The following report appeared in the Tribune... http://www.tribuneindia.com/<wbr>2009/20091030/punjab.htm#12 Nirmal sect's contribution to Sikhism vital: Pbi varsity VC Tribune News Service Patiala, October 29 Highlighting the unique contribution of the 'Sikhs in saffron robes'- most often taken as followers of the Hindu religious traditions, Vice-Chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh said their institution known as Nirmal Samapardaa (sect) had played a pivotal role in propagation and implementation of the Sikh thought during most trying hours of the history. Presiding over the two-day seminar on the "Contribution of Nirmal Sampardaa to the Sikh literature" at the university campus here today, Singh said if the institution had not preserved and compiled the life and deeds of Sikh Gurus and their followers after the demise of Guru Gobind Singh, we would have been deprived of knowledge of real developments that constituted a distinct Sikh ideology and thought. The Nirmal Sampardaa (sect) was founded by five Sikhs, who were sent by Guru Gobind Singh in 1686 to Varanasi- then and even now, a centre for erudition and practice in Hindu religious traditions- to study Sanskrit and Hindu mythology there. The Guru's purpose was to study and understand the Hindu religious literature for the benefit of the masses, as the study of Sanskrit was, then, confined to the upper caste Brahmins only. Sant Jodh Singh Maharaj of Nirmal Ashram, Rishikesh, was present at the inaugural ceremony of the seminar, which was organised by the Guru Granth Sahib Studies Department of the University in collaboration of the Nirmal Ashram. About a dozen newly books, authored by eminent scholars on role of the Nirmal sect were released at the function. Some Views :: IMHO this Tall tale of Guru Gobind Singh Ji despatching Five Sikhs (note FIVE..in sikh tradition of Panj ) is a total fabrication. Guru nanak ji knew SANSKRIT well enough to write GURBANI and He REJECTED SANSKRIT in favour of the common man's language - Gurmukhi/Punjabi. Guru Arjun Ji knew sanskrti well enough to write Gurbani.. Bhai Gurdass Ji is a well known Sanskrit SCHOLAR par excellence. Many of the 52 kavis at Guru Gobind Singh Jis darbar knew sanskrit very well. I put it there was absolutley no need to send any "sikhs" ( IN DISGUISE as non-BRAHMINS were NOT WELCOME in Varanasi..in fact a Sudar or any other caste could be KILLED for attempting to learn/speak sanskrit...so here Guru Jsi character is being assasinated via this fake tale..Guru ji is sending "spies" to learn sanskrit under false pretenses...) The story of dispatching certain number of Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh to Varanasi for learning Sanskrit, and then on their return to teach Sikhs Sanskrit literature and Gurbani in the light of Vedantic philosophy, does not seem to co-relate with the philosophy of Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan; written in Sanskrit salokas. Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan wrote their Bani in Sanskrit to help the gullible people in comprehending the laws of universe ministering life and world around them. These Sanskrit salokas particularly are referring to the Vedantic philosophy and recommend to seek boon from the God and not from any gods or demigods of the Vedas. this called using the MEDIUM to spread our Message..use SANSKRIT to DEMOLISH sanskrit based Vedaanta philosophy. In Modern medium it would be like this..to spread GURMATT Philosphy among the WESTERN educated Christian audience..we would have to use ENGLISH....in this way the GURUS used SANSKRIT to get across to a select audience. The fable of Guru Gobind Singh sending the selected few Sikhs for learning Sanskrit to varanasi....WHY ?? whatever for ?? 1. When Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan wrote Salokas in Sanskrit, and Guru Gobind Singh knowing that fact, declared Aad Guru Granth Sahib as the guiding Guru of the Sikhs; then why did he need the Sikhs to learn Sanskrit in Varanasi? 2. Bhai GurDas ji had been educated in Sanskrit and was very erudite scholar in Vedantic litrature, were there not any Sikhs understanding him, Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan; when they spoke Sanskrit? Was the Guur speaking "dutch" ?? or to a "selected few"...is that the reason GURBANI was written.for a selected few only ?? I put it the answer is obvious..many many in the Sangat of Guru ji also knew sanskrit...there was NO NEED for anyone to go to varanasi or anywhere else... 3. Related question..Guru Nnak ji..Guru Gobind Singh ji..Bhai nand Lal Ji..so many wrote Such EXCELLENT FARSEE. WHY not Five Sikhs also sent to Mecca/Medina to learn FARSEE ?? Why the Preference to Varanasi...when Bhagat kabir jI has already written Benaras ke THUGGH..Varansai was a NEST of THUGGHS. FACT of the matter is the GURUs were SELF SUFFICIENT..in Sanskrit..Farsee..Brij Bhasha..everything. 4. Swami Dyananad of the Arya Samaj has also thorwn one such INSULT towards Guru nanak Ji. He says Guru nanak ji didnt ahve any deep knowledge of SANSKRIT...he just borrowed phrases from here and there and wrote some TUTTEE FUTTE "sanskrit" slokas !! THIS INSULT in the 20th Century is the EXACT SAME INSULT thrown at us by the Nirmalas in the story above. 5 Having literary poets in his audience, did Guru Gobind Singh ji alone understood Sanskrit literature or his learned Sikhs, as well? Were the 52 poets just writing solely for the GURU ONLY ?? All the Sikhs sat as MUTES..not understanding anything ?? farfetched ?? YES. 6. Does the story of sneaking Sikhs into Varanasi for learning Sanskrit sent by Guru Gobind Singh ji; makes any sense? Not at all......the story is not fitting to the stature of Guru Gobind Singh.In Fact its an INSULT of the same type that Swami Dyanand of arya samj threw at Guru nanak Ji in His Satyarth Parkash... I believe, this was an opportunistic creation by the Brahmins to take advantage of the political situation involving Sikhi and the Sikhs in the Eighteenth century. And that is still succeeding in fooling gullible Sikh populace. Dr Taran Singh of the same University (Punjabi University) is of the view that Nirmlas after getting training at Varanasi had interpreted Gurbani and Sikhi under the influence of Vedantic philosophy, which is evident from their writings. Is the contribution of Nirmala Samparda be taken as preservation of distinct Sikh ideology and thought or introduction of Vedantic philoosphy in Sikhism? IMHO , when the Sikh Panth was in actual Danger of total annihilation from enemies within and without....the Nirmalas took the opportunity to BHAGWAKARAN..SAFFRONISE the Pure and Nirmal panth/Gurmatt Philosophy taught by Nanak ji. I put it that its THIS Nirmalsiation of Gurmatt as a Major factor that has led to STAGNATION in SIKHI..the reason why it didnt spread as FAST as during the time of GURU NANAK JI HIMSELF. Is it any wonder that the Most Modern - i may say Ultra Modern scientific and logically GYAAN BASED religion of GURMATT failed to spread world wide as fast as it should ahve and in fact BACKSLIPPED into Brahminised RITUALS and Castes etc which were so roundly and strongly CONDEMNED by the GURUS . Any one who has studied the GURMATT PHILOSOPHY will come to the conclusion that it is unique and original and is far away from Vedantic philosophy. GURMATT Philosphy means philosophy of Guru Nanak embodied in his Bani incorporated in the SGGS. Are there any similarities between Gurmatt Philosophy and that of Vedantic philosophy or is Gurmatt Philosophy entirely UNIQUE and ORIGINAL ? In my mind the question is anon-starter..but if there are differing views do write to SPN. What dr taran Singh Ji of Punjab University has to say.....from his following book: Singh, Taran.1997. Gurbani dian Viakhia Parnalian. Punjabi University, Patiala.