Sirjana Diwas Of Shri Akal Takht Sahib
Sirjana Diwas means foundation day and ‘Akal Takht‘ (Punjabi: ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ) (the Throne of the Timeless God) is the first and the most important Takhts of the five Takhts in Sikh Community. It is situated in Harmandir Sahib – The Golden Temple, Amritsar. The Akal Takhat is situated opposite Harmandir Sahib and is connected by a passage.
“Akal”, coming from “A” (not) and “Kal” (dying or ending), together becomes “The Timeless One” – another term for God. “Takhat” means “throne” in Persian. A Takht is a throne or seat and is a spiritual center of Sikhism and Sri Akal Takht Sahib is the highest seat of religious authority for the Sikhs. Four other Takhts also have that honor and authority, but Akal Takht is primus inter pares in that hukamnamas (religious fiats) issued by it hold precedence over similar fiats issued by other Takhts.
Originally named Akal Bunga the building of Akal Takht opposite the Golden Temple stands for spiritual guidance and symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. The Akal Takht is the oldest of the Five Takhats.
The Akal Takhat was founded by Guru Hargobind on June 15, 1606 (5 Har 1663). The community has now come to celebrate the day on July 2 every year, which is when Baba Buddha Ji and Bhai Gurdas Ji completed the construction of the platform located in the Darbar Sahib precinct facing Sri Harimandar Sahib.
Akal Takht was built by Guru Hargobind Ji, Bhai Gurdas Ji, and Baba Buddha Ji, with their own hands. No other person or artist was employed to build the platform. 1606 The foundation stone of 12 feet high Akal Bunga (Sri Akal Takhat Sahib) was laid by Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji himself in front of the Harmandir Sahib. The five-story building was completed in 1609. The Akal Takhat was carefully constructed by Baba Buddha Ji and Bhai Gurdas Ji. No mason was employed as per Guru’s instructions that no labor would be acquired for its construction.
It was, of course, then only a platform of mud and masonry on which the installation ceremony of Guru Hargobind was performed on 24th June 1606. Guru Hargobind had decided to adopt a princely style. Even his father had approved of and arranged his training in martial sports. And the Gurus, at least from the time of Guru Ram Das, had been given the epithet Sachcha Patshah (the true Sovereign) by their devotees. So there must be a throne for a Patshah. Guru Hargobind was anointed the next Sachcha Patshah on this throne which he named Akal Takht, meaning both the throne of the Timeless or the Timeless Throne.
A building over the Akal Takht must have been raised during the time of Guru Hargobind himself. During the period of persecution following the martyrdom of Banda Singh Bahadur, the Sikhs looked to Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Sri Harimandir Sahib, and the Amritsar pool of nectar for frest inspiratino and revived courage.
It stood as a symbol of political bulwark against the Mughal Emperors in the 17th and 18th centuries. Like Sri Harimandir Sahib, Sri Akal Takht Sahib also suffered destruction at the hands of Ahmad Shah Abdali during his invasion in 1764, because a small garrison of 30 Nihangs stationed here had the audacity to stand up to the invading horde. But what was destroyed was the Akal Bunga, the building, and not Akal Takht, the institution. The Dal Khalsa continued to meet at the Akal Takht on the ruins of Akal Bunga of which, too, the ground floor was reconstructed by 1774. Another four stories were raised above it during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The Akal Takht was badly damaged during the assault on the Golden Temple by the Indian army in June 1984. On June 6, 1984, the Indian Army stormed the Golden Temple complex, even bringing its tanks into the Parikrama during Operation Blue Star.
The Akal Takhat stands to remind Sikhs of their duty to not only defend and uphold their faith but to assemble for Sarbat Khalsa and fight tyranny whenever it arises.