Sects - Sects With In Sikhism | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
  • Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

Sects Sects With In Sikhism


Jun 1, 2004
This is how Sikh faith is misrepresented to the world...

The Sikh religion is not an entirely monolithic faith - there are several sects which are not recognized by the majority of Sikhs as orthodox in their teachings and beliefs. One is known as the Udasis, a group of holy men which was founded by an elder son of Guru Nanak, Baba Sri Chand. They are celibate and, either nude or while wearing a yellow robe, carry around a begging bowl to receive food or donations (begging is forbidden among orthodox Sikhs). They are very similar to Hindu ascetics in their mannerisms and habits and they have been active as missionaries of the Sikh faith.

Another group is known as the Sahajdharis, which means "slow adopters." This actually encompasses several smaller sects, all of which tend to be shaven like Hindus and contrary to Sikh tradition. They have largely rejected the more militant teachings which were promoted by Gobind Singh, the tenth and final human Guru.

The final group is known as the Keshadharis ("hair-wearers") and it, too, encompasses a number of smaller sects. The Nihangs are the most militant of all Sikhs - they regularly carry a variety of weapons and are more willing to take action to defend their religion. They regard themselves as continuing in the tradition of Guru Gobind Singh's Khalsa army and live a semi-nomadic lifestyle. The Nirmalas, on the other hand, are much less militant than average and members tend to lead contemplative lives while secluded in monasteries.

Another group categorized with the Keshadharis are the Nirankaris, founded by Baba Dayal (d. 1853). They concentrate on the formless, eternal nature of God and accept the existence of a continuing line of living gurus. The final group is known as the Namdari or Kukas. This is a reform group which developed in the 19th century and they follow a living Guru who is descended from he original gurus.


Jun 11, 2004
Guru Nanak Designed the Sikh religion and started implementing it. The remaining nine gurus contineued to implement it and adapt it for implementation. It was institutionalised in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. This is what, in my opinion constitued the evolution of Sikh Religion.

Now individuals based on their own understanding follow it itn part or in a modified form and can give it what ever name they want to give. They can call them selves Sehajdari, this term has not originated from Sikh Scripture. They are free to follow what they belive in and it is their right to do so, but they are not Sikhs.

As we are one, their cannot be sects within Sikh religion. The individuals are free to adopt the part of teachings of Gurus, but they cannot be called a seperate sect.

I call myself Sikh, I know there is lot of our Guru's teachings that I have to incorporate in my life, I know I am incomplete, I am still learning and evolving, but as I am I donot become a seperate sect.

Sikhs are Sikhs only. Sehajdhari's are not a separate sect.



Jun 11, 2004
As I have stated in my earlier posting, I am evolving to become a true Sikh i.e. Gurmukh, I am not complete yet, my psyche is not fully based on Sikhi, I still have to train myself. To that extent, I am not really a 'Guru Ka Sikh', and that is the case with many of we Sikhs. They are Sikhs in the process of becoming Gurmukhs. We need not give them a separate label as a sect. Nihangs are not a sect, they are reminents of Guru's army and have decided to continue to live like that.

Udasis, are followers of sons of Guru Nanak. If Udasis philisophy was to be the Sikh philosophy, then Guru Nanak would have given Gurgadi to his sons. It was not done. By implication it is clear that the preachings of Guru Nanak's sons were not in accordance with Sikh religion. You know, Guru Angad or any of our other Gurus, did not subscribe to what was preached by the sons of Guru Nanak. Udasis can continue to preach what they feel right, we have no conflict with them, but that is not part of Sikhism, the followers of Udasis are not Sikhs. Just because they happen to be sons of Guru Nanak, it does not mean what they say is deemed to be part of Sikhism.

We Sikhs are Sikhs only.

I wish that we do not import un-sikh ideas and preachings into our religion by creating labels as sects. Sehajdharis are not in Sikh uniform, which is essential and vital part of Sikh Panth and its dynamics ( refer too my posting on why Silh keep hairs in this forum). If they call themselves Sikh, I do not enter into any conflict with them, but to me they are not Sikhs.

Sikh philosophy is packaged by our ten Gurus, only the authenticated literature alone is part of Sikh scripture, which defines Sikh religion. Those who live/training themselves to live by what is said in this scripture alone are Sikhs, they are Gurmuks in the process of formation. they are would be 'Guru Ke Sikhs'.

I fully recognise the right of individuals and groups to propagate what they have realised. I have no conflict with them. Let them call themselves by any other term than Sikhs, as done by Radaswamis. I have no conflict with them. I respect thier right to do so. I love then as human beings, sustained by the same God who sustains me.

We are Sikhs, and Sikhism does not have sects or Castes.

With love and respect for all

Jul 30, 2004

As we have speacialised people in Gurudwara themsleves like Langri or cook,Raagi or Muscian and Kathkar or one who explaines.

So Udasis are specialed Sikhs to convert Yogis to Panth.

Nirmalas does to Schoolars or Pandits.

Sevapanthis do this to Muslim Schoolars.

Taksal is univsersity and none are sects but orders or support to Main Panth.


Feb 12, 2010
There are many sects which either call them Sikh or take guidline from Sri Guru Granth Saheb and lace it with their own funda.

1. Naamdhari
2. Radhasoami
3. Nirankaries
4. Neeldharis
5. Udasis
6. Guru Nanaksaris

There are hundred of so called Sants who have their own Sampradays and have modified Rahet Maryada. There are some Dera Gurdwaras where so called low cast Sikhs are not allowed.

Each Takht has it's own Maryada and ardas. In Hazur saheb they sacrifice goat and blood is taken inside Gurdwara. In Hazur Saheb, Patna Saeb and almost all Nehang gurdwaras Dasam Grnth is kept adjecent to Sri Guru Granth Saheb. In Guru Nanaksar potraits and paintings are worshipped in hazoori of Sri Guru Granth Saheb.

Our Akali Party and SGPC are unable to do any thing about it.swordfight

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

With discussion of difficult times and what we can do over the past week, I thought this shabad would be pertinent.

Ang 129. As always literal translation from Sant Singh Khalsa in black with my...

SPN on Facebook