Harmandir Sahib, also known as The Darbar Sahib is informally renowned as the “Golden Temple”. It is the holiest Sikh gurudwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. This holy shrine is visited not only by Sikhs but people from all over the world. Considering the rich cultural background and harmony of our nation, it is no surprise that Harmandir Sahib is holy for everyone and anyone. On this note, I bring for you this blog on Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple and its dazzling history and facts.
The roots of Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple
The Golden Temple is the heart of Amritsar. Amritsar city was established in 1574. This city was founded by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das Ji. The Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple was designed by the fifth guru, Guru Arjan Den Ji. He had the foundation stone laid by the Muslim Sufi saint Sai Hazrat Mian Mir. He laid the foundation stone on 28th December 1588. Meanwhile, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh guru completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism. He completed this holy scripture in 1604. It was installed by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in the gurudwara Harmandir Sahib.
The architecture of Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple
There are four Dwaars or gates or doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib. These four doors symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions.
The present-day gurdwara was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. He rebuilt the gurudwara with the help of other Sikh Misals. In the early 19th century, a well-known Sikh Maharaja, Maharaja Ranjit Singh fought and secured the Punjab region from outside attacks. He then covered the upper floors of Harmandir Sahib with gold. This cover of gold gives the gurudwara its distinctive appearance. And that is how the gurudwara got its English name, “The Golden Temple “.
Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple
Harmandir Sahib – The Golden Temple is considered holy by Sikhs. The holiest text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (now the living guru), is present inside the gurudwara during the daytime. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji goes for Sukhasan during the night time.
The construction of the Harmandir Sahib or the Darbar Sahib was mainly intended to build a place of worship for all the people. These people, from all walks of life and all religions come and worship God equally. Approximately, 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship. These people also partake in the free community kitchen and meal. This meal is popularly known as “Guru Da Langar”. This all-time availability of meals is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurudwaras.
Some opinions about the Sikh Religion:
Besides containing the teaching of Sikh Gurus, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji also contains the teachings of Muslim saints, namely, Farid, Mardana, Bhikhan, Kabir. Also, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains the teachings of Hindu saints, namely, Dhanna, Pipa, Dain, Surdas, Jaidev, Triochan, Ramanand, etc. Not just Muslim saints and Hindu saint’s teachings but also teachings of untouchables like Namdev, Ravidas, etc.
The treatment meted out to the untouchables by the high-caste arrogant class was immeasurably horrifying and inhumane. W words fail to give the description. For example, they were not even allowed to enter the temples or fetch water from the community well. This is only a negligible fraction of the scene.
Rather all the Sikh Gurus always embraced them, ate food with them, and even incorporated their lovely, universal, divine, and sublime teachings in Guru Granth Sahib.
This classic scripture could be easily called a parliament of different religions. It does not contain any stories, histories, etc; but only truth. And truth does not age, fade or waver. It will always forever serve as a Torch of Truth for all human beings, for generations to come.
It is a beautiful experience to witness the grandeur of Harmandir Sahib. The Golden Temple is open to everyone regardless of caste, gender, social status, nationality and other biases. If you haven’t, you should visit Harmandir Sahib and understand the faith, belief and principles of Sikhism.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji had gone to Mecca. Once a few Kazis asked him, “Nanak, according to you, who is great? A Hindu or a Muslim?” Guru Nanak Dev Ji replied, ” without noble deeds, both will have to repent.”