On Wednesday 10th October I travelled to London to meet Baba Joginder Singh, Jathedar of Budha Dal, the Highest order of Akali Nihangs, dating back to Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s time, who is currently visiting the sangat of the UK.
There were so many conflicting views and misconceptions the past few years so I decided to visit the source to get an authentic first hand account to clarify some issues I have had with Nidar’s ideology and his claims to Budha Dal fame.
I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect as I had heard many stories of the Nihang Singhs. When I arrived with my friend Babaji was listening to Sukhmani Sahib, upon completing Sukhmani Sahib we got a chance to sit down with Babaji and ask him some questions about the beleifs and practises of Nihang Singhs. below is a transcript of the conversation.
Babaji what is a Nihang Singh?
Nihang Singh where brought into existence by Baba Fateh Singh who is the first jathedar of the Nihang Singhs, when he showed the sangat the roop of Akaal Purkh and emerged wearing blue clothing and a ucha bunga. They always remain armed and never be without Naam and Gurbani. Nihang singh is he who has no ego, no desire and no strings holding him back from doing seva of Akaal Purkh. We are the army of God we are for the protection of all and fight for truth.
Babaji where does the Nihang Singh Dumala and Farla come from
Once Guru Gobind Singh ji asked can anyone show me the roop of Akaal Purkh. Baba Fateh Singh ji, the youngest son of Guru Gobind Singh ji, said that I can show everyone. He went away and when and he returned he was wearing a blue bana and dumala bunga with a farla and weapons and Guru Gobind Singh ji did Namaskar to the uniform of the Khalsa. The Nihang Singh Roop comes from Baba Fateh Singh ji, he was the first among us.
What would you say to people who say that khalsa is an arm of Hinduism?
The Khalsa is Niyara (Unique, special, distinct), ordained by the almighy Akaal Purkh. Anyone who takes amrit becomes a khalsa no matter from where they came. Many Muslims, Hindus and even westerners have taken amrit(Babtism) and then they become Khalsa.
One who keeps rehit(Discipline) is a Sikh , it is not just a name for a people.
Rehit Pyaree Mujh Ko Sikh Pyara Nahin – The discipline is beloved to me not the Sikh
One who keeps his rehit is a Singh of the Guru and must be Tyaar bar Tyaar. We have no matter with the Hindus, we belong to Akaal Purkh(almighty Deathless God). Guru Nanak Sahib was the first to do a morcha(protest) the Hindus where he refused to wear their Janeyu(Sacred Cloth). Guru Nanak rejected the Janeyu but in his ninth form of Guru Tegh Bahadur he stepped forward to protect it saying that we do not agree with the Janeyu but we will still not let injustice happen. So Guru Tegh Bahadur gave his head to stop Zulm(injustice).
The Khalsa is Distinct from everyone. Khalsa is Akaal Purkh ki Fauj (Army of God), The hindus should become good Hindus and the Muslims should become good muslims and khalsa should be pakka(solid) khalsa.
|ihMdU AMn@w qurkU kwxw ]
| hi(n)dhoo a(n)nhaa thurakoo kaanaa ||
|The Hindu is sightless; the Muslim has only one eye.
|duhW qy igAwnI isAwxw ]
| dhuhaa(n) thae giaanee siaanaa ||
|The spiritual teacher is wiser than both of them.|
for one who worships stones is blind. Our Guru has given us the shabad to save us from these things, we must enshrine it within our hearts.
How Important is Bhagti, naam japna and reading gurbani to Nihang Singhs?
Simran is very important for a Nihang Singh, without Simran one cannot be a Nihang. Minimum a singh should do is 2.5 hours, this is a tenth of our day that the Guru has instructed us to meditate.
When a soul is in the womb of its mother it makes a promise to take out a tenth of this life to worship and devotion. Any more then this is a gain in your Khajana (spiritual wealth). All other things finish but the spiritual wealth of the naam only grows. Money, belongings all other things will run out but the Naam it never ends, the more you repeat it the more Kirpa(blessings) Maharaaj will infer upon you.
|jsu nIc kau koeI n jwnY ]
| jis neech ko koee n jaanai ||
|That wretched being, whom no one knows
|nwmu jpq auhu chu kuMt mwnY ]1]
| naam japath ouhu chahu ku(n)tt maanai ||1||
|– chanting the Naam, the Name of the Lord, he is honored in the four directions. ||1|||
Naam has that much power that one who has nothing and no one respects him, by repeating the Naam all the worlds will bow before him.
What Parmeshar has given us we can never repay back. If he stopped the air we would all die, we dont pay for air. Water he also gave us which we could not live without. he gave us eyes so that we can see as we run around about our business. however much we thank the Lord, we will never be able to thank him enough. Any amount of simran we do is never enough. 2.5 hours is the minimum but we should try as much as is possible for each of us to do as much as we can.
even a single breath that leaves the body without chanting Gods name is wasted.
I am sorry I am uneducated I do not know how to preach to others.
I thought I would come and see the armies of England. There are many others who come here who are well educated.
There is nothing that happens without God’s will, even a petal that falls does so in his will. He could destroy the world in one blink of an eye.
Of all the 8.4 million species the human form is the only one that we can find a way to Parmeshar (God). In the other forms of creation, we suffer in nature.
|jyqy dwxy AMn ky jIAw bwJu n koie ]
| jaethae dhaanae a(n)n kae jeeaa baajh n koe ||
|As many as are the grains of corn, none is without life.
|pihlw pwxI jIau hY ijqu hirAw sBu koie ]
| pehilaa paanee jeeo hai jith hariaa sabh koe ||
|First, there is life in the water, by which everything else is made green.|
The same atma that is in us is in natures animals and plants.
People talk of heaven and hell but people are experiencing them here and now in this world
What is your message to the youth of the UK?
|Awpu svwrih mY imlih mY imilAw suKu hoie ]
| aap savaarehi mai milehi mai miliaa sukh hoe ||
|God says, “”If you reform yourself, you shall meet me, and meeting me, you shall be at peace.
|PrIdw jy qU myrw hoie rhih sBu jgu qyrw hoie ]95]
| fareedhaa jae thoo maeraa hoe rehehi sabh jag thaeraa hoe ||95||
|O Fareed, if you will be mine, the whole world will be yours.””||95|||
First we must reform ourselves, then go and tell your brothers and sisters and do parchaar of Truth. We must do battle with the The Kaam (lust)and Krodh(anger) Lobh(greed) moh(attachment) Hankaar(Ego) that is sitting within us and protect yourself from them. they attack us daily, we take one step forward and they pulls us back ten steps.
All other sevas, pun, daan, fighting and charity do not please the Guru as much as Naam. We make karah prashad for ourselves to eat but the Gurus true Bhojan(food) is naam.
|nwnk kY Gir kyvl nwmu ]4]4]
| naanak kai ghar kaeval naam ||4||4||
|Nanak’s home is filled with the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||4||4|||
|goibMd Bwau Bgiq dw BuKw ]7]
| gobi(n)dh bhaao bhagath dhaa bhukhaa ||7||
|The Lord is hungry for the devotion of his worshipper
Vaheguru is sitting deep within us and all he hungers for is our devotion. Gurbani teaches us all of this, take heed of what Gurbani says and apply it to your life.
We sit and make small talk with the Fauj (armies), but we have never got used to sitting on stages and preaching. We try to encourage our youth to learn about the Guru and Take Amrit and recently with the Gurus kirpa many youth have come forward.
The naujawan(youth) these days are patkdey firdey(wandering lost). Most modern preachers are caught up in the games of money and wealth, which will not go with us in the end.
In Anand Sahib(Scripture of bliss)Guru Sahib says
|ey nyqRhu myirho hir qum mih joiq DrI hir ibnu Avru n dyKhu koeI ]
| eae naethrahu maeriho har thum mehi joth dhharee har bin avar n dhaekhahu koee ||
|O my eyes, the Lord has infused His Light into you; do not look upon any other than the Lord.|
|ey sRvxhu myirho swcY sunxY no pTwey ]
| eae sravanahu maeriho saachai sunanai no pat(h)aaeae ||
|O my ears, you were created only to hear the Truth.|
With your ears hear the Name, with the eyes look upon the Roop(image) of the Lord which is in everyone.
|ey rsnw qU An ris rwic rhI qyrI ipAws n jwie ]
| eae rasanaa thoo an ras raach rehee thaeree piaas n jaae ||
|O my tongue, you are engrossed in other tastes, but your thirsty desire is not quenched.
|ipAws n jwie horqu ikqY ijcru hir rsu plY n pwie ]
| piaas n jaae horath kithai jichar har ras palai n paae ||
|Your thirst shall not be quenched by any means, until you taste the subtle essence of the Lord.|
until one does not repeat the name of the lord with his mouth one cannot leave other things behind. Repeat the name as much as you can and then the lord will light up wisdom within you. Vichaar, discuss and understand what Gurbani is saying to us.
|bwxI ibrlau bIcwrsI jy ko gurmuiK hoie ]
| baanee biralo beechaarasee jae ko guramukh hoe ||
|How rare are those who contemplate the Word of the Guru’s Bani; they become Gurmukh.
|ieh bwxI mhw purK kI inj Gir vwsw hoie ]40]
| eih baanee mehaa purakh kee nij ghar vaasaa hoe ||40||
|This is the Bani of the Supreme Being; through it, one dwells within the home of his inner being. ||40|||
These are the words of the lord, whoever reads them will meet him. We need to ask ourselves – are we following the path of what gurbani is saying? We must make an active example of Gurbani in our life not just read it.
We must take action on Guru Granth Sahib jis Bani not on any person, as they are only getting their gyan(knowledge) from the Guru Granth Sahbi Ji anyway. No one has their own wisdom to share.
Many preach and talk of gurbani but they themselves cannot take (AMAL) action on it. To read and talk of it is easy but to actually do it is very hard. They become Mukh Gyani, people who only sound wise.
|Aiq suMdr kulIn cqur muiK i|AwnI DnvMq ]
| ath su(n)dhar kuleen chathur mukh n(g)iaanee dhhanava(n)th ||
|He may be very handsome, born into a highly respected family, very wise, a famous spiritual teacher, prosperous and wealthy;
|imrqk khIAih nwnkw ijh pRIiq nhI BgvMq ]1]
| mirathak keheeahi naanakaa jih preeth nehee bhagava(n)th ||1||
|but even so, he is looked upon as a corpse, O Nanak, if he does not love the Lord God. ||1|||
Maharaaj says that one is like a dead body if he does not feel the love of the lord. This is how important Naam is.
You tell us Babaji
Bass Chardi Klaa!
We have no connection with Hinduism but we harbor no hatred for anyone’s dharam. We do Satkaar(respect) everyone’s beliefs But each must stay Pakka in his own Dharam. Guru Sahib Made Khalsa For Satyug(age of truth) where the Khalsa Raj will Be. This Maryada is the Maryada of Satyug when everyone takes this on board then it will be Satyug. Sikhs do not keep vishvaash(beleif) in temples, idols or mari masaana only in Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
There is Satyug now, those that repeat the Naam and do simran, they are close to the lord and they enjoy Satyug in their lives.
We are not very learned please forgive me. We try not to talk so much these days.
We used to live around MahaPursh(Holy men) in our younger days , Gyani Niranjan Singh, people used to say learn some katha, they used to say no one can do katha of Guru Granth sahib ji, if someone was bigger then Guru Granth sahib ji then only then he can do katha, how can we do katha, these are Parmeshars words. we can take wisdom from Gurbani and that’s all. only he can describe who has joined with Vaheguru, who is one with the lord.
Gurbani gives us wisdom. learn from it, then share with your family then those who are around you.
In a second sitting with babaji we talked of Pekhi Nihangs like Nidar among other things.
Babaji what do you make of these people that misinform and misinterpret others of the origins and beleifs of the khalsa?
There are many like this in the world but know that the raj(rule) of lies is short lived and truth will always conquer, do not waste your time with such people. There were many alcoholics within the dal and we drove them away to clean things up. Continue to do the correct parchaar of sikhi and it will smash their lies and ultimately no one will even remember their name.
Guru Granth Sahbi ji is the living Jot(flame) and contains all the answers you need.
End of Interview
Meeting Baba Joginder Singh ji was very inspiring and ultimately they gave me a lot of Hope. Their humilty, love and respect for Gurbani, their simplicity blew me away. Babaji wakes at 12am and does nitnem till 7am, Sukhmani Sahib and Akaal Ustat during the day and no matter who comes or goes never misses his nitnem. Babaji was very humble and never talked loudly or had a bad word to say about anyone, he just smiled at the Natak and said it is Vaheguru’s will.
I was beginning to lose hope and had lost faith in the nihangs due to nefarious fakes parading under the budha dal banner. But to meet the true Laadli Fauj was a blessing I will never forget. This has been a great journey and the destination was worth every effort.
I would urge all aspiring Nihangs, especially within the UK youth to please go and do sangat with these Nihang Singhs to see and experience what a Nihang Singh of Guru Gobind Singh Ji should aspire to. I am honoured to have been able to sit with them.