What was the Nirankari Movement?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 4th, 2022

Baba Dayal Das established the Nirankari movement between 1783 and 1855, a movement of purification and return. Dayal Das, clearly dissatisfied with the current religion, concluded that Sikhism was decadent and full of lies, superstitions, and errors.

Nirankari Movement by Baba Dayal Das

  • In 1840, he advocated a Sikhism return to its roots and emphasized the worship of God as nirankar, meaning formless.
  • This approach meant rejecting idols, idolatrous rituals, and the Brahmin priests who performed these rituals.
  • He built a Dharamshala known as Nirankari Darbar on the outskirts of Rawalpindi.
  • Dayal Das encouraged his followers to gather every morning for daily worship at the Dharamsala.
  • His disciples were instructed to 'worship the formless God and listen to the Shabad of guru, clean the shoes and feet of the congregation, serve their parents, avoid bad habits and earn their living by work.
  • For a householder, Dayal Das taught a religious code, an individual who maintained family and social ties and did not regress to the role of a beggar, following Sikh tradition.
  • It was forbidden to eat meat, drink alcohol, lie, cheat, and use forged weights.
  • The Nirankaris became an enduring subset of the Sikh religion and helped blur the lines that separate Sikhs from Hindus.
  • The Nirankaris believed that the right path to God was worship based on meditation.


What was the Nirankari Movement?

The social reform movement for Sikhism is the Nirankari movement. Baba Dyal Das founded it in the year 1851. The main objective was to restore the beliefs and practices of Sikhs which were prevalent at the time of Guru Nanak.


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