Five Takhats
 
 
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FIVE TAKHATS
 
'Takht', literally means a throne or seat of authority is a result of historical growth of Sikhism. There are five Takhats. The Five Takhts are the five gurudwaras and these have a very special significance for the Sikh community. Takht means a throne. They are considered the seats of Sikh religious authority. The important decisions concerning the religious and social life of the Sikh community have been taken here.
 
   
...Sri Akal Takhat Sahib
...Takht Sri Damdama Sahib
...Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib
...Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib
...Takht Sri Patna Sahib
 
SRI AKAL TAKHAT SAHIB
 
"Throne of the Almighty" 
 
In the Sikh religion, Akal Takhat Sahib has a prerogative place. "Akal Takht" is a combination of two words: Akal (the Almighty) and Takht (Throne). Meaning thereby: the "Throne of the Almighty". Sahib is used as a mark of respect for Guru Sahib and the Sikh institutions. Akal Takht Sahib represents the Sikh institution of Miri (temporal)-Piri (transcendental). The Sikh concept of Miri-Piri is not the unity of the two domains but it is "oneness" of the two. Both, Miri and Piri, don't stand apart from one another but they resonate each other. Meaning thereby that a man of Miri is obliged to impart Dharma (righteousness) and a man of Piri must not be a silent observer to tyranny, injustice and in-humanism. He has to follow the pat of Guru Sahib. The same is echoed in the words of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib when he says that a Sikh should utter the Name of the Almighty with his tongue but in his heart of hearts, he must be ready for battle for Righteousness (Mukh te Har chitt mai-n yudh bichărai). The Sikh concept of Miri-Piri is the saviour of humanity, justice, righteousness and spirituality.

Akal Takhat Sahib, as it represents the Almighty, could be made by the Almighty Himself. For humanity Guru Hargobind Sahib, the Sixth Nanak revealed it. Guru Hargobind Sahib laid down the foundation stone of the building of Akal Takhat Sahib (in 1609). The rest of the structure was completed by Sikh saint Baba Buddha and Sikh intellectual Bhai Gurdas.

It is here that Guru Hargobind Sahib used to hold his Court and receive ambassadors, emissaries, diplomats and other dignitaries. In the evenings this was a place for signing of heroic ballads by the "dhadis"(ballad singers), in order to infuse the spirit of "Charhdi Kala" (the Sikh concept of Euphoria) among the Sikhs.

Whenever any important issue arose the Sikh nation held a meeting of the Sarbat Khalsa (the Sikh Commonwealth) at Akal Takht Sahib. Sarbat Khalsa does not mean a big gathering of the thousands of the Sikhs. It is a meeting of the representatives of all the sections of the Sikhs who are loyal to Akal Takht Sahib. This "representative house of the Sikh nation" resolves a Gurmata (the Sikh consensus) with regard to a particular question. This Gurmata is issued as a Hukamnama to the Sikh nation by the caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib.

Akal Takht Sahib is the senior-most seat of Sikh authority. The Hukamnamas issued from Akal Takht Sahib are obligatory for each and every Sikh. A Sikh daring to defy the Hukamnama of Akal Takht Sahib ceases to be a member of the Sikh Panth.

On October 12, 1920, the priests performing the routine duties at Akal Takht Sahib left the throne unattended. At this the Sikhs present there selected a Jatha (band) of 25 Sikhs to take care of Akal Takht Sahib. Jathedar Teja Singh Bhucher was appointed the Jathedar (leader) of this Jatha. Since then, by mistake or due to ignorance, the term Jathedar has come to be used for Akal Takht Sahib.

The destination of "Jathedar" of Akal Takht Sahib has become so popular among a large number of Sikhs that this is being considered a dictatorship or kingship. In the Sikh philosophy and throughout the history of the Sikh nation, there is no mention of a designation such as "Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib". As evidenced by the Sikh history, the decisions with regard to the Sikh nation issues, had been taken by the Sarbat Khalsa (the Sikh Commonwealth) and the Gurmatas (resolutions) of the Sarbat Khalsa were released as Hukamnamas by the caretaker of Akal Takhat Sahib. The caretaker of Akal Takht Sahib can not issue any orders by himself according to his whim. (it is strange that the Sikh intelligentsia has exhibited impotency by acquiescing the mutilation of the institution of Akal Takht Sahib. On the other hand, the anti - Sikh forces, under the command of the Anti-Sikhism School, too, have collaborated to make attempts at degrading the status of Akal Takht Sahib).
Akal Takht Sahib and its Hukamnama represent the will of the Sikh nation and it is binding on every Sikh.
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TAKHAT SRI DAMDAMA SAHIB
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib is situated in the village of Talwandi Sabo near Bhatinda. At this place Guru Gobind Singh stayed here for approximately a year and compiled the final edition of Guru Granth Sahib also known as the Damdama Sahib Bir in 1705. The only difference in this Bir and the Bir compiled by the fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan, was that the Bani of the ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was added to it. 
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TAKHAT SRI KESHGARH SAHIB
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib is situated at Anandpur Sahib. It is the birthplace of the Khalsa. The order of the Khalsa 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 amrit used in the first Khalsa initiation ceremony.  
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TAKHAT SRI HAZOOR SAHIB 
Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib is situated on the banks of Godavari river in Maharashtra state. This is the place where Guru Gobind Singh left for Heavenly abode. The inner room of the gurdawara is called Angitha Sahib and is built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated in 1708. The Gurdwara has fallen prey to designs of forces inimical to Sikhs. As a result, many rituals have crept into the service of the Gurdwara which are totally against the Sikh worldview. 
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TAKHAT SRI PATNA SAHIB
Takht Sri Patna Sahib is situated in Patna city which is also the capital of Bihar state. Guru Gobind Singh was born here in 1666 and he spent his early childhood here before moving to Anandpur Sahib. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh , Patna was also visited by Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur at different points of time. Like Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib, here too the anti-Sikh forces have succeeded to a great extent in bringing in practices completely against Sikh worldview.
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