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I am opening up a new thread regarding updated www.sarbloh.info.

Any comments, criticism, agreements, disagreements goes in this thread.

Remember No "Slandering" ..just debate like gurmukhs. Please follow hakum of Siri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji

Four types of Conversations.

1) Heth - Where you listen to someone because you know they have more kamai and more knowledge than you. You are humble when listening. This also applies to school.

2) Vaadha - Where you actually do your research and share to positively add to a conversation constructively. Even if there is disagreement, you should not hurt another's feelings or prove that you are better.

3) Jalapa - Where you say stuff to put the other down. Try to make yourself look good.

4) Vitaardha - Where you keep talking and don't listen to anyone else (the majority of us).

*** This is from a sakhi where some pundits asked Guru Hargobind Ji what type of conversations are allowed. Guru Hargobind Ji said a Gursikh only takes part in the first 2 types of conversations. ***

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It is certainly some of what Nihang Niddar Singh has been talking about in a formal capacity when I've met with him.

There are things I'd niggle over, but that will always be the case. Everyone has their own understanding.

I shall have a nice long read tonight and maybe come back with bits and ends tomorrow.

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A couple of things I noticed I picked up on this morning on the way to work;

a) Sri Bir Mrigesh Gurbilas was written by Pandit Sher Singh Nirmala not Baba Vir Singh

B) I can't find a reference to Gyani Balwant Singh's comment of Gyani Mohan Singh being a jewel of the Nirmalas - but he does write a lot about his training and his qualities. Gyani Gurbachan Singh is accorded such a status however.

c) In the section on the Sewapanthi link with Baba Sahib Singh Bedi, it was more than Baba Hari Singh (and mitha tiwana parampra) but many of the Sewapanthis who followed Baba Sahib Singh Bedi as testified by Sobha Rams's gurbilas of Baba Sahib Singh.

d) There is an older drawing of a Nirmala which has been tinted with the sub-heading 'a Nirmala scholar', Pandit Sucha Singh was the Sri Mahant of Panchayti Akhara for most of the 20th century.

e) 'Brahmvidya' is more often specifically used among vedantins as the particular vedantic philosophy and the means to it, therefore Baba Sundar Singh's study with Baba Bhagat Ram may well have been specifically advait or dvait vedantic tuition.

I'll keep reading...

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I disagree with the statement in the Nanaksar section that Nirmalas actively desisted from being labelled 'sikhs' due to moghul invaders. This seems to contradict earlier information on the website about what a Sikh or Khalsa is. Yet even in the early 18th century the Nirmalay raised the nishaan sahib at the Kumbh Mela and carried out khalsa prachaar. Bhai Dargaha Singh played a crucial role in setting up a Nirmala establishement in Haridwar early on. The need arose for a seperate langar due to the increasing hostility of the Udasis in the latter 18th century. Furthermore a number of key Khalsa figures feature in Nirmala parampras. I would say it is inaccurate to state that such groups avoided being labelled being 'Sikh' as such.

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another correction...

on the pages about the Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhia (page 4) as extended from Singh Sabhia sub heading, there is a photo of two 'Udasi Sikhs' at the bottom of the page.

They are in fact the famous Bhooriwale Nirmalay of Amritsar (not Haridwar), with the famous (in Sikh Encyclopedia) Sant Baba Jaimal Singh Bhooriwale on the left of the photo. I'd imagine the photo comes from Dera Tapoban in Amritsar.

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And another, the image above the one mentioned above of an 'Udasi Sikh' Mahant from Nanded, is if I'm not mistaken Bhagat Bhagwan, the historical founder of one of the bakshish orders of Udasis who has many akharay existing in his honour. A similar painting is the central image in Baba Sahib Das Udasin Ashram (of Mahant Ishvar Das fame).

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The radhasoami's page ends off with a picture of Taakur singh, who is an offshoot of rajinder singh from baba jaimal singh's time (I believe). There were 2 factions competing in gurcharan singh's time. Well, taakur singh was not affiliated with beas, further; he is dead now.....

The affiliation with beas is definitely false, and the connection between him and kirpal singh hasn't been made clear

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Ah now that's an interesting point. The contact between Shiv Dayal Singh and Sant Mauj Prakash Singh is missed too, who was an infamous nirmala for sideing with the british and working as an agent for them. If I remember correctly he also fought to defend his ownership of Gurudwara Mai than in court. An article was written and published about him by Darshan Singh in 'Punjab Past and Present'

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another thing that I noted was that in the discussion of sant nirankari's.

The following points were missed out; sant nirankari's believe that their satguru imparts brahmgyan upon their followers. The philosophy is that they understand nirankar first and then worship.

They do not partake in pahul khanday dhaar ceremony, but they do drink charanamrit from their satguru.

kartar singh bhindrawalay was a spear head in having guru granth sahib ji removed from the sant nirankari darbars.

The "rumor" (unless someone has actual proof) is that baba gurbachan singh had put his foot on guru granth sahib ji. (let me be clear, this is believed by every sikh today, but I, for one, have not seen or heard of any evidence regarding this. If someone does have proof (picture, time place, credible witnesses...do share).

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The idea of the samaparda section was to present the info gathered via research - and hope that those sampardas/individuals out there who can correct/add/ammend what has been presented.

By no means is it all 100% correct, or flawless (if it was, then the authors would be Brahmgianis - and thats not the case at all!)

If people out there can present their evidence and add to the info, and even prove we are wrong, then we are progressing in further understanding and unravelling the complex threads of Sikh history.

I've had N30Singh and a few other Sikhs email me with evidence in order to ammend the section on Nanaksaria Sikhs - Niddar Singh and myself are examining the info and update will be put up shortly.

...similarly, we have had Namdhari Sikhs, Ramgharia and Jat Sikhs contact us presenting information - and that too is being examined.

With regards to the images - some images dont match the legends, and there are ongoing corrections to be fixed (..to coin an old analogy - the diamond has been found, now it requires polishing)

..its a work in progress..

(btw, thanks for the comments already presented..)

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Narsingha,

Please could you consider the following link for addition under the Ramgarhia Sikhs section:-

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ramgarhiasikh/join

Something I came across recently and appears to have some interesting starting material, although it still seems in its infancy. Here is their introduction:

"The word Ramgarhia is composed of the terms Ram (God) and Garh (fort). Hence the adjective Ramgarhia means Custodians of the Castle of God. The fort which was the head quarters of the family was named Ramgarh. This name is also given to a Bunga (mansion) and a Katra (a large portion of the city) both of which are situated on the eastern side of the city of Amritsar. As a rule all Sikh's who belong to the same caste or clan as the Ramgarhia family call themselves Ramgarhia-Sikhs. We discuss every matter related to Ramgarhia Sikh people. "

Thanks,

Niranjana.

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In addition, I note that the Ramgarhia Sikh e-group also contains a PDF file describing the Sakhi of Bhai Sangthia Badi (Tarkhan) the subsequent founder of the Sat Katarias who are part of what later became part of the Ramgarhia parampara. Links between Ramgarhia Sikhs and the Sampardhas are well established, although not often propagated (re: Nanaksar, Baba Puran Singh, Bhai Daya Singh Sampradha and a number of Nihang and Udasi Jathas and orders).

As per the account of Jassa Singh Ramgarhia himself and the claims of "kurimar" (interesting also levelled at other 'tarkhans' in Sikh history such as Shaheed Nihang Sukha Singh Kalsi, also part of the Baba Darbara Singh Akhara lineage if I am not mistaken) , scholars and writers such as Bakshi Singh Adil and Hardeep Singh Virdee have amply addressed this point and the numerous holes that surrond such assertions(made interesting by and large by Jat Sikh scholars such as Gyani Gyan Singh).

A copy of the Ardas and Aarti of Baba Vishvakarma can be found also on this site and ramgarhiakom (which I believe you have listed) and a good account also on the present day "Kukri" manufacturers Himalayan Imports (who bless every shastar they make with Baba Vishvakarma's Ardas and Catka a goat using the new blade prior to dispatching it). Amongst the Ramgarhia Sikhs of today, in the UK at least, the practice of Vishvakarma Puja is rare but noted amongst the Saund, Chagger and Bachu clans of the Ramgarhias. If even the formality of the puja is not conducted, almost all Ramgarhias are aware of the link with the Vishvakarma sampradha and their origins at its hand.

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Thanks again for the information. Looks like the Ramgharia section will increase in size.

All the changes shud be up by the end of the weekend - unless a member of the lunatic fringe decided to go through with one of their death threats and subject me to a vegetarian meal!)

I have come across families in East London who still practice pooja of Baba Vishkarma - Virdees, Bhogals and Sagoos. From what I have seen, the majority of Ramgharia families who carry out Baba Vishkarma's pooja on a regular basis tend to be those who are linked more closely with India - than for example those families that have lived in East Africa.

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No problem.

As per your closing comments, I would agree with respect to Ramgarhia families from India. As per those from East Africa, it is mainly the clans I mentioned ealier that maintain this tradition, either at a basic level (i.e. having a picture of Baba Viskvakarma in thier house) or actually going through with the entire ritual (i.e. setting aside all work and cleaning all tools and implements, usually with milk and performing the Ardas/Aarti in front of them for being the means of their livelihood and skill as bestowed by Akal Purakh). The puja is not usually murti-based, but not too disimilar to the practices evident within Akali Nihang Singhs and Shastar Puja and Nirmalas with respect to respect shown to their Gurdev -i.e. when speaking of Baba Vishvakarma, Ramgarhias will tend to define him as the teacher of all artisans (i.e. Tarkhans, Lohars, Mistries etc) and this yearly event is simply to pay homage to him and the source of one's livelihood and tradition.

Interesting, if one looks back into Vedic literature on Baba Vishvakarma, he was in fact not a diety but Kartar Purakh (i.e. Creator -Karma- of the Universe -Visva). It was in Punjab that the local artisan of then Brahmin classes began to personify Vishvakarma as their Baba/Ustad.

Parallels also exist within other Masonic traditions such as the Free Masons who conduct their ceremonies around the theme of "the Grand Architect" and also have a history steeped in chivalry.

Finally it is also interesting to observe that prior to the coming of Baba Puran Singh and the Namdharis to East Africa, the majority of the Ramgarhia Sikhs did in fact also practice Chatka and went hunting. Also the so-called 'Keynan' Dastaar is in fact nothing more than an adaption from the Dastaar styled by Sikhs in the Army (hence why pratices such as Chatka, hunting and use of Alcohol featured amongst the pioneering Ramgarhias of East Africa).

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http://www.sarbloh.info/htmls/article_samparda_kartar17.html

The Nihang Singh labelled as Ajit Singh Phula is not actually Ajit Singh Phula!

Infact it is Baba Hari Singh Ji Nihang who had nothing to do with Ajit Singh Phula and his campaign of terror.

Baba Hari Singh is a dedicated sevadar of the Baba Bakala Tarna Dal, and many of the Nihang Singhs shown in this particular pic actually helped to hunt down and capture Ajit Singh Phula.

A dire mistake - get it sorted quickly

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one thing I noted on the sarbloh.info website is that a reference was made to jat sikhs worshipping jatheray (and it explicitly said that it is against the nihang code of conduct), but what I don't understand is how

in the ramgharia section the ramgharia's (as an ethnic group) are in line with snatan sikhi when they worship a diety of a sort? isn't that against nihang maryada....I thought it was only pooja of akaal? and what is the difference between respecting shaheeds and respecting your elders from your clan? Don't take me wrong, I am not emotional on this issue. I just want to understand the basis of one thing being acceptable or "in line" and the other being contrary. and just to be very clear...this issue doesn't challenge my view paradigm of the world, nor do I need acceptance etc etc...I just want unbiased facts :). By the way, I haven't seen any practices related to worshipping baba vishvakarma in ramghari gurdwaras, is this only done at home?

with regards to baba deep singh and the joga/jogi pir story, it makes sense...simply because baba deep singh was a sandhu. Jagmohan singh dhaliwal, in writing about shaheed bhagat singh, traced the lineage back to baba deep singh's older brother as bhagat singh was a sandhu.

dharebaji, interesting...this is seen in pracheen panth prakash by rattan singh bhangu and his writings as he constantly praises "majhail sikhs". It is common knowledge that jats hold jats of their respective districts in higher esteem than those of other districts. This "ilaaqa/jilla" difference is seen within the recent issue of jathedari within the dam dami taksaal. Then again the same principle of dharebhaji is seen when people open caste based gurdwaras and are explicit about the "Caste" barrier etc.

I know of cases of "jat sikh" (akj and taksalis and nihangs) who will not marry outside of their caste, and relationships with other gursikhs have been broken because of caste differences although both sides were of the same "jatha"....the same holds true for ramgharia's and khatri's as well (as they will marry amongst theirselves more readily than jats, who tend to adhere to their own values). As ideal as it would seem that everyone marry others who are "gursikh"....this would and will only be valid when people are less "fanatical" about their exclusivity of sikhi or their exclusivity of caste...both are false props for the ego.

A question for narsingha, is there going to be a section on saini/labana/mazbhi sikhs as well? (don't take this as a challenge or an attack, I am asking simply out of question).

Also, I must say this as well, I appreciate the fact that nihang teja singh has made his stance very very clear in terms of how he has presented the material. His research, his understanding of thought, and his effort should be commended. If anything is going to attacked/questioned...it should be his sources for facts or the facts in themselves. In the end of the day, no 2 people have ideologies that are the same....we are all bound to maya and how we've been shaped by maya

gurfateh

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Fordward-backwards Veer,

Ramgarhias do NOT 'worship' Baba Vishvakarma and moreover, contrary to their Hindu Tarkhan counterparts they do not regard him as a diety or a god. Most Ramgarhias will refer to him as a the father or teacher of all artisans and as is the custom in India, one always pays 'respect' to one's teacher.

The point to note however is that not all Ramgarhias, in fact the vast majority of those today, do not engage in the Baba Vishvakarma ceremonies, although the elder generation will acknowledge that they come from the generations of Baba Vishvakarma, much like the Sanatan Sikh stance on terming themselves as part of the Hindu Indian (personally I would use the term 'Bharati') nation, although dinstinct and separate from it.

For the record, Ramgarhia Gurdwaras do NOT engage in Vishvakarma Puja, although it is not uncommon to see a picture of Baba Vishvakarma alongside other famous saints and personalities within these Gurdwaras (i.e. Baba Nand Singh, Baba Ram Singh Namdhari, Baba Puran Singh etc).

The practice is quite different from Ancestor 'worship' and indeed 'worship' of any diety. The actual ceremonies tend to involve the cleaning of all tools, items, weapons etc and involves essentially a sabatical from work or use of them for that time/day.

Hope this helps...

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excellent!

thanks for the responses. I find older/ancient practices very interesting, and this has broadened my knowledge on this stuff thanks niranjana :).

No offence was intended, and I might have jumped the gun.. I see pooja as reverence as well..so It would be more a part of my explanation than anyone elses'

"btw..I'm neither pro-Jat or pro-Ramgharia, cus we all know that Khatris rule!"......what would you expect from a 'nihang'!

ps. I'm glad people can discuss caste/lineage without getting their kacheray in a twist

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