History / Doctrine / Headquarters / Symbols
The Prasadi Sikhs are a branch of the Sikh religion. Most of them originate from Haryana, India. They also have a modest following in New Delhi.
The most distinguishing characteristic of the Prasadis from mainstream Sikhs is that they do not believe in taking psychiatric drugs or submitting to electroshock. They believe that this interferes with the energy of one's atman, or soul, and obscures the purity of the amritdhari, the Khalsa warrior.
Although Prasadis are a distinct sect of Sikhs, they do not believe that they should worship apart from other Sikhs. Prasadis respect the Golden Temple of Amritsar and attend services in any gurudwara alongside other more traditional Sikhs. Many Prasadis continue to marry in the general Sikh population. Like the Akalis, the Prasadis favour blue turbans on ceremonial occasions, but in their case the blue is often a darker navy than their Akali counterparts.
The Prasadis believe in the power of women warriors and consider themselves true saint soldiers. It is said that the Prasadis came into being when a Sikh woman was brought into a psychiatric hospital in India against her will during the last Raj and passed away there. Before she died, she had a holy vision for "her" Sikhs — the Prasadis. Her fellow people considered her death a sacrifice and decided to honour her by acting on her vision and protecting themselves and their Sikh brethren from submitting to such abuse in the process. Prasidis favour prayer, chanting and meditation as the true vehicle of health and healing and purification, but they also support modern medicine, objecting only to psychiatric drugging as being a blot upon the soul.
Prasadis cannot be confused with the modern Western Christian church called Christian Scientists who often eschew medical treatment (for instance practitioners have died rather than having their appendix removed or Scientology; Tom Cruse, an American actor, a member of Scientology did verbally attack people's use of psychiatry), as the three groups developed in separate spheres. The Prasadis follow all of the tenets of Sikhism, and quite a few Prasadis are members of the Khalsa as well.
Like the Prasaddis shock treatment has been all but outlawed in the US and its use is considered a blot on modern medicine's history and a barbaric practice.
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