The meaning of the word 'Takht'
is a four-legged wooden seat or imperial throne; that is to say the royal
seat of a monarch to issue imperial fiats. Quite a large number of such
'Takhts' came into their own in the world. Time has eroded them. The manner
in which the word 'Takht' has been used in Gurmat conception is unique.
The 'Takht' is not subject decay. Rather it is eternal . It is free from
the limitations of time and place. Such a conception of the 'Takht' has
been invested with empiricism by the Ten Gurus. This has become a proven
fact that 'Takht' is not a totalization of the activities of the individual/individuals.
Rather, it evidences impartiality, independence and sovereignty of the
ways of the Guru Panth. Gurdwara's are a common heritage of one and all
Sikhs. The 'Takhts' relate to Gursikhs only. All the 'Five Takhts' are
a fountainhead of inspiration and a center of enlightenment for the entire
Khalsa Panth. Each 'Hukum' (commandment) is revered by a Gursikh. Bearing
in mind the love and dedication of Gursikhs to the 'Takhts', the brief
history regarding Takhts has been dedicated to them, this would mean that
from a study of multi-coloured icons of the sacred 'Takhts' the reader
may get a succinct historical information about them and feel inspired
to visit them.
The Five Gurdwaras (Sikh Temples)
known as the Five Takhts (Thrones) have a very special significance for
the Sikh community. They are considered the seats of Sikh religious authority.
Many important decisions concerning the religious and social life of the
Sikh community were made here.
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.
Its 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 symbolizes
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. 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 almost complete.
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.
Sahib is situated at Anandpur. It is considered the birthplace
of the Khalsa. The Khalsa order was founded here by Guru Gobind
Singh in 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.
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 and is built over the place where Guru Gobind
Singh was cremated in 1708.
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 ji.