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The Khalsa Initiation Ceremony

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by urimi, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. urimi

    urimi
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    Hello,
    I would like to learn much more about the Khalsa initiation.
    I was wondering its religious significance in the tradition.
    Also, its relation with doctrines and history of the tradition, and how the Khalsa initiation ceremony is an expression of the tradition's beliefs.

    I researched into it and I know very little of its significance and how it relates.
    Also, if anyone knows any books or journals/ websites that goes in depth about the khalsa initiation ceremony, that would be great.
    Thank you!
     
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  3. Archived_member7

    Archived_member7
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    From the site http://allaboutsikhs.com/way/amrit.htm


    Anyone can be initiated into the Sikh religion if one can read and understand the contents of Guru Granth Sahib and is matured enough to follow the Sikh code of conduct. The baptism ceremony is known as 'Amrit Chhakna". It is conducted. in a holy place, any place sanctified with the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, preferably a Gurdwara. The ceremony is conducted by five baptized Sikhs known as Singhs or Khalsa who must be observant of the Sikh religious discipline and the Sikh code of conduct A date and place is fixed for the baptismal ceremony and information to that effect is given in the local press. All the candidates interested in the initiation then formally apply for admission. The candidates are interviewed and if found worthy of initiation are called at the specified place at the fixed date and time.

    The formal ceremony is conducted in the following way: [​IMG]
    A. Guru Granth Sahib is opened in the ceremonious way. One of the five Khalsas selected for the Amrit ceremony offers the formal prayer in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib which is followed by a random reading from the holy book.

    B. The entrants join in the formal prayer and sit cross legged when the verse from Guru Granth Sahib is being read. Then they stand in front of the congregation (if there is any) and ask their permission for admission into the Khalsa brotherhood. The permission is normally given by means of the religious call-Bolay So Nihal Sat Sri Akal (Whosoever Would Speak Would Be Blessed-God Is The Supreme Truth).

    C. One of the Khalsa then instructs the aspirants in the following way: After taking Amrit you must: 1. Believe in the teaching of the ten Sikh Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib.
    2. Recite five Banis-(Collection of Hymns) every day.
    3. Wear the five Ks-i.e., uncut hair, sword, comb, underwear and the steel bracelet
    4. Live upon your own honest and sincere earnings.
    5. Treat all human beings as equal.
    6. Spread the name of the God.

    After taking Amrit you must not:
    [​IMG] 1. Deal with persons who have no belief in God
    2. Take drugs, intoxicants and tobacco in any form
    3. Have any faith in magic, superstitions, charms and rituals
    4. Have any relations with mines (descendants of Prithi Chand, a brother of Guru Aijan who revolted against his father, Guru Ramdas, to have the Guruship for himself) Dhirmaliaa (descendants of Dhirmal, a grandson of Guru)
    Hargobind who also revolted against his father and grand father to inherit the Guruship) and child killers, who would kill their babies if they were girls.

    After the general acceptance of the above instructions, the Amrit (the holy nectar) is prepared. A big iron bowl is filled with fresh water and some sugar pellets are put in.The water is stirred by all the five selected Khalsa with a double edged dagger. Five holy Banis viz., Jap Sahib., (composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji), japji Sahib (composed by Guru Nanak), Sudha Swayas (composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji), Benti Chaupai (composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji), and anand Sahib (composed by Guru Amardas) are recited while the water is being stirred

    After the completion of the five Banis a prayer is said and a random verse is read from Guru Granth Sahib. Then the Amrit is administered to each candidate, one by one, as follows:

    Firstly, five sips of Amrit are poured into the hollow made by the palm of the right hand of each entrant to drink one after another. Secondly, theAmrit is sprinkled five times into the eyes and heads of the candidates. Finally, each candidate drinks a little Amrit from the same bowl until is finished completely.
    After the administration of the Amrit in the above way, the Bani of Anand Sahib is recited followed by the prayer and random reading of a verse from Guru Granth Sahib. At the end Karah Parshad (the sweet pudding) is distributed to all. The congregation then congratulates all the candidates for their admission in the Khalsa brotnerhood Ambrosial baptism should be held at an exclusive place away from common human traffic. At the place where ambrosial baptism is to be administered, the holy Guru Granth Sahib should be installed and ceremonially opened. Also present should be six committed baptized Sikhs, one of whom should sit in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib and the other five should be there to administer the ambrosial baptism. These six may even include Sikh women. All of them must have taken bath and washed their hair.
    The five beloved ones who administer ambrosial baptism should not include a disabled person, such as a person who is blind or blind in one eye, lame, one with a broken or disabled limb, or one suffering from some chronic disease. The number should not include anyone who has committed a breach of the Sikh discipline and principles. All of them should be committed baptized Sikhs with appealing personalities. Any man or woman of any country, religion or caste who embraces Sikhism and solemnly undertakes to abide by its principles is entitled to ambrosial baptism. The person to be baptized should not be of very young age; he or she should have attained a plausible degree of discretion.
    a. Ceremony of Khande di Pahul( Amrit Sanskar) should be held at an exclusive place away from common human traffic. ​
    b. At the place where the ceremony is to be administered, the holy Guru Granth Sahib should be installed and ceremonially opened. Also present should be six committed Amritdhari Sikhs, one of whom should sit in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib and the other five should be there to administer the Khande di Pahul. These six may even include Sikh women. All of them must have taken bath and washed their hair.
    c. The five beloved (Panj Piyare) ones who administer Khande di Pahul should not include a disabled person, such as a person who is blind or blind in one eye, lame, one with a broken or disabled limb, or one suffering from some chronic disease. The number should not include anyone who has committed a breach of the Sikh discipline and principles. All of them should be committed Amritdhari Sikhs with appealing personalities.
    d. Any man or woman of any country, religion or caste who embraces Sikhism and solemnly undertakes to abide by its principles is entitled to Khande di Pahul(Amrit). [​IMG]
    The person to be Amritdhari , should not be of very young age; he or she should have attained a plausible degree of discretion. The person to be Amritdhari must have taken bath and washed the hair and must wear all five K's- Kesh (unshorn hair), strapped Kirpan (sword),. Kachhehra (prescribed shorts), Kanga (Comb tucked in the tied up hair), Karha (Steel bracelet). He/she must not have on his/her person any token of any other faith. He/she must not have his/her head bare or be wearing a cap. He/she must not be wearing any ornaments piercing through any part of the body. The persons to be Amritdhari must stand respectfully with hands folded facing the Guru Granth Sahib.
    e. Anyone seeking Khande di Pahul again, having committed an aberration, should be singled out and the five beloved ones should award chastisement to hinilber in the presence of the congregation.
    f. One from amongst the five beloved ones administerning Khande di Pahul to persons seeking to be Amritdhari should explain the principles of the Sikh religion to them:
    The Sikh religion advocates the renunciation of the worship of any created thing, and rendering of worship and loving devotion to, and meditating on, the One Supreme Creator. For the fulfilment of such devotion and meditation, reflection on the contents of Gurbani and practising of its tenets, participation in the congregational services, rendering service to the Panth, benevolent exertion (to promote the good of others), love of God's name (loving reflection on and experience of the Divine), living within the Sikh discipline after getting Amrit etc. are the principal means.
    He should conclude his exposition of the principles of Sikh religion with the query : Do you accept these willingly?
    g. On an affirmative response from the seekers of Khande di Pahul, one from amongst the five beloved ones should perform the Ardas for the preparation of Khande di Pahul and take the holy Hukam (command) The five beloved ones should come close to the bowl for preparing the Khande di Pahul.
    h. The bowl should be of pure steel and it should be placed on a clean steel ring or other clean support.
    i. Clean water and sugar puffs should be put in the bowl and the five beloved ones should sit around it in bir posture(Bir Assan) and recite the undermentioned scriptural compositions.
    j. The scriptural composition to be recited are : The Japuji, The Jaap, The Ten Sawayyas (commencing with Sarawag Sud), The Bainti Chaupai (From "hamri karo hath dai rachha" to "dusht dokh te leho te bachai") and Anand Sahib.
    k. Each of the five beloved ones who recites the scripture should hold the edge of the bowl with his left hand and keep stirring the water with a (Khanda) double-edged sword held in his right hand. He should do that with full concentration. The rest of the beloved ones should keep gripping the edge of the bowl with both hands concentrating their full attention on the Khande di Pahul.
    l. After the conclusion of the recitation, one from amongst the beloved ones should perform the Ardas.
    m. Only that person seeking Amrit who has participated in the entire ceremony of Amrit Sanchar can be Amritdhari. One who has turned up while the ceremony was in progress cannot be given Khande di Pahul.
    n. After the Ardas as thinking of our Father, the Tenth Nanak Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the wearer of the aigrette, every person seeking to be Amritdhari should sit in Bir Assan , putting his/her right hand cupped on the left cupped hand and be made to drink the Amrit five times, as the beloved one who pours the mix into his cupped hand exclaims : say, Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh! (The Khalsa is of the Wondrous Destroyer of darkness; victory, too, is His!) The person being Amritdhari should after imbibing the Amrit, repeat : Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh. Then five handfuls of the Amrit should he sprinkled into the eyes of the person being Amrit and another five into his hair. Each such sprinkling should be accompanied by the beloved one administering Amrit saying, "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh", and the person getting Amrit repeating the chant. Whatever Amrit is left over after the administration of the Khande di Pahul (Amrit) to all individual seekers, should be sipped by all (men and women) Amritdharies, together.
    o. After this the five beloved ones, all together in chorus communicating the name of Waheguru to all who have been administered the Khande di Pahul, recite to them the Mul Mantar and make them repeat it aloud :
    Ik aunkar satnam karta purakh nirbhau nirwair akal murat ajuni saibhang gur prasad.
    After this, one from amongst the five beloved ones should explain to the initiates the discipline of the order :
    * Today you are reborn in the true Guru's household, ending the cycle of migration, and joined the Khalsa Panth (order).
    * Your spiritual father is now Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and the spiritual mother, Mata Sahib Kaur ji.
    * Your place of birth is Kesgarh Sahib and your native place is Anandpur Sahib.
    * You, being the sons of one father, are, inter-se yourselves and other Amritdhari Sikhs, spiritual brothers.
    * You have become the pure Khalsa, having renounced your previous lineage, professional background, calling (occupation), beliefs, that is, having given up all connections with your caste, descent, birth, country, religion, etc..
    * You are to worship none except the One Timeless Being (Waheguru) no god, goddess, incarnation or prophet.
    * You are not to think of anyone except the Ten Gurus and anything except their gospel as your saviour.
    * You are supposed to know Gurmukhi (Punjabi alphabet). (If you do not, you must learn it).
    * And recite, or listen in to the recitation of, the under mentioned scriptural compositions, the daily repetition of which is ordained, every day : (1) The Japuji Sahib, (2) The Jaap Sahib, (3) The Ten Sawayyas (Quartrains), beginning "sarawag sudh", (4) The Sodar Rahiras and the Sohila. Besides, you should read from or listen in to the recitation from the Guru Granth Sahib .
    Have, on your person, all the time, the five K's :
    I. The Keshas (unshorn hair),
    II. The Kirpan {sheathed sword} (The length of the sword to be worn is not prescribed.,
    III. The Kachhehra (The Kachhehra (drawers like garment) may be made from any cloth, but its legs should not reach down to below the shins.),
    IV. The Kanga (comb),
    V. The Karha {steel bracelet} (The Karha should be of pure steel.)
    The undermentioned four transgressions (tabooed practices) must be avoided
    1. Dishonouring the hair;
    2. Eating the meat of an animal slaughtered the Muslim way;
    3. Cohabiting with a person other than one's spouse;
    4. Using tobacco.
    In the event of the commission of any of these transgressions, the transgressor must get Amrit again. If a transgression is committed unintentionally and unknowingly, the transgressor shall not be liable to punishment. You must not associate with a Sikh who had uncut hair earlier and has cut it or a Sikh who smokes. You must ever be ready for the service of the Panth and of the Gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship). You must tender one tenth (Daswand) of your earnings to the Guru. In short, you must act the Guru's way in all spheres of activity.You must remain fully aligned to the Khalsa brotherhood in accordance with the principles of the Khalsa faith. If you commit transgression of the Khalsa discipline, you must present yourself before the congregation and beg pardon, accepting whatever punishment is awarded. You must also resolve to remain watchful against defaults in the future.
    q The following individuals shall be liable to chastisement involving automatic boycott:
    1. Anyone maintaining relations or communion with elements antagonistic to the Panth including the minas (reprobates), the masands (agents once accredited to local Sikh communities as Guru's representatives, since discredited for their faults and aberrations), followers of Dhirmal or Ram Rai, et. al., or users of tobacco or killers of female infants
    2. One who eats/drinks Left-overs of the non-Amritdhari or the fallen Sikhs;
    3. One who dyes his beard;
    4. One who gives off son or daughter in matrimony for a price or reward;
    5. Users of intoxicants (hemp, opium, liquor, narcotics, cocaine, etc.);
    6. One holding, or being a party to, ceremonies or practices contrary to the Guru's way;
    7. One who defaults in the maintenance of Sikh discipline.
    r. After this sermon, one from among the five beloved ones should perform the Ardas.
    s. Thereafter, the Sikh sitting in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib should take the Hukam. If anyone from amongst those who have received the Khande di Pahul had not earlier been named in accordance with the Sikh Naming Ceremony, he should renounce his previous name and be given a new name beginning with first letter of the Hukam now taken.
    t. And finally, the Karhah Prashad should be distributed. All the newly launched Sikh men and women should eat the Karhah Prashad together off the same bowl.
     

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