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Nihangs and Nirmalas


tSingh
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A controversial one this.

It is something I've been interested in for a while now. It seems to me much of the confusion and offence taken with the UK Nihang thing is because of a failure to have set down this groundwork.

It is a common thing to hear from Nirmala scholars and their granths that the Khalsa manifested in three forms. Great Nirmala authorities/scholars such as Mahant Ganesha Singh in Bharat Mat Darpan, Gyani Gyan Singh in Nirmal Panth Pradeepika, Pandit Sher Singh in Bir Mrigesh Gurbilas granth, Pandit Nihal Singh Kevinder in Bhavsaagar Setu granth among others all explain that the Khalsa manifested in three forms, the sattogun dominant Nirmalay, the Rajogun dominant grihastis and the tamogun dominant Nihangs. Pandit Gulab Singh in the 18th century talks of the Khalsa manifesting in two forms, one with the sword, the other with more the spiritual side. Even if it is spurious, the Bhai Dya Singh rehitnama contains three, one for each of the above.

I have found it interesting that, if we are to take the various points of contention over the UK Nihangs, they can be easily fit snuggly into this model.

Firstly, it is often mentioned by those set against Ustad Niddar Singh (and I'm paraphrasing here) that he states that for a Nihang to be effective in battle, to be experienced in jang vidya, they must possess a little bit of 'darkness' as such, in other words to meet any challenge head on with, if needed, deviousness and creating terror. Yet within the above model it makes sense. Further there is no space in such circumstances for sustained mystical practice and Ustad Niddar Singh points out as an anecdote that if a Singh were to start questionning the deeper significance of a sword, they'd be sent by the Nihangs to the Udasis/Nirmalay!

Likewise a Nihang's priority in terms of lifestyle is oriented toward battle, hence the controversial dietary habits. Meat for physical fitness, bhang to calm the mind. So then what was to be the Nihang's reward? Mukti through shaheed for Maharaj, just like the sakhi of the competing Singhs fighting over who could take the bullet from Guru Gobind Singh's new gun. Just like the respect still given to those few special Nihangs who are permamently heavily intoxicated, whose function would have been as the first to be sent towards the enemy lines in battle feeling nothing and thus highly effective.

Of course this is broader in practice and within it individuals differ, but I do feel this would have helped people understand the motivations between differing maryadas.

It also got me wondering about cross over figures. I'll share an amusing anecdote I picked up on recently. At Dharam Dhuja, the historically important akhara in Patiala where the Nirmal Panchayti Akhara was founded, in there is often seen a Nihang Singh. He generally wears a dumalla. On enquiring about this seeming example of crossover, the full story is that he came to the Nirmalas there and expressed a wish to become one, soon taking up residence in a near by dera. Once given the mahanti, in came his wife and son and he continues to be a Nihang! He has about as much nirmala sentiment as a tin of beans!

Of course I'm not suggesting there have not been cross over figures - one definate example is the Nihang shish of (and I can never remember his name) one of the big Nirmala pandits of the late 1800s.

I'll be interested to hear people's respones to this. I find it no conincidence that the greatest animosity is between Nihangs and Nirmalas among samprdayas, clearly since both pose the greatest threat to each other arising from their common source.

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quick question nimalas such as baba bir singh ji nourangabaad walae and baba maharaj singh ji nourangabaad walae were great wariors and faought wars. does that mean they had dominance of sato or tamo gun. Did they follow the tamo gun approach of nihangs with meat, bhang and alcohol due to living at a time of war

i think this is an example of a possible crossover

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Its funny how most of us Sikhs today think that the Nirmala order came from Guru Nanak Dev Ji's time, but it was started in the time of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Their origins lie with the five Sikhs, Ganda Singh, Karm Singh, Sena Singh, Vir Singh and Ram Singh whom Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh sent from Paunta Sahib to Benares to learn Sanskrit in 1688.

It is said that once Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked his court Pundit Ragunath to teach his Sikhs Sanskrit, but, the Brahmin refused saying he could not teach the Sikhs Sanskrit. His reason was that Sanskrit was the sacred Sanatan Hindu language of the Hindu demigods, and because there were amongst the Sikhs individuals belonging to low castes, he could not teach them.

This reaction prompted the Guru to send the above-mentioned Sikhs in guise of Sadhus to Banares. There, they learned all manner of ancient Indian Sanskrit knowledge. When they came back they founded the Nirmala order of Sikhs with the blessings of the Guru.

Nirmalas were the masters of Sanskrit and were the intellectuals and scholars of Sikhism. Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh gave them a duty to educate the illiterate Indian populace and promote the philosophy of oneness of Nirankar God and all mankind amongst the Hindu scholars (regardless of caste or creed).

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

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I took a interview of chardi-kalah nihang singh , he told me, nihang dals have problem with nirmale dual nature, sometimes, they are warriors and against british(ferengi) like baba sahib singh bedi, baba bir singh nurangabad, baba maharaj singh ji. However, sants from same samparda became more pacificist starting working for british regiments ie- sant karam singh ji hoti mardan, baba jawala singh ji , baba aya singh ji, baba attar singh ji reru sahib/maustnaewale. Nihang singhs from the dal also sees nirmale to mingle with everyone (including malech as they put it- sgpc and other new hybrid versions of new age sikhi).

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Gurfateh

Well Nirmalas can try to make Malechhas also as Santan Sikhs.so what is wrong if das has a dialogue with Kala Afghana camp.

Answer is Das's himself gettng influnece by thier ways.So point of NeoSingh Ji is valid.That could be the reason of Nirmalas being killed at Hajur Sahib.Which UK' Santan Sikhs say were agent of Britishers.

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Yes, I agree. There certainly were crossover figures, there no doubt are still many who are drawn in different ways. These are not hard and fast divisions, but I think the point I am trying to get at is the way the distinctivness was generally perceived and maintained during the last few hundred years. This represents the general outlook of the Nirmalay to this day (the number of Nirmalas I've met and have read who highlight the division with Nihangs immediately with eating meat and use of sukha for example).

On the Nihang line of 'Nirmalas created by British' thing, it is impossible to really underestimate two events that created this myth; the Nirmalay however naively allowing the Maharajas of Pataiala, Jind and Nabha who had alligned with the British and thus labelled traitors funding the Nirmal Panchayati Akhara, and the incident of 1871 or whenever at Hazoor Sahib. For me thats the big break.

On the British agent thing, there is a well recorded example of one Nirmala in Agra, Mahant Mauj Prakash Singh (I think thats right) who informed British during the mutiny, at a time when Bhai Maharaj Singh had done much of the groundwork for it in Punjab. Bhai Bir Singh Naurangabad is interesting since it is his peaceful minded interest that motivated attempts at trying to stop the violence that are remembered.

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on this note,, i must tell you all about the greatest of deputy jathedars Akali Baba Dyal Singh Patiala vale, who when asked about his relationship with nirmalas, began cursing and swearing using every swear in the known universe.. he explained how the nirmala panth was the off spring of british soilders and low caste women..

at this point I kinda crapped myself thinking he was gonna hit me for making him so angry.. but two seconds later.. and i mean literally two seconds.. his best friend and caretaker of the patiala shawnee walks in wearing all bhagva..

Its a real love hate relationship.. but that truelly cracked me up they are very close but Baba Ji hates nirmalas.

his reasoning may also be due to the fact that in patiala there are alot of nirmalas ! and they own alot of land etc.. so their is the political disagreements too..

But my view of nirmalas,, from the ones I met .. Baba Sher Singh totally changed my life just by chatting to him once and by a phone call.. another nirmala has been an intresting experience.. and the third.. wrote a book which hes charging 5 damn quid for !! (only joking its worth it.. ) but hes really cool too..

But to be honest any man who wears pink earns respect in my book.. !!

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  • 1 month later...

This is reply to RupZ. I am no scholar but a chatanga , but I wish to offer this in reply to your post. The 5 Sikhs that were sent to Benaras or Kashi were refused vidya there becasue being nonbrahmins they were not entitled to learn the sanskrit language. On their return to Damdma sahib Guru Maharaj taught them the essential knowkedge they were refused at Kashi, and henceofrth Damdama Sahib became known as Guru Ki Kashi. Just like Guru Ki Tribeni, it was seperate from the Hindus. Throughout 3 yugs the brahmins refused to share the sanskrit texet with non brahmans do you think that in the age of Kal, they would share it? Its unlikely. The Nirmalas and some of their supporters on the shastarvidya website calim the Hindu Kashi connection becasue as a smaprdaye they have fallen well below the standards that Guru Gobind Singh set out for them. ie mainatance of the 5 ks. Why dont they do parchaar in the gurdwaras. In 20 years of being conscious i have only once seen a nirmala sant at our gurdwara.

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In reply to vidaydeep singhs post regarding the taksalis, i (personally) see the taksalis as having become almosts a middle point between niihang singhs and the nirmalas. While the have many similar practises to the nihang singhs, and place great emphasis on education, there ways seem to be inbetween the two. However Sant Gurbuchan Singh is often considered to be a magnificent scholar of nirmala samprada, however he was also well respected by nihang singhs and prior to partition was given authority by baba chet singh to issue nihang singhs licenses. perhaps this is what leads people to claim that he has roots as a nihang singh. later while sant kartar singh spoke ver highly of baba sahib singh kaladhari he did weaken the relationship with the budha dal - one which appears is now growing under new leadership.

I didnt meet any taksalis in India accusing nihang singhs of siding with congress, i saw brotherly relationship with nihang singhs and taksali singhs (particuarly of boprai taksal). this has lead me to the conclusion that these view were largely propogated by individuals outside of india who claim links with taksal.

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This is reply to RupZ. I am no scholar but a chatanga , but I wish to offer this in reply to your post. The 5 Sikhs that were sent to Benaras or Kashi were refused vidya there becasue being nonbrahmins they were not entitled to learn the sanskrit language. On their return to Damdma sahib Guru Maharaj taught them the essential knowkedge they were refused at Kashi, and henceofrth Damdama Sahib became known as Guru Ki Kashi. Just like Guru Ki Tribeni, it was seperate from the Hindus. Throughout 3 yugs the brahmins refused to share the sanskrit texet with non brahmans do you think that in the age of Kal, they would share it? Its unlikely. The Nirmalas and some of their supporters on the shastarvidya website calim the Hindu Kashi connection becasue as a smaprdaye they have fallen well below the standards that Guru Gobind Singh set out for them. ie mainatance of the 5 ks. Why dont they do parchaar in the gurdwaras. In 20 years of being conscious i have only once seen a nirmala sant at our gurdwara.

Well I was mearly quoting what was in the website.

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Fateh to all

Why is sanskrit and sanskrit texts essential for a Sikh to further himself ? Dont we have all that is required knowledge-wise in the Aad Guru Darbar? and Dasam Guru Darbar? Or is there a shortage of knowledge in these Granths that made Akali Guru Gobind Singh send 5 Sikhs to Kashi to "top-up" thier knowledge? Have you seen the pics of the nirmala on shastarvidya website with the paint on their foreheads? Is that something that Akali Guru Gobind Singh Jee encouraged? These Nirmalas I dont think are the Nirmalas of Akali Guru Gobind Singhs times, same as the Udasis and Nihangs. BUt then again neither are the Sikhs.

Forgiveness for any mistakes

chatanga

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Why is sanskrit and sanskrit texts essential for a Sikh to further himself ? Dont we have all that is required knowledge-wise in the Aad Guru Darbar? and Dasam Guru Darbar? Or is there a shortage of knowledge in these Granths that made Akali Guru Gobind Singh send 5 Sikhs to Kashi to "top-up" thier knowledge?

I dont know much about this in general, but your argument is ludicrous. Just because someone wants to read something else doesn't mean they don't value Guru Sahib. It's not heresy to be curious about other religious texts.

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No vinegar that is not my point. My point is that other people are reading and believing that it is essential for a nirmala to have knowledge of these sanskrit texts. i disagree. Reading other books for knowledge is nothing wrong. But they are not on a par wiv Aad Guru Darbar or Dasam Guru Darbar. Do you agree wiv this ?

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Gurfateh

Chatanga, if I can ask you what your source is for this 'returned to Guru Ki Kashi' sakhi? I get the feeling its your own reasoning. Or did you got this from someone else?

I advise you to read as many of the Nirmala posts on this forum and read the scholarly punjabi (rather than english) accounts of them in Piara Singh Padam and/or Pritam Singh. Good luck in your research.

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Fateh to everyone.

Like most people i hadnt heard of Nirmala , but one day talking to the Granthi Sahib of our local gurdwara I found out that he had recieved all his teachings in the Nirmala Dera. He knew a lot about the hindu scriptures as well which i was surprised to learn. He told me about the Nirmal panth and the confusion of the origins. That the 5 Sikhs were refused sanskrit knowledge because they were non-brahmins. He also told me that generally it was accepted by the nirmala that the Sikhs received the knowledge at Kashi and returned to Damdama Sahib as such. Now he could be wrong and he could be right. He only knew what his teacher told him. But he also told me to apply logic to this argument to see which one was more feasible.

Like I have previously asked, what higher knowledge is contained inthe sanskrit texts that you cant find in the Aad Guru Darbar or Dasam Guru Darbar?

What Knowledge was there that Akali Guru Nanak Dev jee to Akali Guru Gobind Singh didnt know that it was required for Sikhs to journey to Kashi to receive?

What answers does the Sanskrit texts have that the AGD and DGD dont have?

Why when the Brahmins for 3 yugs refused to impart sanskrit texts to non brahmins would they do so in the yug of Kal?

Why would brahmins who jealousy guarded the scriptures to which they thought Brahma gave only them the right to read, start sharing them with non-brahmins?

Why would Guru Ji after the revealing the Bara Maha paath twice after the brahmins refused to perform this sewa suddenly concern himself with sending Sikhs to Kashi?

Would this not make Kashi the highest learning seat of the Sikhs?

If the Kshatriyas of the hills refused to emrace Sikhi cos of the low castes, what chance wiv the brahmins and their attitude to the non-brahmins?

If you look at the Nirmalas now with the face paint is that something any of our Guru did? Is it something that the 5 Sikhs who went to Kashi did?

Generally it is accepted that the 5 Sikhs dressed in orange clothes and removed thier 5 Ks. Is this something Akali Guru Gobind Singh would approve of? Akali Guru Gobind Singh said 1 Singh will be visible in thousands of people. So would Akali Guru Gobind Singh have approved of these Sikhs dressing as brahmans? and thus hiding their appearnce which he said was paramount ?

Akali Guru Gobind Singh warned Sikhs of bipran ki reet. Look at the nirmala now with their face point, do you think of Akali Guru Gobind Singh when you see a nirmala or a brahman? Have they not taken the Sikhs into Bipran ki reet?

So many question , only one chatanga

please dont read this and think i have no respect for Nirmala. I do, but only those who conform to the teachings of the Guru Granth and Guru Panth. Any answers to these quesitions from you gurmukhs will be gladly received. if im worng then i beg forgiveness.

Victory to the Panth

chatanga

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Gurfateh Chatanga (I love your name, knees quivering waiting for the inevitable)

I generally get tired of writing the same thing again and again, and all of these basic questions would be answered if you read those books I recommended by non-Nirmala scholars...but since you asked so nicely I'll put down some basic pointers for you. Here are your questions, which I'll clump since a few of them are the same;

With regards your Gyani's friends story, having read a lot of books on this, being among the Nirmalay and others who write about them, never have I heard this one before.

Like I have previously asked, what higher knowledge is contained inthe sanskrit texts that you cant find in the Aad Guru Darbar or Dasam Guru Darbar?

What Knowledge was there that Akali Guru Nanak Dev jee to Akali Guru Gobind Singh didnt know that it was required for Sikhs to journey to Kashi to receive?

What answers does the Sanskrit texts have that the AGD and DGD dont have?

Why when the Brahmins for 3 yugs refused to impart sanskrit texts to non brahmins would they do so in the yug of Kal? Why would brahmins who jealousy guarded the scriptures to which they thought Brahma gave only them the right to read, start sharing them with non-brahmins?

The first point is simply incorrect. You MUST know your basic history first. Bhai Gurdas under Guru Arjun Dev's directive studied in Kashi - his vaaran and kabits are testimony to that (with direct references to Vedanta). He was a bhalla khatri. The Guru's themselves we're masters of sanskrit (hence chaubis avatar and chandi di vaar in Sri Dasam Granth Sahib!) and yet their bans was khatri suryabans. Even a child learns that the linguistic mix of Guru Granth Sahib includes tatsam and tatbhav sanskrit terms. Therefore, sanskrit learning WAS available to non-Brahmins. Guru Maharaj himself directed his Sikhs to train in sanskrit and translate. This was occuring at Paonta Sahib and led to the Vidyasaagar granth (see Surajprakash) in which were contained translations of the Upanishads, Mahabharat, Sursaagar, etc by the kavis at his darbar along with some gursikhs later on after the first nirmalay returned. This was lost during the evacuation of Anandpur Sahib, yet parts of still remain such that one of his kavi's Sukha, his 'adhayatam prakash', a braj bhasha work on vedanta testifying to his in depth learning is still read and available at bookshops, Senapati's braj reworking of the Sanskrit Chanakaya Raajneeti, again available in bookshops.

Now the question is, if what you say is correct, if there were no value in learning then why did Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj start this endeavour in Sri Paonta Sahib? Secondly why did this continue a tradition including Bhai Gurdas (who has yet to have been termed an RSS agent, although time will tell) who also studied in Kashi?.....the reality is that Sri Guru Granth Sahib demonstrates not only an incredible sophistication in its structure, but also many concepts and terms from traditional philosophy. The Nirmalay are not your average Gyani who knows how to perform seva of Maharaj, perform ardas or pujaris as they were once called. Nirmalay are the intellectuals/scholar/saints of the Panth. Their role in the propogation of Sikhi is unheralded. Even the relatively kattar Sardar Kapur Singh in one of his lectures stated that of all the tragedies to hit Sikhi in the last 200 years, THE greatest one was the alienation of the Nirmalay and Udasis! This is from the man who also felt Sikhs had been robbed of their nation over the last 200 years! With that TRADITIONAL learning in philosophy, metaphysics, brahmvidya, grammar, logic they were then able to not only draw out nuances of the terminology of Gurmat, but also explain the nuance of those terms and concepts IN RELATION to other mats, other samprdays, other forms of updesh. Trust me, without knowing the traditional philosophical standpoints you lead to strange mutations like some of those floating around now that bring back in hath yog, or bring back in idolatory of the external roop or whatever. For example, Gurbani talking about turiyaa. When the Guru states this what does he mean? Until you either heard the prachaar of the learned saints, or have studied it yourself how would you ever know?!

It is only abiding under the false notion that Sikhi held no continuity with terms and concepts prior to it that you can be arrogant enough to feel you understand it inherently by reading it without any learning. Of course, even a fool can become wise and gain mukti with absolute prem and bhagti, of course learning per se is worth little, BUT to understand what your Guru is telling you is PARAMOUNT! Take Sidh Gosht, of course people can read through it and 'get it', but to really understand the specifics of it requires an udnerstanding of the broader gurmat updesh and its nuances. It is only a fool who holds that these specific terms were first spoken in the 16th century! So the Guru uses traditional terms to explain the updesh. The updesh itself if we are to categorise it, is a specific form of Vedanta. Now again, ignorant individuals will be wetting their paints about now, without actually knowing what Vedanta means. Here I mean a philosophy of non-dualism, incorperating the idea of maya, of nirgun parmatama, of parmatma being knowable (hence brahmgyan), of trehgun being the manifestation, of brahma aka time and space emitting out of the primal vibration (Om - see dakhni oankar), etc. It is a form of Vedanta however unto itself. This is why Taksalis, samprdays, sant babay, traditional gyanis, etc studied either sanskrit or braj bhasha renditions of Vedantik granths such as Saruktavali, Vichar Sagar, Vichar mala, etc.

Another false notion is that the Gurus reject the vedas and puranas. This HAS to be the case for the turn of the century 'Sikhi is a new revealed semitic religion' type thinking. BUT do they actually reject them as 'rubbish', of no value? Sukhmani Sahib doesn't says so. Think about the meaning of 'Bed Puraan Simriti Sudhaakhar' - thats no damnation! YET the fundamental teaching is that by reading those scriptures ALONE you will not get brahmgyan, only through a Guru can you attain that state. How does that then fit in with Birpan ki Reet?

Why would Guru Ji after the revealing the Bara Maha paath twice after the brahmins refused to perform this sewa suddenly concern himself with sending Sikhs to Kashi?

Would this not make Kashi the highest learning seat of the Sikhs?

If the Kshatriyas of the hills refused to emrace Sikhi cos of the low castes, what chance wiv the brahmins and their attitude to the non-brahmins?

Yes exactly, and although the first five Nirmalay did alright at Chetan Math, finding a pandit who taught them. Other Nirmalay had had problems and had managed to wrangle it. Those who were not able to become scholars secretly wrote down what they had heard from pandits' recitation such as Bhai Adhan Shah. Nirmalay from then onwards taught each other, established their own sanskrit vidyalas in Kashi and continued the practice.

If you look at the Nirmalas now with the face paint is that something any of our Guru did? Is it something that the 5 Sikhs who went to Kashi did?

Face paint? I don't understand. I think you're confused my dear. As much as I'd love to sit around like gene simmons waggling my tongue, its not really allowed. I presume you mean tilaks? Generally Nirmalay don't. You're thinking of Udasis who sometimes (and not always by any means) wear shaivite tilaks. Again, please try to get to grips with the BASICS first! Nirmalay on important occasions wear tilaks at the trikuti, just like Hazoor Sahib pujaris, but otherwise don't.

Generally it is accepted that the 5 Sikhs dressed in orange clothes and removed thier 5 Ks. Is this something Akali Guru Gobind Singh would approve of? Akali Guru Gobind Singh said 1 Singh will be visible in thousands of people. So would Akali Guru Gobind Singh have approved of these Sikhs dressing as brahmans? and thus hiding their appearnce which he said was paramount ?

Akali Guru Gobind Singh warned Sikhs of bipran ki reet. Look at the nirmala now with their face point, do you think of Akali Guru Gobind Singh when you see a nirmala or a brahman? Have they not taken the Sikhs into Bipran ki reet?

Again I don't know what a 'face point' is. Tell me exactly where does Guru Gobind Singh ji say 'Bipran Ki Reet', I mean which granth is it written in? Give me the quotation. I know where its written, but I like to hear people know where it comes from.

Secondly as pointed out by a gyani on this site, even the earliest (and thus assumed to be most credible) account of the Guru, Senapati's (the same bloke who knew sanskrit as it turns out!) 'Sri Gur Sobha' states Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj appeared in numerous roops while at Sri Anandpur Sahib including 'nirbaan roop'. This means the roop of a sadhu - nirbaan is a term used by Udasis also. interestingly, early accounts of the Nirmalay include Guru Maharaj in nirbaan roop and on a seperate occasion gifting the roop to the sevadar with the instruction to study with those who have already learned. You're incorrect about the Nirmalay taking off their kirpans at the Paonta Sahib incident, since it was...Paonta Sahib which was in 1686. When they returned years later they took amrit.

Then I ask you, what does bipran ki reet actually mean? Have you thought about this? If the Guru's DON'T reject the older shaastras as flawed, what is the meaning of bipran then? To me it surely is in line with the Guru's stance on pandits throughout which is that the brahminical tradition of externalising practice into 'karamkhand' is not the means to brahmgyan. Even these Nirmalay you write of state this repeatedly.

On the issue of the panj kakkars, or more specifically amrit sanchar, then Nirmalay do take amrit, but because of the bhekh some do and some don't wear them after since they abide by a sattvagun maryada, which means sadhna and study...in the same way like I said earlier, Guru Maharaj himself appeared in nirbaan bhekh. Yet, their prachaar is always for the propogation of the Khalsa, and the Nirmalay historically to this day consider themselves the dual partner of the Nihangs in the Khalsa, hence Nirmalay are always keshdhari (with the odd exception every now and then). Look at Sant Attar Singh, no panj kakkars in his photos. Why? He wasn't going to be fighting anyone. If you're grihasthi and not a Nirmala, then thats a different issue. Whatever the source of it, the Bhai Dya Singh rehitnama epitomises this as a Khalsa rehit with one for grihasthis, one for Nihangs, one for Nirmalay.

Have they taken Sikhs into birpan ki reet? A good question. If bipran ki reet means karamkhand practices, distorting the teachings of Gurbani, investing Sikhi with hierarchical caste discrimination, or changing tradition. Then no, they have consistently done the opposite. All the above have increased over the last 100 years at the hands of the various mutations of reformists from the hath yog naam practices, to the nominal karamkhandi understanding of Sikhi from the absence of higher learning, to the increase in caste-like hierarchical sehajdhari-keshdhari-amritdhari-ultra amritdhari sarblohi model which was never this distorted 'exclusivity' thing during the times when the Nirmalay were still respected, to the destruction of Sikh heritage, to the dumbing down of Sikh traditions of learning such as raag vidya, shastervidya and shaastervidya, to the rewritting of history and Sikh updesh at the hands of modern scholars, the likes of whom their 'rational, scientific, reasoned' thinking has become the touchstone from which they project onto Sikh tradition without any critique...should I continue?

I hope this helps, this is only what I can think of now. There is more to say, but you need to read up. Clearly, you have not yet developed a basic understanding of the Nirmalay due to the confusions and inaccuracies in your questions...so with sincerity PLEASE read all the Nirmala topics on this site first before asking other questions since much of this has been covered before.

all the best

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Dear Tsingh

fateh

Thanks for your post. it was very interesting. I want to clarify that I have never been against the Nirmala samprdaye ever, but have generally been confused about thier origins. I totally accept Nirmala as part of the Khalsa nation. Your post is very good and I have learned many thing from it, for which im very grateful to you. My questioing is about the nirmala origins, not why are they here. I totally belive that the Nirmala samprdaye had the thapia of Akali Guru Gobind Singh Jee. Im just not totally convinced the the brahmans and kashi was the reason for their exalted status. Please dont think that i think that sanskrit as a language is not worth learning. Of course it is, like any language. But my piont on sanskrit is that all us Sikhs who dont know sanskrit 99.99% of the panth , should we in some way feel inferior?

Also I meant on my post " face paint" sorry i typed in point by mistake. if you look on shastarvidya.org the nirmala have paint on their foreheads which make them look like brahman. Also please answer, why had this samprdaye taken a hindu lean ? They used to do parchaar of khande ki pahul , but now they dont do it themsleves.

Is Sikhi part of Vedanta?

Furgiveness

chatanga

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Please, please please don't turn this into an question and answer thing chatanga. Please do the research as I spent flipping ages typing that last one out.

No, again I repeat, The Nirmalas on sashatrvidya did not have 'face paint'. Again, I repeat, that was the photo of the Udasi mahant from Hardivar. The Udasis and Nirmalay are different samprdayas who although close to each other in their relations have slightly different affiliations post Singh Sabha. As for tilaks, they are not worn by 'brahmin's per se but any hindu, and the elaborate ones to show a sectarian affinitiy. I know the Sarbloh site boys like juicy pictures, hence Swami Harbhajan Hari, yet the vast majority of Nirmalay are pagh wearing kesdharis like Mahant Teja Singh, and always were.

The rest of the Panth being inferior? Do you feel inferior when you meet a doctor? If so, should we outlaw them? You seem to have missed the point. This is seva, seva of the panth. A puran brahmgyani does not hold a sense of superiority over non-brahmgyanis, only compassion. When someone sees only brahman in others, but also sees a veil within that person binding them in ignorance to their antahkaran, then they can only feel compassion. If they felt a sense of superiority, how on earth did they get brahmgyan in the first place?! For those who are not brahmgyani, all the vidya they are teaching is saying this same point, and they are well aware of the pitfall of becoming a wordly scholar - the true meaning of bipran ki reet! Only a lower rung scholar learns for the sake of their own ego - this is not Nirmala tradition. This is why Nirmalay are at once respected as scholars and sadhus. They are expected to put what they learn into practice, not to be dry, hollow flawed libraries of information. Why do only some become Nirmalas? Because its a big ask, a very big ask - traditionally renouncing all grihsthi attachments to fulfil this seva, of spending 10 years learning, then the rest of their life at the mercy of the sadhsangat to do prachaar. Most people nowadays find giving a stranger ten minutes of time a big ask, never mind a lifetime! Once you have vidya to share, like Indian society at large this becomes a meritocratic thing, in otherwords, you are given due respect for your learning and/or spiritual status. If you go to a Nirmala and demand knowledge with abruptness, then expect nothing as your actions are generally being observed very closely as a marker of your mindset, potential, humility, spiritual virtues and prior learning.

Nirmalay not doing prachaar now? Please! I don't wish to be rude, but if you don't know something don't pretend that you do! Who has told you they don't do prachaar of khande di amrit? This is the basics which you would know if you read even the posts on this site! How about some names; Herkhowale Sants, Bhindran taksal, Sant Attar Singh Mastuanewale, Bhooriwale Sants, countless individual deras, the numerous Nirmala granths still in print, etc. At the Kumbh Melas, raising the nishaan, holding langar, having prakash of Guru Maharaj and teaching the assembled sadhus about our ishtadev, its teachings at the level of updesh! If you mean why don't they go around like Sikh Missionary College enumerating and photographing how many people they've got to wear a gatra then, no they do not do this. If you mean inspire individuals with the true purport of Sikh marg, then they continue to do a huge amount.

There is always a danger of stating something which will not be understood correctly hence the phrase 'never teach the vedas to the cows'. When I said that Sikhi can be understood as a specific form of Vedant, I was hoping you knew what the term meant. You MUST find out what the term means. Vedanta is not a religion, it is a term denoting a philosophical perspective, within which there are many many diverse and competing forms ranging from the austere absolutism of some forms of Advaita, through to the abject spontaneous sargun bhakti vedanta of Chaitanya, etc. Whether Sikhi is so saliently or not, it is based on the same philosophical perspective with its own modifications. By that I mean that it does not hold that there is a) the world and B) God in another place. Gurbani talks about atam roop, find God within. in otherwords, your atam roop is parmatma. That position stems from Vedant, in the same way that all the diverse forms of it are. Likewise Sikhi is as distinct as Trika Shaivism is from Vedanta. This is the Nirmala traditional approach.

one last time, chatanga. Put 'nirmala' into the search option, read everything, get the books, read them then ask people the specifics...only because it costs me money and a lot of time to write these long posts, both of which I'm short on over here, to answer basic questions on things that I know a little reading will sort out.

all the best with your learning

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Always picking on the JATTS..

birpan ki reet = being like the bhramins, such as casting out anyone or anything which is different from your opinion of whats right and holy. Holding onto the external practices and believing that it is through those that we can devide people and pretend our practices are more accurate and pleasing to God then anyone elses.

Thats how I understand it anyhow, but I aint a scholar or a nirmala, im just by the grace of the guru.. his ladla. :D

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'Bipran Ki Reet', well I've heard two sources myself. The quote comes from Sau Sakhi (I think this was what our beloved Vijaydeep Singh Ji said having checked) while I've seen it elsewhere as being from Sri Sarbloh Granth. I find it remarkable that the people who even doubt Charitar Pakhyan NEVERMIND these two granths, base their whole position on that very quotation, that they usually don't have a clue about the source of! You ask them about these granths, and they are 'brahminical'. How does that work then?

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