Why Do Some Amritdharis Feel They May Not Eat Food Prepared By Non-Amritdhari?


Sat shri Akal,

Some Amritdharis feel that they are not allowed to eat food prepared by non-Amritdhari people. I tried to find out from various sources if its mentioned anywhere in gurbani or sikh rehat maryada but couldn't find any reference. I found some amritdhari sikhs associated with AKJ and some other jathas practice this very rigidly. I don't think thats nothing more than hinduism where their is discrimination based on caste and thats what is not sikhism. Please forgive me if anybody feel offended.
Jasjeet singh


This some information I found from AKJ Rehat Maryada webpage....
:: AKJ.Org :: Literature ::


It is an established truth that the food one eats does not only affect the body's health but also influences one 5 mind and thinking. That is why Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dcv Ji has forbidden eating food which makes the body writhe in pain and fill the mind with evil. That is why he refused to accept the most nourishing and dainty dishes prepared in the house of Malik Bhago but preferred the simple dry food prepared by the so called low-caste carpenter, Bhai Lalo.
Similarly, Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji refused to drink water brought by a young man who had never done any service to anyone in his life. Thus, in the Gursikh way of life it is not only the nutrient value of the food that matters but, more importantly, who has prepared it and who serves it. Guru-Ka-Langar, whether prepared in the Gurdwara or in the household of a Sikh can be called Guru-Ka-Langar only if it is prepared by Guru-Ke-Sikhs. This may be the one reason why Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked the recipients of the holy Amrit to share food among themselves in the same plate, but forbade them to do so with non-Amritdharis. One of the edicts given at the Baptismal ceremony is:

Gursikh di roti beti di saanjh Gursikh naal.
The Gursikhs have to share food and establish marital relationships with Gursikhs only
This edict is enjoined upon all the baptized Sikhs at the Baptismal ceremony at every Amrit Sanchar in the Panth irrespective of organizations or Jathas arranging it. It is further supported by the following quotation from Rahitnamaa:

Jay Kurahtieye Jag Darsaawat.
Pahul Peeay Kukaram Kamaavat.
Tin So Vartan Nahe Milaawey.
Rahey Nirlep Param Sukh Paavey.
(Rahitnamaa Bhai Desa Singh Ji)
Gursikhs are not to socialize or associate with those who have become apostates. Only then will they lead unaffected and happy lives.

Incidently, the above quotation brings out another important point; that even one who has taken Amrit once can become a non-Amritdhari if he commits any of the four Cardinal Sins or big Don'ts.

It is, therefore, clear from the above that if a Sikh is to strictly follow the commandments or Code of Conduct enunciated at the time of partaking of Amrit, he has to share food and keep relationships with Gursikhs (i.e., Amritdharis) only. There is no 'elitism' or 'communalism' in it. In fact, it is a practice ordained by Guru Sahib himself. It does not reek of Hinduism or Brahminism, as some people say. In the case of Brahminism, the low-caste people remain untouchable throughout their lives simply because of the accident of their birth, and there is no means by which they can be upgraded and made acceptable, with respect to sharing food with them. In Sikhism, all people, irrespective of their caste, religion, race, country, etc., are welcome to the Khalsa fold. Once they become Khalsa after taking Amrit, they are then an integral part of the Khalsa Panth, and it is always a privilege to share food and contract marital relationship with them, whatever may have been their original faith, race, etc. In fact, this is the holy way employed by the Satguru for the uplift of humanity.

Much fuss is made on this point because at the congregations of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, the Guru-Ka-Langar is generally prepared by Guru-Ke-Sikhs (Amritdharis) only. Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh followed this rule strictly and, in addition, had his food prepared in All-Steel vessels. This practice is referred to as Bibek in Sikhism. This tradition of being an All-Steel Bibeki is not an innovation of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh or any other person. It has been in vogue right from the time of Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh ii, who himself set this precept by using all-steel vessels and Khanda for the preparation of the Holy Amrit given to the original Panj Pyaras at the time of the Birth of the Khalsa on Baisakhi of 1699 AD. Since then, certain sections of devout Singhs have been following this principle until even today, not simply for preparing Amrit, but also for preparing food.

Who is a Bibeki Singh? Bhai Sahib Kahan Singh of Nabha, in his Encyclopedia of Sikh Literature on page 863 defines Bibeki as "...a Sikh who is strict and steadfast in following the principles of Sikh Dharma." The terms Bibek and Vivek are synonymous and have the same meaning i.e. 'sense of discrimination.' In Gurmat, it implies the unquestionable adherence to the command of the Satguru.

Satgur Bachan Kamaaveney, Sachaa Eho Vichaar (pg. 52)
Practice of the True Guru's commands is the only true philosophy.

Thus, in Sikhism, a Bibeki is a person who adheres strictly to and regulates his life in accordance with the Guru's commandments.

Generally, people do not grasp the true meaning of the terms Amritdhari and non�Amritdhari 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 Charan�amrit (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 Aivey
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 Dcv 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?

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; (c) 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:

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. (pg. 435)
Without the True Guru (i.e. Guru Nanak), there is not another Guru.
And one without the Guru is known as evil.

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 (pg. 1356-1357)
One who is without the Gurmantra, is the most accursed, and contaminated is his life. He is like a dog, a swine, an ***, a crow a snake, and a blockhead.

Saakat: Infidel

Saakat Suaan Kaheeyey Baho 1�bhee, Baho Dumat Mael Bhareejey. (pg.1326)
The dog like infidel is said to be very avaricious and is full to the brim of evil thoughts.

Saakat Besuva Poot Ninaam (pg.1239)
The infidel is nameless like a prostitute's son.

Manmukh: One who follows his own will; the egocentric.

Manmukh Oodha Kowl Hai, Na Tis Bhagat Na Naao. (pg.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 (pg. 1417)
Whosoever associates with an egoist, to his countenance attaches the stigma of blackness.

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

Vedeen: The faithless; the irreligious.

Choraan, Jaaran, Randiaan, Kuttaneeya Di Baan.
Vedinaa Ki Dosti Vedinaa Ka Khaann
Sifti Saar Naa Jannani, Sada Vasey Saitaan. (pg. 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.

The above are only a few of the numerous quotations from Gurbani and are self-explanatory and need no further comment. Evidently then, the Sikhs of the Satguru have to avoid the food prepared and served by them whether in the Gurdwaras or in their social gatherings, in the interest of the upliftment of their souls and the enjoyment of the Bliss of Naam Simran.
This practice is not confined to the Akhand Kirtani Jatha alone. Even in the Langar premises of Sri Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple) at Amritsar, a notice painted in bold letters in Punjabi, hangs prominently near the kitchen stating that the "SEWA OF THE PREPARATION OF LANGAR BE DONE BY THE AMRITDHARI SIKHS - MEN AND WOMEN. NON-AMRITDHARIS MAY DO THE SEWA OF CLEANING OF UTENSILS, KITCHEN, HALL, ETC."

Thus in trying to follow this practice, the AKJ is simply trying to follow the edict of Gurmat in respect of food and not out of any superiority complex or hatred for others.

How could that be possible in this world. Their is much processed food every where, I think all the AKJ members living in western countries buy lots of packaged food like packed ATTA, Milk, butter etc nobody knows who has contributed to preparation of all that. Its like if you see it its wrong what you don't see is alright. Moreover a person baptized Sikh can be lowest of character but its ok to have food prepared by them.

I am not trying to offend anybody but trying to find logic here.

Sevadar Jasjeet


1947-2014 (Archived)

According to the Sikh Rehat Maryada, a baptized Sikh should not eat or drink leftovers of a non-baptized Sikh.

I seem to remember something about eating from the same plate, but cannot find it. Maybe it will turn up. Or perhaps it is part of another rehatnama, as there are quite a few.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Narayan Ji..at Khandey batteh Dee Pahul Amrit ceremony all the participants drink the leftover amrit taking turns to sip it...until its all finished. Then the Karah Parshaad is eaten from the same thali...THIS ENSURES no more low high caste illusions remain !!

Gyani ji

I am just quoting the SRM.

Chapter 13, Section 6, Article 22

<dl> <dt>(q) The following individuals shall be liable to chastisement involving automatic boycott:
<dd> (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, sine 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-over of the unbaptized 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 intoxicant (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.


Mai Harinder Kaur

I also have no wish to offend anyone, but I feel that this is yet another attempt to turn Sikhi from a religion of freedom into a morass of legalisms. Of course, the rules for (aspiring) Khalsa are stricter than for those who have not (yet) been blessed with Amrit, but I do not find this rule to apply to followers of the SRM.

I am aware that some Maryadas, such as the Gurmat Reht Maryada (Damdami Taksal) state this. Those who subscribe to that particular Maryada are bound to follow it. I admire their dedication and devoutness; my dedication and devoutness head in a slightly different direction. I follow the Sikh Reht Maryada, which says only what Narayanjot ji has stated above.

In the SRM I find this:

[SIZE=-1]q. The following individuals shall be liable to chastisement involving automatic boycott:...[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]2. One who eats/drinks Left-overs of the unbaptised or the fallen Sikhs;

[SIZE=-1]I have been drawn into arguments about this in the past. As with arguing about whether a(n aspiring) Khalsa can eat meat, I am done arguing. My view is that a Khalsa need not be so restricted under the SRM. I leave to those following other Maryadas to define their behaviour.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Mai ji

That is the exact same thing that I found as well. See post above yours. One confirms the other. And you are correct -- amritdhari may eat meat, but not if it is halal.

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
You are BOTH RIGHT. SRM is a Man Made document..subject to revisions..changes..alterations as and when the Guru Khalsa Panth decides..in the LIGHT of the Unchnageable, unalterable, eternal Touchstone of Gurbani in SGGS.
Taksal and akj and dera maryadas are ONLY for their followers..as Guru Gobind Singh ji DID NOT CREATE any taksaals, deras or akjs..He created only the GURU KHALSA PANTH.
Both of you get the Prize..a Ton of Ice Cream !!:thumbsupp::thumbsupp::thumbsupp::thumbsupp::thumbsupp:

Mai Harinder Kaur

You are BOTH RIGHT. SRM is a Man Made document..subject to revisions..changes..alterations as and when the Guru Khalsa Panth decides..in the LIGHT of the Unchnageable, unalterable, eternal Touchstone of Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Taksal and akj and dera maryadas are ONLY for their followers..as Guru Gobind Singh ji DID NOT CREATE any taksaals, deras or akjs..He created only the GURU KHALSA PANTH.
Both of you get the Prize..a Ton of Ice Cream !!:thumbsupp::thumbsupp::thumbsupp::thumbsupp::thumbsupp:

But does it need to be made only by amritdharies?!cheerleader

Harkiran Kaur


Sorry to ressurect an old thread but I have a few questions...

If I am following the SGPC Rehet, where it says only to not eat 'leftovers' of the unbaptized or fallen Sikhs then:

1) So, how exactly is 'left-overs' defined? Because once I take Amrit, am I still able to go to my Mom's house for dinner when she invites me? She is not Sikh obviously...

2) Ordering food at a restaurant (veggie) is that still ok?


1947-2014 (Archived)
Sorry to ressurect an old thread but I have a few questions...

If I am following the SGPC Rehet, where it says only to not eat 'leftovers' of the unbaptized or fallen Sikhs then:

1) So, how exactly is 'left-overs' defined? Because once I take Amrit, am I still able to go to my Mom's house for dinner when she invites me? She is not Sikh obviously...

2) Ordering food at a restaurant (veggie) is that still ok?

1) "Left-overs" as referenced in SRM takes us back to a time when people ate from a single plate. This raised a number of issues that may or may not apply today. Was the meat halal, butchered in "the Muslim way?" Were the food and eating implements sanitary? There is no clear-cut response to this because there are amritdhari who will not eat anything catered; in theory catered food is left over. Others think this is ridiculous.

Eating at your Mom's is OK - unless you are a member of a sect that prohibits eating food prepared by non-amridhari (e.g., AKJ). Your Mom, if she is like most Moms, would not be feeding you left-overs but going all out when you come to visit.

2) Ordering food at a restaurant - non veggie - is also OK because meat is not kurehit.

All in all, I am mystified that the Sikh identity should be worn like a whalebone corset with corset strings pulled tight. So many extras! Why is that?

p/s Gyani ji has written in detail about the leftover problem, if not in this thread, in another. He is amritdhari and certified as a Gyani and would speak straight from the p**p deck on this one.

HERE WE GO. We have a long thread on eating leftovers - which is the subject of "jhoot" -- http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/general-discussion/35196-concept-of-jhoot-re-jootha-food-4.html
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