MAHIMA SHAHIAS, followers of Mohar Singh (AD 1758-1815), a holy SIKH who earned the honoured nickname of Mahima Shah for his constant muttering of a phrase ('infinite is Thy praise') in God's mahima or adoration. Mahima Shah claimed spiritual descent from Bhai Daya Singh, one of the Panj Piare or Five Beloved who had offered their heads at the call of Guru Gobind Singh at the time of inauguration of the Khalsa in 1699. Bhai Daya Singh was succeeded by Sant Gurbakhsh Singh who was the mentor of Mahima Shah. This was a line of preachers of the Sikh faith, an offshoot of the scholarly Nirmala sect. Mohar Singh was born in 1758 to Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh and Bibi Rasma at the village of Salana, in the territory of the Nabha rulers. He received his early education at the hands of his father, a Granthi to the Nabha family. He received the rites of initiation at the hands of Sant Gurbakhsh Singh whom he served devotedly for many years. Taking leave of his mentor, he proceeded on a long pilgrimage and returned to settle at Lopon, near Moga. There he established his own dera or seat to disseminate Sikh religion and philosophy. A smadh (mausoleum) and a darbar (assembly hall) were got constructed in his memory by his disciple and successor, Baba Bir Singh. Besides, Lopon, where Mahima Shah spent his last years, another Mahimashahi centre was set up at the village of Uggo, in Sangrur district, by Baba Hakumat Singh. To these centres were affiliated Mahimashahi derasat places such as at Buggar, Sakraudi, Panj Garain, Phuleval, Khande-Vadhani, Rakba, Tibba, Bilaspur and Mule Chakk owing allegiance to either Lopon or Uggo centre. These centres still attract local Sikh populations. The priests in these deras normally retain their Nirmala garb, but members of the sect generally are not differentiated either by dress or fundamental tenets from the main body of Sikhs. They recognize no religious literature besides the Sikh Scripture.
1. Mahant Narain Singh Musafar , Mahima Shahis Nirmale Nali. AMRITSAR, n.d.
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