By Dr. Pargat S.Bhurji —
We will be globally celebrating the 318th birthday of the formation of the Order of Khalsa.
The word Khalsa had originated from Khalis, meaning: Pure.
Khalsa is pure in thoughts, pure in action & pure in commitment
We need to roll back our vision about three centuries in the past when it was ordained into the Sikh faith. The first nine Guru Ji made us saints first, then the miraculous act of being a soldier was done during the time of the 10th Guru ji—making us saint soldiers and scholars.
Several months before Vaisakhi of 1699, our tenth master Guru Gobind Rai invited his followers from all over Greater India to come to Anandpur Sahib. As a result, many hundreds of devotees and onlookers had gathered that day. Many had come as a sign of respect for the Guru ji and in accordance to his invitation, while some had just came down out of curiosity. On the appointed day, the Guru addressed the congregants with a most stirring oration on his divine mission of restoring their faith and preserving Dharma (righteousness).
After his inspirational discourse, he flashed his Samsheer and said that every great deed was preceded by equally great sacrifice. He asked, with a naked sword in his hand, “Is there any one among you who is prepared to die for their faith?” When people heard his call, they were taken aback. Some of the wavering followers left the congregation, while other began to look at one another in amazement. It was a crowd of over 80,000.
After a few minutes, a brave Sikh from Lahore named Daya Ram stood up and offered his head to the Master. The Guru took him to a tent pitched close by, and after sometime came out with a dripping blood sword.
The Guru repeated his demand calling for another Sikh who was prepared to die at his command. At this second call, even more people were shocked, and some were frightened. A few more of the wavering followers discreetly began to filter out of the congregation.
However, to the shock of many, another person stood up. The second Sikh who offered himself was Dharam Das. This fantastic episode did not end there. Soon, three more—Mohkam Chand, Sahib Chand, and Himmat Rai offered their heads to the Guru. Each Sikh was taken into the tent, and some thought that they could now hear a ‘thud’ sound as if the sword was falling on the neck of the Sikh.
The Guru ji then brought these five brave men in New Bana with Dastar, wearing the five Kakkars Kesh (uncut hair), Kanga (Wooden Comb), Kara ( Iron Bracelet ), Kachera ( military shorts) & Kirpan (sword).
Guru ji prepared Amrit with water in Sarab Loh (Pure Iron) Vessel, Mata Sahib Kaur put Patasey (sugar puffs) into the Water, A Khanda (double edge sword) was used to stir it, while the Bani of Japji, Jaap, Savayiyae, Choupai Benti and Anand Sahib were recited.
Guru ji then baptized these five brave hearts by sprinkling Amrit in their eyes, hair, and then given to drink five times each act while saying: “Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru ji Ki Fateh.”
Guru ji called them the Panj Pyare or the “beloved ones changing their names to Daya Singh, Dharam Singh, Himmat Singh, Mohkam Singh & Sahib Singh. These are the stages of spiritual journey through which one will have to start from Daya to meeting Waheguru ji (Sahib).
Guru Gobind Rai then stood in front of these Panj Pyare and asked for the blessing of Amrit, changing him to Guru Gobind Singh ji: “Waho Waho Gobind Singh ji, Apey Gur Chela.”
This act created abolition of prejudice, equality, democracy, common worship, common place of worship, common external appearance, combining Bhakti & Shakti.
The creation of Khalsa culminates 240 years of training by each Guru Ji to create the perfect image of saint, scholar, and soldier.
Guru Nanak Dev ji says: “Jo Tau Prem Khelan Ka Chao, Sirr Dhar Tali Gali Mori Aao.”
It means: “If you want to walk on the path of devotional love, cut your head, put on your palm and walk towards Me.” (submit your ego / haumey).
In order to mold his personality, the Guru inculcated in him the five virtues – sacrifice, cleanliness, honesty, charity, and courage—and prescribed Rehat / Maryada – the Sikh code of discipline.
“Rehni Rahey Soi Sikh Mera, Oh Sahib Mein Uss Ka Chera.”
A Khalsa in Rehat Maryada is my beloved, he is my master & I am his follower.
In Surrey and Vancouver, BC, Canada—we have some of the world’s largest Nagar Keertan to celebrate the birth of Khalsa with a congregation of over 300,000.
“Khalsa Akal Purakh Ki Fauj, Pragteo Khalsa Parmatam Ki Mauj.” This is Guru Ji’s Mehar / Bakshish.
Kirpan originates from Kirpa (Blessing). The thought behind the use of Kirpan is “just be justifiable.”
Just like a surgeon uses a scalpel to remove a tumor, appendix, or repair some organs to help the patient survive; similarly, Kirpan is used to protect the masses from tyranny by cruel people. It is to assist humanity in general and defend the human fundamental rights and principles. Similarly, a surgical knife in the hands of a robber will damage someone while robbing his victim. Hence, the act of few centuries to make a Gursikh saint was necessary.
Written by Dr Pargat Singh Bhurji MD,FRCP( C )