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Meharbanie or Divaneh Sadh is an ancient Sikh sect can be translated as ‘Mad Holy Men’ and followers of Meharban. This is due to the fact that this SikhPanth’ (way) originated with blessing of Guru Arjan Dev’s nephew, Baba Manordas Merhban (1581-1640). The Divaneh Sadh are also known as ‘Merhbanieh’.

Baba Merhban was the son of Guru Arjan Dev’s elder brother Prithia. Guru Ram Das had passed over Prithi Chand and conferred the Guruship to his youngest son, Guru Arjan Dev Ji. For this reason, Prithia was hostile to Guru Arjan Dev and Sikh history like in Gurbilas Shemi, records that on several occasions Prithi Chand tried to unsuccessfully murder Guru Hargobind Sahib when he was an infant. It is said that Merhban was a clever, good, spiritually inclined child, who had the misfortune of having such a envious, ambitious and cold hearted father. Meharban took the guidance under Guru Arjun dev. When Meharban travelled across malwa region, he spread sikhism there he had his follower called Bala which took the attire of Sadh and start singing the gurus' hyms.

  • Divaneh Sadh were famous for singing Gurbani and dancing to it, akin to the Sufi Dervishes of Islam
  • Divaneh Sadhs acknowledged the first five Sikh Gurus and alongside Akali Guru Hargobind Sahib, they also considered Merhban as the sixth successor of Akali Guru Nanak.
  • Divaneh Sadh still claimed to be ‘Nanak Panthi’. their signs are on head hat of peacock feathers, around neck necklace of conch shells, on shoulder wooden pestle, beating drums and dancing well, their Isht [Guru’s Guru] is Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
  • Bhai Kanh Singh Nabha wrote in "Mahan Kosh" that Divaneh Sadhu are counted amongst the Udasis. Their spiritual text is Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Divaneh Sadh or Merhbanieh flourished up to the times of Sikh kingdoms but now has declined. Eventually, their distinctive entity merged with the Udasis with the coming of British Raj.


Sects & Cults

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