Kalal descent themselves.

Within Khatris, indeed there exists division of a further 4 'Kukarian' Baradari and each sticks within their own for purposes of Marriage(Amongst the top of these are the likes of Sethi, Anand, Kohli, Bedi and Sodhi).

As per the Buddha Dal, to be honest, just as the SGPC is rife with its own Jatt nepotism as Amandeepm Ji puts it, the Dal has historically fallen foul of the same thing. Notwithstanding the usual numerical majority owned by Jatts, it is interesting to note that many Rajputs upon leaving their Khshatriya practices settled as Jatts (some considering them to be are 'fallen' warriors) and similarly I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true of the Buddha Dal being overpowered by such fallen warriors over time...

...I note that the use of a certain 4 letter word beginning with 'n' and ending in 'ang' is banned from this site, however in this instance it does apply for the status of affairs (which I'm sure the Nihangs themselves would agree with)...rather like the SGPC is by 'falllen' scholars and statesmen...

Finally, Amardeepm JI asked about the practice of Kukrain Baradari within Jatts and 'Ramgarias'. To my knowledge, so strict practice exists as per the Khatri model, however within Jatts there are distinct groups dependent upon their geographical origins within Punjab.

As per Ramgharias, although one wouldn't think so given the status of affairs today and the lack of knowledge within most Ramgharias about their own authentic history and that of 'Akali Nihang' Jassa Singh Ramgharia, this is NOT actually a caste (I have written about this under the thread "Origins of the Ramgharia Gurdawara"), but a legacy of the famed Ramgharia Misl (which infact was started by a Jatt per se, not Jassa Singh himself, albeit, that it was named Ramgharia after this time).

There are Ramgharia surnames such as Gill, Sahota and Soori which are also found within Jatts and Khatris (Soori) as well.

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Ramgarhia Misal is made up of Tarkhan, Jatt, Lohaar, Chhimbe and others.Ramgarhia is a Misal, not a jaat (caste).

There is no Ramgarhia Misal anymore, so it is ridiculous to call oneself "Ramgarhia". :LOL:

Most "Ramgarhia" have made a Misal into a jaat.Which is sad.

My anscestors were Ramgarhia...But I am not.

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Hari, I concur with your comments that Ramgharia is a Misl and not a Jaat, although most treat it as the later these days.

It is not those pertaining to be Ramgharias alone who make this glaring error, the Jatt dominated SGPC, not realising the multi-jaat origins of the misl have been known to question the still standing Ramgharia Bunga in Amritsar.

It is also a shame that most Gyanis will only do a Katha concerning Jassa Singh Ramgharia at Ramgharia Gurudawaras and typically refrain from mentioning him at a Singh Sabha Gurudawara for instance (and in instances they do, the interest levels and reactions certainly sums up the obvious jaat-issues present).

Additionally, the attempts through pictures and distorted history to tarnish the name of Jassa Singh are also disgraceful, from denying his (Akali) Nihang status, to naming him a Maharaja (since when???) to labelling him a Kurimaar (H Virdee has researched this episode indicating that he wasn't even present at his daughters birth, so how could he personally have been party to her killing?) are typical of the events to manipulate sikh history over the past 150 years.

Even the Prem Sumarg Granth speaks against the Ramgharias, just as Maharaja Ranjit Singh did when he denied them land rights (as prior to the consolidation of the Misls, this was once a large misl with vast amounts of land and wealth, see the article written by Sunder Singh Ramgharia, a direct descendent of Jassa Singh Ramgharia).

As to whether the Misl still exists today...I don't feel a clear cut 'no' is really sufficient. There are many unique aspects of the Misl still in vogue amongst many Ramgharias today and there even exists an organisation entitled Ramgharia Misl which I once came across (in India), although I can't comment further on this entity...however I will say, that what exists of the original Misl is largely redundant and has been transformed into a sterile clean-cut image...

It is interesting to note that the present day Ramgharia identity really came into its own in East Africa, the style of turban associated with the region is in fact from the Military Tradition and the many customs amongst the East African Sikhs as such Chatka (usually of goats, and chickens), admiration of Raag Kirtan and keen athletic prowess (which have subsequently fallen into considerable decline) however it is here that the treatment of the term Ramgharia came to be as a Jaat.

Also religious movements such as Nishkaam Sevak Jatha which grew out of this East African community retains certain aspects in their practice from what could be termed 'puratan' maryada.

I am aware that each dal (the Ramgharia Misl being part of the tarna dal) had its own Jaikara and Jungi-Bolas...it would be interesting to see if any records exist of those use by the likes of the Ahluwalia, Bhangi and Ramgharia Misls...

Forgive me for any foolish comments,

Niranjana

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The segregation within Sikhism because of these jaats is very wrong. How can someone call themselves a Sikh if they belive in this, this is more of a Hindu belief. Our Guru Ji's taught us against this. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was asked by some high caste Hindus to give them different amrit from normal amrit, but Guru Ji obviously said no. Could someone provide me with a source where I can read about Jassa Singh Ramgharia Ji, because I only know about him in a general way.

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There is no Ramgarhia Misal anymore, so it is ridiculous to call oneself "Ramgarhia".

I retract the above statement.It was foolish conjecture on my part.Perhaps, what I should have said is that there is no Ramgarhia Misal in the UK. :roll:

Also what Niranjana Ji has said is true.The Jatt majority Singh Sabhia's neglect any kind of mention of Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, due to petty-mindedness.Just because he was a non-Jatt, a Tarkhan.

And the amount of "Ramgarhia's" there are who have no idea who Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was or what a Misal is, is ridiculous.

Has anybody read Sampooran Ramgarhia Itihas by Gyani Zail Singh?I haven't read it, and wandered if it was worth reading.

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Gur Fateh!

Hari Ji thanks for your comments, again I concur, the amount of so-called Ramgharias out there who haven't clue about the origins of the Misl or about Jassa Singh Ramgharia is amazing at best.

They think of it as a jaat and what really bugs me is the insistence by these Ramgharias to dilute the truth about Jassa Singh, never is he ever referred to correctly as Akali Nihang...instead we see a whole series of misleading titles such as Maharaj Jassa Singh Ramgharia!!! Since when???

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was the Sultan-e-quam, sure Jassa Singh Ramgharia at the height of his life had vast amounts of land, wealth and armed forces (hence the need for 3 misls to get together and turn against him...rather like what happens today in Gurudawara politics and then people complain why do we have Ramgharia Gurudawaras or Ravidasia Gurudawaras!).

Nonetheless, Jassa Singh Ramgharia, may have been the leader in his realms (Sardar, Sardar Bahadur even), but I have not seen any reference to him as Maharaja dated earlier than the last 50 years!!!

Moreover, today's so called Ramgharia councils are far cry from the calibre that existed of similar insitutions say 50 years ago in East Africa or even India...today, all we see are glaring attempts to be more sterilised and this shows through nonsense comments such as Jassa Singh Ramgharia believed and promoted Democracy (since when can an army commander run his army or even a battlion on the basis of democracy???).

The pictures we see of Jassa Singh Ramgharia, again are so misleading, being an Akali Nihang Singh, would he have really worn a turban more akin to Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala?

I express the foregoing as my personal opinions only and welcome any feedback or corrections that anyone may have to offer...

Finally g_singh, I agree discrimination for religious purposes on the basis of caste is counter to Sikh principles, however I would care to point out that is not what is being done here...we are discussing lineage, history and in this instance that of the Ramgharia Misl, Tarna Dal Nihangs.

Also remember, the Gurus themselves being Khatris only married Khatris and in fact counter to the modern day arguments of dropping family surnames totally, it should be noted that these were used by Gurdev Pita Guru Gobind Singh himself:-

"Asi khalari Gobind Singh...Sodhi Rai!"

As per finding info on Jassa Singh Ramgharia, let me say the majority of English language writings on him are pretty poor. Sunder Singh Ramgharia's essay on the matter is worth reading though.

Forgive any errors on my part,

Niranjana

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So let me get this right.

"sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia" was actually "akali Nihang Jassa Singh Ahluwalia" and he was a thurkan who took amrit and then was in a ramgharia missal. Or was he a ramhgaria missal. I don't know what that is. :oops:

Ok.

So its from here the Ramgharias (i always thought this was a caste) wanted to make themselves a caste, and made seperate Gurdware. Or its because they were never given authority in Gurdware which were very Jatt oriented and felt a need to make a Gurdwara where they would be in charge. Is that right?

Its very strange. Drawof, so if someone is a Thurkan do they get seperated from the rest of the Amrit taking sangat (at budda dal) and get given seperate amrit? Is it still khande bata dha amrit?

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Nihalo Jeeo, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and Jassa Singh Ramgharia were two different people, in terms of their jaat-baradari Ahluwalia was a Kalal (distiller of wine) and Ramgharia a Tarkhan (carpenter). The Alhuwalia Sardar was bestowed with the title “Sultan-e-quam” and was also the Farladhari Akali Nihang in charge of the entire Khalsa Dal.

Jassa Singh Ramgharia was in fact trained under the dal of Akali Nihang Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, however the two should not be confused. Many modern sikh-history books accounts battles which were later fought between the two, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia winning the first along with the Bhangi Misl (who teamed up with the Ahluwalias). The Ramgharia Misl then won a year later and in the melee that ensured between the two Jassa Singhs, the Ramgharia Sardar won...the exact context of these battles I personally find to be a subject warranting further investigation...

...Modern Sikh history books indicate a scenario of deceit and power hungry attributes (which certainly following the consolidation of the Misls did have some part) at the same time there is a line of thought coming from more oral history that these skirmishes formed part of the Nihang culture between the various misls as a means of ‘friendlies’ so to speak for effective ‘live’ training.

Hope this helps...as per Ramgharia Gurudawaras, please see my comments under the topic ‘history of the Ramgharia Gurudawara’

Gur Fateh!

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Sat Siri Akaaaaaaaaal Premio,

I think these kinda information which is part of budda dal rehat maryada should be adressed in shastarvidiya site so that people should be aware of this issue before takin amrit from budda dal so that they dont feel discriminated by their caste if they really decide to take amrit from budda dal.

Akaaaaaaaaal hiii Akaaaaaaaaaal

anand hiii anand :D

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  • 3 months later...

G singh i think u should rephrase when u said 'because of these jatts'..although iam not pro caste or anything..i cant but help feel offended, coming from a 'jatt' family.

And drawof, good topic!! And lalleshvari paji, i never knew the reason we have all these different types of gurudwarai is cos of sgpc! thats terrible man..

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Moderator Note: Please don't turn this discussion into caste based discussion. Please stick to topic and go with the discussion. If you want to clarify something to one of the participants of this discussion then use PM and once he agrees with you ask them to edit their posts.

This topic is locked and if anyone has any issues/concern please sort out by using PM.

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