Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), started an Akhand Path at the historical Gurudwara Brahm Kund on the banks of the Sarayu river in Ayodhya on Monday.
The prayer — a three-day-long uninterrupted recital of Guru Granth Sahib — is being held as a thanksgiving for clearing all the hurdles to the construction of the Ram temple. It will conclude on August 5 — the day of foundation laying ceremony of the temple.
Sikh Sangat president G S Gill has been also invited for the temple’s foundation stone laying ceremony. Follow Ayodhya Ram Mandir Live Updates
“We had prayed at this gurudwara in 1991 for clearing all the obstructions in the path of the construction of Ram Temple. Now that every hurdle has been cleared, we are doing the ‘path’ in gratitude,” Gill told The Indian Express.
Sikh history in Ayodhya
It is believed that at one time, there were nine gurudwaras in Ayodhya. Only four are left now. First Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev, came to Ayodhya in the 16th century while the ninth Guru Teg Bahadur had visited the city in 1670.
Guru Gobind Singh came to Ayodhya during the rule of Raja Maan Singh. Maan Singh had gifted an orchard to Guru Gobind Singh and Gurudwara Nazarbagh was built there.
According to Dhanna Singh Chahal Patialavi, a chronicler who visited Ayodhya in 1931 on a bicycle, there were seven gurudwaras in Ayodhya at that time.
Invitation to Sikh clergy for ceremony
Gill confirmed that all Sikh high priests (jathedars) have been invited for the Ram temple ceremony.
“We have invited acting Jathedar Akal Takht Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh, Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Raghubir Singh, Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Ranjit Singh Gahur and Takht Hazoor Sahib Jathedar Kulwant Singh as religious heads of the community,” Gill said.
However, the close association of RSS with the Ram temple movement may lead to the Jathedars skipping the foundation ceremony.
On July 13, 2004, the Akal Takht had issued a directive to the Sikhs asking them to remain cautious about the activities of RSS and Rashtriya Sikh Sangat after the latter published some literature that was taken as the RSS interpretation of Sikh beliefs. This edict could be a cause of concern for the clergymen.
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