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The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
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Nanaksaria

Time of origin: 1918

A ‘Ramgharia’ Sikh, named Baba Nand Singh, founded this Sikh movement. He was born in 1869/1872 to Sardar Jai Singh and Sardarni Sada Kaur, in the village of Sherpur Kalan, located 5 kilometers from Jagraon, Punjab. As a young man, he worked assiduously in his family trade of carpentry.


Baba Nand Singh
Founder of the 'Nanaksar' movement

He then decided to make his way to Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib to seek spiritual enlightenment. It is said that during prolonged periods of meditation he had visions of Akali Guru Nanak Devji, Akali Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji and Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji. These visions prompted him to delve into Sikh scriptures with great enthusiasm.


Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj

A painting done in the Pahari style of the tenth warrior Sikh Guru and his attendants, circa early 19th century

A while later, he came back to Punjab, and became a disciple of 2 Nirmala Khalsa Sikh holy men: Sriman 108 Baba Wadhawa Singh and Sriman 108 Baba Harnam Singh. According to Sikh biographies of these great souls, Akali Guru Nanak Devji is said to have visited them in 1912. Baba Nand Singh is said to have asked Akali Guru Nanak Devji to make him his ‘Nanaksar’ (meaning ‘one who relies on Akali Guru Nanak Devji alone’).

In 1918, Baba Nand Singh made his way back to his home village of Kaleran, where upon his arrival, was said to have cured an epidemic in his region by reciting Adi Guru Durbar. He then established an underground ‘Bohra’ (bore) just outside his village where he spend long hours meditating on the Almighty, sleeping very little, and performing severe austerities. During his lifetime, Baba Nand Singh never allowed any building to be erected around his ‘Bohra’, but predicted that a fine Gurdwara would be built in the area after his death.


Nanaksar Thaat
Photographs of the 'Thaat' (preaching center) at Kaleran during the time of Baba Nand Singh

In 1929, a Jat Sikh by the name of Ishar Singh came into the company of Baba Nand Singh and began to serve him. Some followers of the Nanaksar movement parallel this event to the serving of Akali Guru Nanak Devji by Bhai Lehna Ji (who would become Akali Guru Angad Dev Ji).

In 1943, Baba Nand Singh passed away and Baba Ishar Singh became his successor. In 1950, Baba Ishar Singh commissioned the building of a fine Gurdwara at Kaleran. It is said that from the building of this Gurdwara till today, there has been a continuous recitation of ‘Sukhmani Sahib’ (the ‘Pearl of Peace’, Akali Guru Arjan Devji’s composition). With the organizational abilities of Baba Ishar Singh, the Nanaksar movement began to expand and flourish throughout the region.


Baba Ishar Singh
Successor to Baba Nand Singh who commissioned the building of a Gurdwara at Kaleran

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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