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The Nirankari Movement
The Nirankari movement of the nineteenth century is not to be confused with the Sant Nirankari Cult which worships a living human “guru” and was responsible for igniting the 1984 holocaust through it’s 1978 massacre of innocent Sikhs with the connivance of State power.
The Founder of Nirankari movement was Baba Dayal (1773 – 1855 A.D.). The Nirankari movement was designed to re-articulate the worship of a formless God and stop the enroachment of Sikhism by Hindu Priests and Masands who had been conniving through time to gain control of Sikh Gurdwaras and the coffers in such gurdwaras. In particular the Nirankari Movement had strong objections to Hindu Brahmins performing the marriage of Sikhs.
In 855, the son of Baba Dayal Singh, Baba Darbara Singh Nirankari, married a Sikh couple in Rawalpindi, now in Northern Pakistan, in a ceremony called an Anand Karaj. In this Anand Karaj, the couple ceremony walked around the Guru Granth Sahib four times while four verses from the Guru Granth Sahib were recited. There were strong objections to the ceremony. The oppponents of the ceremony were attempting to install the Anand Vivah as the marriage ceremony of the Sikhs. Anand Vivah was in essence the Hindu marriage ceremony performed by brahmins. Anand Vivah required the couple to walk around a ‘Holy Fire’.
Later in the year 1855, Baba Darabara Singh married Bhola Singh, the son of Nihal Singh Kakkar and the Nihali daughter of Waheguru Singh in an Anad Karaj ceremony. The painting above immortalizes this singular event.
In 1861, Baba Darbara Singh moved to marry a Sikh couple in ‘Harimandir Sahib’. The motive was to popularize and legitimize the Sikh Anand Karaj marriage ceremony. The Golden Temple was at this time under the control of Hindu Brahmin priests who had been installed by the English conquerors. The priests refused to let Darbara Singh perform the Anand Karaj ceremony.
In 1873 the Singh Sabha movement was constituted with the object of removing the enroaching contamination of Brahminism from the Sikh Religion. In consequence of this movement, the Anand Karaj ceremony established itself as a simple and authentic Sikh rite for marriage.