Concent of Akal Takht
Before we can understand the concept of Akal Takht we have to understand as to who was Guru Nanak. "Jot Roop Har Aap Guru Nanak Kahaiyo; Tan Tey Angad Bhaiyo Tatt Seon Tatt Milaiyo."This means that the "Light of the Lord Himself was called Guru Nanak from whom emerged Angad similar to him element by element" (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, page 1408)(SGGS) Guru Nanak has been a UNIQUE personality in the recorded history of mankind. He was neither a born Guru nor did he attain enlightenment. After disappearing for three days in a rivulet, he came out to the surprise of the awaiting public on the full moon day of Kartik (November 1499) repeatedly saying: "there is no Hindu; there is no Muslman." The public proclaimed that he is no more the Modi or the revenue clerk Nanak, but he is now Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak himself felt that not only he has been appointed as Guru by Akal Purukh or the Primal Lord but has also been given special programme for the whole humanity. Guru Nanak commenced his Journey to bring humanity on the Path of righteousness. Bhai Gurdas the scribe of the Guru Granth Sahib repeatedly remarks in his odes (Vaars) that "The Formless Lord made Nanak Dev assume the personality of the Formless Lord." The court poet of the tenth Nanak Bhai Nand Lal repeatedly describes the personality of Nanak in this way (1695-1705): "No one like Nanak has ever come to this world." "From one end to the other the whole world is asking for you." "The world is full of tyranny." " I have sent you to show the right path." Guru Nanak came in the form of the Lord Himself. "Without doubt He is in the Form of the Formless." "Thousands of Brahmas, Ishwars and Inder devtas are awaiting His command." When the time came for Guru Nanak to leave this world, Nanak passed on the Light to his disciple Angad by bowing to him, and presenting him a coconut and five paise and asking Baba Budha ji to anoint him with saffron on his fore head. After this Guru Nanak became technically the mortal Nanak. The immortal 'Light of the Lord - Himself' was now with Guru Angad. In the same manner, Guru Angad Dev ji passed on this Light to the next Guru in a similar ceremony until it reached 10th Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Gobind Singh Ji chose SGGS as the permanent repository of the Light of the Lord Himself in 1708.
The following lines of Guru Granth Sahib clearly enunciate the personality of Guru Nanak:
"Tretai Tae Maaniyo Ram Raghuvansh Kahaa-yo
Duapar Krishan Murar Kans Kirtaarath kee-yo
Kaljug Parmaan Nanak Gur, Angad Amar Kahaa-yo
Siri Guru Raaj Abchal Atal Aad Purakh Farmaiyo" p. 1390
In the Treta Age (yug) You were called Ram of the Raghu Dynasty. In the Duapar Age You became Krishna and provided deliverance to Kans. In the Kalyug, You are called Nanak, Angad and Amar Das. The Primal Lord has commanded that your rule will remain immovable and eternal.
"Aap naraa-in kalaa Dhaar jag meh parvari-yeo. Nirankaar aakaar jot jag mandal kari-yeo." p. 1395
The Lord Himself wielded His Power and made Himself manifest on the Earth of the Solar System.
"tou satgur chahu jugee aap aapey parmesar." p. 1406
You are the True Guru of the four Ages. You yourself are the Lord.
"Jot roop Har aap Guru Nanak Kahaiyo, Taan Te Angad Bhaiyo Tatt Seon Tatt Milayeo" p.1408
The Light of the Lord Himself was called Guru Nanak from whom emerged Angad similar to him element by element.
The Vaar of Ramkali uttered by Rai Balwand and Satta the Bards (Page 966). Guru Arjun Dev has given the caption of - "Aakhi". This Vaar clarifies that Guru Nanak just changed his body and the Light of the Lord was passed on to Guru Angad while Guru Nanak was still alive. In the end: "The four Gurus illumined their own times and the Lord Himself assumed the fifth form."
"He created Himself and He Himself is the supporting pillar.
"He Himself is the paper (writing tablet) He himself is the pen and He Himself is the writer (scribe)…"
"Guru Arjan sits on the throne; the royal canopy waves over the True Guru."
"From where the Sun rises to where it sets, the Guru illumines the four corners (of the earth)… "
"The four Gurus enlightened their times and the Lord Himself assumed the fifth form (Guru Arjan)." This caption "Aakhi" on this Ramkali ki Vaar is unique. Obviously this means that possibly these dooms (the Bards)were not the authors of this vaar. Guru Sahib kept the secret about the authorship. If this caption had not been there, then it would have meant that they were the authors of this vaar!
The following table clarifies as to how the transferring of the Light of the Lord Himself by Guru Nanak converted the Mortal Lehna into Guru Angad Dev Ji. Similarly transferring of the Light by Guru Angad Dev Ji manifested in Guru Amardas and so on.
Age on assumption of Guruship Years of Guruship
Guru Nanak Dev ji 30 yrs 1499 - 1539
Guru Angad Dev ji 35 yrs. 1539 - 1552
Guru Amardas ji 73 yrs. 1552 - 1574
Guru Ram Das ji 40 yrs 1574 - 1581
Gur Arjan Dev ji 18 yrs* 1581 - 1606
Guru Hargobind ji 11 yrs* 1606 - 1644
Guru Har Rai ji 14 yrs* 1644 - 1661
Guru Har Krishan ji 5 yrs* 1661 - 1664
Guru Tegh Bahadur ji 43 yrs 1664 - 1675
Guru Gobind Singh ji 9 yrs* 1675 - 1708
Guru Granth Sahib ji 104 yrs (1604-1708) 1708-till eternity
*The Light of the Lord Himself, which entered Guru Nanak in 1499 was passed on to the subsequent Gurus according to the plan of Guru Nanak who was given the special programme* for humanity. Guru Nanak selected the Gurus at young ages to confirm that it was the 'Light' which was acting in all.
Our Guru was only one ie Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji ;Mahla 5 means Guru Nanak in his "Fifth Body". The Ten Gurus was ten different beings but they embodied the same divine light as Guru Nanak Sahib Ji.
*The programme would be completed when all types of ethnic violence and terrorism ends by Political Philosophy of Guru Nanak.
Akal Takht and the Flag of the Guru's Army (1606-1699)
Sikhi, Khalsa and the Panth or the Sikh Nation did not develop according to the interplay of historical forces. The organization of Sikhi commenced according to the programme given to the Light of the Lord Himself Guru Nanak and his nine successors. The fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1606 knew what was the future progamme given by Akal Purukh. Before proceeding to Lahore he passed on the Light to his 11-year-old son Hargobind Ji, appointing him as the sixth Nanak. We have heard that Guru Arjan Dev Ji had commenced teaching of use of armaments to his son Hargobind from the age of 5 years. He had also indicated to the sixth Nanak to sit on a throne and keep a large army. Guru Hargoind Ji laid the foundation of a 12 feet tall platform to form future throne of Akal Takht. The construction of this platform was carried out only by Baba Budha Ji and Bhai Gurdas Ji . No other Sikh or labourer was allowed to take part in its construction. As soon as platform was ready in June 1606, he 'asked' its decoration by a Royal Carpet and a Royal Canopy. He came dressed up in a Royal Dress with a turban and plume and 'requested' Baba Budha Ji to adorn him with the two swords of Miri and Piri. This was to indicate not only to the Sikhs but also to the world at large that he was the Patshah (King) of both the Spiritual as well as Temporal Kingdoms. He 'conveyed' that one Sikh should always keep on waving a chauri and one Sikh always keep a Royal Umbrella over him. These were to denote his spiritual as well as temporal domains. He somehow 'conveyed' that he would prefer presents of armaments, horses and able young men in addition to money to raise an army. He put up another flag mast with his special flag, which was 18 inches shorter than the flagpole put up by Guru Arjan Dev Ji after installation of Pothi Sahib in the Darbar Sahib. His flag carried a special emblem, which was the emblem of his army. This emblem showed one-inch width circle surrounded by the two swords of Miri and Piri on its lower half. This emblem indicated that the area of influence of the Akal Takht was the whole world and that this was the Supreme Throne of the world in both the spiritual as well as the temporal domains.
The Emblem of Akal Takht (1606)
The armies of the Gurus carried this emblem up to 1699. In 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh Ji administered, the 'pahul' made by stirring sweetened water with 'Khanda' then this 'Khanda' completed the emblem of the Akal Takht made by Guru Hargobind Ji and now this emblem with 'Khanda' is the complete emblem of the Khalsa since 1699.
On deep contemplation we can think about the possible dialogue between Jahangir and Guru Sahib.(On the contrary we have been stating that our Gurus only communicated through Gurbani. It is indeed difficult to comprehend what transpired between the Guru and the public. We have no record at all.) Jahangir: How dare you continue your unlawful activities even after the capital punishment of your previous Guru? Instead of noting our wrath you have organized your army challenging the Mughal State? Guru Ji: We know that you are the Emperor of the biggest Empire and that is why you call your self the owner of the world. We accept the boundaries of your kingdom and we have no intention of occupying even one square yard of your land. Jahangir: I have been informed that you sit majestically on 12 feet high throne and even now you have dared to come in our presence Majestically with a Royal canopy over your head and with an attendant waiving the flywhisk and accompanied by your armed guards and you call your self a True Emperor? Guru Ji: It is correct that I sit on the Akal Takhat or throne of Allah and I wear two swords to show my spiritual and temporal powers. Indeed your kingdom is very big and ever since the world came into being no king's domain has been as large as yours. But the throne, which is occupied by me, its domain, has no boundaries. You rule over the people who happen to be within the boundaries of your state, but the domain of Akal Takhat is limit less and much beyond your kingdom. We provide the solace of Creator to one and all. We shower love and grace of Allah or Akal Purakh on every one on this earth. Jahangir: I do not understand you. You talk like a saint but not only you your self, are armed but are keeping well-equipped army of 2200 all the time with you. Guru Ji: In the world there are many foolish people who do not under stand our programme. They can attack us in a fit of misunderstanding. We are keeping the arms and army to keep these people at a distance. Not only this, we have ordered our Sikhs to keep armaments. We have kept the army for protecting ourselves and our throne. We are ordained to do this by the order of Akal Purakh (Allah). Jahangir: I was expecting that you would upbraid me for ordering the killing of your father, your fifth Guru Arjan but I am surprised that you did not complain. Guru Ji: We abide by the decisions of Allah. We accepted the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev ji as ordained by Akal Purakh. While sitting on the heated plate and suffering pouring of hot sand on his person, Guru Arjan was exclaiming: "your doings appear sweet to me" and this was my first "sermon" to the Sikhs that they should accept the Will of the Lord with all humility.Our objective is to bring about a benign kingdom in the world for which Akal Purakh had charged Guru Nanak Dev ji. The Akal Takhat is working according to this plan. Time will come when this Akal Takhat would usher in an era of total peace and goodwill for all in the world. There can be no physical boundaries of our sphere of work. The boundaries of the countries are the real cause of strife.
Jahangir: I am not fully convinced. For this reason, I am detaining you in the Gwalior Fort for some period. The Muslim divines and leaders have complained to us that we are promoting unIslamic activities. We have to satisfy the Muslims. This was a unique happening and we have to accept that the Light of the Lord Himself established the Supreme Takht or Throne of Akal Takht in the Mughal Kingdom having its own army and flag. This kingdom of Akal Takht had no physical boundaries and hence extended beyond the domain of the Mughal State.
Akal Takht is the only Takht of the Guru and Khalsa
The Light of the Lord Himself knew that if the Guru or the Lord of this throne had continued to reside at Amritsar then according to the worldly customs a state may have taken shape around it. We can interpret without any hesitation that this was the only reason that Guru Hargobind Ji left 'Akal Takht' for all times to come in 1632 and moved to Kot Takht, Kiratpur Sahib. Wherever the Gurus moved the 'Akal Takht' moved along with him. Guru Hari Rai ji and Guru Hari Kishan Ji also resided at Kot Takht Kiratpur Sahib. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji assumed responsibility of the 'Akal Takht' first at Baba Bakala and later moved to the small township of Chak Nanki established by him on the land, which he had purchased from the Raja of Kahlur. Here he constructed "Takht Sahib Damdama" and his residence. When he moved to Patna Sahib then he discharged the responsibility of the Takht from there between 1666-1670. In his last five years Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji returned to "Takht Sahib Damdama". Here at "Takht Sahib Damdama" Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji passed on the Light of the Lord to the nine year old Guru Gobind Rai in July 1675 before proceeding to Delhi. In 1699 when Guru Gobind Rai converted the Sikhs of the Guru to the Khalsa of Waheguru at Kesgarh then 'Akal Takht' moved to Kesgarh Sahib. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji reached Talwandi Sabo then he discharged the responsibility of 'Akal Takht' from that place. Panth has accepted that at Talwandi Sabo, Guru Gobind Singh Ji got new volumes of Pothi Sahib prepared through Bhai Mani Singh Singh Ji. We also know that many volumes of Pothi Sahib written after 1675 at Anandpur Sahib, Guru Ji made many scriptwriters insert the Bani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji into several copies of Pothi Sahib. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji reached Nanded (Maharashtra) towards the end of his worldly sojourn then this became the last place where Guru Gobind Singh Ji acted as the Lord of 'Akal Takht'. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji bestowed temporal Guruship or Miri on the Guru Khalsa at Nanded then 'Akal Takht' once again returned to Darbar Sahib in 1708.
Jathedar of Akal Takht
The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Akali Phoola Singh, kept Ranjit Singh under his control. As soon as he was killed, in 1823, Ranjit Singh did not allow any one to take his place. In the same year, he married the two daughters of Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra and commenced on his life of women, wine and drugs. He completely forgot that he has to leave this world and he should pay some attention as to what will happen to his state after him. His sons and other nobles also copied him.When he died in 1839 twelve of his wives committed Satti, which was totally against Sikhi. Only the poor low paid Sikh soldiers of Sarkar-e-Khalsa remained true to the Sikhi and Sarkar-e-Khalsa to the last. On two occasions during 1845 (first Anglo-Sikh War) and during 1849 (second Anglo-Sikh War) the British could not face the ferocity of these soldiers that they almost decided to leave the country but they were saved by the treachery of the Sikh Generals who had been won over by the British.
The British people learnt that the real Sikh were the soldiers of Sarkar Khalsa. On interrogating them they learnt the importance of Guru Granth Sahib and the Akal Takht. On the one hand they utilized the pliable scholars of the Sikh Panth to change the Guru Granth Sahib in that the scholars started denigrating the Vaar of Raag Ramkali and the Swayyas of Bhatts that these pages who describe to us the relationship of Akal Purukh to Guru Nanak and Guru Nanak and the Gurus of the personality of the Gurus and enunciated in Raag Ramkali and Swayyas of the Bhatts are mere eulogizes to the Gurus and not Gurbani. They have scholars are responsible for denigrating the Akal Takht by making four other Takht and the five Takht are being commemorated in ever daily Ardas. We have ourselves reduced the religion of Guru Nanak to a religion of Karam Kands or rituals. The religion being practiced today is not that of Guru Nanak but more like that of Baba Sri Chand. We have totally lost our Miri and Piri.
From 1499 to 1849 every Sikh knew that he was Sovereign and not under any other throne. After 1849 the sovereignty of the Sikhs remained in the concept of the thinking Khalsa, but the external forces subjugated the Panth and its compromising leaders. After 1849 Khalsa was able to display its Sovereignty at certain points of modern history, e.g. 1920-25 and June 1-7, 1984. The Sovereignty is lying dormant till its awakening by Guru Nanak once again.
It can be safely concluded that the Sikh scholars of today do not know even the meaning of Akal Takhat.
The Khalsa or even the turbaned Sikh was and Epitome of Truth. In 1925 the Sikh scholars were induced to accept the Gurdwara Act. All of them behaved like "Ram Rai"and further made the Sikhs who had been sacrificing since 1920 that this was the reward, which they have won by their struggle! In this way the Sikh scholars themselves finished the Sovereignty of Akal Takhat. The Sikhs considered it a great achievement when they got the Lok Sabha pass an amendment to the Gurduwara Act of 1925 that Damdamma Sahib (Talwandi Sabo) is the 5th Takhat.
How preposterous it is that the Sikhs are gloating over their surrendering their Sovereignty, which had been bestowed by the Gurus. The Sikh scholars and leaders have put their stamp on the changed concept, finally in 1945 when they approved the Sikh Rehat Maryada by resolution no 97 of 3-2-1945. The committee, which drafted this Maryada, consisted of all-important Sikh personalities of the 1st half of the 20th century. Now instead of being an Epitome of Truth now the Sikh is defined as the person who follow the rituals (Karam Kand of the Sikhs).
For the present day Sikhs Akal Takhat is just a piece of masonry and because they do not understand the meaning of Akal Takhat the Sikhs have allowed themselves to be befooled in making four more Takhats. Now these five Takhats are being mentioned in our daily Ardas.
When and How the Concept of the Akal Takht was Lost
Sri Hargobind Ji called upon Bhai Gurdas Ji and Baba Budha Ji to bring bricks and mortar to a place facing Sri Darbar Sahib where he himself laid the foundation of Akal Bunga(Abode of Akal) or Akal Takhat. He asked the two of them only to quickly build a high platform to serve the base of the Takhat. The Akal Takhat symbolized for the world the Sovereignty of the Sikhs/Khalsa for all time. This feeling of Sovereignty irked the British and felt Akal Takhat was an important factor. They took the help of Sikh leader/ scholars to compromise these feelings. KHALSA; the epitome of Truth lost its basic character when the leading luminary wrote in Ashat Guru Chamatkar, part 3, page 15 only this note about its construction that this Takhat was commenced on 5 Harh 1666 Bikrami this was called Akal Bunga being the first Takhat it is also called Akal Takhat the date has been taken on Tawarik Khalsa some persons give an earlier date. The Sangat seating in front of the Takhat could listen to the Vaars being sung, Sermons of the Guru and give their offerings to Guru. Clearly this was to lower the position of the Akal Takhat and there was no mention regarding Guru Hargobind laying its Foundation. We can connect this writing to explain that the once Sovereign Khalsa demanding the Anandpur Sahib Resolution as its major demand in 1982. The Sikh leaders and Panth did not feel ashamed that in the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, the morcha dictator accepted to built the SYL canal by Aug.15, 1986. A mass agitation by the Akalies began against the SYL construction soon after the foundation Stone was laid by PM Indra Gandhi. Such compromise against truth has reached this stage that today all types of Sikh leaders have lost their credibility about truth. In a way the Sikh leaders behaved like Ramrai when this accord was signed in 1985.
On 29 March 1849, Khalsa lost its sovereignty. We have reached such a low state that on every 31st of October 200-300 Sikh women demonstrate for proper rehabilitation and Sikhs all over the world are busy making bigger and bigger Gurudwaras. To please others we are not prepared to accept what Guru Nanak Sahib made Shri Shekhar Gupta to record the real truth of the Operation Bluestar, both Graphically and in 12 sentences of truth in the 12 long pages report published in the India Today of 30th June 1984. When the new generation of Sikhs born after 1980 will learn about this true episode they will become full of pride to belong to the Khalsa. The world does not know about this truth of Operation Bluestar that how a handful of people resisted the might of the Indian Army and died to uphold the great traditions of the Khalsa.
We can be assured that this new generation would restore the lost concept of Akal Takhat. They would create our lost state that, our Gurus had built and accepted by all historians. This state created by our Gurus had no boundaries the domain of the Akal Takhat extended all over the world. The objective of our Gurus was to usher in an era of total peace and goodwill for all in the world. The boundaries of the countries are the real cause of the strife. There is no doubt that Guru Nanak Sahib was charged by the Akal Purakh and given this special task to end the tyranny as described by Bhai Nand Lal.