This was a post on another thread, posting it here as this explains in detail the answer to
your query in the most comprehensive manner..
This post is by Dalvinder singh grewal ji.
Khande di Pahul was initiated in the times ofGuru Gobind Singhwhen the Guru established the Order ofKhalsaatAnandpur Sahibon the day ofVaisakhiin 1699.Guru Gobind Singhaddressed the congregation from the entryway of a tent pitched on a hill (now called Kesgarh Sahib). He drew his sword and asked for a volunteer who was willing to sacrifice his head. No one answered his first call, nor the second call, but on the third invitation, a person called Daya Ram (later known as Bhai Daya Singh) came forward and offered his head to the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh took the volunteer inside the tent, and emerged shortly, with blood dripping from his sword. He then demanded another head. One more volunteer came forward, and entered the tent with him. The Guru again emerged with blood on his sword. This happened three more times. Then the five volunteers came out of the tent unharmed.
Khande Di Pahulnot only embodies the primary objects of Sikh faith and the promises connected therewith, but also is itself a promise to lead a pure and pious life to unite with Almighty Lord. It is about inward cleansing of the conscience and seeking unity with Supreme Lord through His Grace. The wordPahulis a derivative from the substantivePahu– which is an agent which brightens, accelerates or sharpens the potentialities of a given object
"The Guru caused his five faithful Sikhs to stand up. He put pure water into an iron vessel and stirred it with a Khanda or two edged sword. He then repeated over it the sacred verses which he appointed for the ceremony , namely, the Japji, the Jaap, Guru Amar Das's Anand, and certain swaiyas or quatrains of his own composition."
– The Sikh Religion by M.A. Macauliffe, V–5, p. 94
The ceremony of Khande da Pahul
· The ceremony is to be conducted in any quiet and convenient place. In addition to the Guru Granth Sahib, the presence of six Sikhs is necessary, one granthi to read from the holy text and five, representing the original five beloved disciples, to administer it.
· The Amrit is administered in presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The candidates take full bath, wear five Kakars and present themselves before the Guru Granth Sahib for initiation of Amrit.
· Five Sikhs representing five beloveds who lead virtuous life and strictly observe the Sikh discipline are chosen to prepare and administer the Amrit. The candidates for baptism are apprised of the Amrit conditions for acceptance before the ceremony is started. They are apprised about the pure and virtuous life they must lead. When the candidates agree to live by the discipline and code of Sikh conduct, the Panj Pyaras start preparing the Amrit.
· ASarb Loh(Iron-steel) cauldron (Bataor bowl) is filled with clean water. Some Patashas (sugar crystals / plums) are poured into the water. The Five Beloveds then sit in Vir Asan (sit on ground with left knee down and the right knee up) around the cauldron.
· The mixture is stirred with two edged Khanda and Panj Pyaras recite path of five Banis (Japji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Sawayae, Chaupai Sahib and anand Sahib) from Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth with attention and full concentration on the Amrit preparation in Cauldron. The solution thus prepared is called Amrit (nectar of immortality).
· The “Sarb Loh Bata” signifies the strength of heart and mind. The chanting of hymns create strong faith and cohesion in the devotees. The Khanda creates a spirit of valor and bravery. The Patashas create strength, courage and grace of sweetness. The Five beloveds create a spirit of unity and democracy. They are mirror of God and the devotees can see through them, their way of life. The evils of caste, color and creed are vanished. The mortal gets both Bani and Bana to attain Truth and be one with the Almighty God.
· Five handfuls of Amrit are given for drinking, five handfuls are sprinkled over the hair and another five are sprinkled into the eyes of each of the devotee who offer to be initiated.
· Each time the recipient says “Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh”. The devotees chant “Wahe Guru” Mantar. (All such devotees are then asked to drink the Amrit from the same Bata (steel bowl) to shed previous caste, colour and creed. By eliminating the caste differences, a sense of oneness and equality is created in the neophytes who take rebirth in the new order of Khalsa brotherhood.) Prayer is offered at the start and end of Amrit ceremony and Hukam Nama (Divine order) is read from Sri Guru Granth Sahib. After completion of the ceremony, Karah Parsad is distributed. The Sikh now becomes Singh and Khalsa. He enters the corporate life of community called Panth.
· Washing of the hair prior to the ceremony is mandatory by those who are receiving the initiation and those who are administering.
· Any Sikh who is mentally and physically sound (male or female) may administer the rites of initiation, provided that he himself had received the rites and continues to adheres to the Sikh Rehni (Way of Life) and wear the Sikh Articles of Faith, i.e. 5 Ks .
· There is no minimum age requirement; however, a person who is considering to be Amritdhari should not be of a 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 the five holy symbols, the 5 Ks: 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 jewellery, distinctive marks or token associated with any other faith. He/she must not have his/her head bare or be wearing a cap. The head must be covered with a cloth. 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.
· Anyone seeking re-initiation after having resiled from his previous vows may be assigned a penance by the five administering initiation before being re-admitted.
· During the ceremony, one of the five Pyare (the beloved ones), stands and explains the rules and obligations of the Khalsa Panth.
· Those receiving initiation have to give their assent as to whether they are willing to abide by the rules and obligations.
· After their assent, one of the five Pyare utters a prayer for the commencement of the preparation of the Amrit and a randomly selected passage (hukam, or word of God) is taken from Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The person being initiated "Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh". The salutation is repeated and the holy water is sprinkled on their eyes and hair, five times. The remainder of the nectar is shared by all receiving the initiation, all drinking from the same bowl.
After this, all those taking part in the ceremony recite the Mool Mantra and they are inducted into the Khalsa.
thanks to dalvinder singh grewal ji for the informative post.