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Akal Ustat is the name given to the second Bani in the second holy scriptures of the Sikhs called the Dasam Granth. This text spans from page 33 to page 94 of the 2326 pages of this holy book of the Sikhs. It is composed of 271 verses, and is largely devotional in nature.
The word "Akal" mean the "timeless primal being" and the word "Ustat" (from the Sanskrit word 'stuti') means "praise". So together, the words "Akal Ustat" mean "the praise of the Timeless One". In it, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru writes that God is worshipped by various peoples in many different ways, and with varying names and methods:
He is an Inconceivable Entity, External and Attire-less. He is without attachment, colour, form and mark. He distinct from all others of various colours and signs. He is the Primal being, Unique and Changeless.(3)
He is without colour, mark, caste and lineage. He is the without enemy, friend, father and mother. He is far away from all and closest to all. His dwelling is within water, on earth and in heavens.(4)— (Guru Gobind Singh, Akal Ustat, verse 3 to 4)
The scripture is notable for its unalloyed disavowal of the caste system, and of cultural elitism in general. At various points in this composition, Guru Singh speaks out against the belief that some people are superior to others, by virtue of belonging to a particular religion, region, history, culture, colour or creed. Instead, he clearly and firmly states that "all human beings are equal ":
Someone is Hindu and someone a Muslim, then someone is Shia, and someone a Sunni, but all the human beings, as a species, are recognized as one and the same.— (Guru Gobind Singh, Akal Ustat, Verse 85-15-1)
- Jasjeet Singh Thind. "Original text is printed over 1428 pages". Sridasam.org. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
- The Wondrous Play, Dr. Jodh Singh.
- The Life and Ideals of Guru Gobind Singh by Surindar Singh Kohli, 1986, Munshiram Manoharlal
- Authentication, contents and Scripture of the Dasam Granth
- Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji website
- Sri Dasam Granth – Akal Ustat