the forty years since the formal opening of the Harimandir Sahib of the Nirankari Darbar in Chandigarh have been marked as much by events beyond Nirankari control as by internal developments. This period began with a confrontation between Khalsa Sikhs and the Sant Nirankaris, which did not involve the Nirankaris but nonetheless had a lasting effect upon their relationships with the wider Sikh community. These relationships were further affected not only by scholarly research concerning the Nirankari role in Sikh history but also by political and judicial decisions which affected their public identity as Sikhs. At the same time there were some important internal developments which were very much within their control and continued to shape the Nirankaris as a distinct body of Sikh believers. These provide a crucial key to understanding their entire history and present situation.