NIRANJANIE, also called Handalie, was an heretic cult rounded by Handal (1573-1646) of Jandiala in Amritsar district, a former follower of Sultan SakhT Sarwar, who became a Sikh in the time of GuruAmar Das. He served in the Guru ka Larigar. Pleased with his devotion, the Guru appointed him a preacher in his native Jandiala and the surrounding area. People admired him for his simple ways. Handal attracted many followers. But as time passed, he grew very vain and appropriated unto himself the status of Guru and started calling himself Nirarijania, i.e. one who had overcome his illusion.
This is the name by which his entire sect came to be known.His village Jandiala came to be redesignaied as Jandiala Guru. His son, Bidhi Chand, went a step further and rewrote Guru Nanak`sJanam Sakhl (biography) in which he not only exalted his father at Guru Nanak`s expense, but added several heretical anecdotes. Nirarijanias thus drifted apart from the Sikh mainstream.
After Guru Gobind Singh`s time when the Sikhs were subjected to severe persecution, the Nirarijame sided with the State and spied on the Sikhs hiding in forests or lying low in their villages. The most notorious among them was one of Handal`s linear descendants, Haribhagat, who was instrumental in the arrest and murder of scores of Sikhs including the reverend BhaT Taru Singh of the village of Puhla.
1. Ratan Singh Bharigu, Prnchin Panth Prakash. Amritsar, 1914
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa[Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
3. Kahn Singh, Gurushabad Ralndkar Mahdn Kosh [Reprint]. Patiala, 1981