Dera Saccha Sauda
Dera Sacha Sauda is a spiritual organization based at Sirsa since 1948. This organization is unique in more than one way. Today when spiritualism has been commercialised all over the world, donations in cash or in kind by anybody (individuals/ NRI's/ Govt./ corporate houses) are strictly prohibited in Dera Sacha Sauda. A practical method of meditation is taught free of cost here to attain Salvation in this human-life. This Meditation is very simple and extremely effective. It boosts self-confidence and will-power. It helps in achieving peace of mind, which is difficult to attain by any other means. The regular practice of this meditation also helps, to a great extent, in the cure of a number of dreaded illnesses of the body (cancer, heart diseases, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and many other chronic diseases). This has already been verified by lakhs (100,000's) of people all over the world.
The organization has agricultural lands in many states in India and the money earned from agricultural produce is used for relief activities and for running the organization. The organisation's more than 12.5 million members work under the dynamic and perspicacious (acutely insightful and wise) direction of Guru Maharaj Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ji. He is known for his versatility, impeccable guidance, discretion, vision, humility and love for humanity. He always leads from the front and is always present at the site of action. For the last few years, Dera has added disaster management in its scope.
In Feb. 2001, Guruji raised a special disaster management force by the name of “Shah Satnam ji Green ‘S’ Welfare Force". The association is comprised of 15,000 dexterous volunteers who have vowed to help people in India during natural disasters. According to people who have witnessed the Saccha Saudas at work the groups' volunteers have the potential to do the impossible. The practical method of meditation which the Guruji teaches charges the batteries of these indefatigable, selfless individuals. Dera Sacha Sauda with its members from many different religions and castes is a perfect example of harmony and brotherhood.
- 1 Shehanshah Mastana Ji Maharaj (The First Master)
- 2 Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj (The Second Master)
- 3 Maharaj Sant Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh Ji (The Present Master)
- 4 Principles of Dera Sacha Sauda
- 5 Dera Conflict
- 6 10 injured in Sikh-Dera Saccha Sauda clashes in Ganganagar
Shehanshah Mastana Ji Maharaj (The First Master)
His Holiness Shehanshah Mastana Ji taught the method of meditation (the holy Naam-Shabd) to thousands of people over a period of twelve years (1948-1960). During this period, His Holiness distributed gold, silver, currency notes, clothes, etc. to people motivating them to meditate God’s Words. His Holiness did all this without accepting even a single penny from anyone. People from various parts of the country started coming to Dera Sacha Sauda and became its followers. Shehanshah Mastana Ji incarnated on Kartik Poornima in 1891 in village Kotra, tehsil Gandhey, district Kulait (Balochistan) .Sh. Pillamal Ji was his respected father and Smt. Tulsa Bai Ji, the respected mother.
His Holiness belonged to a kshatriya family. The respected parents named him Shri Khemamal Ji. Later on, His Holiness Huzoor Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj honourably named him as ‘Shah Mastana Ji’. Seeing his true devotion, love and dedication towards the Satguru, Huzoor Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj further honoured him by declaring him, "Mastanon ka Mastana, Shahon Ka Shah -- Shah Mastana Ji". Since childhood, Shah Mastana Ji had great inclination towards God. At the age of 14 years, His Holiness left home in search of a perfect spiritual Guru (teacher). During this search, His Holiness met many individuals who were known for their devotion to God, but none could satisfy his desire to achieve the Truth – the Almighty God.
They told him that they could help him in other aspects but could not make him realize God. At last, after searching for nine years, Shah Mastana Ji reached Beas in the state of Punjab in India. There His Holiness met Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj. Shah Mastnaji attended his Satsang (spiritual congregations) and learned the method of meditation (Naam) from him. Shah Mastana Ji got completely satisfied and developed utmost faith in Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj. Baba Sawan Singh Ji was extremely pleased by the sincere devotion of Shah Mastana Ji. His Holiness bestowed the Spiritual Wealth and eternal blessings upon Shah Mastana Ji. His Holiness entrusted to Shah Mastana Ji the sacred task of conducting Spiritual discourses(Satsang) and teaching Meditation to the people in the provinces of Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab.
Later on, His Holiness Baba Sawan Singh Ji assigned Shah Mastana Ji duty in the vicinity of Bagar a (region of Northern Rajasthan and western Haryana). His Holiness made Shah Mastana Ji his Spiritual successor and sent him to Sirsa in Haryana. This was how Shah Mastana Ji, as per the orders of Baba Sawan Singh Ji, established Dera Sacha Sauda and raised public awareness of Naam-Shabd. Shah Mastana Ji laid the foundation of Dera Sacha Sauda in 1948 in Sirsa. His Holiness laid the principle of earning through hard work and absolutely prohibited acceptance of donations or charity of any kind. His Holiness coined the Nara (slogan) “Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera Hi Asra", which is explained as:
- ‘Dhan Dhan’ (only God is worth praising) — ‘Satguru’ (the Supreme Being) which is synonymous with the words Om, Allah, Waheguru, Ram, Parmatma, God, etc., as used in many of the worlds's religions — ‘Tera Hi Asra’ (we are solely dependant on Him and only He can help us everywhere in all eventualities).
His Holiness built 25 ashrams in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. Facilities of drinking water and langar (community meals) were provided in these ashrams. As per the order of His Holiness, sadhus residing in the Dera used to eat one meal a day and the same practice is still being followed. His Holiness taught the practical method of Meditation to thousands of people in a very simple and prevalent language. His Holiness laid the three basic principles of Dera Sacha Sauda:
- Only vegetarian food is allowed
- The drinking of liquor is forbidden
- Illicit sex is not allowed.
A perfect Spiritual saint is one with God. He incarnates in human form by the order of the Almighty. Having performed his assigned duties, he passes on the responsibility to his successor and returns back to his original eternal place, i.e. the Anami Desh (the home of the Lord). Similarly, Shah Mastana Ji Maharaj performed his assigned duties and handed over the prime task to his successor Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj on Feb. 28, 1960 and himself left for his eternal holy abode on Apr.18, 1960.
Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj (The Second Master)
His Holiness Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj incarnated on Jan. 25, 1919 in the holy village-Sri Jalalana Sahib in district Sirsa in Haryana(India). The most respected father Shri Wareyam Singh Ji and most revered mother Aas Kaur Ji were learned and pious souls. His Holiness was an eminent landlord of the village and belonged to a Sidhu family. His Holiness was the only child of his parents. From the very childhood, Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji had true love for God and wanted to achieve Him. So His Holiness started his search for a perfect spiritual saint who could fulfill his desire of realizing God. During this search, His Holiness met many persons who were known as great devotees of God. His Holiness listened to their preachings, practised them after studying them deeply but none could satisfy him and make him achieve his aim.
Once, His Holiness got a chance to attend a spiritual discourse of Mastana Ji Maharaj and to have his pious darshan. His Holiness was very much impressed by Shah Mastana Ji and felt that Shah Mastana Ji was the perfect master, He had been searching for. His Holiness developed utmost faith in Shah Mastana Ji. After that, His Holiness attended Satsangs (spiritual congregations) of Shah Mastana Ji for three consecutive years and also served his fellow deciples selflessly. Whenever His Holiness expressed his desire to learn Meditation (Naam-- the holy Words) from Shah Mastana Ji, Mastana Ji Maharaj refused him saying, “When the time will come, we will call you of our own and will bless you with the Naam. Kaal (the negative Power) will not harm you in any manner till that time and you keep on attending the Satsangs".
On March 14, 1954 Shah Mastana Ji conducted a Satsang (spiritual discourse) in village Ghukeyanwali near Sirsa. After the completion of Satsang, Mastana Ji Maharaj called Shah Satnam Singh Ji and said, "Come inside and sit near the chair. Tonight the order from Almighty has come to teach you Meditation (Naam). Making Shah Satnam Ji sit by his side, Shah Mastana Ji said," We have called you for Meditation (Naam) and have made you sit by our side as we have to entrust you with some very important responsibility. We will make you that leader of "Zindaram" (Spiritualism) who will shower the blessings of Naam (Meditation) on the world". "Sant bachan palte nahin, palat jaye brahamand" — meaning — the statement of a Perfect Saint always proves to be true. The law of universe may change, but the statement of a Spiritual Adept never changes and certainly produces the said effect).
The secret was disclosed by Mastana Ji Maharaj on 28th February, 1960. The respected parents of Shah Satnam Singh Ji had named him Shri Harbans Singh. But, Shah Mastana Ji Maharaj, who made him his successor, blessed him with the Spiritual Wealth and honourably named him ‘Shah Satnam Singh Ji’. Shah Mastana Ji said, "We tested Satnam Singh Ji in every manner but never let him have any idea about it. Shah Satnam Singh Ji in order to Learn Meditation (the holy Naam) had to demolish his house and had to bear humiliation." Shah Mastana Ji further said, "Today we have transformed Sardar Satnam Singh Ji from an ordinary person to the Supreme Being". Explaining reason why His Holiness chose the name ‘Satnam’ for his successor, Shah Mastana Ji said, "Satnam is the name of the power which controls the universe. It is the supporting power due to which the world exists".
Then Shah Mastana Ji expressing a doubt, said, "Only a part of the world population believe in Saints and others pay no attention to them. How will they get salvation of the soul which is gripped in the cycle of births and deaths(Cycle of Transmigration)? ". Later Shah Mastana Ji himself explained, "The soul of any such person who will utter ‘Satnam’ or who will have His ( Shah Satnam Singh Ji’s ) pious darshan will never go to hell". His Holiness, in front of a massive public gathering in Dera Sacha Sauda, openly declared Shah Satnam Singh Ji as his Spiritual successor. For this purpose, Shah Mastana Ji also carried out a mass procession in the streets of Sirsa. His Holiness did all this to let people of Sirsa know that Sardar Sahib Ji of Jalalana was the new spiritual head of Dera Sacha Sauda. Shah Mastana Ji left for his heavenly abode on 18th April, 1963. After taking charge of Dera Sacha Sauda, Shah Satnam Singh Ji built the building of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa on the foundation laid by Shah Mastana Ji.
His Holiness expanded the ashrams built by Shah Mastana Ji and built a new ashram in Barnava near Meerut (Uttar Pradesh). His Holiness wrote more than 20 books and 1500 hymns in different languages. These are very impressive and are written in so simple language that even a 5 year old child can understand them easily. As per the sweet will of Shah Mastana Ji , Shah Satnam Ji started an exemplary system of marriages in the ashram. Under this system, the marriages are held in a very simple manner without any superstitions, customs, extravagant formalities or considerations of dowry. Till today, this practice is going on as such.
Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji had begun to give Naam to the people three years(1963) after the departure of Mastana Ji Maharaj from this world. His Holiness carried out this assigned task with utmost dedication for almost a period of 27 years(1963-1990). His Holiness showered unforgettable blessings and love upon his followers. The devotees will always remain indebted to him for his love and kindness. His Holiness held spiritual discourses(Satsangs) in 2250 villages and many cities of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. His Holiness initiated 11,08429 souls on the path of God-realization in a period of 27 years and 4 months. His Holiness made lakhs of people realize the presence of God by teaching them the method of Meditation.The inspiration provided by the teachings of His Holiness enabled lakhs of people to give up non-vegetarian food, liquor and illicit relationships.
In the year 1989, Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji expressed his desire to pass all his rights to the deserving successor. In this regard, for one year and two months, His Holiness held regular meetings and consultations with his disciples so that no doubts regarding the validity of successor should arise afterwards. His Holiness said " We don’t want any confusion or infringement to arise regarding the successor as has been happening earlier. Therefore, we will appoint our successor in such a magnificent way which noone has ever been able to do and nor anyone will ever be able to do in future". On 23rd September,1990, in a formal ceremony in Dera Sacha Sauda, His Holiness, in the presence of large number of devotees, appointed and declared Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji as his successor. Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji, while addressing the devotees, said, "The divine blessings have been showered upon Sant Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh Ji are as per the order of Mastana Ji Maharaj. It was the will of the Lord and so it has happened. We have appointed Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji as our successor". Also, Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji issued an order which is as follows:
- Any person who will love Sant Ji (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Maharaj), will mean that he loves us (Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji). Anyone who will obey him, obeys us. A person who trusts him, trusts us. If anybody has ill feeling for him, it means he has the same for us.
This spiritual wealth is never bestowed upon seeing the false show off. The person to whom this spiritual wealth is granted is an enlightened one right from his birth. Satguru, by his grace, brings him before public. Satguru showers his blessings on his successor and makes him do the work which the people of the world cannot even imagine. A Muslim Saint has rightly said:-- “Wich sharabe rang musalla, je Murshid farmave, Wakifkar kadimi hunda, galti kadi na khave". [ This means that whatever order one receives from the Satguru (the Spiritual Master) should be complied with because Satguru can never be wrong. In this context, it means that Satguru himself knows the secret regarding his successor which he discloses at the appropriate time. His order should be complied with].
All this has happened in a manner similar to the one in which Shehanshah Mastana Ji had performed this ceremony (declaration of the successor). At that time no body could understand it. Later on they had to accept it. This happened with kindness and blessings of Mastana Ji Maharaj. No power in the world could affect the blessings that Shah Mastana Ji bestowed upon Shah Satnam Singh Ji. Every such person who will comply with the order of his Satguru will always be happy. Negative thoughts(Mun) may try to mislead you, but a devotee who remembers and follows the orders of his Satguru (the Master) will be able to save himself from the negative moves and the Satguru will always be present with him.
Hukumnama ( The Order): Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj, Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa (Haryana). Dated : 23rd September, 1990. With this ceremony, Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji handed over the charge of Dera Sacha Sauda and its followers to Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji and said "From today onwards we have made ourselves free from the responsibilities of the Dera. Now our work is to only have a simple meal and pray to God. Sant Ji (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Maharaj) will take care of all the affairs of the Dera. Any person who wants to contact us for some work, should contact Sant Ji. We will only watch the coming devotees". The Supreme Being incarnates on this planet in the form of a true Spiritual Saint to show mankind the right path which leads to their actual goal i.e. to to get salvation for their souls from the vicious cycle of birth and death( cycle of transmigration) by realizing God. Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji was the Spiritual Adept who incarnated in this world for this very purpose. His Holiness performed his duty very successfully, passed on his spiritual wealth to his successor and went back to his original home – the Home of the Lord on December 13, 1990.
Maharaj Sant Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh Ji (The Present Master)
His Holiness Huzoor Maharaj Sant Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh Ji incarnated on Aug. 15, 1967 to the most revered father, S. Magghar Singh Ji and the most respected mother, Smt. Nasib Kaur Ji, in the holy village SriGurusarmodia, district SriGanganagar, in the state of Rajasthan, in India. S.Magghar Singh Ji is a landlord and is the head of the village. Mata Naseeb Kaur is a dedicated devotee of the Lord.
Shah Mastana JI in his last satsang (spiritual discourse) in January, 1960 had repeatedly said, "Exactly after seven years we will come again in the form of the third body (the Third Master). Sometimes people do not at once believe the words of Saints, but when the said thing is proved true, then they realize its significance. Similarly, at that time no devotee could understand this statement of Shah Mastana Ji. It proved true and was realized when Huzoor Maharaj Sant Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh Ji incarnated on 15th, August 1967, exactly after the completion of the said seven years.
His Holiness is the only child in his family. As such, His Holiness was the favourite of all and was loved by all. Deeds and activities of His Holiness from the very childhood illustrated that he was not an ordinary child. The respected parents also came to realize that their son is not mere a child, but was the image of the Lord. Therefore, they never hurt him physically or verbally. The natives of the village also had come to know about the great soul. His Holiness, since childhood, was of very kind and helping nature. His Holiness helped the poor and the needy financially and in every required way. These inborn qualities of His Holiness are a part of his personality today as well. His Holiness at the age of seven got Naam from Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji at Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa on 31st, March 1974. In other words, one Master Saint found the other one. After getting Naam, His Holiness motivated his friends to get the same. During his education, His Holiness showed excellent results in academics, sports and co-curricular activities. Whatever task His Holiness used to begin doing, he did it with great dedication and confidence. At the age of eight, His Holiness had started driving tractor for agricultural purposes in his fields. His Holiness used to take rest after finishing the work he had started. On 23rd September, 1990 the actual secret was disclosed when Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji invited his disciples from all over the country and conducted an influential satsang in which His Holiness declared Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji as his successor to the throne. In a formal ceremony, Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj bestowed the Spiritual Wealth upon Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji and handed over the charge of the Dera to him. This auspicious day, 23rd September, 1990 is an important day not only in the history of Dera Sacha Sauda, but also in the history of mankind.
His Holiness left his family at the age of 23 and sacrificed his personal life completely to serve humanity. His Holiness has been working tirelessly to spread the message and divine blessings of Shah Satnam Singh Ji all over the world. The Present Master has initiated over 10 million souls on the path of God-realization. His Holiness has transformed many atheists towards the field of spiritualism. His Holiness has motivated lakhs of people to do selfless service to mankind. His Holiness made millions of people realize the presence and importance of God who is present within us all. It is a big landmark in the history of mankind. His Holiness stated, "All those people who will remember Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj by repeating Naam-Shabd with pure heart, will definitely be honoured by the pious vision i.e. the live presence of Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji Maharaj". Also, His Holiness said, "Any disciple who will make a request for the fulfillment of a reasonable desire to the Satguru by meditating at around 3’o clock early in the morning, that request will directly reach the Satguru and will definitely be accepted by him".
His Holiness has built more than a dozen ashrams in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chandigarh. His disciplined life, extra-ordinary hard work and supreme love for humanity becomes explicitly clear by seeing his busy schedule. Proverbs such as ‘Service to mankind is service to the God’ & ‘Love is God and God is Love’, get perfectly and precisely exemplified by watching his activities. His Holiness has also composed hundreds of hymns and has written many books. A remarkable system has been started by Huzoor Maharaj Ji, where by, the childless couples are blessed with children, given by families having more children. Hundreds of such children have already been transferred. To enhance community participation in the welfare works, His Holiness has organized the followers into functional blocks. Each block consists of around 30 villages ( approximately 5-10 thousand volunteers ). In every block, there is a committee of 5 responsible persons each of whom is known as ‘punch’. In their respective blocks, these teams direct the humanitarian and welfare works like providing free medical treatment to poor patients, constructing houses for the poor, giving financial help for marriage of destitute girls, donating blood and eyes, solving cases of disputes without litigation etc. At the state level, His Holiness has organized a team of 10 persons which supervises the welfare works done by the blocks in their state and settles the dispute cases which the punch members at the block level have failed to solve. To do disaster relief and humanitarian work, His Holiness formed a special welfare team ‘Shah Satnam Ji Green ‘S’ Welfare Force ’. More than 15,000 persons have already been registered in this force. Inspired by His Holiness, these members have vowed to serve humanity during natural disasters in any part of the world. In the direction of welfare of humanity, Huzoor Maharaj Ji’s ceaseless efforts are still under way. Huzoor Maharaj Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji is carrying out his duties with all the dedication and is showering his blessings on the humanity. Under the superb guidance of His Holiness, Dera Sacha Sauda is progressing in all respects. Day by day, the number of devotees is increasing and the message of truth is being conveyed throughout the world. People from various countries like U.S.A., Canada, U.A.E., Australia, U.K., etc. come to Dera Sacha Sauda to acquire the wealth of Naam from the Perfect Master. With the grace of Huzoor Maharaj Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh JI and his hardwork towards the upliftment of humanity, Dera Sacha Sauda is progressing by leaps and bounds. Huzoor Maharaj Ji expresses:- " Na hum kiya na kar saken, na hi hum kuchh janat, Jo kiya karenge Shah Satnam Ji, bhayo Sant hi Sant". ( It means, neither we have done nor we can do anything. We do not know anything. Param Pita Shah Satnam Singh Ji has done whatever has been done and His Holiness will only do whatever will be done).
Principles of Dera Sacha Sauda
Every religion gets equal respect at Dera Sacha Sauda and everybody is welcome. Therefore people from different religions like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christianity, come here with great enthusiasm. With believe of humanity as the best religion, Dera Sacha Sauda is engaged in the service of Humanity. Therefore Dera Sacha Sauda helps poor, helpless and un-well people. At Dera Sacha Sauda there is no difference between rich - poor and high society - low society, therefore no differences among people here. Dera Sacha Sauda does not accept any money, fees or any kind of offerings (like cloths, grains etc.) as donation from anyone. Dera Sacha Sauda does not believe in any kind of superstitions, religious mis-conceptions or wrong believes. Dera Sacha Sauda conveys only the truth (sach) and encourages following the true path. The only truth is the Ram, Allah, Wahe-Guru and God. People are encouraged to pray the almighty without any wrong believes or religious misconceptions. So no one is required to change his/her religion or the way he/she dresses. Dera Sacha Sauda is a true spiritual (roohani) place, therefore teaches the way to take the true name of the God (parmatma, almighty) only. Dera Sacha Sauda did not have any connection with politics. Neither Dera Sacha Sauda has any connection today, nor will have in the future ever. There are no confusions of Vote and Money either. This place is blessed with softness, kindness, simplicity and truth. The person bearing these qualities is the one who is praised. Consumption of alcohol and other alcoholic things is banned at Dera Sacha Sauda. As per Dera Sacha Sauda rules, no one will eat egg or meat, drink alcohol. Every man has to respect other woman as to his mother/sister and every woman has to respect other man as to her father/brother. Dera Sacha Sauda strongly discourages dowry system and similar religious mis-conceptions, therefore this place doesn’t believe in wrong concepts and unnecessary expenditures during marriages and deaths. Dozens of marriages are held in every Satsang without any show off, flaunt by offering (mala, haar) to bride and groom. Dera Sacha Sauda believes in hard work. Therefore devotees (sadhu-bhai) put 15-18 hours daily in service of humanity and prayers of God, because only the bread earned by hard work is pleasent to soul and lifts spirituality. Dera Sacha Sauda is against cheating, thefts, robbery, bribe, fraud and corruption. Everyone here is encouraged to server the humanity following the path of truth and honesty and in todays era human kind needs this badly. As per Dera Sacha Sauda's pure guidelines there is a separate provision for men and women for sitting in satangs, eating and staying. Only women look after all the arrangements for women and only men look after all the arrangements for men.
Anyone who truly prays the almighty (Allah, Ram, Wahe-Guru) following Dera Sacha Sauda's pure guidelines, he/she will receive the happiness of both the worlds (dono jahaan) and the enlightenment will deffinately happen. And the soul will meet the God.
Note: If the devotee of Sacha Sauda wishes complete happiness in life then he/she must follow these principles, and Satguru will bless you.
Clashes with Sikh community
In May 2007 Dera Sacha Sauda was accused of insulting Sikhism after the organization's leader, Gurmeet Singh, "appeared in an advert in which Sikhs said he was made to look like the last Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh." This controversy developed into a serious law-and-order problem in various parts of Northern India, as riots broke out between Saccha Sauda followers and the SGPC. At least one person was killed, and over a hundred injured in the ensuing six days of sectarian violence."
On 20 May 2007, a press release by the organization mentioned that it regretted the events that had occurred. The sect admitted that the ad did create misunderstandings, but that it was never intended to hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community
On 27 May 2007 The Dera Sacha Sauda has apologised in the two-week stand off with the Sikhs of Punjab. The apology to Guru Gobind Singh came on Sunday in a press note, reports said. "We are pained by the deveopments of the last several days. We are sorry for the misunderstanding and would like to apologise to Guru Gobind Singh", the statement said . The organization added that it had apologised earlier too.
On 29 May 2007 : The Akal Takht virtually rejected the apology of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh, saying it was dissastisfied with the manner in which the Dera head has sent his apology.
The organization and its head, Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh, are also under investigation for the murder of a journalist, Ram Chandra Chatrapati, and for sexual exploitation of women followers.
Although Dera Sacha Sauda says it discourages donations, Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh's favourite mode of transport is a fleet of Mercedes cars, protected by up to 25 bodyguards.In 2007, he clashed with the Punjab's state government after urging his followers to vote for the Congress party, which forms the opposition in Punjab.
The organization supported the Indian National Congress against the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in the 2007 Punjab state election of 2007.
10 injured in Sikh-Dera Saccha Sauda clashes in Ganganagar
Ten people including two policemen were injured here today following violent clashes between Sikhs and Dera Saccha Sauda followers.
Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Collectorate area here to defuse the tension.
District Collector Bhawani Singh Detha said the police had to burst teargas shells and baton-charge on the agitated crowd which started pelting stones and attacked each other with lathis.
He said at least eight people including two policemen sustained serious injuries. However, the unofficial figure stands at 15.
Tension erupted as picture of Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh alias Premiji resembling Sikh Guru Gobind Singh appeared, enraging Sikhs. They then decided to burn Premiji's effigy.
Police sources and eyewitnesses said Dera Saccha Sauda followers armed with batons and stones gathered at the Ganga Singh Chowk at Collectorate early morning. As the Sikhs burnt the effigy of Premiji, Dera Saccha Sauda followers pelted stones at them.
Both the communities fought pitched battles with batons and stones.
Sikhs being lesser in numbers took refuge in Collectorate premises but were followed inside. Police had to resort to teargas shells to disperse the crowd and later promulgated CrPC 144 in the area.
One SHO and another policeman were injured in the clash while others injured include a few women.
According to sources, the injured inlcude Akali Dal (Badal) state chief Surjeet Singh Kang and Baba Jeet Singh Gurudwara chief savadar Tejendra Pal Singh.
Mr Detha said efforts were on to diffuse the tension between the two sects.
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