Namdhari movements’ Cultural Assets and Ideologies – Purity Principle (Sodh Maryada)

Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji pioneered a way of conscious living within the mid 18th century. To amplify our connection and deepen our understanding of the sacred Sikh holy scriptures, a strict code of discipline was introduced, a purity principle- sodh maryada. The purity principle’s comprehensive ideology perfectly encapsulated a remedy for the negative pollutants and energies that are unknowingly produced and absorbed on a day to day basis. It is also the most considerate form of hygiene. It made the very elusive pursuit of following our religious rules feasible. Namdhari Sikhs were taught the virtues of purity, truth and they successfully practiced saintliness.

Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji taught us how leading a sustainable and clean life, remaining attuned to the name of god and by developing regular and disciplined habits, we can endeavour to live a conscious and content life. These principles and this way of life may have been considered trailblazing tenants at their time of creation, however in today’s climate, this conscious living must be implemented by all humanity in order to combat today’s troubled deconditioning of the world.

The purity principle was further extended to encompass diet restrictions, a code for dress and several commandments for social behaviour, which would be translated as zero-waste practices and a sustainable lifestyle in today’s language.

A typical Namdhari Sikh’s diet is unique, we are vegetarians who refrain from consuming eggs and fish. We seek to exclude all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose, which is the literal definition of vegan. Any substance which has conscious altering capacities, for example, caffeine is not for our consumption.

Examples of some of the principles:

• The use of sand to clean dishes and utensils, removing the requirement of a scour pad, dish washing soap and water.

• The use of stainless steel was encouraged as this material is corrosion resistant, durable, highly recyclable and provides a long service life therefore it is considered a pure material.

• The use and consumption from plastic surfaces was forbidden, as it is unsustainable and artificial therefore impure.

• Food waste of any kind was forbidden.

• Grain free diets were encouraged as they are thirsty crops and depicted a reliance on others at that time.

• Touching anything before consumption was considered impure therefore Namdhari Sikhs would use a reusable cloth to touch objects.

• The use of Khadi, a hand-woven natural fibre cloth originating from the Indian subcontinent, a locally sourced material.

• Washing hands many times a day, using sand to remove the dirt particles and well water to purify.

• Providing service for the hunger, poor and needy.

• Refraining from consuming or using tap water in anyway. Only the use of well water or fresh spring water from a running natural source was permitted.

• Wearing a special elevated wooden sandal, specifically designed to lower the impacted surface area when stepping, reducing insect casualties.

• Taking care when farming especially during harvest, to prevent insect casualties.

• Every Namdhari Sikh offers a prayer before and after eating, asking for forgiveness if any organisms were unknowingly harmed in the process of field to plate.

and many more…

This intricate level of conscious, mindful living was pioneered in the mid 18th century and has successfully bettered the lives of many since.

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