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Amritdhari: A Topic Looking For A Good Title


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Amritdhari, Why do they matter?

It seems to be that this forum has never had a prolonged and serious discussion that is focused squarely on the amritdhari. Yet we have "talked about" the amritdhari when talking about everyone who is not -- which is different from discussing "amritdhari."

No need to respond with a definition because that is not what I am asking.

Here is a definition, from Sikhiwiki, and it works as well as any other definition. AMRITDHARI consists of two words - "AMRIT" which literally means "nectar"; however commonly it refers to a Sikh who has been initiated or baptised as a Khalsa by taking "amrit" or "nectar water" . "Dhari" mean "practitioner" or "endowed with" (lit. having taken). So an Amritdhari is one who has received baptismal vows of the Khalsa initiated by Guru Gobind Singh (on 30 March 1699) and he or she abides by these vows and follows the "panj kakari rahit" (rules of the wearing the Five ks), the distinctive insignia introduced by the Guru on that day comprising five symbols each beginning with the Gurmukhi letter "<big>ਕ</big>" (pronounced "kakka") or its Roman equivalent "k". These are kesh (long unshorn hair and in case of men, uncut beard), kangha (a comb to keep the hair tidy), kirpan (a sword), kara ( a steel bracelet worn about the wrist), and kaccha
(a short undergarment).

It seems to me that the amritdhari have been drawing a lot of fire lately at SPN. In all my time as a member I do not recall anyone using his/her status as amritdhari to embarrass or degrade someone else openly. Yet, amritdhari are criticized for being inflexible and unsympathetic to those who question the importance of kesh (for some reason the other kakkars come up in debate only rarely).

I am thinking out loud now. Do not the amritdhari carry a heavy burden? What is the burden they carry? If they do carry a burden, do they carry that burden for all the others? Is it correct to say that they protect that which defines Sikhism in its essence? If so, what is the essence of Sikhism that they protect?
Jan 16, 2010
I like the way Narayanjot ji puts it:" A topic looking for a Good Title." I would agree with her because to me Lion Child's query looks and sounds exactly the way Narayanjot ji has said it," An Answer in search of a Question".

The way I look at this issue, why obsess about the incidentals and miss out on the core of what it means to be a guru-ka-singh or Khalsa ( mind you I am deliberately omitting the use of Sikhi ).

Oh to be a true Khalsa, a true guru-ka-singh! What glorious traditions you inherit: fearlessness, generosity, spirit of sacrifice, universal brotherhood (society without caste) a tribune for the helpless....above all, the concept of ' guru-ka-langar', the community sharing and dining.khandaa

These are not mere words or concepts but qualities which are second nature, nay the very essence of the Khalsa, inherited as part of our glorious tradition.

These are your true Ks, your values, your true identity. I am not even remotely suggesting that the insignia of the Amritdhari are unimportant. All I am saying is that relative to the core values, everything else is peripheral and, to that extent, insignificant.
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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
rajneesh ji

If I don't react to you personally, it only means that I am waiting for a critical mass of forum members to speak on this issue. The subject needs more attention that you and I alone can give it. Thanks. Thank you for bringing this topic back to currency because it dropped into the background within hours of my posting it. I appreciate that you took the time to reply.

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