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Baba Sri Chand And Sikhism

Harry Haller

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I don't think he quite grasped the householder bit, my understanding is we are not meant to live life as ascetics, however he is lauded by some Sikhs, 3HO have a golden statue of him at the entrance of one of their Gurdwaras
 

BhagatSingh

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BlazinSikh ji,

Your question makes a wrong assumption. The majority of Sikhs do accept him as an important figure in Sikhism. In India they celebrate him as much as any other important figure. Have you ever seen the crowds at his Nagar kirtan in Amritsar? They are huge! Sri Chand ji taught ascetics just like the Gurus taught householders. He was an enlightened soul like his father. His contributions to the Udasis and their contributions to society and Sikh panth are crucial to understanding Sikh history.

Some people might say that he went against his father. This is false. Guru Nanak Dev ji understood that enlightenment can be found as a householder or an ascetic. His message was for both householders and ascetics. He understood both lifestyles as he experienced both lifestyles himself. He spent 15 years as a householder, 24 years as an udasi and then returned to his family for another 15 years before his death.

Any other questions?
 

BhagatSingh

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SP ji, Ya if we take udasi to mean "one who is detached" then no doubt Baba Nanak was already an udasi before he left his town.
 

passingby

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Baba Sri Chand ji has been accepted as an enlightened soul in Sikh history. His chosen way of living was not of a householder. But he did not preach that life of a householder is an obstacle for realizing Brahmagyaan.

The sect 'Udasis' started after Baba Sri Chand. And it played a very positive, constructive and creative role in Sikh History. The Udasis preached Gurbani and respected Guru Grantha Sahib as a spiritual Guru of the Sikhs. They were teachers and doctors for village people. They taught Gurmukhi and gave free medicines to everyone.

The role of Udasis as scholars is a very important one which has not been highlighted enough in Punjabi circles yet. All of the university professors at Panjab University, Chandigarh, Punjabi University Patiala, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar know the HUGE literary contributions made by Udasis in terms of translations as well as original creations. They tanslated not only Sanskrit Granthas but Arabic and Persian as well.

I believe some PhDs have been undertaken on Udasi Literature but a vast reservoir is still lying hidden in original form in reference libraries and Udasi deras.
 
Oct 11, 2006
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Patiala,Punjab.
I am of the firm view that Udasis should have been kept out of the Sikh fold.I completely fail to grasp the compulsions behind the decision to accept them as Sikhs, when theirs is an absolute Hindu way of life.
There are quite a few Udasi Deras at Patiala and I have observed their activities from very close quarters.:angryyoungsingh:swordfight
 
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Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Baba Sri Chand actively Disobeyed Guru nanak ji at every step and was NOT at all in SYNC with the teachings of Guru Nanak ji and thats why he was bypassed for Gurgadee. The Sons of Guru Angad Ji and Guru Amardass Ji too followed the same ANTI_GURU GHAR paths most actively. Guur ramdass Jis Sons Prithi Chand carried this enmity with Guru Arjun to extreme ends..and then onwards the ANTI-GURU-GHAR Lineage of Meennas, Hindalis, Dhirmalliahs, Wadbhagees, ram raiyas etc have been very ACTIVELY flowing along as an :alternative" path to the House of Guru nanak ji.

Baba Sri Chand was actively PROMOTED by the Late GOBIND SADAN Chief, and his cohorts the 3HO Yogi harbahjan Singh and the Present Badal Regime which has declared a PUBLIC HOLIDAY for Baba Sri Chands Birthday and NOT for Guru Angad Jis GURPURAB !!

Its a fake argument thta .."majority" Sikhs accept Baba Sri chand blah blah..same as saying the Majority Sikhs accept the thousands of Deras and Babas...these Babas/Derawaad is exactly what the Udasis were earlier...that is while the Genuine Gurmatt Following SIKHS were roaming the Land with PRICE on their HEADS and sacrifcing themsleves..the "udasis" were busy "supporting" the Govt as are the Babas deras today. The Udasis and Nirmalas took over the Sikh Gurdwaras, Dharamsals and rewrote Sikh History to reflect their Views and drag sikhi of Guur nanak ji back into the Hindu fold..see how the BHAGWA/reddishOrangish/so called Kesri colour ( Udasis/Nirmalas/Sants/babas..... has almost OVERWHELMED the BLUE Colours of the NIHUNG Khalsa which colour now only exists among the Nihungs.
The Singh sabha Movement which sought to ROLL BACK some of these encroachments of Brahminishm has been labelled as British Stooges....but in actual fact not so.
History may be temporarily changed..but TRUTH stands its role..forever as Gurbani declares...Sach patteh nahin kadeh puranna nahnin hoveh...TRUTH doesnt tear or fade or become Old....as long as Sikhs rally behind their One and Only TRUE GURU..the SGGS..the Gurmatt of Guru nanak ji will TRIUMPH once again and emerge out of the Bhagwa cloud of baba sri chandism...
 

passingby

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Baba Sri Chand actively Disobeyed Guru nanak ji at every step and was NOT at all in SYNC with the teachings of Guru Nanak ji and thats why he was bypassed for Gurgadee....
Just one point. Would he have received Guruship if he had obeyed Guruji just by virtue of being Guru's son? The point I am trying to make is Guruship was not a matter of family inheritance. Spirituality does not run in genes.
 

BhagatSingh

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The Truth speaks for itself when you let it speak. Let's not allow our personal feelings to veil the Truth. Let's look at the facts here and criterion by which Guru Angad Dev ji was selected for Gurgaddi.

Guru Angad Dev ji:
1. was Guru Nanak Dev ji's sikh (Gurugaddi is passed onto your sikh)
2. displayed spiritual progress through the Naam tradition when he realized God and gave up worshipping material wealth
3. already had a following that could readily mix with Guru Nanak Dev ji's following

Baba Sri Chand ji:
1. was not his sikh as he was not with Guru Nanak Dev ji until his very last years
2. did not attain enlightenment through the Naam tradition, hence would have no way of continuing Guru Nanak Dev ji's "classes" so to speak
3. did not have a following compatible with Guru Nanak Dev ji's following of householders

And we know that the Gurus had no problems with Sri Chand ji. With Guru Hargobind Sahib ji's approval, Sri Chand ji appointed Baba Gurditta ji to their group. Later on Baba Gurditta ji revives the Udasi missionary activity that had declined.

The contribution of Udasis and their leaders including Baba Sri Chand ji and Baba Gurditta ji is an important part of our history. It would be irresponsible and dangerous to not acknowledge their importance when clearly they are. Equally irresponsible and dangerous to portray hostility among them and Nihangs when there was none. The Udasis (and Nirmalas) worked with the Nihangs and kept alive the traditions of Guru Nanak Dev ji when Sikh numbers were dwindling. Once the Nihangs recovered and grew in numbers (through Khalsa initiations driven by the missionary activities of Udasis, not to mention the medical services), Sikhs were able to fight back the Afghan invasions and the Mughals.

Nihang Baba Uday Singh comments upon the Udhasis:
Udhasi Panth is from the time of Guru Nanak it was started by Baba Siri Chand Ji. It is an ancient Panth. In it also the [Adi] Guru Granth was preached. They set up Akharas [religious gatherings] and alongside Adi Granth they gave knowledge of Ayurved [Traditional Indian medicine]. They moved like an army through the villages and towns. They visited the Kumbh [ie. the Kumbh mela, a Hindu religious festival occurring every 12 years] at Hardwar on elephants and horses. This I do know about Udhasis the old ones use to preach Guru Granth with Ayurved. These Udhasis are an old Panth of Guru Nanak. They are exempt from the Khalsa initiation. From the beginning they did not get initiated into the Khalsa [since]they adopted the Udasi way of life [non-attachment]... (Baba Uday Singh, transcript of a recording, 01-03-2001)
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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They are NOT any "panth" of Guru nanak ji..Guur Nanak ji only started the NIRMAL PANTH as stated by Bhai Gurdass Ji..the authoritative Sikh historian.
The same confusion was sowed after Guru Gobind Singh ji who ONLY sanctioned the One Khalsa panth..and NOT nay taksals, or Jathas..as they claim !!

2. Gurgadee is NOT a personal possession..and no one is "EXCLUDED" simply because He is Guru jis SON....Guru Arjun Ji was Guru ramdass Jis son..Guru Hargobind Ji was Guru Arjun jis son....Guru Harkishan ji was Guru Har rai jis son..Guru Gobind Singh ji was Guur teg bahdur Jis son...so simply being a son..is not a disqualification..a SON can also be a SIKH...in fact the Very First SIKH of Guru nanak ji was his sister nanki Ji...

The Udasis were what would be called.."Mercenaries or opportunists.."..they grabbed the opportunity when the SIKHS were being HUNTED like animals..there is no RECORD of any UDASI being put to death or being a shaheed...Just like TODAY the "udasi equivalent" would be the DERAWADEE Babas..nanaksariahs, dhadrinwallahs, rarrehwallahs etc etc..they are NOT at all..."on the GOI Watch List...or in any way being HUNTED down as for example The followers of Bhinderawallah was..or the babbars are..in fact the GOI actively facilitates the namdharees, nanaksariahs babas etc with easily available Visas and passports etc...and these Babas also claim they preach the AAD Granth..and provide ayurvedic and paath medicines...or even Third Eye Magic like the Nirmal baba who is of Namdharee background...
There may have been many many good udasis ..BUt the Vast majority actually SABOTAGED the GURMATT of Guru sahibs by sticking to their ALTERNATIVE "sikhis"...as they still do under the guise of sanatan Sikhi....They NEVER stood up to be COUNTED as SIKHS and thus escaped the SHAHEDDEE CULTURE imposed on SIKHS who stood up and be counted...
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Exactly my point jios..Udasis are udasis..Nirmalas are Nirmalas..namdharees are Namdharees..nirankarees are Nirankarees..nanaksariahs are nanaksariahs..radha soamis are radha soamis...BUT ALL THESE ARE NOT SIKHS..not by a long shot.

Also NOT Sikhs are Ahmediahs who claim they have a chola worn by Guru nanak ji and revere Him as a Pir...

SIKHS are SIKHS whose One and Only Guru is SGGS...who beleive IN and Have complete faith in the 10 Guru Sahibaans...and in the Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh Ji as the ultimate Complete form of Gurmatt espoused by Guru nanak ji and his 10 successors...now Called the SGGS.
 

BhagatSingh

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Udasis are Udasis, Nihangs are Nihangs, Sevapanthis are Seva panthis, Nirmalas are Nirmalas (these previous four have a very similar belief system. Belief systems start to vary amongst the following) Namdharis are Namdharis, Nirankaris are Nirankaris, Nanaksariahs are Nanaksariahs, Radha Swamis are Radha Swamis, Singh-Sabhaists are Singh-Sabhaists

Great. All of them claim to be Sikhs. All of them hold Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (and 10 Gurus) as their Guru. Thus it is a no-brainer to call them Sikh and to let them define who they are, without imposing our prejudiced judgements on them. The only discussion here is how they differ in their interpretation.

BTW Ahmadiyas don't claim to be Sikh, they claim to be Muslim. But a few Muslims, like our fellow Judges of Dharma here, don't accept them as Muslim, even though Ahmaddiyas have taken the Quran, Hadith and Muhammad to be their scripture and Prophet, they also practice all the rituals and festivities.

Baba Sri Chand ji, whether he was a Guru or not does not matter when we consider his importance in Sikh history. Sri Chand ji was the one who suggested that the town of Ramdaspur be called Amritsar. Guru Ramdas ji held him in high esteem and presented him with offerings of horses and money every now and then. When asked by Sri Chand ji the reasons as to why his beard is so long, he replied "to wipe off the dust of the saints like yourself". Guru ji then got down and wiped his feet.

How did Nihangs and others escape persecution to recover their ranks? They hid in jungles.
How did Udasis escape persecution? They hid in jungles and didn't wear turbans. Where do Udasis normally live and how do they normally dress since the time of Guru Nanak? In jungles and without turbans.

Why did Nihangs attain martyrdom? Well they were warriors and very much involved in politics and society and thus were more likely to be in situations where they would be martyred.
Why don't we hear about Udasis attaining martyrdom? Well they are recluses who live in deep jungles and mountains, very much outside of politics and society and thus are less likely to come under fire from the government.

Udasis and especially Nirmalas devote their entire lives to studying Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, so we really are in no position to judge whether they are Sikhs. They are the experts and are devoted to what they do. They understand the Sikh scriptures better and it is because of their loyalty towards the Gurus that they study it so nothing good will come from antagonizing them. Instead their texts should be studied with the same level of love and devotion that they wrote them with.
 
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Luckysingh

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Just a few points here.
Firstly, there seems no doubt that there was some important influences by Baba Sri Chand Ji. So, we can't shrug and ignore this importance by refusing to include his role in sikhism and then of course the udassi.
I have only researched a little since this topic started and the valid points made, do have a lot of validity from what I gather.

With regards to Guru Nanak starting the Nirmal panth as stated by Bhai Gurdas Ji, I always thought that this was the same panth that Guru Gobind Singh Ji in effect renamed and revitalised and called it The Khalsa Panth.
I am talking about the nirmal started nearly 200 years before the Khalsa, not the nirmala of today.
I don't differentiate between khalsa and the original nirmal, I may be wrong and mislead here.
 
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BhagatSingh

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Lucky Singh ji,
Khalsa is a military order started by Guru Gobind Singh ji which follows Guru Nanak Dev ji's panth. Khalsa's focus was very much the art of war. They worshipped weapons, trained in martial arts, practiced intense meditation and discipline, went hunting often and built castles and fortifications. The original rehitnamas/codes of conduct of the Khalsa are not very applicable today. The modern rehitnamas were written so that they would be more practical in the modern life. The line of Sikhism we belong to is the Khalsa lineage, where our ancestors took amrit and were initiated in to Khalsa but it is not the same military Khalsa that existed way back in history and certainly not the only Sikh lineage.
 

findingmyway

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Udasis are Udasis, Nihangs are Nihangs, Sevapanthis are Seva panthis, Nirmalas are Nirmalas (these previous four have a very similar belief system. Belief systems start to vary amongst the following) Namdharis are Namdharis, Nirankaris are Nirankaris, Nanaksariahs are Nanaksariahs, Radha Swamis are Radha Swamis, Singh-Sabhaists are Singh-Sabhaists

Great. All of them claim to be Sikhs. All of them hold Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (and 10 Gurus) as their Guru. Thus it is a no-brainer to call them Sikh and to let them define who they are, without imposing our prejudiced judgements on them. The only discussion here is how they differ in their interpretation..
Life is not so simple. If any of these groups hold another Guru or text in equal or higher esteem than the SGGS then they cannot be Sikhs as per the definition of the SRM due to split loyalties.
 

Ambarsaria

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Bhagat Singh ji some comments.
Lol the Righteous Judges of Dharma have spoken!
Sorry please elaborate on your rant and characterization in the complaints or other places at spn set up for it.

Udasis are Udasis, Nihangs are Nihangs, Sevapanthis are Seva panthis, Nirmalas are Nirmalas (these previous four have a very similar belief system. Belief systems start to vary amongst the following) Namdharis are Namdharis, Nirankaris are Nirankaris, Nanaksariahs are Nanaksariahs, Radha Swamis are Radha Swamis, Singh-Sabhaists are Singh-Sabhaists

Great. All of them claim to be Sikhs. All of them hold Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (and 10 Gurus) as their Guru. Thus it is a no-brainer to call them Sikh and to let them define who they are, without imposing our prejudiced judgements on them. The only discussion here is how they differ in their interpretation.
False for some of them and I will let you do research to see which ones! If this is your level of understanding of the real world out there, if I were you I would refrain from making such statements as you keep posting basically lies and untruths when you do so.
Baba Sri Chand ji, whether he was a Guru or not does not matter when we consider his importance in Sikh history. Sri Chand ji was the one who suggested that the town of Ramdaspur be called Amritsar. Guru Ramdas ji held him in high esteem and presented him with offerings of horses and money every now and then. When asked by Sri Chand ji the reasons as to why his beard is so long, he replied "to wipe off the dust of the saints like yourself". Guru ji then got down and wiped his feet.
Sakhis are called Sakhis for a reason and SGGS ji is called a Guru for a reason. I am sure Baba Sri Chand did good stuff but if it all goes to directly or indirectly annul the work of our Guru jis or SGGS ji then I could not give two hoots about it and the followers thereof.

Udasis and especially Nirmalas devote their entire lives to studying Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, so we really are in no position to judge whether they are Sikhs. They are the experts and are devoted to what they do. They understand the Sikh scriptures better and it is because of their loyalty towards the Gurus that they study it so nothing good will come from antagonizing them. Instead their texts should be studied with the same level of love and devotion that they wrote them with.
There are examples of misguided Nirmalas posting here and making SGGS appear like other scriptures and nothing special. If their so called intense studying has allowed them to say such nonsense then their whole life has been wasted calling self to be Sikhs.

The time of such on the pedestal people guiding the masses with little access to resources of translation, scriptures, etc., is way past. If anything they are more redundant now than ever before. Who cares about antogonizing such spiritually superior! I wonder why you believe such highly placed can be antagonized in the first place given their brilliance.

Sat Sri Akal. swordfight
 

Harry Haller

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Bhagat Singhji,

I think your argument is fairly sound actually, however you have done yourself no favours by citing groups that cannot abide by the SRM definition of what a Sikh is.

A Sikh is defined as any person male or female who faithfully:
Believes in the existence of One eternal God
Follows their teachings of, and accepts as their only Spiritual guides, the Guru Granth Sahib and the ten human Gurus
Believes in the baptism (Amrit Sanchar), as promoted by the tenth Guru
Does not owe allegiance to any other religion



Udasis are Udasis, Nihangs are Nihangs, Sevapanthis are Seva panthis, Nirmalas are Nirmalas (these previous four have a very similar belief system. Belief systems start to vary amongst the following) Namdharis are Namdharis, Nirankaris are Nirankaris, Nanaksariahs are Nanaksariahs, Radha Swamis are Radha Swamis, Singh-Sabhaists are Singh-Sabhaists
Great. All of them claim to be Sikhs. All of them hold Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (and 10 Gurus) as their Guru. Thus it is a no-brainer to call them Sikh and to let them define who they are, without imposing our prejudiced judgements on them. The only discussion here is how they differ in their interpretation.
Not all of them do, but the ones that do, yes, I believe you have a valid point, let us not waste time on those that believe in living Gurus.

I do not think we can laud Nihangs and refuse to laud Udasis. In my view they are both as extreme as the other, and both have missed the central message which is to combine all facets of Sikhism to produce rounded, practical, flexible, spiritual, and worldly wise people.

Udasis and especially Nirmalas devote their entire lives to studying Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, so we really are in no position to judge whether they are Sikhs. They are the experts and are devoted to what they do. They understand the Sikh scriptures better and it is because of their loyalty towards the Gurus that they study it so nothing good will come from antagonizing them. Instead their texts should be studied with the same level of love and devotion that they wrote them with.
I have no problem with any group that satisfies the SRM Sikh definition, however, no group holds the monopoly on the Sikh message, only the SGGS has that honour.

I think acceptance of groups that are in line with general Sikh thinking, or even those that have adopted a single facet and made that Sikhism, is a good thing, provided we are in no doubt that it is only a facet, a side.

This does not apply to groups that attempt to rewrite Sikhi, but it must be conceded that any argument against the Udasis also applies against the Nihangs.
 

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