There are a few Sikhs, who mix Sanatani (mainstream Hindu) views with Sikh thoughts. For them, Sikhism is a part of 'Sanatan Dharma' or Hinduism. In many of present Sikh circles, these Sikhs are called Sanatanis.
It is thought that Sanatani views are a new ideology, but there is a long history of Sanatani thinking. A few of Sanatani views can be found even in Sikh books written in 18th century. 'Gur Bilas', 'Bansavalinama' and 'Mahma Prakash' are included in the list of such books. Sanatani views became more acceptable during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's rule in Punjab for various reasons.
Sanatanis should not be confused with those people, who show disrespect for Sri Guru Granth Sahib or other Sikh Gurus. In fact, Sanatanis show deep respect for Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. They accept it their Guru. At the same time, they also believe in Vedas and Puranas. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has been accepted the fifth Veda.
At present, when mainstream-Sikh leadership has forgotten its duty, the Sanatani views are being preached at a large scale among ordinary Sikhs. The 'Rashtriya Sikh Sangat' preaches Sanatani ideology among the common Sikhs. The RSS has been distributing its literature on a large scale, in which Sikh ideology is presented mixed with Sanatani views. The literature published and distributed by the RSS is definitely misleading. Mainstream Sikh organizations have not published literature on a big scale to refute Sanatani ideology.
There is a group of Sikhs in UK, which holds Sanatani views. Their Sanatani views are further mixed with Budhha Dal tradition. These Sanatanis in UK call themselves Sanatan Sikhs. They claim that they are Nihangs and belong to the Budhha Dal (Santa Singh group). According to them, their ideology is the real form of Sikhism. Only a handful Sikhs are associated with them.
The project 'Sanatan Sikhi' - Aalochnaatmak Adhiyain is a sincere effort to analyze the views of Sanatan Sikhs.
Sanatan Sikhi Vs Sanatan Mat
There is been lot of negative talks about the term "Sanatan". The prefix "Sanatan Sikhi" is used mostly from the adhyatamic perspective (spiritual). It simply means eternal sikhi. quotes to back it up from sikh scriptures both siri guroo granth sahib and sarbloh granth:
‘From seeing angels of death [fearing death] now I see but Ram [Ramachandar/Nirankar God]. My suffering has fled and comfort taken abode [in my heart]. Those denying God [the five senses], have become noble [having acknowledged Nirankar God]. Now I have attained complete bliss. I have been cooled [mind settled] when I appreciated Gobind [God]. In the body are found innumerable troubles. Now, spontaneously in comfort, I am absorbed in God. I have recognized my true self. Now no ailment of the three fevers affects me. Now my mind has changed and become Sanatan. Now I appreciate [Truth] having died whilst alive [meaning being unaffected by temptations of the world]. Says Kabir, in comfort spontaneously be absorbed in God. I fear no one, nor am I intimidated by anyone.’ Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Raag Gauri, Pa.326-327
Traditions that are Sanatan are the ancient Dharma whose virtues the Vedas sing. That [Sanatan] Brahm [all pervasive God] highest God, Sarbloh, is known as king of all demigods.’ ‘Sarbloh Granth’, Vol. 2. Chapter Five, Pa.549
Siri Sarbloh consider as Sanatan.’ ‘Sarbloh Guru Durbar’, Vol. 2. Chapter Five, Pa.196
Now defination of Sanatan Mat:
I was reading Akaal Ustat english translations by Surinder Singh Kohli. page- 39 in his book.
Came across to this verse.
Kaie Dev Ad Kumar, Kaie Kirsan Bisan Avtar || Created many gods, and Adi Kumars, sons of brahma (Sanak, Sanndan, Sanatan and Sanat Kumar), many Krishnas and incarations of Vishnu.
Sanatan Matt was created by son of bhrama. Sanatan Mat does not have anything to do with Gurmat.
Gurmat does not equal to Sanatan Matt
However Gurmat equal sanatan sikhi because it's enternal.
Anyone can be sanatan Sikh ..mind you it's not a sect or a brand..it's has it's eternal meaning.
Now main issue-
- Do Nihangs from UK use Sanatan sikhi term as eternal or create another brand within sikhi (ie- Sanatan Matt/traditional).
Answer: Some Nihangs from uk consider Sanatan Sikhi as eternal, not traditional and consider it's more of a spiritual term than actual brand or sect/orders BUT some DON'T and consider sanatan as traditional because they misinterperated Sanatan Sikhi as Sanatan Matt (distinctive group).
Remember Sanatan matt is completely opposite of Gurmat.
One who follow Gurmat and can not alinged themselve to Sanatan Matt but they can surely aling themselves as "Sanatan Sikh" because it's eternal.
Because it means eternal..if we look at the ultimately and study from those quotes above under sanatan sikhi then every one of us is sanatan not traditionally but spiritually because we follow sikhi of nirankar..we follow bani which is from dhuro(divine message) - Dhur Ki bani.
Reason i m clarifying is because of this hatred towards sanatan word itself...and that's not right..one has to make distincation between sanatan sikhi and sanatan matt.
so please guys don't just hate word sanatan sikhi because it's means more than you think it means..it means eternal, not tradition.
defination of eternal :Being without beginning or end
Ikongkar satnam karta purkh nirbhau nirvair akaal murat ajoni sahibang Gurparsad || Jap Ad such, jugad sach, hai bhi sach nanak hosbhi sach ||