Sava Lakh Panths

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Akali Nihangs also speak of ‘Sava Lakh Panths’. This refers to those individual men and women who do not associate themselves with any Sikh institution or authority but claim to have their own unique understanding of Sikhism based upon their own concepts of the tenants of Sikhism. Most of the time, these beliefs, rather than being based upon understanding of Sikh scripture are based upon personal convenience and self-justification.

A gursikh Nihang Niddar Singh met many who can be described as ‘Sava Lakh Panthis’ during his travels in America, where many have weird perceptions of what Sikhism is. Their ideas arise from being self-seggregation from the Sikh world at large, adopting the ideology of Western concepts, attempting to integrate themselves within their own environment and shedding any traditions that may highlight them as being ‘different’ to those around them.

At present, as was once the case in the past, one will also find Sikhs with hybrid beliefs. A good example of this is the generation of Sikhs demanding for a ‘Khalistan’. Emerging in the 1980’s in the UK, one will find Sikhs who associate themselves with both the Akhand Kirtani Jatha (A.K.J.) and Kartar Singh Samparda due to their common goal of fighting for an independent homeland. Despite the hatred that exists between the A.K.J. and Katar Singh Samparda over the ‘Raagmala’, some of these individuals see themselves as coming together for the greater good of what they consider to be the ‘Panth’ (a term used by modern mainstream Sikhs to denote the Khalsa brotherhood).