Opinion Op Ed 19 May 2017 Mystic Mantra: Let ...
Kulbir Kaur teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University

Mystic Mantra: Let’s be pure...

Published May 19, 2017, 2:38 am IST
Updated May 19, 2017, 2:38 am IST
Khande de Pahul is like taking a new birth with a transformed physical, mental and spiritual faculties.
The Sikh baptism ceremony is open to all.
 The Sikh baptism ceremony is open to all.

Khande de Pahul or in simple terms, called “Amrit-Chakhna” (to partake nectar) is the Sikh ceremony of baptism which is of immense socio-religious significance. Khande de Pahul is like taking a new birth with a transformed physical, mental and spiritual faculties. It is a journey from a mundane to a spiritual field of life, though remaining within the householder’s way of life.

The Sikh baptism ceremony is open to all. Any person of any caste, class, gender, religion or nation can embrace it and become a “pure” new person by becoming a member of the Khalsa. The ceremony was started by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 when, on the day of Baisakhi, he had baptised the “Five Beloved” ones (Panj-Piyaras). The turning point of the ceremony was a request by the Guru to initiate him into the Khalsahood by the Panj-Piyaras.

 

The initiation ceremony can be conducted at any quite place in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib and six baptised Sikhs — one granthi to read from the sacred granth and five Sikhs to administer the Khande de Pahul. These six may even include Sikh women. Everyone, the seeker and those administering it, must take bath and wash their hair prior to the ceremony. With their heads covered and Five Kakkars donning their bodies, the persons seeking initiation must stand respectfully with hands folded facing the Guru Granth Sahib. One of the five beloved ones explains the main rules and obligations of the Khalsa Panth.

 

These are to meditate only on the one supreme creator and  renunciation of the worship of any created thing; study and live according to the Sikh teachings, and to help and serve humanity at large. The Sikhs, waiting to be baptised, are then asked if they are willing to abide by these rules. On an affirmative response, the ceremony starts with an ardas and the preparation of the amrit (nectar) starts after taking hukam (command) from the Guru Granth Sahib.

The writer teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University

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