Udasi

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Udasi is a religious, ascetic sadhu sect, which considers itself a denomination of Sikhism focused on the teachings of its founder, Sri Chand (1494-1643), son of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder and the first Guru of Sikhism. Britannica.com.

Later, Baba Gurditta, son of Guru Hargobind and father of Guru Har Rai, led the group on missions outside of the Punjab region, in which Sikhism is concentrated.

Overview

Udasi, comes from the root word udas which means detachment or renunciation. Unlike some Sikh groups, they do not prohibit shaving or cutting one's hair. Accordingly, not all Udasi males have beards and long hair, as other Sikhs, belonging to the Khalsa, do. Udasi mahants have maintained accurate records of the chain of succession from Sri Chand.

Udasi scholars like Anand Ghan have written commentaries on portions of the Sikh scripture, along with Janamsakhis and gur-bilas works.

During the 18th century, Udasis escaped persecution by the Mughal Empire, as they look different from Khalsa Sikh and Akalis, in whose absence they took care of Sikh places of worship and kept the teachings of Sikhism alive. This responsibility was with them for more than a century, and at one point in history (approximately 1849), there were more than 250 Udasi akharas in India.

During the Gurdwara Reform Movement of the early 1920s, Udasis lost control...
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