AKAL, lit. timeless, immortal, non temporal, is a term integral to Sikh tradition and philosophy. It is extensively used in the Dasam Granth hymns by Guru Gobind Singh, who titled one of his poetic compositions Akal Ustati, i.e. In Praise (ustati) of the Timeless One (akal). However, the concept of Akal is not peculiar to the Dasam Granth. It goes back to the very origins of the Sikh faith. Guru Nanak used the term in the Mul Mantra, the fundamental creedal statement in the Japu, the first composition in the Guru Granth Sahib.
AKAL MURATI, a composite term comprising akal (non temporal) and murati (image or form), occurring in the Mul Mantra, the root formula or fundamental creed of the Sikh faith as recorded at the beginning of the Japu, composition with which the Guru Granth Sahib opens, literally means `timeless image`. Elsewhere, in the compositions of Guru Ram Das (GG, 78), and Guru Arjan (GG, 99, 609, 916 and 1082), the expression Akal Murati reinforces the original meaning of Divine Reality that is beyond the process of time, and yet permeates the cosmic forms. The non temporal Being transcends the space time framework and, as such, is Formless. However, in its manifest aspect, the same Being assumes the cosmic Form.