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‘Sikhism does not indulge in superstitions or torturous physical exercises for spiritual gain’: Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib on Yoga at Harmandir Sahib

Jathedar Singh Sahib Giani Raghbir Singh of Shri Akal Takht Sahib instructed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to ensure that no such actions are permitted in the future within the premises of Shri Harmandir Sahib. "These actions are against the modesty of Sikhism and the dignity of the Guru-ghar," he said.

On 23rd June, Jathedar Singh Sahib Giani Raghbir Singh of Shri Akal Takht Sahib issued a statement condemning the incident where a woman from Gujarat, Archana Makwana, performed Shirshasan, a Yoga post inside Shri Harmandir Sahib’s premises. Speaking on the viral photos of Makwana, Singh emphasised Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib.

Sri Darbar Sahib is the centre of Sikh spirituality where divine unity is conveyed to the entire human race. He further added that Yoga asanas have no significance in Sikhism and called it “torturous physical exercises”.

He said “Sikhism is a pure and unique religion, and some forces are deliberately spreading false propaganda about it. He asserted that Sikhism does not abandon its surrounding society nor indulge in superstitious practices like awakening horoscopes or performing torturous physical exercises for spiritual gain.”

He added that Sri Harmandir Sahib is a sacred place which is meant for ‘self-awakened souls’ where they benefit from the spiritual aura of Gurbani. “Activities like yoga postures, which are not recognized in Sikhism, are strictly prohibited within the boundaries of this holy place,” he added. Singh highlighted that instead of Yoga, Sikhs should prefer martial arts like Gatka for physical exercise.

He instructed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to ensure that no such actions are permitted in the future within the premises of Shri Harmandir Sahib. “These actions are against the modesty of Sikhism and the dignity of the Guru-ghar,” he said.

He added that though everyone is entitled to their beliefs, Sikhs cannot tolerate actions that contradict Sikh principles and morals. 

The Yoga at Harmandir Sahib controversy

On 22nd June, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) filed a complaint against Archana Makwana for performing Yoga inside the Sri Darbar Sahib premises, known as Golden Temple, in Amritsar. The step was taken after visuals of the Instagram influencer performing Yoga in Sri Darbar Sahib Prakrama on International Yoga Day on 21 June appeared on social media.

Shiromani Committee President Harjinder Singh Dhami said that Sikh sentiments were hurt by the act of the woman Archana Makwana, and therefore a complaint has been filed against her. He said that the woman has already apologised for the act, and added people should not do such an act that requires them to apologise later.

Despite an apology from Makwana, on 23rd June, an FIR was launched against her on the complaint of SGPC. Following the complaint, the Vadodara crime branch provided her with police protection. 

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OpIndia Staff
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