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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes three Sikh religious institutions, which have ambivalent relationship with the mainstream Sikh institutions controlled and regulated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC). Of the three institutions, the Damdami Taksal has begun to preach the orthodox Sikh tradition which has been ratified by the SGPC through the Sikh Rahit Maryada. Interestingly, the Udasi and Nirmala akharas have strong links with the sadhu tradition of India as is evident from their emphasis on Sanskrit learning and practice of celibacy. On the other hand, the Nihang deras continue to follow a distinct tradition of worship and practice of Sikhism by insistently remaining at the periphery of the Sikh tradition.

Keywords: Damdami Taksal, Nirmala, Udasi, akhara, sadhu, Bhinderanwale, dhuni, Dasam Granth

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