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The Nirmalas...Sikhs in Saffron Robes? or ??

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    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.
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Re: The Nirmalas...SIKHS in SAFFRON ROBES ?? or

    Gyani ji

    I remember your earlier essay in which you raised many of these same questions about the Nirmala, and possibly their fancy stitch-work, in revising the message of Guru Nanak. Thanks for going into this more deeply and with more detail and specific questions.

    Here is how this article helps -- in my opinion only. Brahmanist interpretations of the Gurus' Banee might have been an attempt to shield the revolutionary, and socially threatening message of Guruji, as a way to preserve what could be preserved of it in socially and politically threatening times. Or -- it can just as easily be understood as an attempt to preserve social status and political influence by individuals in political orbit around Sri Guru Gobind Singh. I am suggesting that they struck when the iron was hot and saw their opportunity to divert attention and convert meaning so that it favored their continued control and status once the panth was thrown into chaos as Guru Gobind Singh's death drew near.

    Not a far fetched hypothesis as there are other examples of sects that formed in response to the loss of leadership, also putting forward a return to Brahmanism.

    Now this section alone convinces me that we have the answer to another question in the panth.

    You said above, "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 ."
    Why is conversion to Sikhism so difficult? Why does Sikhism seem primarily a Punjabi religion -- one that never moved outside of the cultural frame imposed by geography -- when other religions managed to do so. For example, the Lutheran religion was founded in Germany, and spread quickly because of its message of reform and rebellion against the meaningless rituals and corruptions imposed by the leadership in Rome. It spread throughout Europe, and later worldwide, though its original text was a German Bible.

    Not everyone in the West who would have been moved by the message of Guru Nanak can accept the teachings of the Vedantic traditions, nor is it an easy read to accept Guru Nanak's teachings when draped in Vedantic meanings. I am one of those people. I cannot do it. What I can do is accept Guru Nanak's teachings as a dramatic departure from business as usual. And I do.

    If there ever was a religion that could have spread as quickly or more quickly than Lutheranism or any other religion, in the 20th Century, it should have been Sikhism. However, it did not happen, and it is still a struggle for newcomers to find a place. And where they can find a place is in 3HO and that is not a solution for everyone.

    One last though about power, status, influence and control. The Nirmala come into prominence on one more occasion in Sikh history, much more recently. In the years leading up to 1902 and the conclusion that Dasam Granth was written in its entirety by Guru Gobind Singh. This story is about more than preservation and influence, and sounds like a story of subterfuge. I am being brief.
     
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