Originated from the Persian language, the word ‘paatshahi’ means empire, kingdom, kingship, monarchy, reign, period of rule by a king. 

In 2013, it was reported that due to concerns about some people disrespecting Sikh traditions, the appointed leader of the Akal Takht, along with other Sikh leaders, decided to stop the use of the title 'Paatshahi' unless they are talking about the Sikh Gurus. The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh, spoke to the media on October 19, 2013, saying that this decision came after complaints were made about certain self-proclaimed spiritual leaders who were using titles like 'Pehli Patshahi' (First Guru) or 'Dasvi Paatshahi' (Tenth Guru) with their names.

What does Paatshahi mean?

Originated from Persian language, the word ‘paatshahi’ means empire, kingdom, kingship, monarchy, reign, period of rule by a king. The decision to stop using titles like "Paatshahi" after the names of the heads of the Namdhari sect is important. In Sikh tradition, "Paatshahi" is reserved for the ten Sikh Gurus, not for anyone else. This change respects this tradition.

“After thorough contemplation with other Singh Sahibs we have decided to declare ban on the use of the title by any Sikh individual,” he said, adding that the title could only be used for Sikh gurus — from Sri Guru Nanak Dev to Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

The jathedar has told the Dharam Parchar Committee of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to take strong religious action against those who have been using the title 'guru-dum', which diminishes the importance of the Sikh tradition. This direction aims to address the issue of individuals using this title in a way that is not respectful to Sikh beliefs and practices. The jathedar's directive underscores the importance of preserving the sanctity and reverence of Sikh customs and teachings. By taking strict action against those who misuse such titles, the Sikh community aims to uphold the integrity of its religious heritage and traditions.

*Based on an article by Sikh Siyasat, published sikh24.com on 23rd October 2013 


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