GOLDEN TEMPLE: A SPIRITUAL TREASURE; AN
The Golden Temple is a beautiful example of when sacred architecture
becomes a testimony of celestial splendor and gives us pause about
the history of this monument, holiest of holy to the Sikhs, a place
of bliss for everyone who arrives here for prayer, with a petition,
or with a spirit to learn about the tradition of a major world religion.
This magnificent edifice, the Golden Temple at Amritsar, embodies
all that and much more as a world heritage site.
For the Sikhs, this shrine is their heart and soul; a place that
has witnessed the history of their faith, sacrifices of countless
to defend its sanctity and reinforced their faith and commitment
to the sacred commandments of equality, justice, dignity of all
God's children, sanctity of all faith traditions as our collective
spiritual treasure, and service of humanity.
At this place, the sacred Scripture of the Sikhs was installed
by the Fifth Sikh Prophet, Guru Arjan Dev himself in 1604 A.D. Associated
with the lives of other Sikh Gurus, the foundation stone of this
Temple was laid by a venerated Sufi Saint, Mian Mir, in 1588 A.D.
The Temple was richly adorned and embellished by Maharaja Ranjit
Singh in the nineteenth century. This sacred complex is associated
with celebrated martyrs who gave up their lives in righteous defiance
and for the defense of this magnificent Harmander Sahib: 'The Temple
of God' surrounded by a 'Pool of Immortality' and anchored by The
Akal Takht: 'The Throne of God.'
This world heritage site is rich with history and tradition. This
is hallowed ground for all humanity. This place is alive with pilgrims
of faiths from the remotest corners of earth. Built in 1588 A.D.,
the Temple is an exquisite example of Indo-Sarsenic architecture
and radiates a celestial aura. The sacred Sikh music emanating daily
from inside the Golden Temple, from before dawn till late into the
evening, fills the air with blessings and praise of the Divine.
The music, melody, and Ragas (patterns of music), universal message,
serene beauty and warm spirit of the place seem to transcend all
differences, and invite cultures, languages, national origins, and
diverse traditions into folds of seamless spiritual bliss.
The arts, architecture, the ceremonial walkway surrounding the
sacred pool, memorial structures and markers, grand entrances to
the complex, the gilded embellishments, marble columns, walls and
ceilings inlaid with precious stones, all mirror an image of sacred
splendor that is breathtaking and all-embracing, manifesting a spirit
of unity, universality, and our shared humanity. Here architecture
embodies something immeasurably enlightened and reaffirming to the
human spirit. The architecture, arts, the sacred aura enshrined
within and radiating throughout the surrounding space of the famous
Darbar Sahib: 'The Court of the Lord,' makes the word Grace manifest.
The serene environment uplifts our thoughts and prayers as we witness
before us a rare architectural gem in living color, and a captivating
scene of indescribable majesty etching a lasting imprint on the
Kanwal Prakash Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA