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

Baba Dyal Ji’s son, Darbara Singh (1814-1870) succeeded him as ‘Nirankari Guru’.

Baba Darbara Singh
Baba Dyal Singh's son seen here in an early sketch conducting the 'Anand Karj' (marriage)

It was he who first introduced the wide-scale usage of the Akali Nihang method of ‘Anand Karj’ (marriage) amongst even non-Khalsa ‘Sehajdhari’ Sikhs. It is to be noted that the vast majority of Sikh historians consider Nirankaris to be the initiators of ‘Anand Karj’. This is incorrect according to Budha Dal oral tradition. Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh comments:

‘Sikh, whether he be ‘Sehajdhari’ or ‘Khalsa’, should only marry according to Anand Karj form of marriage. ----- Anand Karj has been blessed by the Guru. He who is married according to Anand Karj form of marriage - he does not go to hell. That is why a Sikh should marry according to Anand Karj form of marriage. It has been from the beginning before the Khalsa was initiated.’
Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh, transcript of interview on 28-10-1999

96 Crore Jathedar Singh Sahib Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh Ji

The present head of the Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa and Akal Takht at Batinda, Punjab

The question arises - can one substantiate Budha Dal oral tradition with regards to the Anand karj? In a ‘Rehitnama’ (code of conduct) attributed to Bhai Daya Singh, one of the original ‘Panj Piyareh’ (5 Beloved Ones), it is stated:

‘Other than Anand form of marriage, do not marry’
‘Rehitnama’, edited by Piara Singh Padam, Pa. 77

Further in same ‘Rehitnama’ it is clearly stipulated:

‘He who performs ‘Shrad’ (feeding of Brahmins), and marriages through Brahmins. Does not conform to Guru’s traditions - he is a ‘Tankhia’ (apostate).
‘Rehitnameh’, edited by Piara Singh Padam Pa. 77

Panj Piyarey
A Pahari painting depicting the tenth Guru and the 'Panj Piyarey' (5 Beloved Ones), circa early 19th century

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