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Brief Remarks About Namdhari Sikhs
By, S. S. Jeet

The word Namdhari Sikh (Sant-Khalsa) means, "One who has the Name of God (Nam-Simran) in his or her heart." Sikhs who adhere strictly to the teachings of the Sikh Gurus. In the second half of the 19th century, Punjabis again became the Sant Sipahi and joined the Sant Khalsa whom people called Namdhari or Kuka Sikhs. They wear white clothing and, by their methods of tyng the turban (As original Sikhs tied) horizontally across the forehead, one can recognise them very easily.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji felt, that God could be obtained only through divine grace and through the guidance of a True Guru (Satguru). He did not preach renuciation of the world as was being done by many other saints of the Bhakti movement. He told people to: "Abide pure amidst the impurities of the world." Guru Nanak was very keen on preaching equality, worship one God and practise and meditate on His true name with the guidance, kindness and Grace of the Satguru. In the time of Guru Angad, Guru Amar Dass and Guru Ram Dass, Sikhism (Cult of Name-God's True Name) advanced further perfection in its various attributes both moral and material. During the Guruship of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, the principles of Guru Nanak took a firm hold on the minds of his followers. Guru Harghobind grasped the swords and declared himself the spiritual and political head of his followers (Sikhs), assumed attributes, and at the same time, the sixth Guru did not neglect religious duties. Sikhism met a far more serious challenge when Aurangjeb (Mughal Ruler) came into power. Guru Har Rai was harassed by him and Guru Har Krishan, a mere child, was summoned to the imperial court in Delhi, where he died of smallpox. The ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur had died with the word: "I have given my head and not my determination (Dharam)." Natually, martyrdom inspired the Sikhs with ideas of resolute struggle and fighting for their identity; an open conflict with the Mughals became inevitable.

The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, prepared his followers with zest and forsight; tenth and brave Satguru gave them courage by name confidence with baptism (amrit) and tenacity of purpose with a uniform Khalsa look (i.e. Sant Siphi). His Holiness wrote a new chapter of Sikh History and wrote it on the granite of time. In fact, the greatest work of Guru Gobind Singh was the creation of Khalsa in 1699. Guru Gobind Singh was not only a great and mighty warrior, the creator of Khalsa, but he was also a great (Saint) Satguru and a scholar who carried on the mission of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It was during this time that Sikhism established its new identity and appeared as a stream of distiction from the Hindu and Islamic religions.

The mighty Sikh movement of struggle and reserection continued even after Guru Gobind Singh, and thrusted this task and the Guru-ship was confered by His Holiness (Tenth Guru) onto Guru Balak Singh of Huzro, who passed it on to Guru Ram Singh Ji of Bhaini District Ludhiana. At the same time, it is fundimental to Namdhari Sikhs believe that Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not die in 1708 in Nanded, but lived until 1812 A.D. Namdhari Sikhs also believe that Guru Gobind Singh did not confer the Guru-ship upon the Adi-Granth but rather upon Sri Satguru Balak Singh and succession of Gurus followed after him which was started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. This distinguishes them from the other Sikhs, and they call themselves SANT KHALSA (i.e. NAMDHARI SIKHS). Namdhari Sikhs are very strict followers of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Guru Ram Singh Ji. Such a great reformer or revivalist was Sri Satguru Ram Singh, who reformed the Sikh society in the second half of the nineteeth century, that within a few years a million of the Punjabis again became the Sant Sipahis and joined the Sant Khalsa. His Holiness attracted His true diciples (Namdharis) towards entirely original tenets of Guru Sikhee Maryada (code conduct of the Gurusikhee).

Giving them (Namdhari Sikhs), a moral height they had altogether lost, bestowing upon them a new life of purity, simplicity, fearlessness and Love, which they needed badly since the last century; cared them of all their Corroding Maladies and prepared them for a new Crusade against the crushing evil of foreign rule. The religious and national life of the Sikhs and other other communities had been completely ruined in India. Guru Ram Singh was a clear headed leader of the same (lived) category-line on his predecssor (Gurus) who launched a crusade for religious reforms and revival movement. Guru Ram Singh discerned that political independace had disappeared from Punjab and the rest of the country because true religion (Guru-Mat) had become extinct in the hearts of the people. To revive the self pride of the Khalsa, Satguru Ram Singh established a new centre and new atmosphere of Punjab. The Namdhari movement began in India as a reform and a protest movement with regards to the Sikh community of the 19th century. They also played a significant role in the struggle against British Rule. During the struggle for the freedom movement in India, and all over the world, whenever and wherever the Goddess of Liberty demanded its price and quivered its thristy lips, the Namdhari Sikhs offered cup-fulls of blood for sacrifice.

The sacrifice of the Namdhari Sikhs shocked the British rule of the time, resulting in imposition of various restrictions and discrimination against them. But they adopted the resistance movement, programme of swadeshi, non-cooperation and boycott of foreign goods and continued their struggle for the liberation of the country along side the Indian National Congress through a democratic way. Namdharis are staunch vegitarians and do not use alcohol, tobacco etc. Worship, reading-resiting Gurbani and meditation (Nam-Simran) recitation of the true Name are central to Namdhari Sikhs.

Since 1947, when India became free from British Rule, the role of Namdharis has become more significant. They are the sybols of India's seccularism, as they command element. They provide the mother land with the most experianced artisans, contractors, cattle breeders, farmers, business men, etc. for its growing industry and development. They embody the rural culture of India with their zest for agriculture and vigorous protectors of the wealth of cattle rearing. Under the spritual guidance of their present Guru-Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji, they are growing in prosperity, and strength.

Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji is stressed for social reforms and more simplified and econimcal marriage (Mass Anand and Karag ceremony). His Holiness urges the Sikhs to strictly follow their `Gurumat' tenets in and outside India. So, much so that millions of Sikhs of Guru Nanak NAM LEVA (NAMDHARIS) now spread to distinct corners of the globe; become vegetarians teetotallers and Guru Sikhs. The services and blessings provided by His Holiness Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji for world peace and against modern warfare weapons are noteworthy. His Holiness always stresses on the Holy teachings of the Gurus and strictly leads the life according to the, `Gurumat' tenets (Guru-Marayada). His Holiness attaches equal importance and respect to the Adi Granth and Dasam Granth Composition Chandi di Var in their daily Nit-Nem. So the Namdhari Sikhs are original Sikhs of the Satgurus.