Like all the religious/spiritual traditions
the world over that possess numerous sects and
orders, so too exist within Sikhism a myriad
of orders that represent the faith according
to their particular perspective and beliefs.
These various orders have adopted the message
of Dharma (universal law of divine righteousness)
that Akali Guru Nanak Devji spoke
of, and propagated this wisdom to the masses
in their own unique way.
Within the pluralistic era of pre-British Raj
Sanatan (traditional) Sikhism, four distinct
orders existed amongst these numerous Sikh sects,
and were considered orthodox. Today, these same
four orders, the ‘Akali Nihangs’
(intellectuals) and ‘Sewa Panthis’
(philanthropists), are considered heterodox
since the emergence of Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhias
in the 1880s.
In time, the glory of Sanatan Sikhism began
to decline sharply as the British Raj-educated
Sikhs began to form their own Sikh sects, committees,
(click on Timeline below or proceed to Prologue)