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The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
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Conclusion cont'd

Aside from the Sikh sects covered in this section, Akali Nihangs also speak of ‘Sava Lakh Panths’. This refers to those individual men and women who do not associate themselves with any Sikh institution or authority but claim to have their own unique understanding of Sikhism based upon their own concepts of the tenants of Sikhism. Most of the time, these beliefs, rather than being based upon understanding of Sikh scripture are based upon personal convenience and self-justification.

Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa
Fresco from the walls of the Pothimala building at Guruharsahai depicting an Akali
Nihang 'Bhujangi' (young Nihang Singh) adorning a 'Farla'. On the right can be seen a fresco of Hanuman

For example, Nihang Niddar Singh met many who can be described as ‘Sava Lakh Panthis’ during his travels in America, where many have weird perceptions of what Sikhism is. Their ideas arise from being self-seggregation from the Sikh world at large, adopting the ideology of Western concepts, attempting to integrate themselves within their own environment and shedding any traditions that may highlight them as being ‘different’ to those around them.

Gurdwara in USA
Opening of a Sikh Gurdwara in the USA. A Jewish Rabbi was also invited to the opening (front row center)

At present, as was once the case in the past, one will also find Sikhs with hybrid beliefs. A good example of this is the generation of Sikhs demanding for a ‘Khalistan’. Emerging in the 1980’s in the UK, one will find Sikhs who associate themselves with both the Akhand Kirtani Jatha (A.K.J.) and Kartar Singh Samparda due to their common goal of fighting for an independent homeland. Despite the hatred that exists between the A.K.J. and Katar Singh Samparda over the ‘Raagmala’, some of these individuals see themselves as coming together for the greater good of what they consider to be the ‘Panth’ (a term used by modern mainstream Sikhs to denote the Khalsa brotherhood).

A cover of a weekly Sikh publication depicting some of the many
armed Sikhs who fought for the ideal known as 'Khalistan' during the mid 1980s in Punjab

One common interest these Sikhs have is to rid the ‘Panth’ of what they consider ‘dangerous anti-Panthic’ elements such as Nihang Niddar Singh and Nihang Teja Singh who are releasing disseminating information and knowledge which contradicts their perceived Sikh ideals. We offer this advice to these Sikhs, who have been dubbed the ‘Kaliban’:

Rather than resorting to:
a) slander, by terming the Akali Nihangs of the UK as ‘Nangs
b) intimidation, by harassing and threatening the younger and more isolated members of the Sanatan Sikh Shastar Vidiya Akharas (training centers) with acts of indiscriminate group violence
c) harassment, of families of those associated with Akali Nihangs and other Sanatan Sikhs with threats and nuisance calls etc.
d) false propaganda, and spreading lies and hatred towards Akali Nihangs amongst Sikhs

We ask that, using logic, reason, facts and rational behaviour to refute what has been presented on the Sanatan Sikh websites (www.sarbloh.info, www.shastarvidiya.org, etc) and within the Sanatan Sikh Shastar Vidiya Akharas. If such individuals are intent on resorting to violence, then we implore them to attend one of the Sanatan Sikh Shastar Vidiya Akharas around the UK and take up the legal ‘Hadh Torh Challenge’ which as yet still remains open to all.

Why should self-proclaimed ‘Sikhs of the Guru’ behave like cowards and resort to acts that even ‘Rakshas’ (mythological demons) would find offensive? Such actions insult the very Sikhism they are claiming to uphold.

Fresco from the walls of the Pothimala building at Guruharsahai depicting
Lord Rama, Hanuman, and Lakshman suffering from a wound inflicted by a 'Rakshas' (demon)

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