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Udasis on sikhsangat!


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http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=24180

Its not everyday I go on sikhsangat sadly, but the great thing about kattarvadis is that whenever they get upset they get straight to the point and share good info!

This one for example looks to me like an Udasi ashram, since there is a Baba Sri Chand murti behind him. So whilst our young brothers and sisters are getting breathless about the 'statues', instead actually look at how amazing the scene is! Singing Gurbani to an audience of hindus (or if it is an udasi ashram, quite possibly a sadhubella one, then an audience of sindhi hindus/sehajdharis in mumbai possibly??) about naam and nirgun parmatma.

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Gurfateh tSingh !

You've probably seen these pictures - but if not check them out - They are amazing - whoever 'chitrakari' is s/he should publish them in large 'coffee table' book size - I would definitely buy a copy

There is an amazing picture of Baba Harbhajan Das Udasin, of the Mumbai Sadhubela Udasin 'Akhara' and a wonderfully 'other worldly' picture of the Dera Baba Charan Shah at Bahadurpur Hoshiarpur.

I love the study of the frescoes at Baba Atal and the Nihang portraits

Oh and getting back to your original post - there's a picture of the Murti of Baba Sri Chand at the BrahmButta Akhara Amritsar

definitely worth a look!

Here's the link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chitrakari/

ENJOY !

Freed

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Thanks for the link, yes, I saw those.

Having been to Dera Baba Charan Shah Ji today, the photographer has given slight misinformation underneath it. The photo is not an udasin ashram in the middle of a jungle, but a smadh of a later maharani built next to the dera. Its the dhuan thats from the 17th century, and the jungle is a motorcycle ride away (which itself is quite incredible since the jungle is DENSE!). A beautiful place regardless. He is a GREAT photographer though, since the smadh looked nowhere near as evocative as his photo! BTW the image (of Guru Gobind Singh and Nihangs) that was on the front page of the to-be buddhadal website was taken from the inner samadh of Baba Charan Shah.

In fact looking as I write this he's updated it with two more from Dera Baba Charan Shah, both are frescoes from inside the maharani's samadh (hence the bat crap splatterings), which you can see the outside of in the other photo.

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Gurfateh tSingh !

You've probably seen these pictures - but if not check them out - They are amazing - whoever 'chitrakari' is s/he should publish them in large 'coffee table' book size - I would definitely buy a copy

There is an amazing picture of Baba Harbhajan Das Udasin, of the Mumbai Sadhubela Udasin 'Akhara' and a wonderfully 'other worldly' picture of the Dera Baba Charan Shah at Bahadurpur Hoshiarpur.

I love the study of the frescoes at Baba Atal and the Nihang portraits

Oh and getting back to your original post - there's a picture of the Murti of Baba Sri Chand at the BrahmButta Akhara Amritsar

definitely worth a look!

Here's the link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chitrakari/

ENJOY !

Freed

Saw those pictures the other day while i was browing at work, shame hes been forced to put watermarks on there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Those photos are very good but i have to say (again) that the paintings of somebody who is supposed to be Akali Guru Nanak is quite rubbish. So are all the others that purport to be the true paintings of the Gurus. Why the 4 samprdayes place such a great emphasis on these paintings I dont understand. Aad Guru Darbar says gur ki murat shabad jane - the murti of the guru is the WORD. The sooner we get rid of stuff like these paintings the better.

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again, your mindset disturbs me chatanga. Why don't we just remove any imagery, any metaphor, anything within gurbani that is expressive and just focus on the gurmukhi letters of waheguru????..........this is an expression of art...nothing more...let things stand,

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It is an expression of art . I totally agree with that. The problem is when people take it for real. I went to a gurdwara in Jaladnahr where on the entrance there was a life size painting purporting to be of Akali Guru Gobind Singh, and a youth about 20 ish on his way out touched the feet of this painting with his forehead, and and then with his hands. This disturbs my mindset drawof because this is just going into idolworship. And its hapnin in the gurdwaras. You are easliy dsturbed methinks :D

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Are you for real 'Chatanga' ? - or did you get a big wooden spoon for Christmas and just enjoying using it ?

I love the ' The sooner we get rid of stuff like these paintings the better..' line reminds me of the Late comic genius Bill Hicks and his 'Burn your CDs' rant.

Then again the Bill Hicks reference is not really hitting the SA target audience - anyone remember Bill Hicks ? - saw him 'live' once - hilarious - got to dig out that video

Anyway - whether you're taking the 'Michael' or not 'Chatanga' -- here is a glorious tuk of Gurbani - we should all do deep vichaar on -

dsc010782hs6.jpg

Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib - Tilang Mahalla 1 Ghar 2 - Ang 725 ( Freedkot teeka page 1500)

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Gur Ki Morat Man Mein Dhyaan Gur Ka Shabad Mantar Man Maan ||

Usually mahapursh gives jaigaso to contemplate on either asthol saroop of Sargun Vahiguroo either form of vahiguroo shabad letters, guru maharaj saroop, either in pictures then after contemplating on the asthol saroop, dhyaan becomes more subtle and subtle mind(surat) can only catch up with shabad where jaiagaso using his surat to fully infuse into shabad go upper mandals in the atamik marg (ie- trikurti, dasam dwar).

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so chatanga, hows that fault of artist who merely expressing his artistic skills, problem lies in the lap of gurdwara community who is not doing enough to educate those people who are matha taiking to the picture and praying to them that sikh is a upasak of nirgun paratama not a upasakh of artistic picture of guru sahiban.

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Here is an article of Udasi Panth. PLease read and give your views.

The Udasis

Udasi panth is an order of Sikhs which was founded by the elder son of Guru Nanak, Baba Sri Chand. The term Udas means to wander. The foundation of this samprdai was laid by Guru Nanak Dev Ji when he went travelling around the world and preaching against false worship and spreading the true religion – the religion of Naam. After Guru Ji came back to Kartarpur to settle down he handed over this mission of wandering and spreading true religion to his eldest son Sri Chand. After the Guruship passed to Bhai Lehna – Guru Angad, Baba Sri Chand left to continue this mission. This he did with great zeal, and took the teachings of Guru Nanak all over India and into Afghanistan. There is a big Gurdwara in Kabul to commemorate Baba Ji’s visit there. It is sometimes said that Baba Sri Chand did not obey his father, and this is why he was not made the next Guru but this is not true. The Gurgaddi was always given on merit. In Guru Nanak’s tests Bhai Lehna always came first. Baba Sri Chand composed the Arta in praise of his father and Guru, Guru Nanak. This is a much overlooked fact. Baba Sri Chand had no other Guru than Guru Nanak. Udasis consider themselves the followers of Guru Nanak and his successor Gurus. However during the time of the 2nd and 3rd Guru, Baba Sri Chand and his followers stayed away from the Guru’s Darbar. Baba Sri Chand visited the 4th Guru Ramdas at Amritsar and was defeated by his humility, and bowed to him. The Udasi panth from this point became an integral part of the Sikh panth. Guru Hargobind visited Baba Sri Chand at Kartarpur (Pakistan), and gave his son Baba Gurditta, to become the first disciple of Baba Sri Chand from among the close relations of the Sikh Gurus. After this, Guru Hargobind sent the Udasis into the hills in eastern and northern Panjab to spread Sikhism. They also offered their services to Guru Gobind Singh and were permitted to take part in the battle at Bhangani in 1688 AD. There were 4 initial chapters of Udasis, and a further 6 chapters where initiated by the later Gurus, totalling 10 chapters of the Udasis. At this point there was little difference between the Sikhs and Udasis. The differences were the uniform, as the Udasis were exempt from wearing the Sikh uniform of the 5 k’s although they were Kesadhari. The Udasis also did not marry, or hold any property. Apart from this they had firm conviction in the 10 Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In the post Guru Gobind Singh period, when Sikhs were being persecuted the Udasis became custodians of Gurdwaras and could preserve Sikhism as its zealous preachers since they were spared persecution, as they did not wear the symbols of Sikhs. In the darkest days of Sikh history these selfless Udasi Sikhs kept the torch of Sikhism burning.

Today in Sikhism there is little place for the Udasis. This was not always the case. Prior to the period of the Singh Sabha movement (the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries), the Udasi panth enjoyed considerable prestige, under the Sikh Gurus, and then the Sikh rulers of the Punjab. The eclipse of asceticism in general and of the Udasis in particular reflects the convictions of the Tat Khalsa. This was due to the moral and spiritual decline of the Udasis. They began to treat Gurdwaras as personal property and in order to solicit larger donations began to allow idol worship and other non-Sikh practices. They even went so far as to install idols in the Golden Temple and other places like Tarn Taran and Nankana Sahib so as to encourage the Hindus to worship there. Their control of the Gurdwaras ended when their activities were no longer tolerated by the Sikhs. The Sikhs went to confront the Udasis after a Sikh revealed how his 13 year old daughter had been raped by the Udasis at Nankana Sahib. This was one of many incidents involving the Udasis and their treatment of devotees. At the holy place of Tarn Taran the Udasis used to keep their liquor cool by keeping it in the Amrit sarovar. At Tarn Taran Sahib also the Udasis drowned a 10 year old boy in the sarovar, and raped his older sister. His parents were threatened with death if they complained. The Udasis introduced dancing girls and prostitution in the Gurdwaras they controlled. Because they were protected by the government of the time, they were not afraid of the wrath of the Sikhs. But after the parents of the young girl who was raped at Nankana Sahib went to a meeting of Sikh sympathisers, the Sikhs decided to take prompt action, no matter what the consequences. They marched to Nankana Sahib to free the Gurdwara from the clutches of the non-believers. The turning-point of the campaign came when the Udasi Mahant of Nankana Sahib caused the massacre of a large group of Sikhs, an event that branded all Udasis as the enemies of the Khalsa. After this the Udasi way was banished to the outer fringes of the Sikh Panth with many Sikhs refusing to accept them as their co-religionists. Their lifestyle was by this time very different from that of the traditional Udasis. They had completely left the mission that Guru Nanak had started and that Baba Sri Chand had strengthened.

Once the Udasis were relieved of the Gurdwaras they began to re-write history by claiming that the Udasi panth was not started by Guru Nanak or Baba Sri Chand, but had started from Bhagwan Shiv Ji. They claimed the Baba Sri Chand had become an Udasi, he had not started it nor had Guru Nanak. Even now generally the Udasis will claim that the Udasi panth started way before Baba Sri Chand. They have their own places of worship which they call Akharas. In the Akharas they perform all the traditional worship as Sikhs do, reading Guru Granth Sahib Ji and deg, doing chaur, langar etc. But they have retained the Hindu practices that their predecessors had started such as worshipping idols and doing arti with lamps etc. The amazing thing is that the Udasis claim to be very versed in the scriptures of the Sikhs, where it says time and time again do not worship idols, and the true arti is that of Naam. But they still practice worship which the Guru Granth Sahib says is worthless. When they are asked about this they will claim that these are ancient practices that started before Sikhi. This is a pathetic answer. But unfortunately the Udasi panth has taken a very strong Hindu lean. Most of the Udasi are more versed in Hindu scriptures than Sikh scriptures. Manmat has taken over this samprdai. Neither Guru Nanak Dev Ji nor Baba Sri Chand performed any idol worship, or arti with lamps.

In the historical meeting of Anandpur Sahib in 1973, the Sikh panth agreed that the status of the Udasi panth should be reinstated and from that time on they have again been accepted as part of the Sikh nation. They have many of their own centres around India including one at the Golden Temple, where they are regularly seen. The Udasis form less than 1% of the Sikh panth. The Udasis still perform idol worship although Guru Nanak and the Guru Granth Sahib forbid this. Also they look on Guru Nanak as an incarnation of Vishnu, and Baba Sri Chand as an incarnation of Shiv Ji, and Guru Nanak's youngest son Lakhmi Das as the incarnation of Brahma. This is not in line with the teachings of Sikhism.

From once being the foremost preachers of Sikhi, and the protectors of the Gurdwaras when the panth was passing through terrible times, it is so sad to see that the Udasi have come to the state that they are.

Translation of the arta composed by Baba Sri Chand in honour of his father and Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji :

"Let us sing the praises of Nanak, King of kings of both worlds

The whole world is His temple, congregations sing sweet songs in His praise

Millions of goddesses kindle holy lights in His honour

All the gods sing psalms of His praises

All wash His lotus feet

The Sun and moon illuminate Him with their radiance

He is garlanded with mountains of flowers

The True Master, the fountain of Light is merciful to the poor

The king of the winds fans Him while saints and sages meditate on His holiness

The whole universe vibrates with His celestial song

The bells ring out - Onkar

Continuously illuminating the heavens

He is one with God whose name is Truth

In Nanak saints find their support

Siri Chand, Nanak's son, declares Nanak is unattainable,

unfathomable, unshakeable and pure

Whoever sings Emperor Nanak's praises resides in heaven and achieves complete salvation

Oh kind master: give protection to those who seek your shelter.

Oh Nanak: You are the saviour we are just your children"

Thanks for reading

Victory to the Panth

chatanga

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you thinks right chatanga, I was easily disturbed...due to medication.

I think refocusing people through more engaging kirtan/katha is better than destroying heritage. Heritage acts as a reminder of certain time frame in history. Gurbani is full of metaphors and it is stated that the devi/devtays worship the guru etc. We matha teyk and acknowledge that, it is written in words. When we see it in art, it is gurbani painted in imagery...again nothing wrong with that. I do agree that the one liner you have stated has merit, but I feel that a consensual understanding of one line can not over ride the practices of earlier sikhs and the rest of guru granth sahib ji in being the definitive edict on how to live life.

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Sorry me again - meandering off topic - I just re read tSingh's post about the Dera Baba Charan Shah - about it being 'a motorcycle ride' way - just got a great mental image of you riding an indian motorcycle in a 'dhoti' - was that on the back indian side saddle style ? :D

reminds me of when I first went to India as a kid and seeing men wearing 'dhotis' - our local 'Arthya' (money lender) used to wear one , but as he was rich man (ripping off poor Jats !!) he would also wear it with black socks and a pair of brogues he bought in London !

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I rode it like a man Freed, after first fiddling with myself a little so as to get on. It works but any bumps along the way though and future generations are out of the question.

I think one of the most predictably offensive experiences I had while at an Udasi ashram was not surprisingly in the company of NRIs. What is it with (many) NRI's necessity for elitist thinking? Is it some kind of defence mechanism about the fact that they don't really fit in, that they can be spotted a mile away by their dress and mannerisms? That the only way to defend their fragile identities is by looking down on anything they don't understand? I digress. I went with some friends and their friends to an Udasin ashram. We sat down, I showed them the place, talked about it. And then a friend of the friend said 'nah.....I don't buy it'. hehe, buy what? Whats was he buying? Was I selling him the Udasis? I didn't know where to begin with an response like that, why was he there then, and why the hell should Udasis have to justify themselves to people who are ignorant?

This is the crux of the issue. Ignorance. It is one thing having read BOTH sides of the academic debate, the Bhai Randhir Singh more Singh Sabha history measured against Udasi written literature, and then speak to a few, meet a few, think about it and draw a tentative conclusion...quite another thing just to 'feel' based on their own distorted 'Godwara' conditioning that they feel they have a valid conclusion to draw on it! Where were the gatras? Is that the only means of measuring someone's tradition and spiritual avastha?

From my own experience meeting Udasis, there is a maddening diversity. I don't hold any presumptions about an Udasi. I thus recognise why Piara Singh in his Sikh Samprdavali put Swami Ishvar Das Shastri of punjab as the greatest representative of the Udasis (as oppossed to the recognised chief authorities of the other three samprdais), even though he was not the Sri Mahant of the two main akharas.

But the reality is and has been since the 1920s. If an Udasi actively states 'we are Sikh' then they are potentially going to have their dera (thus their practices, traditions, guru-shishya system) removed by force.

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  • 2 months later...

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