Dharam Singh Nihang Singh

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Nihang Dharam Singh
At BMZ Headquarters
Full Name : Dharam Singh Nihang Singh
Birth : 15 Feb. 1936, Manupur-Goslan, Khanna
Parents : Bhagwan Singh/Harnam Kaur
Works : Secretary at Buddha Dal,
Founder of Sachkhoj Academy,
Literary work
Websites: Sachkhoj Academy,
Dasam Granth

Dharam Singh(b. 1936) (Gurmukhi: ਧਰਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਿਹੰਗ ਸਿੰਘ) is a Nihang theologian, preacher, author and writer, known for his expositions of Adi Granth and Dasam Granth.[1] [2] [3] [4]

He was the very first speaker of the dialogue series entitled Religion Matters established by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Feb 2015.[5] He contributed the view of Sikh Religion on Human Rights in German Book, Menschenrechte im Weltkontext.[6]

He also participated in International conference for Religions and 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development in February 2016 at Berlin and contributed Sikh prespective in Voices from Religions on Sustainable Development published by Germany Government. [7] [8]

Early Life and Study

He was born on the 15th of February 1936, to Bhagwan Singh and Harnam Kaur, in the village named Manupur-Goslan situated in Khanna, Punjab. Dharam Singh had his basic education at Khanna, and matriculated from ASI School, Khanna in 1954. He did his Intermediate in 1956 with Hindi as his major. Much like most kids those days, he used to come to the city from his village to attend college.

Joining Budha Dal

His older fraternal uncle (Taya) Nagahiya Singh was baptized in 1941, and renamed as Gyan Singh Nihang. His first cousin, Tara Singh Nihang was baptized in 1946. His elder fraternal uncle (Chacha), Amar Singh Nihang, was also baptized sometime before 1947 and was the Jathedar of Buddha Dal, Samrala Circle. Among others, Nihang Dharam Singh used to have veechar on Banis in Dass Granthi with his coeval nephew, who too was baptized in 1945. In 1960, Dharam Singh began to participate in Jorh Melas (religious gatherings) and used to attend congregations with Buddha Dal. In 1962, he attended Hola Mohalla function at Anandpur Sahib, where he got enrolled as a Nihang in Budha Dal after reciting Akhand path of Dasam Granth. His motivation to join as a Nihang came from the verse:

ਅਕਾਸ਼ ਬਾਣੀ ਬਾਚਿ ਦੱਤ ਪ੍ਰਤਿ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਹੀਣ ਮੁਕਤ ਨਹੀ ਹੋਤ ਦੱਤ ॥
ਤੁਹਿ ਕਹੋ ਬਾਤ ਸੁਨਿ ਬਿਮਲ ਮੱਤ ॥
(Dasam Granth, 1235)

Works

He worked as a Secretary (Likhari) in the Budha Dal and used to manage ledgers and other paper work, being among the most formally educated in the Dal during that time.

In 1965, He participated in Pothi Mangal and Path Antar Masla conventions along with Buddha Dal representations, and suggested that Ik oankar Satgur Prasaad (in Aad Granth) should appear before the Raag/Shabad heading of all Banis. He also participated in many discussions on the issue of Paath Antar. Debate among scholars around certain verses of Gurbani such as, ਸੋ ਕੂਟਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਹੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ (Aadi Granth, 872) motivated Dharam Singh to understand the difference between Kachi Baani and Pakki Baani . Led by the guidance of Gurbani verses such as,
ਏਨਾ ਅਖਰਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਲੇਖੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥
(Aadi Granth, 432)
ਬਿਦਿਆ ਸੋਧੈ ਤਤੁ ਲਹੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥
(Aadi Granth, 938)
he concluded that Gurbani is self-contained and that it provides its own explanations by itself. That the exposition of Gurbani can only be conducted best taking the ‘formless being’ as focal point, and not like the way the subject has been treated in the previous teekas.

He used to have discourses with people of various religious affiliations during his stay in Garh Mukteshwar (Uttar Pradesh) from 1970-92. Prominent among those were Yogis, Bairagis, Kabirpanthis, Muslims, Pundits, etc.

Sachkhoj Academy

In 1992, he returned to Khanna and came in contact with Bhai Iqbal Singh of Missionary College, Mandi Gobindgarh. Their mutual discussions led Iqbal Singh to request Dharam Singh to start Gurmat classes. Sukhwinder Singh Nihang Singh (now associated with Dharam Singh) was also a student of Missionary College at that time.

In 1994, Sachkhoj Academy came into being and Gurmat classes were started at Khanna every morning from 5:30 AM - 8:30 AM. The number of students gradually rose to 30. Iqbal Singh Missionary requested Nihang Singh to write teeka of Japuji Sahib. Dharam Singh wrote a book titled Naad Ved Vichar for the same. Iqbal Singh presented theteeka to Missionary College and asked them to go through it, but the management at Missionary College preferred to subscribe to the more prevalent Bhai Sahib Singh’s teeka.

Gurbani Discussions at Sirhind

In 1998, Harbhajan Singh Yogi came to a conference at Jawaddi and had a thorough discussion with Dharam Singh on the topic of ‘Mind’. At the conference, the photo of human brain was displayed with the caption ‘Mind’. Dharam Singh asked him the difference between mind and brain, for which H. S. Yogi had no answer. Baba ji explained to them that mind is Jyot saroop (hence formless) and brain is Jadd vastu (physical entity).

These discussions motivated Dharam Singh to write a second advanced level book in 1999, which was a steek of Sidh Gosti highlighting the differences between Gurmat and Jog Matt.

In 2001, he wrote about 24 articles on various topics of Gurmat for Gurmat Parkash, published by SGPC. In 2004, rebuttals were written against Kala Afghana’s scandalous articles on Dasam Granth and Amrit.

Some person (anonymous) read these articles and contacted Dharam Singh, requesting him to record all Gurmat Gyan in the form of tapes/CD's. After his insistence,an Audio Cassette Recorder was purchased and Gurmat discussions were recorded during every SundayDiwan. In 2008, Sachkhoj Academy marked its entry on the internet for the first time through Youtube. All Gurmat discussion videos were uploaded online. In 2009, Japji Sahib, Asa Ki Vaar, Baavan Akhree, Dasam Granth, and other kathas were completed.

Gurjeet Singh (now one of the student of the academy), first got in touch with Dharam Singh through another person name Upinder Singh Australia, and had discussion with him in 2010. Gurjeet Singh was very impressed particularly with the explanation of, ਘੜੀਆ ਸਭੇ ਗੋਪੀਆ ਪਹਰ ਕੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਗੋਪਾਲ ॥
(Aadi Granth, 465)
and had a 2 hour discussion with Dharam Singh.

He volunteered to record all new discussions on phone from Australia, and those recordings are now part of the library of Sachkhoj Academy. Those are casual conversations unlike certain recordings done live at the Academy itself, and are therefore low in audio quality, but serve their purpose to clarify many fundamentals of Gurmat.

Literary Works

Books

Articles

Article list in Gurmat Prakash

DSNS has written articles on different concepts of Gurmat, that have been published by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee[9] and other publications like Missionary Sedhan, Sikh Virsa etc. Following are some of his works from Gurmat Prakash (SGPC):

  1. Gyaan Da Mudda
  2. Gurbani Di Sedh Vich Turna Pavega
  3. Gurbani Di Sahee Viakhia
  4. Gurbani Nu Samhjan Layi Gurmukhi Drishti Di Lorh
  5. Gursikhi Kirdaar vich Curroption Layi Koi Jaghaan Nahin
  6. Je Ko Gurmukh Hoye
  7. Naam Japan Di Gurmat Vidhi Ki hai
  8. Piri Di Asal Talwaar - Gur Gyaan Khadag
  9. Nihang Singh Sikhi De Jhanda Birdaar Hann
  10. Tarak Vitarak(Hujjat) ate Vivek Budhi
  11. "Sikh pachaan" dee chintaa Sahi gurmati prchaar hi door karega
  12. Panth Khalsa Di Jathebandak Majbooti Layi Gurbani Di Sedh Ch Turna Pavega
  13. Bhaarti Dalitaan Nu Gurmati Naal Kinve Jodeya Jaave
  14. Gantantar banaam Guntantar
  15. Ki Gur Nanak Dev ji Naal 'Gur' di Jaghaan 'GURU' lag Sakda hai?
  16. Jappna te Simran Karna Naam Japan Di Gurmati Vidhi Ki Hai?
  17. Ki Gurgaddi Gurbani Guru Gyaan Nu Nahi Mili?
  18. Aastik Naastik Gurmati Dirshtikon
  19. Guru Dumm Da Sahi Hall, Gurubani di Sahi Viakhia

References

  1. ^ Background of Dharam Singh Nihang Singh and Sachkhoj Academy: Retrieved from Blogger
  2. ^ Khoj Vich Rujhe Lok: Joginder Singh(Editor): July 2000: Rozana Spokesman: Chandigarh
  3. ^ Letter 1159: To answer Kala Afghana anti-sikh activities: Manjit Singh Calcutta: Punjabi: Secretary, SGPC, Amritsar: 2003-08-29: PDF Link
  4. ^ 50 Sala Itihaas-Gurmat Prakash: 176–177: Balvinder Singh Joda Singha, Simranjit Singh: September 2001: Punjabi: SGPC, Amritsar
  5. ^ Religion Matters! Religionsvertreter im Dialog: bmz.de: 2015
  6. ^ Menschenrechte im Weltkontext: Nihang Singh Dharam Singh: Khushwant Singh:2013: pages-101: Springer VS: Germany}}
  7. ^ Partners for Change: Religion and Sustainable Development: [1]: 2016
  8. ^ Voices of Religion and Sustainable Development: [2]
  9. ^ Page 176-177, 50 Saala Itihaas:Gurmat Prakash, Balvinder singh Jodasingha and Simranjit Singh