Akal - Undying

Akal Takhat, the Seat of Religious Authority for Sikhs
Akal Takhat, the Seat of Religious Authority for Sikhs. Photo © Jasleen Kaur

Definition:

Akal is a word whose comes from from kal and the prefix a.

Phonetically a stand alone single a sound translates to mean "un". A double aa translates to mean "come".

Kal may mean "age, death, era, season or time". Put together with an a as a prefix, these sounds form the word Akal meaning "death is un come," or "undying". Akal implies a state of being which is ageless, infinite, immortal and timeless.

Usage of Akal:

  • The Sikh form of address, "Sat Siri Akal," means "The great truth is undying".
  • Amritdhari, or initiated Sikh warriors who have drunk of the Immortalizing nectar of Amrit in the Sikh baptism ceremony are sometimes referred to as "Akalis", or the "immortals".
  • The highest seat of religious authority for Sikhs is called the Akal Takhat or timeless throne.
  • Akal is a description of the divine found in the texts of Guru Granth Sahib, (Sikhism's sacred scripture). For instance Akal Moort, meaning "undying and beyond birth" appears in Mool Mantar, the originating verse and foundation of the Guru Granth Sahib scripture describing the attributes of the divine.
  • Sikhs often refer to the divine as "Akal Purakh" or "undying personification".

Pronunciation: a call (the a has the sound of u in uh)

Alternate Spellings: akaal

Examples:

Guru Arjun Dev wrote:
"Akaal purakh agaadh bodh||
The wisdom of the undying personification is beyond understanding".

SGGS||212

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