3 Akal Takht

Akal Takht

   “The Seat of the Eternal,” Akal Takht is the cen-ter of SIKH religious authority. It is located in the Golden Temple compound in the Punjabi city of AMRITSAR.
   The Sikh community meets twice a year in front of the Akal Takht. Decisions must be unani-mous; once made they are then considered “deci-sions of the Guru” and must be observed by all members of the Sikh community.
   This tradition goes back to the 10th SIKH GURU GOBIND SINGH, who decreed before his death in 1708 that there would be no more personal, human gurus and that the Sikhs should con-sider their sacred book—the Granth Sahib (Adi-granth)—as their guru. Any disputes concerning interpretations of tradition must be decided by the entire community gathered together.
   Further reading: W. H. McLeod, The Evolution of the Sikh Community: Five Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1975); ———, “Kabir, Nanak and the Early Sikh Panth,” in David N. Lorenzen, ed., Religious Change and Cultural Domination (Mexico City, Mexico: El Colegio de Mexico, 1981).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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