Thursday, December 14, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

 Q94. What do you know of the Gurudwara Reform Movement?

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Sikhs felt a need to recapture the glory of the Sikh faith by following its traditions. The Singh Sabha Movement had earlier prepared the ground for a revival of the Sikhism. Many of the old and historical Gurdwaras were under the control of the Mahants - professional priests. They used the offerings and income for their personal use. The aim of the Gurdwaras Reform Movement - Akali Laher was to liberate the Gurdwaras from the arbitrary control of Mahants and to bring them under popular control. The Government and other vested interests, were against this popular movement. So the Sikhs had to undergo lots of hardship and terrible suffering in order to improve the administration of their religous shrines.

This popular movement gathered momentum with the Parchar of the Akalis. Moreover, the democratic principles of the Sikh Religion, under the extravagance and immorality of the Mahants, the need for removal of untouchablity and the utilisation of Gurdwara funds for educational and charitable purposes, were responsible for its mass-appeal.

Perhaps, the first incident which focussed public attention on the need to improve the Gurdwara was the famous Rakabganj case in 1914. The Government had demolished a part of the Gurdwara wall for the purpose of road-making. The Sikhs had to start an agitation to oppose this; ultimately the Government had to yield to public opinion.

The establishment of the Sikh League in 1919 helped the Gurdwara Reform Movement. The Sikhs practised peaceful non-cooperation with the Government. They demanded popular control of the Golden Temple and the Khalsa College, Amritsar. The Government transferred the management of the Khalsa College to a Sikh Managing Committee. The Sikh conference held at Amritsar in 1920 appointed a Committee for the management of Sikh temples.

The tragedies of Nankana Sahib (1921) Panja Sahib, Guru-ka-Bagh and Jaito brought untold misery to the Sikhs. Ultimately the Punjab Government acceded to its demands and passed the Sikh Gurdwara Act on 6th July, 1925. Thus finally bringing Sikh temples under the control of elected representative. will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
Encyclopedias encapsulate accurate information in a given area of knowledge and have indispensable in an age which the volume and rapidity of social change are making inaccessible much that outside one's immediate domain of concentration.At the time when Sikhism is attracting world wide notice, an online reference work embracing all essential facets of this vibrant faithis a singular contribution to the world of knowledge.