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Amritdharis And Non Amritdharis

Oct 14, 2007
Amritdhari's and Non-Amritdhari's

Generally, people do not grasp the true meaning of the terms Amritdhari and nonAmritdhari Sikhs. The phrase non-Amritdhari Sikhs is meaningless. One cannot make a comparison between them. There is only one class of Sikhs and that class is the SIKH (Khalsa). Thus, one is either a Sikh or not a Sikh. Who is a Sikh? The literal meaning of the word Sikh is a 'disciple.' A Sikh is one who is a disciple of the Satguru. To be a disciple of the Satguru, one must completely surrender one's will and wisdom to the Will and Wisdom of the Satguru. Only then, the Satguru admits one is in his fold as a 'Sikh' and blesses him with the holy Naam. This initiation ceremony was previously referred to as the deekhya or charan pahul and has been prevalent right from the time of Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dcv Ji, as supported by Bhai Gurdas Ji:

Gur Deekhya Lai Sikh, Sikh Sadaayaa. (Var3,Pauri 11)
One is called a Sikh only after he has been blessed with 'deekhya.'

Charan Dhoe Rehraas Kar Charnamrit Gursikhaan Pilaaayaa (Var 1, Pauri 23)
(Guru Nanak) followed the system of washing the Guru's Feet and blessing the Gursikhs with the Charanamrit (Charan-Pahul).

Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji prescribed specific rules and regulations which must be unconditionally accepted by the candidates before they can be admitted as disciples (Sikhs). The ceremony by which the Panj Pyaras are authorized by the Satguru to admit such persons in the fold of Sikhism is partaking Khande-ki-Pahul or Amrit. Therefore, according to the Commandment of the Satguru, one can become a Sikh of the Guru only by taking Amrit. Such a person is also called an Amritdhari because he has been blessed with the holy Amrit and has, thus, become a Sikh. It is further explicit from the following couplet from Rahitnamaa of Bhai Desa Singh Ji:

Pratham Rahit Yeh Jaan, Khande-ki-Pahul Chhakey.
Soee Sikh Sujaan, Avar Naa Pahul Jo Lai.

The primary Rahit for a Sikh is to take Khande-ki-Pahul. Only he is sagacious Sikh.
Now consider this point from another angle. If someone belonging to other faiths like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc., wishes conversion into Sikhism, what is he required to do? Does he become a Sikh by merely refraining from cutting his hair and wearing a turban as Sikhs do? Obviously not. (There are a number of such people with long hair, and even wearing turbans, belonging to faiths other than Sikhism). He has necessarily to partake the holy Amrit to become a Sikh. How can, then, one become a Sikh simply because of accident of birth, without being baptized?
This point has also been explicitly made clear by the Satguru himself as:

So Sikh Sakhaa Bandhap Hai Bhai, Jay Gur Ke Bhaaney Vich Avey
Aapney Bhaaney Jo Chaley Bhai, Vichharr Chotaan Khaavey. (pg 601)

Only that person is a Sikh and he is my near and dear one, who comes under the total allegiance of the Guru. As against this, one who owes allegiance only to is personal will, always remains in separation and will suffer.

Even in the booklet entitled Sikh Rahit Maryada published by the S.G.P.C., a Sikh has been defined as under:

"...Dashmesh ji dey Amrit utay nischa rakhadu hai atey
kisey hor dharam nu nahin manadaa, oh Sikh hai."

"...and has full faith in the Amrit of the Tenth Guru and does not believe in any other faith, is a Sikh."

Clearly, therefore, being a non-Amritdhari means that one, has not yet declared his total allegiance and obedience to Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji I Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji I Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as his Guru. Nor has he been blessed with the Gurmantra or Naam which is given ONLY at the time of baptism by Guru Sahib himself through the Panj Pyaras. Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself put a seal on this point by bowing before the Panj Pyaras for his own baptism. Are these so-called non-Amritdhari "Sikhs" greater than even Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, that they call themselves full-fledged Sikhs without being baptized?

Oct 14, 2007
It is thus, abundantly clear that the non-Amritdharls, even though they may claim to be Sikhs, and are also considered Sikhs politically and socially, are not Sikhs in the true sense and in the eyes of the Satguru. In Gurbani, they are referred to as (a) Nigurey; (b) Gumantar heenus; © Sakat; (d) Manmukhs or Vemukh, and (e) Vedeen (Faithless), etc. howsoever prominent or outstanding they may be in the social and public life of the community.

Gurbani defines such terms as under:

a. Nigurey: one who has not become disciple of the Guru.

Nigurey Ko Gat Kaaee Naahee.
Avgann Muthhey, Chotaan Khahee. (pg 361)
For him who is without the Guru, there is no liberation.
Deluded by evil propensities, he suffers.

Satgur Bajhon Gur Nahi Koee Nigurey Kaa Hal Naao Bura. (ang 435)
Without the True Guru (i.e. Guru Nanak), there is not another Guru.
And one without the Guru has a cursed name.

b. Gurmantar-heenus: One who has not been blessed with the Gurmantra (Naani).

Gumantar-Heenus Jo Praani Dhrigant Janam Bharashtneh.
Kookreh Sookreh Gardbeh Kaakeh Sarpaneh Tul Khaleh (ang 1356-1357)
One who is without the Gurmantra, is the most accursed, and contaminated is his life. He is like a dog, a swine, a crow a snake, and a fool.

c. Saakat: Infidel

Saakat Suaan Kaheeyey Baho lobhee, Baho Durmat Mael Bhareejey. (ang1326)
The dog like infidel is said to be very avaricious and is full to the brim of evil thoughts.

Saakat Besuva Poot Ninaam (ang1239)
The infidel is nameless like a prostitute's son.

Oct 14, 2007
d. Manmukh: One who follows his own will; the egocentric.

Manmukh Oodha Kowl Hai, Na Tis Bhagat Na Naao. (ang 511)
The egocentric person (i.e. Manmukh) is like a reversed lotus and possesses neither devotion nor God's name.

Manmukh Seti Sang Karey, Muh Kalakh Daag Lagaaey (ang 1417)
Whosoever associates with a manmukh, blackens and stains his own face.

Manmukh Naam Na Jannani, Vinn Naavey Pat Jaaey...
Vishta Kay Keerray Pavey Wich Vishta
Se Vishta Mahe Samaaye. (ang 28)
The manmukhs know not the Naam, and without Naam lose their honor...
They are worms of excrement, fall in excrement, and get absorbed in excrement

e. Vedeen: The faithless; the irreligious.

Choraan, Jaaran, Randiaan, Kuttaneeya Di Baan.
Vedinaa Ki Dosti Vedinaa Ka Khaann
Sifti Saar Naa Jannani, Sada Vasey Shaitaan. (ang 790)
It is the habit of thieves, adulterers, prostitutes, and pimps that they contract friendship with the irreligious or faithless and eat their food; they know not the worth of God's praise and Satan ever abides within them.


So how should the 'amritdharis' be treating the 'infidels'?

are the 'amritdharis' on a moral high ground? ... should they look down upon the manmukhs with pity and sympathy? or ignore them?
if so .... who becomes the egocentric?

this is where religion starts to add insult to reason

its funny how the sikh establishments never faulter to live off the funds donated to their establishment by non-amritdharis (people who do make up the sikh majority and do control the most capital...within punjab). when the transactions are occuring and capital is flowing, all of a sudden, everyone becomes a sikh :whisling:

(the blind eye is sometimes usefull...even in religion; the establishment is nothing short of a joke)

Apr 4, 2007
i think this idea that people who have not yet taken amrit are not sikh is pretty insulting.

a sikh is a disciple, a student. we must spend our whole lives learning. many sikhs do not feel "ready" to make the commitment to become Khalsa. this doesn't make them less of a disciple of Guru Sahib. remember that when Guru Gobind Singh ji asked for a head, only 5 out of thousands came forward.

an amritdhari is Khalsa, but one does not need to be Khalsa to be sikh, in my opinion.

i believe the correct term for a Sikh who has not yet taken amrit (but is on the path to do so) would be Sehejdhari (sorry for the spelling).


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Without really speaking to the question of whether one can be a Sikh and nonArmitdhari -- I need to say this about the essay on the link.

There are many statements that cannot be more than the opinion of the author, and cannot be proved one way or the other because there is no evidence to support those statements.

The author makes assumptions and confuses his assumptions with statements of fact. Then draws conclusions from "statements of fact."

The intent of the article is to create a false dichotomy -- either you are a Sikh or you are not, and if you are not Khalsa, then you are not a Sikh.

It is not worth it to spend the time to take this article apart line by line. Why? How many fair-minded people would accept the argument made in this article? If you are not Amritdari, then you are an infidel, an egocentric, and faithless. And what is more you will be attractive to thieves and prostitutes.

Remember that Mardana followed Nanaak from boyhood. Remember the story of Nanaak's passing from this earth. Even in death he would not be pigeon-holed.
Oct 14, 2007
In any case it is the opinion of the author. He is not an authority on Rehat. The article was presented to show how skewed thinking can be.
However,Our Rehat do define a sikh.
Oct 14, 2007
The Art.1 of Rehat states as follows:

The Definition of Sikh :
Article I

Any human being who faithfully believes in
i. One Immortal Being,​
ii. Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib,​
iii. The Guru Granth Sahib,​
iv. The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and v. the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh.​
Besides the following may also be Of relevance:
Article XXIII - Panth's Status of Guruhood

The concept of service is not confined to fanning the congregation, service to and in the Guru ka Langar etc. A Sikh's entire life is a life of benevolent exertion. The most fruitful service is the service that secures the optimum good by minimal endeavour. That can be achieved through organised collective action. A Sikh has, for this reason, to fulfil his/her Panthic obligations (obligations as a member of the corporate entity, the Panth), even as he/she performs his/her individual duties. This corporate entity is the Panth. Every Sikh has also to fulfil his obligations as a unit of the corporate body, the Panth.
a) The Guru Panth (Panth's status of Guruhood) means the whole body of committed baptised (Amritdhari) Sikhs. This body was fostered by all the ten Gurus and the tenth Guru gave it its final shape and invested it with Guruhood


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
I like the queston "which rehat"? There are several rehats depending on which sect of Sikhi one belongs to -- and every person who is a member of one or another sect thinks he/she is a Sikh. There were rehats before Rehat Maryada. And amarsanghera rightly pointed out in another thread that the current Rehat (which has changed twice already and is ready for another shift) was a political document.
Oct 14, 2007
Rehat is also like a Hukum that is obligatory under the present edicts. Sikhs are governed by the Rehat issued by SGPC and that is the body authorised on behalf of the Panth to do so. So where is the question of sects?

The rehat which is at the site of SGPc should be binding,in my humble opinion.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
I understand what you say, and don't necessarily disagree. What I am pointing out is the "double-edged sword" of this rehat or any rehat -- too easy to become so much one of the chosen in your own mind that you then despise other people. Me against you, Us against Them. Which is not how Sikhism began.

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