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Namdhari Sikhs I

Kuka Faith

Namdhari Sikhs as perceived by Dr. W. H. McLeod.

Namdhari Sikhs are easily recognized by their practice of wearing white homespun clothing and by their method of tying the turban horizontally across the forehead. Around their necks they wear a white woolen cord (mala), woven as a series of 108 knots and serving as a rosary. Their distinctive rituals include the fire ceremony (Havan) which is described below (inside) and the practice of cirumumbulating a fire during the course of their wedding ceremony.

The orthodox belief that the line of personal Gurus ended with the death of Guru Gobind Singh is denied by the Namdhari Sikhs. They insist that the tenth Guru lived for many years after 1708, eventually bestowing the succession on (Guru) Balak Singh of Hazro.

The Namdhari Sikhs are strict vegetarians and vigorous protectors of the cow. They attach equal importance to the Adi Granth and Dasam Granth, and they include the Dasam Granth composition Chandi di Var in their daily Nit-nem.

The Namdhari Sikhs meanwhile developed a rural base in eastern Central Punjab, an outward appearance which clearly distinguishes them from the orthodox, a distinctive ritual, and a belief concerning the succession of Gurus which the others vehemently reject. Their loyalty to Khalsa traditions as they understand them is, however, altogether too obvious to be ignored and only the strictly (some) orthodox would be prepared to place them outside the circle of Sikhs. Faced by their devotion, the Tat Khalsa in general and Principal Teja Singh in particular concluded that even if they were astray on one vital point they were at least potentially aligned with the Panth.......
.....And does little else to dispute the claims of the Namdharis to be regarded as Sikhs.

in 'Sikhism' by
Dr. W. H. McLeod.

The Namdharis are a body of puritan Sikhs who distinguish themselves by their simple,noble and dignified appearance of spotlessly white attire of Kurta (a flowing attire) pyjamas, a white round horizontal dastar (turban) and a cotton mala (rosary) around their necks.

Another distinguishing mark of their faith is their fundamental and unshakeable belief in the living Guru. They strongly believe that the tradition of Guru Gaddi (ecclesiastical seat) started by Sat Guru Nanak Dev Ji did not end with Sat Guru Gobind Singh Ji but continued in Sat Guru Balak Singh Ji, Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji, Sat Guru Hari Singh Ji, Sat Guru Pratap Singh Ji, and the present Guru - Sat Guru Jagjit Singh Ji.

The Namdhari Sikhs contribution to the cause of freedom struggle has been unparalleled. Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji was the pioneer of freedom movement in India. It was Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji who first preached non-violence, boycott and civil disobedience as a weapon to free the country from the clutches of foreign imperial rule. This ideaology was later adopted by Mahamta Gandhi for the eventual liberation of India from colonial rule. The same ideology was layer adopted by many a freedom fighter, notably Rev Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. The immense sacrifices made by Namdharis at the altar of freedom constitute an inseparable and unforgettable part of the history of freedom movement of India. This sacrifice was eventually recognised by the Indian Government in 2009. This historical event was marked by displaying a portrait of Sat Guru Ram Singh Ji in the Indian Parliament.

The Namdhari Sikhs put their total faith in the Guru. They believe that it is the Guru only who can lift the society from moral turpitude. The GURU to them is not only a beacon light who shows the path to reality but who also redeems mankind from the mundane to the spiritual.

The Namdharis Sikhs follow the ideology and tenets of Sikh Gurus and the Holy scripture Granth Sahib Ji in letter and spirit. The path of light shown by Sat Guru Nanak Dev Ji which is the bedrock of Sikh philosophy i.e. Nam Japo (Meditate on the True Name), Kirat Karo (Earn thy living), Vand Chako (Share thy wealth) is truly manifest in the Namdhari way of life.

The fundamental core of Namdhari Sikhs religious life is Naam Simran (Meditating the name of God) and the very word Namdhari literally translated means a ‘Sikh who has adopted God’s Name in his/her life'. The Namdhari Sikhs are also industrious and they earn their living with the sweat of their brow and they love sharing their wealth with the poor and the needy. The Namdharis believe in selfless service to humanity. Hence the Namdharis enshrine all the three basic tenets of Sikh faith in their lifestyle.

The Namdhari Sikhs are peace and music loving people. Their contribution in the field of Indian classical music is unmatchable. They have produced a galaxy of musicians who excel both in vocal and instrumental music. The notable feature of Namdharis musical practice is that they sing and chant hymns from the holy Granth sahib according to the set tradition musical notes (ragas) which were originally enunciated by the Sikh Gurus.

The Namdhari Sikhs are pure vegetarians. They regard killing of animals as pure blasphemy. They keep alcohol, tobacco products, drugs at arms length. The Namdhari Sikhs lead a very simple, humble and unpretentious life. They don't practice dowry's in any form. Their marriage ceremonies are unostentatious and shorn of all pompousness. Theirs is a life full of piety, purity, serenity and cleanliness.

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