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Nirmala Fresco


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This picture is of Baba Mohar Singh - Founder of the Maihma Sahi branch of the Nirmalas - from a fresco in the Baba Mohar Singh Samadh - it is described in 'Wall Paintings of Punjab and Haryana' by Kanwarjit Singh Kang as :

" The Samadh of Baba Mohar Singh.

Baba Mohar Singh was the founder of the 'Maihma Sahi' branch of the Nirmalas. a monastic order of the Sikhs. He was a poet-saint who belonged to the house of Bhai Daya Singh, one of the 'Five Beloveds' of Guru Gobind Singh. He died in 1835 AD and his samadh was built by his disciple named Bir Singh Rangrez near Lopon. The place is situated near Doraha Mandi in district Ludhiana. The samadh is an imposing structure, built on a raised platform approached by a flight of steps. Some of Baba Mohar Singh's garments are respectfully kept on a dias in the centre of the samadh. The interior is painted with frescoes, not only extant but intact and fresh. All the eleven panels with figurative paintings are complete works. Maihma sahi saints and other themes form the subject of these frescoes."


*taken from - Wall Paintings of Punjab and Haryana - Kanwarjit Singh Kang - Atma Ram & Sons - 1985

This is a striking full length portrait of Baba and an associate - I'm particularly struck by the stringed instruments and the 'head dress' -- They remind me a little of the headresses that you see 'Jhanghams' wear -Perhaps some of the Nirmalas on SA can expand on the Maihma Sahi Branch - their history etc .Maybe explain the Head dress ? Does this fresco still exist ( the book was published in 1985) - Have any of you visited it - Any info on Baba Mohar Singh - all information greatly appreciated.

I apologise if it appears I am 'bombarding' the Forum with questions and pictures - its just that as I am a bit of a Luddite when it comes to new technology - I have only recently learnt how to use a scanner and just this last week discovered ImageShack picture hosting !!! - Don't laugh ! - so its all new to me ( my friends and family are already sick of me sending stuff to them !)

Another Question !! - I mentioned 'Jhanghams' - you see them wandering around Punjabi Bazaars - I've seen them in Amritsar and Ludhiana's Chaura Bazaar -- No one has been able to tell me much about them other than they have a Deep association with Shiv ji . - I know this isn't strictly a 'Sikh picture post' but could anyone explain or expand on Jhanghams - Shaka Nyorai Bhai Sahib maybe ??

Jhanghams in Patiala


* taken from - Folk Music & Musical Instruments of Punjab - Alka Pande - Mapin - 1999

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I apologise if it appears I am 'bombarding' the Forum with questions and pictures - its just that as I am a bit of a Luddite when it comes to new technology

No need to be sorry bro..stuff you bought this is what we were waiting for soooooooooooo long !!!!!!!!!

Thanks soo much :)

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Dear CE

Many Thanks for your input - I have looked up the Gurbani references and heres what I found :


*from Siri Guru Granth Sahib Kosh - Bhai Vir Singh - Singh Bros - 2003 ed


*from A Guru Nanak Glossary - C Shackle - SOAS - 1981

mehaadhaeo gun ravai sadhaa jogee jath ja(n)gam ||

Shiva, the Yogis and the wandering hermits sing His Praises forever.

* This Shabad is by Bhatt Kal in Svaiyay Mehl 5 on Pannaa 1390


Cheers CE !!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Well I was having a read last night and remembered the pictures.

I think the central figure in the fresco is Sant Man Mastan Singh and his shish (possibly Sant Beprvaha Ji, I'm not sure). It seems being a kavi is common to many of this upsamprdas Sants. This is the bio info on who I think the central figure is.

Sant Man Mastaan Singh ji (Mehima Shah parampra)

Shish of Sant Mohar Singh Ji Mehima Shah (from whom the name Mehima Shah derives. Born in 1780s. Kavi creating poetry on adhyatamic philosophy. Expert in raag, learnt from his gurdev Sant Mohar Singh ji. He was in his thinking a mastani, divani (fakiri like).

His appearance is said to have been, a long chola, on his head a 'Mor Muktt' or crown with peacock feather at top, with a sitar for kirtan. Thus it is him and his shish in the painting. He died 1840s.

This sufi influence continued with his shish Sant Beprvaaha Ji, who was said to be an expert in farsi. He composed poetry also compiled as 'Prem mala'. He was said to have been such an expert because of his residing in the company of fakiri sufi community.

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  • 1 year later...

And as luck should have it, last month saw the first published copy of Sant Mohar Singh's works. however, there is abit of a problem here, since I think there were a few Sant Mohar Singhs, and this one is the Kattei parampra one...which makes me wonder which Sant Mohar Singh the samadh relates to (there are two sant mohar singh smadhs).

The book is another one of those private pressed small editions. The introduction's good, and the text is great. I flicked through it yesterday and his 'Bharam Torh Granth' is really great and very much from the mid 19th century. Alike a few other things I've read from the same time, its verse and its very much vedanta in simple terms...I get the feeling many mahants and sants at the village level during this time were conveying their teachings in simple verse form, in contrast to the austere and highly intellectual Nirmala granths coming out of Kashi and Haridvar.

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