The focus of this report is to understand the role and function of Akal Takht Sahib from the Gurmat (Guru’s Way) perspective, as inferred from Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle). In understanding the Gurmat explanation of the function and role of Akal Takht Sahib, individuals and institutions can come together to push for a more transparent, independent, representative, and active institution.
A global survey, included in the report, presented 1,237 self- identified Sikhs with questions related to the role and function of Akal Takht Sahib. The survey responses highlight clear ideals of what the role and function of Akal Takht Sahib needs to be, and explore the current disconnect and loss of faith in its governance.
This study presents recommendations based on the Gurmat components on both the individual and institutional levels as a way to better engage with the Akal Takht Sahib and move towards it remaining a central institution to the Panth. Individuals must work on shifting their mindsets towards a firm belief in the authority of Akal Takht Sahib while joining institutional movements to become more aware of the political circumstances surrounding Akal Takht Sahib in its current state. Institutions must become ready to be governed by Akal Takht Sahib, and actively pursue its independent governance, instead of giving up on the institution in the current political landscape as being past the point of no return.
Bani, Tavarikh, and Rahit specify the role and function of Akal Takht Sahib, and illustrate a rich tradition of sovereignty which must be internalized by each member of the Sikh Panth in order to create a flourishing Akal Takht Sahib.
Akal, coming from “A” (not) and “Kal” (dying, or ending), together becomes timeless, immortal, or non-temporal. Takht, coming from the Persian word for “the Imperial Throne,” focuses in on temporal power. Akal Takht Sahib (Timeless Throne Sovereign) situated in Amritsar, Panjab is the epitome of the Miri-Piri (Political-Spiritual) doctrine.
Sikh Research Institute has conducted a survey of 1,237 self-identified Sikhs from 27 different countries. The purpose of the survey was to gain insight into how Sikhs perceive the role of the Akal Takht Sahib in their own lives and in the lives of other Sikhs around the world. Responses outlined a clear engagement with the institution of Akal Takht Sahib, showing clear ideals of what the role and function of Akal Takht Sahib should be. The responses communicated a loss of faith in the governance of Akal Takht Sahib and a call for efforts towards a transparent, independent, representative, and active institution.
This report makes recommendations based on Gurmat (the Guru’s Way) as inferred from Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle) that can be used by individuals and institutions to move towards Akal Takht Sahib remaining a central institution to the Sikh Panth (Sikh collective).