Sahajdhari

Sahajdhari

Sahajdhari is a slow-adopter non-baptized Sikh who believes in all the tenets of Sikhism and the teaching of the Sikh Gurus. [ [http://www.gurmat.info/sms/smspublications/understandingsikhismthegospelofthegurus/chapter2/ Understanding Sikhism (The Gospel of the Gurus) - Who is a Sikh?] ] Unlike a baptized Sikh (known as Amritdhari), a Sahajdhari Sikh does not don all the Five Ks. For example, a Sahajdhari Sikh may be clean-shaven and may not wear a turban.

Etymology

The name Sahajdhari means "Slow adopter" it is a compound of two words "sahaj" and "dhari". In Sanskrit and other Indo-Aryan languages, the words, "Sahaj" means: "Slow" and "dhari" means: adopter. [http://www.sikhreview.org/pending/pending3.htm Sikh Review] ]

Introduction

A Sahajdhari is a slow-adopter who believes in all the tenets of Sikhism and the teaching of the Sikh Gurus but has not put "all" of them into practice.

The reasons can be many, including not being disciplined enough to maintain the Khalsa code of conduct or due to personal reasons of them not believing they have enough commitment to become a full Khalsa Sikh. In the Sikh community these reasons are considered valid, as to renege upon them or break the Khalsa code of conduct, once becoming a baptized Sikh Khalsa, is considered one of the greatest sins in Sikhism, so it is better not to commit "(by not becoming a baptized Khalsa Sikh)" rather than to fall short later. All Sikhs at one point in their lives are Sahajdhari Sikhs, all Khalsa Sikhs were Sahajdhari Sikhs at one point in their lives because no-one is born a baptized Sikh - a Khalsa. They may have aspirations of receiving the rites of Khalsa baptism one day and maintaining the Five Ks, nevertheless, the ultimate ideal which they must realize in their lifetime is to become a baptized Sikh - a Khalsa.

ahajdhari requirements

*Believe in all the teaching of the Sikh Gurus
*Believe in the Guru Granth Sahib
*Have no other allegiance to any other religion except Sikhism
*Teach their children "(if they have any)" on the Khalsa, Sikhism and Sikh history
*Personal commitment to at one point in lives become a baptized Khalsa Sikh "(this can even be at the end of their lives e.g. in their 70s)"

Five Ks

The Five Ks, or "panj kakaar/kakke", are five items of faith that all "baptized Sikhs" "(Khalsa)" are required to wear at all times "(but does not apply to non-baptized Sikhs)", at the command of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh who so ordered at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanskar in 1699. They are:-
* Kesh (uncut hair)
* Kanga (wooden comb)
* Kaccha (specially-designed underwear)
* Kara (Iron bracelet)
* Kirpan (strapped sword).They are for identification and representation of the ideals of Sikhism, such as honesty, equality, fidelity, meditating on God, and never bowing to tyranny. [Eleanor Nesbitt, "Sikhism: a very short introduction", ISBN 0-19-280601-7, Oxford University Press, pp. 40–43]

"Sahajdhari Sikhs do not need to keep the Five Ks because they have not been baptized" - the five Ks "only" applies to baptized Sikhs. However, if a Sahajdhari wants to keep some or all of the five Ks they can. Indeed, most Sahajdhari keep at least one of the five Ks e.g. Kara. Most Sahajdhari Sikhs keep the Kara as one of their five Ks. Most Sahajdhari Sikhs who are female keep 2 of the 5 Five Ks these are Kara and Kesh. Also males will sometimes have 2 of the 5 Five ks these are Kara and Kesh.

History

After Guru Gobind Singh inaugurated the Khalsa in 1699 AD, introducing the Amrit Sanskar (baptism), those who took Amrit Sanskar (baptism) received the title of the "Khalsa", and those who wanted to take baptism and become Khalsa but at a later time came to be known as "Sahajdharis". It was, in the first instance, not possible to have baptism administered all at once by the rites established by Guru Gobind Singh to Sikhs in far-flung sangats. However, Sahajdharis have been part of the larger Sikh body since the time of Guru Gobind Singh. Two of them in his own day Bhai Nand Lal and Bhai Kanhaiya enjoyed great esteem. Bhai Nand Lal, a great Persian scholar and poet, maintained at Anandpur a langar or refectory open to visitors all the twenty-four hours. Bhai Kanhaiya won the Guru's admiration and is remembered in the Sikh tradition to this day for the devotion with which he served the wounded in battle, making no distinction between friend and foe.

In the early part of the eighteenth century when Sikhs suffered fierce persecution and when to be a Kesadhari, that is to bear Kesh or long hair, was to invite sure death, the udasis looked after their places of worship and protected the households and the kith and kin of those driven to seek safety in hill and jungle. Some even defied the persecutors and courted martyrdom as did the teenaged Haqiqat Rai, who was beheaded in public for his refusal to disown his Sikh belief and accept Islam. A leading Sahajdhari Sikh of that time was Kaura Mall, a minister to the Mughal governor of Lahore, Mu'in ul-Mulk (1748-53), who helped the Sikhs in diverse ways in those days of severe trial. He had so endeared himself to them that they called him Mittha (sweet, in Punjabi) Mall instead of Kaura (which, in Punjabi, means "bitter") Mall. Sikh tradition also recalls another Sahajdhari, Des Raj, of this period who was entrusted by the Khalsa with the task of having reconstructed the Harimandar, demolished by the Afghan invader, Ahmad Shah Durrani, in 1762. Dina Nath was Maharaja Ranjit Singh's finance minister. Bhai Vasti Ram, a learned man well versed in Sikh scriptures, enjoyed considerable influence at the court.

Sahajdharis have continued to participate in Sikh life right up to modern times and have associated themselves with Sikh institutions and organizations such as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Chief Khalsa Diwan, Shiromani Akali Dal, and the All-India Sikh Students Federation. The Singh Sabhas used to have seats on their executive committees reserved for the Sahajdharis. Among their own societies, confined prior to the migrations of 1947, mainly to north-western India, were the Sahajdhari Committee of Multan, Guru Nanak Sahajdhari Diwan of Panja Sahib and Sri Guru Nanak Sahajdhari Jatha of Campbellpore. The Sahajdhari Diwan of Panja Sahib attained the status of their central forum. They as well had their annual conference which met for its first session on 13 April 1929 under the chairmanship of Sir Jogendra Singh who passed on the office to the famous Sikh scholar and savant, Bhai Kahn Singh. A Sahajdharis' meeting formed part of the annual proceedings of the Sikh Educational Conference.

The Sahajdharis share with the main body of the Sikhs all of their religious and social customs and ceremonies and join their congregations in the gurdwaras. The population in the Punjab of Sahajdhari Sikhs (another name used is Sikh Nanakpanthis) according to 1891 Census was 397,000 (20% of the total Sikh population); according to 1901 Census, 297,000 (13% of the total Sikhs); according to 1911 Census, 451,000 (14.9% of the total Sikhs); according to 1921 Census, 229,000 (7% of the total Sikhs); according to 1931 Census, 282,000 (6.5% of the total Sikhs). Outside of the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province and Sindh had considerable Sahajdhari populations. Consequent upon the partition of India in 1947, Sahajdharis became widely dispersed in the country. Their India-wide forum was the Sarab Hind (All-India) Sahajdharis Conference which rotated from town to town for its annual sessions. Three of its presidents: Mahant Karam Chand, Bhai Sant Ram and Bhai Ram Lal Rahi eventually took the vows of Khalsa baptism, receiving respectively the names Gur Darshan Singh, Sant Ram Singh and Ram Lal Singh Rahi.

ee also

*Khalsa

References

* Kirpal Singh and Harbans Lal of Global Sikh Studies
* [http://globalsikhstudies.net/r_link/articles.htm Concepts In Sikhism] , Edited by Dr. Surinder Singh Sodhi

External links

* [http://www.baisakhi1999.org/main.htm Baisakhi1999.org]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/sikhism/index.shtml bbc.co.uk]
* [http://www.anandpursahib.org/ Anandpursahib.org]
* [http://www.scys-online.org/site/khalsa.html Learn more about the Birth of the Khalsa (Vaisakhi)]
* [http://www.khalsacamp.com/ Khalsa Camp]
* [http://www.sikhlionz.com/ SikhLionz.com]
* [http://allaboutsikhs.com/way/baisakhi.htm AllaboutSikhs.com]
* [http://sikh.noonhost.com/ Raj Karega Khalsa -> Sikhism Forums] - Discuss on wide variety of topics related to Sikhism or others
* [http://www.RajKaregaKhalsa.net/ Raj Karega Khalsa Network]
* [http://www.khalsatalks.com/ Khalsa Talks]
* [http://www.gurmat.info/sms/smspublications/vaisakhi/ Vaisakhi] - eBook


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