The Akal Takhat Martyrdom of 1984


June 6, 2024, marks the 40th anniversary of the Akal Takhat Martyrdom. On that day in 1984, the Western Sikh community began its monthly prayer for peace on every 6th of the month that has continued ever since. The sadh sangat set forth with the intention that this would be an ongoing prayer of healing, peace, and peaceful resolution of a conflict that had been brewing for decades and continues. We prayed that no sacred place on the planet would ever be desecrated or attacked for any purpose by any agency or group. We prayed for the tens of thousands of families who lost family members on those fateful days of June 1984 and the years that followed.

We have prayed and prayed, and our prayers will, by God and Guru’s Grace continue.

Our guide and teacher, Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, shared his perspective with the Westerners relatively new to Sikh Dharma. Many of us had not yet visited India before 1984, yet 84 of us were given Amrit at Akal Takhat Sahib in 1972 in our first yatra to India. We were inspired to the Sikh path through the powerful and passionate sharing of Sikh teachings that Harbhajan Singh Yogi (as he is commonly known) relayed to us. We loved the hospitality of Punjab and our Sikh family there. We loved the Guru’s bani and even had the opportunity to do Kirtan at Harimander Sahib. We cherished the many Gurdwaras we visited in Punjab and elsewhere that contained the spirit and essence of the Gurus exactly where the Guru’s walked. We studied Sikh History. We were Sikhs of the Guru by a Miracle of Guru Ram Das and we were ever grateful for those who carried the Guru on their heads, served and sacrificed for over 500 years so that we, in a land far away, could experience the Guru.

Over the decades, we have forged a kinship transcending race, culture, language, and geography in the Name of Guru. We do not proclaim to be perfect Sikhs, yet we identify as Khalsa. We take seriously our Amrit vows, and we live to the best of our ability the teachings of all the Sikh Gurus, bowing only to Siri Guru Granth Sahib as our Living Guru.

Referencing the attack on the Akal Takhat and Golden Temple the Siri Singh Sahib in 1984 said,

“We need the West to understand that these Sikh people who believe in God and love God and feel God within them are being forced to defend their identity, to fight for their identity….Siri Guru Granth Sahib just talks about God, and by reading it we become God. We become godly people. Guru Gobind Singh gave us the Word of Khalsa. He gave us the identity to live to the purity of Khalsa. Purity cannot die. Purity knows no death. Khalsa shall know no death. It will live forever. Therefore, there shall be 960 million Khalsa. What a miracle that will be.”

He often quoted Guru Gobind Singh Ji:

Jab lag Khalsa rahe niara, Tab lag tej deeo mai(n) sara
Jab eh gahai birpan kee reet, Mai(n) na karo in kee parteet.

As long as Khalsa shall remain distinct, I will grant him all my glory.
When he adopts the habits of others, Then I will not believe or trust in him.

The Siri Singh Sahib went on say,

“There is an initial action that has taken place to force us to come to our identity of Khalsa. That initial action was performed by Akal Takhat. Akal Takhat has reached its own martyrdom. Nobody could destroy Akal Takhat. I don’t believe anybody could. If it was possible, then it could have happened before many times. Akal Takhat, the throne of the imperial, as well as the Divine power, has come to question if we are worthy to keep it. Are we worthy to keep it ever in its glory or not? This is a very internal question It cannot be answered emotionally. It has nothing to do with sentiments and commotion. It asks a simple question.”

“A Takhat, a Throne, rules. It is a crown of rulership, divine, as well as, earthly, and when the rulership comes under destruction, it asks me a question. It will ask you a question.  It should ask the entire humanity, ‘What went wrong?’ Now the time has come to correct what went wrong

This is the greatest sacrifice that has been made in the history of our lives. Akal Takhat has offered itself as a sacrifice. To understand this, you have to believe in the identity of Akal Takhat. People have been dying, our history is full of it. We will die too.…I’m not talking about individual dying. In the history of the universe, this is the first time a place with the identity of rulership of the ether and of the earth, mortal and immortal, a central source of that energy, that psyche, that nucleus, has sacrificed itself. This is not an unimportant thing for the humanity. It is very important…This is the first time Akal Takhat, as an identity, as the ruling identity of the Khalsa, has sacrificed itself so that the mankind can live. It will bring the humanity to an understanding….Guru Arjan gave the sacrifice; we became victorious. Guru Teg Bahadur gave the sacrifice; we became victorious. Guru Gobind Singh and his entire family gave the sacrifice, and we became victorious. Today our Akal Takhat has given the sacrifice; we shall not lose.”

Based on the inspiration of the teachings of Siri Singh Sahib Yogiji, Sikhs are awakening to Guru’s Word in lands across the globe. We have in the matter of our 55 years of existence become a global Sikh Dharma community.

Both the Guru Ram Das Ashram sadh sangat in Los Angeles, CA and Hacienda de Guru Ram Das sadh sangat in Espanola, NM, will commemorate this 40th year Anniversary of the Akal Takhat Martyrdom on the evening of June 6, 2024 (Click the link below for more information).

Today, prayers for peace and healing are as crucial as ever, 40 years on.

Peace to All, Life to All, Love to All.


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