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The logo of the Damdami Taksal, reads 'the Shabd is forged in the Mint of truth' in Punjabi (Gurmukhi).

The Damdami Taksal (Punjabi: ਦਮਦਮੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ; [Damadamī ṭakasāl]) is a Sikh educational organization in India.[1] Its headquarters are located in the town of Chowk Mehta, approximately 25 miles north of the city of Amritsar.[2]

In 1706, after the Battle of Muktsar, Guru Gobind Singh camped at Sabo Ki Talwandi. The place became known as Damdama i.e. a halting place (or breathing place), this place is now referred to as Damdama Sahib[3] (In 1737, Damdama Sahib was considered to be the highest seat of learning for the Sikhs).[4] Damdami Taksal claims to be over 300 years old and names Guru Gobind Singh as its founder [5], [6]. However, some scholars, such as Harjot Oberoi, assert that there is no firm evidence to support this claim.[7]



The Damdami Taksal has utmost respect for the sanctity Guru Granth Sahib and its throne

The word taksal (literally 'mint') refers to an education institute or community of students who associate themselves to a particular sant or prominent spiritual leader.[8] "In 1706..... Gobind Singh...... is said to have founded a distinguished school of exegesis".[9] It was later headed up by Baba Deep Singh[10] According to the Damdami Taksal, it was entrusted with the responsibility of teaching the reading (santhyia), analysis (vichar) and recitation of the Sikh scriptures by Guru Gobind Singh.

Jatha Bhindran Mehta or Bhindran Taksal is considered the current Damdami Taksal.[11]

In 1975, a large event to commemorate the 300th anniversary martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur was attended by Indira Gandhi and the then leader of the Damdami Taksal (Kartar Singh Bhindranwale). This was the starting point of tensions between Damdami Taksal and the Indian Congress Government.[12] The dispute[note 1] was about who was the leader and who had the upmost authority over the Sikh people, the Guru Granth Sahib or Indira Gandhi.[15]

Following the 1975 event the Damdami Taksal was brought to wider attention by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and the Khalistan movement[16]


During British Colonial rule, Sunder Singh Bhindranwale[note 2] set about purging diversity in Sikh doctrine, ritual and practice, hoping to have a uniform Sikh community. Part of this strategy was to have a standardized code of conduct (Rehat Maryada).[17] Sunder Singh established Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash at Mehta, Amritsar district, which now is the headquarters of today's Damdami Taksal.[11]

Sunder Singh was succeeded by Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale in 1930, after whom Kartar Singh Bhindranwale continued his work in 1961. In 1977, after the death of Kartar Singh, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale became the head of Damdami Taksal.[11][18] Baba Thakur Singh Bhinderwale[19] took over his Taksal when Sant Jarnail Singh was killed in 1984 by the military assault on Harmander Sahib, referred to as Operation Bluestar.[20] Baba Takhur Singh died in 2004. Current leader of Damdami Taksal is Harnam Singh Dhuma.[21]


The Damdami Taksal have their own version of the Sikh Code of Conduct, the Gurmat Rehat Maryada, which differs from the Rehat Maryada published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee.[22] Some differences include the reading of the full Anand Sahib in the morning Nitnem[23] and not eating meat, fish, and eggs.[24]


  1. ^ When Indira Gandhi came onto the stage in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, while all those on the stage arose to welcome and respect her, but it was only Kartar Singh Bhindranwale remained seated.[13] On the stage Kartar Singh spoke saying no one is more powerful than our Guru and we are not required to get up and pay respect to her, he was applauded by the people.[14]
  2. ^ Sunder Singh was from the Bhindran village[8] and thus was referred to as Bhindranwale, "the one from Bhindran"


  1. ^ Baba Thakur Singh of Damdami Taksal dead
  2. ^ Mahmood 1997, p. Page 75
  3. ^ Dhillon, Dalbir (1988). Sikhism Origin and Development. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. p. 152. 
  4. ^ Kapoor, Sukhbir (2003). Dasam Granth An Introductory Study. Hemkunt Press. p. 12. ISBN 81-7010-325-8. 
  5. ^ Damdami Taksal
  6. ^ C. K. Mahmood. Why Sikhs Fight (Anthropological Contributions to Conflict Resolution). The University of Georgia Press. p. 17. 
  7. ^ C. Christine Fair; Sumit Ganguly (29 September 2008). Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces. Oxford University Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-19-534204-8. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Schomer, Karine (1987). The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 262. ISBN 9788120802773. 
  9. ^ Harjot Oberoi (1996). "Sikh Fundamentalism: Translating History into Theory". In Martin E. Marty; R. Scott Appleby. Fundamentalisms and the state: remaking polities, economies, and militance. The Fundamentalism Project. 3. University of Chicago Press. p. 266. ISBN 978-0-226-50884-9. In 1706, when Gobind Singh...he is said to have founded a distinguished school of exegesis. 
  10. ^ H. S. Singha (2000). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism. Hemkunt Press. p. 57. ISBN 9788170103011. 
  11. ^ a b c Singh, Pashaura (2012). Re-imagining South Asian Religions: Essays in Honour of Professors Harold G. Coward and Ronald W. Neufeldt, Volume 141. Brill. p. 38. ISBN 9789004242364. 
  12. ^ Pande, B. N. (1989). Indira Gandhi: Builders of modern India. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India. 
  13. ^ Judge, Paramjit (2005). Religion, Identity, and Nationhood: The Sikh Militant Movement. Rawat Publications. ISBN 9788170339496. 
  14. ^ Pande, B. N. (1989). Indira Gandhi: Builders of modern India. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India. 
  15. ^ Judge, Paramjit (2005). Religion, Identity, and Nationhood: The Sikh Militant Movement. Rawat Publications. ISBN 9788170339496. 
  16. ^ Singh Tatla, Darshan (1999). "6 Demand for Homeland - Sikhs in Britain". The Sikh Diaspora: The Search For Statehood (PDF). England: UCL Press. pp. 116 onwards. ISBN 1 85728 301 5. 
  17. ^ Marty, Martin (1996). Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance, Volume 3. University of Chicago Press. p. 267. ISBN 9780226508849. 
  18. ^ Low intensity conflicts in India By Vivek Chadha, United Service Institution of India page 196.
  19. ^ Singh, Gurharpal (2006). Sikhs in Britain: The Making of a Community. Zed Books. p. 92. ISBN 9781842777176. 
  20. ^ Tully, Mark (1991). The defeat of a congressman: and other parables of modern India. Knopf. p. 154. ISBN 9780394573991. 
  21. ^ Congress (2009). Congressional Record, V. 151, Pt. 10, June 20 to June 27, 2005, Volume 151 of Congressional Record. United States of America, Government Printing Office. p. 13511. 
  22. ^ "Gurmat Rehat Maryada". Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  23. ^ McLeod, W. H. (2009). The A to Z of Sikhism. Scarecrow Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780810863446. 
  24. ^ Poy, Buddy (2011). Vegetarianism Unmasked. AuthorHouse. p. 83. ISBN 9781463408756. 

Further readingEdit

  • Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, Sikh History in 10 Volumes, The Sikh University Press, 2012.

External linksEdit