Golden Temple

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Golden Temple

Sri Harmandir Sahib ("The abode of God"), also known as Darbar Sahib, informally referred to as the Golden Temple, is a Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is one of the most revered spiritual sites of Sikhism.


  • Brahmin priests and their idols had been associated with the Golden Temple for at least a century and had over these years received the patronage of pious Hindus and Sikhs. In the 1890s these practices came under increasing attack by reformist Sikhs.
    • Kenneth W. Jones (1976). Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. University of California Press. pp. 211–212. ISBN 978-0-520-02920-0
  • A student by the name of Bir Singh contributed a letter to the Khalsa Akhbar, February 12, 1897, saying: Near the Dukhbhanjani beri tree (in the Golden temple precincts) there is a room on the front wall of which is painted a picture. The picture depicts a goddess and Guru Gobind Singh. The goddess stands on golden sandals and she has many hands—ten or, perhaps, twenty. One of the hands is stretched out and in this she holds a Khanda. Guru Gobind Singh stands barefoot in front of it with his hands folded....
    • The Singh Sabha and Other Socio-religious Movements in the Punjab, 1850-1925 by Ganda Singh
  • A new Muslim invader, Ahmad Shah Abdali, who tried to salvage the Muslim rule, had to give up after several attempts from 1748 to 1767 A.D. His only satisfaction was that he demolished the Harimandir and desecrated the sacred tank with the blood of slaughtered cows, two times in a row. But the Sikh and non-Sikh Hindus rallied round the Khalsa again and again and rebuilt the temple every time.
    • Swarup, Ram, & Goel, S. R. (1985). Hindu-Sikh relationship. (Introduction by S.R. Goel)
  • Another expression of this tendency is the induction of Muslim divines into Sikh history, e.g. the by now widespread story that the foundation stone of the Hari Mandir was laid by the Sufi pîr Mian Mir. After this story was repeated again and again in his weekly column by Khushwant Singh, Sita Ram Goel wrote a detailed survey of the oldest and modernst sources pertaining to the construction of the Hari Mandir, found no trace of Mian Mir there, and concluded: "I request you to ... stop propping up a blatant forgery simply because it has become popular and is being patronised by those who control the neo-Sikh establishment." Khushwant Singh never mentioned Mian Mir again.
    • Sita Ram Goel: "Only the truth is sacred?. Sunday Observer, 2-4-1995. Cited and quoted in Koenraad Elst, Who is a Hindu (2002)
  • Ahmad Shah greatly desired to subdue the Sikhs, and his army attacked and gained control of the Sikh's holy city of Amritsar, where he brutally massacred thousands of Sikh followers. Not only did he viciously demolish the sacred temples and buildings, but he ordered these holy places to be covered with animals blood as an insult and desecration of their religion.
  • The Hari Mandir, dedicated to Hari/Vishnu, is as sacred to Vaishnavas as any of their non-Sikh temples; its tank was already an old Hindu place of pilgrimage, where Maharana Ikshvaku is said to have performed yajnas. (The 1875 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica says in its entry on Amritsar that it has sacred tank with a temple dedicated to Vishnu in the middle).
    • Elst, K. (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. New Delhi: Voice of India. Ch. 8
  • Their plan for Amritsar City was ambitious. They wanted to keep the City beseiged, to force Hindus and Sikhs out by arson and murder, and finally to capture two places held dear by Sikhs, and wearing a character symbolic of Sikh greatness and pride: Darbar Sahib and Khalsa College. Letters threatening destruction of these two places continued to be received by the authorities of these places from Muslims. In their confidence and feeling of being advantageously situated the Muslims did not mind declaring their plans.
  • Steinbach, a European ex-army officer, who worked at the Lahore Durbar for nine years, described the Golden Temple at Amritsar as a Temple of Visnu, one of the Sikh deities”. The Encyclopedia Britannica (ninth edition, 1857) does that same. Quoting Thornton’s Gazette (1862 edition), it says that “in the middle on the small island, is a temple of Hari or Vishnu”, and adds that Ahmed Shah “blew up the shrine with gunpowder, filled up the holy tank, and caused kine to be slaughtered, thus desecrating the spot.”
    • Ram Swarup, “Hindu Roots of Sikhism”, The Indian Express (6 February 1991); Republished in Hinduism and Monotheistic Religions. 2009. pp. 279-281] [5] [6] [7]

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