Society: Sikhism: Takhts: Sri
Akal Takht Sahib
Sri Akal Takht Sahib
Sri Akal Takht Sahib Amritsar, 'the throne of the immortal
is the supreme seat of religious and temporal authority of its kind for
the Sikhs in the world. It is an institution to which every Sikh bows with
honor and dignity. Since its inception, Akal Takht Sahib has been shaping
the religio-socio-political destiny of the Sikhs. It has been influencing
the history and life of the Sikhs. It is the most secular yet deeply religious
institution of its kind in the world where spiritual and temporal power
blossom together. It is a symbol of continuing faith in unifying
doctrine of the Sikh religion and its non-violent politics. It is a place
where divinity and dignity go together. It is a source which gives inspiration
that righteousness must be defended with rosary in one hand and sword in
the other. It is a supreme power to guide the future of the Sikh nation.
Sri Akal Takht has played a significant role in establishing a distinctive
Sikh identity of Miri and Piri.
sRI Akwl qKq swihb
According to H.S. Dilgeer,
“Sri Akal Takht, the Throne Of Immortal is the
only institution of its kind in the world, which has been influencing
the course of the history and life of a community that is essentially non-violent,
yet so self respecting, most secular but deeply religious, dedicated to
self-sacrifice, yet pledged to self-preservation too.
According to Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, it is a “Raj Sanghasan”
(Royal Throne) of the Sikhs.
This in sense, constitutes the elan vital of the Sikh
The principle place of worship in the name of Sri Harmandar
Sahib was built at Amritsar (Punjab) by Guru Arjan Dev Ji (the fifth
Guru of Sikhs). In close proximity of Sri Harmandar Sahib, Sri Akal Takht,
the highest seat of religious and temporal authority of the Sikhs was revealed
and built by Guru Hargobind Sahib which stands for protection of righteousness
and human rights.
Although all the five Takhts are equal in sanctity, yet
the foremost significant of the Takhts is Sri Akal Takht Sahib. This
Takht is the central authority and nerve center of the Sikhs. The national
and international socio-religio-political issues concerning the Sikhs are
discussed and debated at the Takht. The edicts in the best interest
of the Sikh nation are issued to the Sikh Sangat. The Gurmatas and
(Decrees) issued from Sri Akal Takht Sahib are binding on all the Sikhs,
all over the world.
of Sri Akal Takht Sahib
During the time when Akal Takht was built, Mughals were
ruling India. Emperor Jehangir became the successor to the moderate Emperor
Akbar. He asked Guru Arjan Dev to renounce Sikhism and become a Muslim.
Guru Arjan Dev refused and said that nothing could get him to renounce
his faith. The Emperor took it as a disgrace and ordered the Guru to be
seated on red hot Iron plates. Burning sand was poured on his head. He
was boiled in the hot caldrons. The Guru did not budge an inch and
gave his life for righteousness on May 30, 1606. A need was felt to defend
righteousness, not with rosary alone but with sword also.
According to Macauliffe, Guru Arjan Dev said in his last
message to Hargobind trough his followers,
“I have succeeded in effecting the object of
my life. Go to my son, the holy Hargobind and give him from me ample
consolation. Bid him not mourn or indulge in unmanly lamentations but sing
According to Dr. Bhagat Singh,
Let him also restrain from grief the other members of
my family. Let him sit fully armed on his throne and maintain an army to
the best of his ability.”
(p-99; Volume 111).
“this message seems to be a later concoction
as it does not agree with the tenor of Guru Arjan’s life. He is known to
history and tradition to be an apostle of peace and a staunch and unstinted
follower of non-violence. Under no circumstances he could change his faith
in the peaceful demeaner. There can be no doubt about the fact that the
decision to arm the community was taken by Guru Hargobind and his
followers collectively after Guru Arjan Dev had been martyred.”
Star Ghallughara against the Sikhs
(p-53; The City Of Amritsar)
the building of Akal Takht was smashed by the Indian Army during Blue Star
Operation in June 1984 when Indian Prime Minister Indra Gandhi ordered
the troops to storm the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. Sri Harmandar Sahib
was badly damaged. The most precious Sikh Reference Library was burnt and
thousands of innocent pilgrims were killed in this operation. The Sikhs
around the world were outraged. No doubt, the Government could smash the
building but it could not smash the irresistible spirit of the Sikhs. This
unfortunate incidence upset the Sikhs throughout the world.
Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala and thousands of others
who led the human rights movement of Khalistan laid down their lives during
The government says, it was Blue Star Operation but the
Sikhs say, it was the third Ghallughara. Whatever it was, it bruised
the Sikh psyche. The entire Sikh community felt shaken, humiliated
and grievously hurt as a result of this sacrilege.
Wounds can heal but the damage done to the nerve centre
of the Sikhs would continue to agonize the bleeding history of the Sikhs.
This operation added one more fissure into the Sikh minds which could have
been avoided prudently.