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The Sanatan Sikhs - The Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa
Page 7 of 19

 

Modern Day Perceptions and Misconceptions

We have ascertained that with the Akal Takht came into being the Akalis, the soldiers of Akal Takht, and that the Nihangs came into being some time before the Khalsa. However, modern day Sikhs perceive Akali Nihangs to be just a sect within Sikhism and it is precisely this notion that Akali Nihangs take deep offence.

In this regard, Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh, the present supreme leader of the Akali Nihangs, comments in his translation of Rattan Singh Bhangu's 'Parchin Panth Prakash':

'Now we are considered distinct, now they [modern Sikh leaders] preach us to be just Nihangs, Nihangs are these, they do not consider us Sikhs, they say we just move about aimlessly, ask have they done any religious service, work etc. When the whole nation was but Nihangs who else was there to serve? All accept the service of the Khalsa nation but all the sacrifices it [the Akali Nihang Khalsa Panth] has made, they [the mainstream S.G.P.C. Sikhs] have written over and attributed to themselves. No! That Khalsa is us. Yes! That Panth that was first of Singhs was of Nihangs. It was this Nihang Panth, which the Maharaj [Guru Gobind Singh] brought into being. He himself dressed as a Nihang. Nihang is he who on the battlefield fights in the vanguard. Nihangs are not a caste nor are they a distinct sect. Look! They [mainstream S.G.P.C. Sikhs] make us out to be a sect that it is a sect of Nihangs. So thus, oh Khalsa, they label us thieves and bandits. In actuality they consider us as a waste of time. But never mind - as someone acts so he reaps. If they act badly towards us, our Singhs will bear it. If they do good we will do good - if not they will reap what they sow.'
('Prachin Panth Parkash Steek' , by Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh Ji, Pa.118)


The Creation of the Khalsa

An illustration depicting the first five Akali Nihang Singhs and Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh ji (seated)

Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh in the same text further comments:

'Oh Khalsa Ji, in the beginning all were Nihangs. Nowadays designating some as 'Sirdars', the aim has been to cause division within the Khalsa Panth. That some are Sirdars, others Nihangs and Khalsa is some other. This way they who desire to divide have started rumours. No, all the Khalsa Panth was originally of Nihangs. [Translating quote from Prachin Panth Prakash] 'This way the Panth of Nihang Bhujangis came into being. Around the neck they wore double-edged swords and in their hand they carried clubs'. He [Rattan Singh Bhangoo] speaks of the Panth's form in whose sword belt are Khandas and in hand clubs - such a Khalsa Guru Gobind Singh Sahib created.'
('Prachin Panth Parkash Steek' , by Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh Ji, Pa.536)


The Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa Panth
A photograph of a procession during Holla Mohalla festivities at Anandpur Sahib
showing the 'Neela Nishaan Sahibs' (dark-blue battle standards) of the Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa Budha Dal


Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa

A old painting of Akali Nihang Baba Gurbux Singh c.1700s, holding a
'salotar' (a heavy wooden club) also known as an 'Akal-dhaan' (bringer of wisdom)

Baba Nihal Singh Nihang, leader of Haria Vela Nihangs comments:

'That outward form which the true king gave his Khalsa. It is that which the Nihangs have kept in its original form to this day. Nevermind that today it has become popular to consider Nihangs as a distinct sect or order. No it is no distinct sect… This is the original form [of the Khalsa] that which has been kept by those Singhs people call Nihangs.'
(Baba Nihal Singh, transcript of a recording, 5-10-98)


Generations
An elderly Akali Nihang Singh surrounded by 'Bhujangi' (young Nihang Singhs).
The form of the Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa has remained consistent since its birth in the late 1600s

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