NIrmal Ashram, Rishikesh
Before introducing the readers to Nirmal Ashram, Rishikesh, it is imperative to acquaint them with Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 'Nirmal Panth' or 'Nirmal Sampardai'.
The objective of Guru's life was to relieve mankind from the bondage of life and death by bestowing upon him the highest spiritual state. From this experience of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, emerged a unique and pure religious way of life termed as 'Nirmal Panth'. Details regarding the origin of Nirmal Panth can be read by visiting the “Our Inspiration” and “Temporal Lineage” sections from the drop-down menu under the “About” tab.
The word 'Nirmal' means holy, pure, clean and unmixed. 'Nirmal' or 'Khalis' is the person whose mind is free from vice, desire, passion and hatred. The proofs of the maturity of this office; 'Nirmal' or 'Khalis' are found in the Gurbani at innumerable places. During the difficult period of Sikh history, the Nirmaley Sant (Saints), at times, offered many sacrifices in defence of religion. Besides preaching and spreading the message of the Guru, they kept the torch of the Gurmat alive through their pure and spotless conduct. From amongst the Panj Piaras bestowed by Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, the Nirmal Sant tradition that flowed from Piare Bhai Dharam Singh ji gave birth to one great ascetic and accomplished personality, Sriman Thakur Sant Dayal Singh ji. It is because of HIS saintly excellence that Nirmal Sect acquired a subname ‘Sampardaye Thakuran’. HIS abode (dera) lies at Chowk Monni in Amritsar. Among the Saint disciples of Sriman Thakur Sant Dayal Singh ji, was a great holy soul known as Sant Dharam Singh ji 'Samadhi Wale.' Physical, spiritual and academic growth of child Sant Buddha Singh ji took place under his care.
Mahant Buddha Singh Ji- Mahant Buddha Singh ji was born at village Hallowal, district Gurdaspur (Punjab). He was soft spoken, a great administrator, a scholar of shastras and a great orator. Endowed with all the virtues and qualities he was appointed as the secretary of Nirmal Panchayati Akhara Kankhal (Haridwar). He laid the foundation of Nirmal Ashram, Rishikesh in the year 1903 to provide boarding & lodging facilities to the saints meditating in the 'Jhaari on the bank of Ganges. Arrangement for community meals (Guru ka Langar) were also made. He was also the founder of Nirmal Bagh at Kankhal (Haridwar). The entire life of revered Mahant Buddha Singh Ji was dedicated to preaching & spreading the message of the Guru. According to the divine decree, he tool abode in heaven in 1937 at Nirmal Bagh Kankhal. Thereafter Sant Atma Singh ji Maharaj was bestowed as the Mahant & tool over the services of the Ashram.
Mahant Atma Singh Ji- Born at village Patto Hira Singh, District Firozpur (Punjab),he tool shelter of Mahant Buddha Singh Ji in 1908, when he was still young. During his stay in the ashram, he received blessings of his Gurudev because of his untiring services towards sadhu’s construction work at the Ashram & highly commendable arrangement of langar (Community Kitchen) & cow shelter (Gaushala). In 1937, he was bestowed as the Mahant of the Ashram & during his period the Ashram achieved multilateral progress. He breathed his last on Aug.9,1973. With the kind permission of Pujya Sant Baba Nikka Singh ji 'Virakat' he had appointed his most obedient disciple Sant Narain Singh ji as his successor.
Sant Baba Nikka Singh Ji 'Virakat'-Born in village Sihan Daud, district Ludhiiana (punjab), in 1894 AD, Sant Baba Nikka Singh ji 'Virakat' was such a holy soul who after realizing the highest in spiritual growth through meditation had merged himself completely with God. He spent his childhood in his native village & received initial teaching of Gurbani from the Udasi Saints. In his youth, he took up farming & also served in the army. Thereafter, he resolved to become an ascetic & reached Haridwar in 1926 where he came into contact with Mahant Buddha Singh ji at nairmal Bagh, Kankhal and dedicated his body & soul to him. After some time he went to Kashi to learn Sanskrit & Vedas at insistence of his Guru. While in Kashi he gained Spiritual knowledge & meditated for long hours & attained the real motive of man's life 'Param Pad or Turiya Avastha'. The aim is Sant Baba Nikka Singh ji's life was to guide the misguides people of the world on the right path. Inspired by his life full of divine virtues, innumerable people become enlightened. He was also instrumental in the administration of the ashram right from the times of Mahant Atma Singh ji till Mahant Ram Singh ji. All major decisions of the Ashram were taken with his consent. According to divine decree he left his mortal frame at Nirmal Kutia, Goraya (Punjab) on Asaarh Sudi 13 (July 22, 1983).
Mahant Narain Singh Ji - HE took charge of the Ashram in the year 1974. HE was born in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab and came to Nirmal Ashram in 1922. HE was educated here and kept HIMSELF busy in recitation of God's name and guru-sewa. HE had deep regard for both Sant Baba Nikka Singh ji 'Virakat' and his Gurudev Sriman Mahant Atma Singh ji and performed all the services in accordance with their wishes. HE was very kind-hearted, soft spoken, tolerant and temperamentally very calm and quiet. HE had great knowledge of Gurbani and other religious Shastras. Alongside, he acquired Ayurvedic knowledge and became a good Ayurvedic physician (Vaidya). Sindhi devotees were very impressed by HIS style of preaching and humble nature. During HIS sewa period (1974 to 1982) the Ashram made all round progress. One day, HE requested Param Pujya Sant Baba Nikka Singh ji "My body does not co-operate with me now. Please handover the charge of conducting the affairs of the ashram to somebody else." After some days, Virakat Maharaj ji asked Mahant Narain Singh ji to appoint HIS prime disciple, Bhai Ram Singh as successor to the seat of Nirmal Ashram.