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The Sadh is one of the few endogamous sects of Hinduism formed in North India. The sect was found by Birbhan in 1543 CE and their philosophy is based on monotheism. They call the God in the name Satnam, which means "the true name". Their customs and traditions are based on Hinduism from where most of the members are recruited. Their population is mainly concentrated in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab.
The sect was formed by Birbhan in Bijesar, a village near Narnaul, Haryana in the year 1543 CE. They use the name Satnami (it means the true name) to call upon the God. Hence, they call themselves as Satnamis.
The monotheistic sect has 112 rules of faith centred on modesty, humility, truth, simplicity of clothing, vegetarianism and the abandonment of caste distinctions. Their beliefs are against idol worship. They believe in meditation and praying one God. Their holy book is called Nirvana Gyan. Eggs are also prohibited in the diet, according to the Satnami tradition.
SATNAM is used as a greeting when two people meet,irrespective of their age. Their religious rites are centered around meditating and chanting the word, "Satabgat". They believe in meditating devotedly by repeating divine names in order to stabilize the fluctuations of the consciousness, which makes one fit to receive higher intuitive knowledge of the divine. They observe no caste distinctions – judging people only be their actions (by Karma/karni).The priests are called "Mauhrayats".
The adults of the sect are required to wear white garments only, and abstain from intoxicants and animal foods. These tenets are still practiced by many today. They are not allowed to conduct inter caste marriage .
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Today the sect followers are to be found in Delhi, Rajisthan,Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra. In Uttar Pradesh they concenterated in Sadhwara Farrukhabad District, also are in Saharanpur, Mirzapur, Meerut and Bareilly districts. In Haryana, the major places where Sadhs live are Sonipat(Rohat), Jind,Karnal, Kaithal, Rewari, Panipat, Narwana, Rohtak and Jind. In Rajasthan their population is concenterated in Jodhpur, Marwad, Pali, Bhartpur district. In Ludhiana (Punjab) also some of them could be found. The spread is due to the fact that those who survived the genocide following their rebellion against the Mughals spread out into small units over vast tracts of land. Marwad, Pali and Jodhpur Sadhs are known as Marwadi Sadhs (Marwad Wasi Sadh's). Even today these Marwadi Sadh's are also called Satnami's by locals there.
Chauki Sadhaan is the places (Bhavan) where the Sadh's congregate for worship and prayer. Every Sadh is supposed to attend the congregation of Pooranmashi (Poono), that happens every full moon at Chauki Sadhaan . They also conduct a festival called Bhandara in the Phagun month (February – March), three days before the Hindu festival of Holi, in a place of mutual agreement.
Nowadays, Sadh people are engaged in a variety of professions like calico printing, colour dyeing, dyeing of Cotton and silk cloth, merchant export manufacturing, wholesale merchandise etc.Most of the people of this community are engaged in the textile and garment export business . Many Sadhs are farmers in many Uttar pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan villages.
The Sadh have traditional councils, and these councils resolve any disputes within the community. They are an endogamous community