Here is the copy of Niddars letter:-
As 2015 comes to a close, I write this newsletter from Germany; reflecting upon yet another incredible year of success and progress as well as exciting news for 2016. The Baba Darbara Singh Shastar Vidiya Akhara (martial school) has travelled a long way since my Gurdev (master) Baba Mohinder Singh, with his blessings commanded me to leave with Guru Gobind Singh’s words in mind: “Preserve Shastar Vidiya any way you can.” (Panth Parkash, Rattan Singh Bhangu) UK Akharas going from strength to strength In 1996 I arrived in the UK and began to teach Sanatan Shastar Vidiya (science of weapons) after almost 11 years of study. I spent the next decade working for my own upkeep, whilst teaching the Vidiya (science) in my spare time. For a while I stood alone; but not any more. Over the years the Vidiya has been demonstrated amidst martial arts enthusiasts and Masters from across the world. They are all unanimous - Sanatan Shastar Vidiya is one of the last surviving, and truly unique traditional combat systems/arts/sciences of the world. In fact, many also believe it is the oldest, and hence original martial system, of the world. The art has been described in many circles as the ‘Grandfather of all Eastern martial arts’. Sanatan Shastar Vidiya is a true phenomenon of human martial heritage and history. This aforementioned truth, notwithstanding Guru Gobind Singh’s command: “Preserve Shastar Vidiya any way you can,” should alone be reason enough as to why this great martial tradition must not be allowed to deprecate and become extinct. In the UK it has been a long hard struggle to get the Akhara established. The nature of the the Akhara due to its Sanatan (traditional) Sikh heritage has encountered great hostility from fanatical/prejudicial/ignorant Sikh individuals and organisations. The Akhara is the last bastion and lone champion of traditional ‘Gur-Sikhi’ and ancient Kshatriya (Indian warrior) skills that were displaced with the coming of the British Raj in India. If the Akhara decays, then so does the Khalsa martial aspect of Sikhi. The art traces its origins through the Sikh Gurus all the way back thousands of years to the ‘Adi’ (primeval) Akhara Gurdev, Lord Shiva; so the Akhara’s demise would be a calamity for India as a whole! Despite starting alone with humble beginnings and various attempted obstructions, the Akhara has grown immeasurably. Today the Akhara is a vibrant community of people of many different backgrounds who all have been enriched by the Vidiya in myriad ways. In the UK many individuals train regularly and support the global Akhara activities through the traditional system of ‘Rasta Basta’ (monetary funds). Equally important are those who, though not training physically themselves but appreciating the Vidiya’s value for the coming generations, i.e. their children, financially support the Akhara. Baba Darbara Singh Ranjit Akhara 1661 January 2016 www.<banned site filter activated> For a while now, I have been engaged in running regular seminars in Canada, USA, and Italy. It is expected that these ‘Shagirds’ (students) also train hard and contribute rasta basta. Rescued from the verge of extinction the Vidiya is now firmly established, practiced and taught by many individuals. New Akharas begin in India In late October 2015, the first seminar in India was taught at the Miri Piri Academy (near Amritsar, Punjab) as a natural evolution from having taught at Espanola (New Mexico, USA). Yogi Bhajan Singh was one of few enlightened individuals who rightly saw the value of Shastar Vidiya to humanity. Since the early 80’s he had sent individuals like Nanak Dev to India to look for the original Sikh combat art. Through the help of his 3HO (Healthy, Happy and Holy Organisation), I intend to spread the Vidiya throughout the rest of the more receptive Sikhs in the Punjab. In Europe, the 3HO will also play a crucial role in help spreading the Vidiya amongst their own community of Yogis and beyond. It is expected that by May 2016, regular pan-India seminars with the wider Hindu populace will begin. Much of this work will be facilitated by the much maligned RSS, the Indian nationalist organisation, an organisation that Sikh nationalists for obvious reasons bear much animosity. The RSS wish to aid me in reintroducing Sanatan Shastar Vidiya back to the wider Indian populous. They, like me, desire to reestablish India as a strong kshatriya nation. It is worthy to note here that the Akhara has always been ‘Sutantar’ (independent) from all politics; it is within the remit of the Akhara to take advantage of this opportunity to reintroduce this lost heritage back to the land of its birth. As there is currently no indigenous battlefield combat system in India that is being taught, Shastar Vidiya there will grow exponentially. My aim is to make Sanatan Shastar Vidiya the national martial art of India; the Sanatan Hindu origins of the art and its innate Hindu complexion will be widely received by the majority of Hindus. The Delhi AAP government has also approached me to help them train women in self defence in Delhi. Moving base to Germany Over the last decade or more, I was regularly invited by my late shagird Nanak Dev Singh to Germany and France. Now having trained up enough competent shagrids in the UK to continue the Akharas in my absence – as such I have shifted my base to Hamburg. I will visit the UK on a regular basis, approximately every two months to teach seminars and leave instructions as to what is to be practiced in my absence. My intention is to spread the Vidiya across Europe from Hamburg. An Akhara rasta basta system will be established here, as was done in the UK to enable the Akhara to continue to spread globally. My goal is to ensure the survival of the Akhara by seeding and establishing it wide afield as possible. This is not a dream but a reality - the history, heritage, wisdom, knowledge and skills of Shastar Vidiya can stand up to any classical martial art in the world. In fact, this subtle practical martial science has been leaving other accomplished and advanced martial artists from around the world awestruck. Baba Darbara Singh Ranjit Akhara 1661 January 2016 www.<banned site filter activated> Rasta Basta and supporting the Akharas For the Akhara to grow, the shagirds are expected to train assiduously but the rasta basta are also required accordingly. The long term goal is to financially support gifted shagirds so they can train on a permanent basis and go on to be instructors around the world. In the past, ancient kings and other rich patrons financed the kshatriya warriors in such a manner. At present, the Akhara fulfils this role by spreading the financial burden evenly and fairly. In the UK the preservation of Sanatan Shastar Vidiya is a charitable cause, therefore as patrons who are UK tax payers all your donations can be gift aided – meaning we are able to claim an extra 25% of the value of your donation. Rather than a set-fee-per-hour method, this method is best reflective of the Akhara traditions and is also fairest on all donors. To become a patron please email info@<banned site filter activated> for a membership pack. As the Gurdev, I am supported by rasta basta to promote and teach the Vidiya across the world. This ensures I can also research, translate and write the literature required to revive the Sanatan Sikh heritage; the legacy of Guru Nanak-Gobind Singh. After all it was Baba Darbara Singh, a loyal guardian, follower of the Guru and champion of Sanatan Sikhi who established this Akhara in 1661. Literature As an inevitable progression of the Akhara’s ongoing success, the Sanatan Sikh history which is the lifeblood of the art has also been written up. In addition to this, I am also in the process of substantiating and writing a series of eBooks on Sanatan Shastar Vidiya to ensure the thousands of years of mythology, history and heritage can be preserved for posterity. Starting in the first months of 2016 the latest of my book projects, “Pakhyaan Charitter: Instruction With Regards To Deceptive Characters - Exotic Sikh Tales of Erotica, Cunning, Humour, Love, Valour, Vice, Virtue, Magic, Magic, Wisdom & Spirituality,” will be released – the first volume in a series of 8. This will be a fully illustrated work. The translation has been done in accordance with the Akhara oral tradition as passed down through the Akhara Gurdevs. Right on the heels of this book will follow a translation of “Sikh Dee Bhagatmala: Sanatan Spiritual Instruction From The 18th Century.” This work enshrines the invaluable spiritual instruction given by Shahid Bhai Mani Singh as he had heard and learned from Guru Gobind Singh. In this manner, many more texts will be released in quick succession in the coming years in eBook format. At least thirty or so books are planned on Sanatan Shastar Vidiya alone. The first book in this series detailing with the arts mythological, historical origins and philosophy has already been authored. Baba Darbara Singh Ranjit Akhara 1661 January 2016 www.<banned site filter activated> The upcoming generations I conclude this newsletter by stating that the Akhara is growing fast; it is getting stronger day by day. Younger generations are coming up to train and preserve its illustrious legacy. ‘Plan B’ is proceeding well as new additions to the Akhara are being born each year; congratulations on this ‘morcha’ (front) to Emillio, Kam Hitchin, Iti, and Yankee. I must add that a few individuals are still letting us down; I need not mention the names of those pathetic slackers. New shagirds from around the world are also joining Akhara ranks to help preserve its great contribution to human martial culture. The ‘Loh Pursh’ (the beings of light and steel) – well-rounded individuals of elevated consciousness and radiant souls that the Akhara philosophy envisages to train, nurture and create, are becoming a reality once more! The Akhara philosophy of ‘Aap da bhalla sarbat da bhalla’ (one’s own welfare lies in everyone else’s welfare) is being realised. Soon it will spread afar. So let’s keep up the good work. “Akal.....” A happy and successful New Year to all. Gurfateh Sanatan Shastar Vidiya Gurdev Nidar Singh Nihang.