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Sri Akal Takht

Akal Takht literally means Eternal Throne. It is part of the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. The Akal Takht is situated on the other end of the causeway connected to the Harmandir Sahib. It's foundation was laid by Guru Hargobind. It was here that he was ceremonially installed as Guru in 1606. The building of the Akal Takht opposite the Golden Temple has a special meaning. While the Golden Temple stands for spiritual guidance the Akal Takht symbolises the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. During the day the Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the Golden Temple, while at night it is kept in the Akal Takht. The decisions taken at the Sarbat khalsa assemblies held at the Akal Takht and Hukamanamans or decrees issued by the Akal Takht are binding upon all sikhs, all over the world. Harminder Sahib was raised by Guru Arjan Dev ji, right in the middle of Sarovar (holy tank) and its construction was started in 1558. Traditionally all Sikh warriors sought blessings here before going to battle. During the 18th century while Sikhs were fighting a guerrilla war in the forests they used to gather at the Akal Takht on special occasions such as Baisakhi and Diwali. Here the community used to have general meetings and approve resolutions. The Akal Takht was the oldest of the Five Takhts, but it was destroyed by the Indian Army during its military invasion in 1984. It's reconstruction is complete.

Takht Sri Damdama Sahib

Damdama Sahib is situated in the village of Talwandi Sabo near Bhatinda. This is where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nearly a year and compiled the final edition of the Guru Granth Sahib known as the Damdama Sahib Bir in 1705. He added to the original version prepared by Guru Arjan Dev Ji the verses of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji. A large number of new converts joined the fold of the Khalsa here. The first Guru Granth Sahib hand written by Guru Gobind Singh resides here.

Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib

Keshgarh Sahib is situated at Anandpur. It is considered the birthplace of the Khalsa. The Khalsa order was founded here by Guru Gobind Singh on March 30th 1699. Some of the weapons of Guru Gobind Singh are displayed here. The most precious of these is the actual Khanda (double edged sword) used by Guru Gobind Singh to prepare the amrit (sweet water) used in the first Khalsa initiation ceremony. This is the birthplace of the Khalsa.

Takht Sri Hazur Sahib

Hazur Sahib is on the banks of Godavari in Maharashtra. This is where Guru Gobind Singh left this world. The inner room of the temple is called Angitha Sahib. Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib is the principal shrine at Nanded. It marks the site where the Guru had his camp in 1708 A.D. after the departure of the emperor Bahadur Shah. The tenth Guru held his court and congregation here. It is the site of his own tent where he was convalescing after he was attacked by assassins. It is the place from where the tenth Guru rose to heaven along with his horse Dilbag.

In 1708 being prescient of the end of his earthly role, the Guru had despatched Banda Singh with five of his Sikhs to Punjab and Mata Sahib Devan under a separate escort to Delhi before the stabbing incident. He told the rest of his retinue to retire to their homes if they so wished, but he bade one Bhai Santokh Singh to stay on here and keep Guru ka langar going. many others also chose to remain. Together they built a room over the platform where the used to sit while holding his court and installed Guru Granth Sahib on it. They called it Takhat Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh, while conferring Guruship on the holy Book, had himself named Nanded as Abchalnagar (lit. steadfast city) after the first word of a hymn read at random on the occasion.

Sachkhand (lit. region of Truth) had been used by Guru Nanak Dev to mean the abode of God. The present building of the Takhat Sahib was got constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh with money, artisans and labour sent from Punjab during early 1830s.Around the same time the Nizam of Hyderabad raised a contingent of Northern Sikhs as part of his army. Most of these men settled permanently in Hyderabad State. Many militant and righteous Hindus embraced Sikhism in the 18th century. The control of Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib, which had formerly passed into the hands of Udasi priests was regained by the Sikhs under the influence of the Singh Sabha Movement of the late nineteenth century. Some of the rituals and ceremonies connected with working are peculiar to this Takhat Sahib. In 1956 an Act was passed by the legislature of Hyderabad under which the management of Takhat Sahib and other historical Gurdwaras was legally placed under a 17 member Gurdwaras Board and a five member Managing Committee.

Takht Sri Patna Sahib

Patna Sahib is situated in Patna the capital of Bihar. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh was born in 1666 and spent his early years before moving to Anandpur. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna was also honoured by visits from Guru Nanak as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur.

There appears to be a lot of confusion regarding Gurmukhi and Punjabi.
The assumption a lot of people seem to make is that there is a language called Punjabi (what we use everyday) and there is the language called Gurmukhi - the language used to write the Guru Granth Sahib.

So is there two languages ??

Did the Guru's use different language called Gurmukhi??

The answer is No.

Before going further ,apply some logic yourself, would you (if trying to convey a message to a lot people) write the message in new language , which everybody would have to learn before deciphering the message , OR would you write in the most commonly used language ??

Remember this - Punjabi is a language ( what we speak). Gurmukhi is a script (how we write Punjabi )

There are 2 main scripts used , Punjabi speaking Muslims may write Punjabi in the Perso-Arabic script (as used to write Urdu, writing from right to left), this sometimes is referred to as Shahmukhi. 

Punjabi is also written using Urdu and Hindi scripts.
Punjabi speaking Sikhs write Punjabi in the Gurmukhi script , which was developed by Guru Angad dev ji.

However we must also remember that Punjabi itself has evolved along with time, as any language does. There will be differences between 16th and 17th century and now.
Also did you also know that there are different dialects of Punjabi ?

Here is a brief outline of them.

Spoken in the heart of Punjab i.e., Lahore , Sialkot, Gujaranwala, Gurdaspur, Amritsar. Most of the population of Punjab lives in this area and linguists also say that Majhi dialect is the "Tixali boli" i.e., it has been influenced by all other dialects

Spoken in the east Punjab area of Ludhiana, Ambala, Bathinda, Ganganagar, Maleerkotla Fazilka, Ferozepur. This area (Malwa) is the southern and central part of present day Indian Punjab. Also includes the Punjabi speaking areas of Haryana, viz. Ambala, Hissar, Sirsa, kurukhetra etc. (northern parts of Haryana mainly).

Land between the rivers of Beas and Satluj is called Doaba. Do Aaba lierally means "the land between two waters" in persian. It includes Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur.

The area where Pothohari is spoken extends in the north from Kashmir to as far south as Jehlum and Gujar Khan and includes the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad. This dialect is similar to some extent to the Hindko dialect of Punjabi which is spoken in Peshawar, Nowshehra, Mansehra all these areas lie in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan where majority language is Pashto, but Hindko speakers area also found in sizable numbers.

The region where Jhangvi is spoken stretches from Khanewal to Jhang and includes the cities of Faisalabad, Chiniot. Jhangvi dialect is also called the ``Jangli'' dialect of Punjabi. 

The dialect spoken in Multan, Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Daira Ghazi Khan, Muzafar Garh i.e., southern deserts of Punjab is called Multani (also Lehndi by some) and perhaps differs from Punjabi more than any other dialect. Those who closely know the dialect say that it is a very "mithi boli." This is the land of Muslim Sufis, perhaps "Shah Shams Sabazwari" who came to Multan in 1165 AD was the first in a long series of Sufis to base themselves in Multan. Multani becomes more and more different as you move down south, as the influence of Sindhi increases, it is also known as Siraiki there. Siraiki itself is Sindhi word and means northern.

  The next argument usually seems to be , why is the Guru Granth Sahib so difficult to comprehend , so it cannot be the same language ?
Well the language used in it is not uniform , it contains Hindi, Braj Bhasha, Sanskrit, Marathi, Pharsee, Arabic and also the many dialects of Punjabi. Sometimes the words are pronounced the same as an existing Punjabi word yet the meaning maybe different due to the origin of the word.
Furthermore as mentioned above any language is always in a state of flux, constantly evolving.


Deh Shiva bur mohe ehai, Shub kurmun eh kubhu na taroon.

God grant me such a blessing, So that I do not refrain from doing righteous deeds.

Na daroon aur soun jub jayea laroon, Nischay kur aapnee jeet karron

I go into battlefield without any fear, and certainly without doubt, I obtain victory.

Ar Sikh hao aapnay he mun ko, Eh laaluch hou goon tau uchroon

And as a Disciple of the Lord I pray in my mind and ask for a virtuous gift.

Jub aav ki audh nidaan bnay, Ath he runn main tub joojh maroun

That when my last moment of life comes I die in the battlefield fighting for a righteous cause.

What is Soul?
Wondrous and beautiful is the description of the beauty of the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Lord God. He is not old; He is not young. He is not in pain; He is not caught in Death's noose. He does not die; He does not go away. In the beginning, and throughout the ages, He is permeating everywhere. He is not hot; He is not cold. He has no enemy; He has no friend. He is not happy; He is not sad. Everything belongs to Him; He can do anything. He has no father; He has no mother. He is beyond the beyond, and has always been so. He is not affected by virtue or vice. Deep within each and every heart, He is always awake and aware.  From the three qualities, the one mechanism of Maya was produced. The great Maya is only His shadow. He is un deceivable, impenetrable, unfathomable and merciful. He is merciful to the meek, forever compassionate. His state and limits cannot ever be known. Nanak is a sacrifice, a sacrifice to Him.  [ SGGS Page 868 ]
The soul is divine; divine is the soul. [SGGS Page 1325 ]

What is Mind?
The mind is Maya, the mind is a chaser; the mind is a bird flying across the sky. The thieves are overpowered by the Shabad, and then the body-village prospers and celebrates. Lord, when You save someone, he is saved; his capital is safe and sound. Such is my Treasure, the Jewel of the Naam; please bless me with the Guru's Teachings, so that I may fall at Your Feet.The mind is a Yogi, the mind is a pleasure-seeker; the mind is foolish and ignorant. The mind is the giver, the mind is the beggar; the mind is the Great Guru, the Creator. The five thieves are conquered, and peace is attained; such is the contemplative wisdom of God.  The One Lord is said to be in each and every heart, but no one can see Him. The false are cast upside-down into the womb of reincarnation; without the Name, they lose their honour. Those whom You unite, remain united, if it is Your Will. God does not ask about social class or birth; you must find your true home. That is your social class and that is your status - the karma of what you have done. [ SGGS Page 1330 ]

What is Body?
The union of air, water and fire - the body is the play-thing of the fickle and unsteady intellect. It has nine doors, and then there is the Tenth Gate. Reflect upon this and understand it, O wise one.The Lord is the One who speaks, teaches and listens. One who contemplates his own self is truly wise. The body is dust; the wind speaks through it. Understand, O wise one, who has died. Awareness, conflict and ego have died, but the One who sees does not die.  For the sake of it, you journey to sacred shrines and holy rivers; but this priceless jewel is within your own heart. The Pandits, the religious scholars, read and read endlessly; they stir up
arguments and controversies, but they do not know the secret deep within. I have not died - that evil nature within me has died. The One who is pervading everywhere does not die. Says Nanak, the Guru has revealed God to me, and now I see that there is no such thing as birth or death. [ SGGS Page 152 ]
O my body, the Lord infused His Light into you, and then you came into the world. The Lord infused His Light into you, and then you came into the world. The Lord Himself is your mother, and He Himself is your father; He created the created beings, and revealed the world to them. By Guru's Grace, some understand, and then it's a show; it seems like just a show. Says Nanak, He laid the foundation of the Universe, and infused His Light, and then you came into the world. [ SGGS Page 921 ]


Normal Family life (Grasth) is encouraged, celibacy or renunciation of the world is not necessary to achieve salvation. The devotee must live in the world yet keep his mind pure. He must be a soldier, a scholar, a saint.

"Beauteous lady! hast not heard with thy ears, To the husband's home must thou come, nor for ever canst thou in the parental home abide" (Guru Nanak, Sri Rag)

"I that in the parents home on the Lord meditated, In the husband's home bliss have found. Blessed is the entire life of such." (Guru Ram Das, Sri Rag)

"Those known as celibates knowing not the right device, discard house and home." (Guru Nanak, Asa)

"Forsaking the household, one's mind took him to the forest, but it could not get peace even for a moment; but when it sought the refuge of the Saint of the Lord, its wanderings ceased and it returned to its own home. One abandoned his relatives and became a Sannyasi, but the craving of the mind did not cease. One's desires are not finished without the Word of the Guru, which alone can bring peace. When hatred for the world wells up in ones mind, he becomes a naked recluse, but the mind wanders ceaselessly and these wanderings do not end his desires, but when he meets the saints, he reaches the House of Mercy. Siddhas learn numerous Yogic poses; but their mind only after miraculous powers yearns. Thereby comes not to them fulfilment, content and peace of mind." (Guru Ram Das, Bilaval)

The founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak who was born in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding and criticised the blind rituals of the Hindus and Muslims. Guru Nanak passed on his enlightened leadership of this new religion to nine successive Gurus. The final living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh left this world in 1708.

During his lifetime Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa order (meaning 'The Pure'), soldier-saints. The Khalsa uphold the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a social conscious. The Khalsa are men and women who have undergone the Sikh baptism ceremony and who strictly follow the Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions and wear the prescribed physical articles of the faith. One of the more noticeable being the uncut hair (required to be covered with a turban for men) and the Kirpan (ceremonial sword).

Before leaving planet Earth in 1708 Guru Gobind Singh declared that the Sikhs no longer needed a living guru and appointed his spiritual successor as Sri Guru Granth Sahib, his physical successor as the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh felt that all the wisdom needed by Sikhs for spiritual guidance in their daily lives could be found in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is unique in the world of religious scriptures because not only is it accorded the status of being the spiritual head of the Sikh religion, but besides the poetry of the Gurus, it also contains the writings of saints of other faiths whose thoughts were consistent with those of the Sikh Gurus.

Sikhism does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru felt that they had become corrupt and full of ego. Sikhs only have custodians of the Guru Granth Sahib (granthi), and any Sikh is free to read the Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) or in their home. All people of all religions are welcome to the Gurdwara. A free community kitchen can be found at every Gurdwara which serves meals to all people of all faiths. Guru Nanak first started this institution which outline the basic Sikh principles of service, humility and equality. Giani's (Gurdwara service conductors) , Raagi's (Gurdwara hymn musicians) and Sant's (gurdwara or missionary heads) are also Sikh custodians, they devote their lives in Gurdwara's, preaching the name of God and also raising funds for the temple. A Sant is normally considered as a higher rank and they have a greater knowledge and understanding of Sikhism. The majority have given their whole life times to the faith and can perform miracles where they see necessary. 

The most significant historical religious centre for the Sikhs is Harimandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) at Amritsar in the state of Punjab in northern India. It is the inspirational and historical centre of Sikhism but is not a mandatory place of pilgrimage or worship. All places where Sri Guru Granth Sahib are installed are considered equally holy for Sikhs.

There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions. The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form. The goal of our life is to lead an exemplary existence so that one may merge with God. Sikhs should remember God at all times and practice living a virtuous and truthful life while maintaining a balance between their spiritual obligations and temporal obligations.

The true path to achieving salvation and merging with God does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a householder, earning a honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins.

Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc.

Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It teaches the full equality of men and women. Women can participate in any religious function or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.

There is only one God, he is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer.

"You are the Creator, O Lord, the Unknowable. You created the Universe of diverse kinds, colours and qualities. You know your own Creation. All this is your Play." (Guru Nanak, Var Majh)

"The Formless Supreme Being abides in the Realm of Eternity. Over His creation He casts His glance of grace. In that Realm are contained all the continents and the universes, Exceeding in number all count. Of creation worlds upon worlds abide therein; All obedient to His will; He watches over them in bliss, And has each constantly in mind." (Guru Nanak, Japji)
God cannot take human form.