Amrit Sanchar

amrit-2014

amrit-sanchar

AMRIT CEREMONY

 A MUST for ALL Sikhs …

If you have not partaken Amrit, a golden opportunity awaits you.

AMRIT. . . .  Simply 3 things

                (1) Do your Daily Prayers,

                                (2) Observe the Four Injunctions,

                                      (3) Maintain the Five Kekaars.

                Partaken Amrit before?  Need to renew your Amrit Vows?  Now is the time.

Still have doubts? AMRIT . . . Lets talk about it in English & Punjabi

Kekaars will be given out by us

TO PARTAKE AMRIT, KINDLY REGISTER EARLY WITH THE GURDWARA MANAGER

Demystifying… AMRIT

is SIMPLY 3 things:

Love God & Guru,   

Observe the Four Injunctions,                   Maintain the Five Kekaar        

Amritdhari…..so you’ve heard

  • cannot dance
  • cannot go the movies
  • cannot wear jewellery
  • cannot be fashionable
  • cannot eat in restaurants
  • cannot listen to pop music
  • cannot socialize with non-Amritdhari friends
  • must wear only Punjabi suits
  • must cover their heads 24 hours a day
  • must be able to read and write Punjabi
  • must eat food cooked separately from other family members

. . . and lots more uncanny stuff that there is just not enough space to put here.

Confused? Misinformed? Still have doubts? Don’t know how to prepare yourself?

Want to know more? Partaken AMRIT before but need to renew your faith?

AMRIT is a MUST for all Sikhs.

This Special talk on AMRIT, in English & Punjabi is just what you need.

Speaker: Bhai (Dr) Jasbir Singh – He has been conducting Amrit Ceremonies since 1986 in the UK, Malaysia and Singapore. With his vast experience, he will speak about the Amrit like you have never heard it before. Addressing frequently asked questions, discussing issues of life after partaking Amrit and clearing misconceptions in an understandable, simple and practical manner. 

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Amrit Sanskar or Amrit Sanchar or the Amrit ceremony is the Sikh ceremony of initiation or baptism. This practice has been in existence since the times of Guru Nanak Dev (1469 – 1539). During that time-period, this ceremony was known as Charan Amrit or Charan Phul or the Pag Pahul, the words Charan and Pag both signifying the foot of the teacher. During that time-period, the Guru would touch a container in which there was water and initiates would drink this water to be taken into the fold. When the Guru was not present, the masands or the local sangat leaders officiated. A reference to initiation by Charan Amrit occurs in Bhai Gurdas, Varan, I.23, born 12 years after the passing away of Guru Nanak. The water bowl was touched by the Guru’s foot and then the devotees would drink it and seek blessings of the Guru. The Guru would guide the Sikhs about the Sikh teachings and instruct them to adopt them as a way of life.
Khande di Pahul (Amrit Ceremony) was initiated in the times of Guru Gobind Singh when Khalsa was inaugurated at Sri Anandpur Sahib on the day of Baisakhi in 1699. Guru Gobind Singh asked a gathering of Sikhs, who was prepared to die for God? At first, the people hesitated, and then one man stepped forward, and he was taken to a tent. After some time, Guru Gobind Singh came out of the tent, with blood dripping from his sword. He asked the same question again. After the next four volunteers were in the tent, he reappeared with the five, who were now all dressed like him. These five men came to be known as Panj Pyares or the Beloved Five. These five were initiated into the Khalsa by receiving Amrit. These five were Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Mukham Singh, Bhai Sahib Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh and Bhai Himmat Singh. Sikh men were then given the name Singh meaning “lion” and the women received the last name Kaur meaning “princess”

Khande Di Pahul not only embodies the primary objects of Sikh faith and the promises connected therewith, but also is itself a promise to lead a pure and pious life to unite with Almighty Lord. It is about inward cleansing of the conscience and seeking unity with Supreme Lord through His Grace. The word Pahul is a derivative from the substantive, Pahu– which is an agent which brightens, accelerates or sharpens the potentialities of a given object.

Amrit Chhakhnanana kubi da dubi malhon

Panj Piare
Bhai Daya Singh
Bhai Dharam Singh
Bhai Himmat Singh
Bhai Mukham Singh
Bhai Sahib Singh
v • d • e

It denotes the drinking of the Amrit or the Nectar. The Amrit is administered in the presence of the holy text of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib. The candidates take full bath, wear the five 5 Ks and present themselves before the Guru Granth Sahib for initiation of Amrit. The five Sikhs, who represent the five beloved, who had led a virtuous life and have strictly observed the Sikh discipline are chosen to prepare and administer the Amrit. The candidates for baptism are apprised of the Amrit conditions for acceptance before the ceremony is started. They are apprised about the pure and virtuous life they must lead. When the candidates agree to live by the discipline and code of Sikh conduct, the Panj Pyares start preparing the Amrit.

A Sarb Loh (Iron-steel) cauldron (Bata or bowl) is filled with clean water. Some Patashas (sugar crystals/plums) are poured into the water. The Five Beloveds then sit in Vir Asan (sit on ground with left knee down and the right knee up) around the cauldron.

The mixture is stirred with a Khanda while the Panj Pyares recite path of five Banis (Japji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Sawayae, Chaupai Sahib and Anand Sahib) from Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth with attention and full concentration on the Amrit preparation in the cauldron. The solution thus prepared is called Amrit (nectar of immortality).

The various ingredients and the aids to the preparation of this Holy Nectar are symbolic of a few things that are held in the highest regards by the Khalsa. The “Sarb Loh Bata” (Iron cauldron) signifies the strength of heart and mind. The chanting of hymns signify strong faith and cohesion in the devotees. The Khanda (the two-edged sword) signifies a spirit of valor and bravery.

Five handfuls of Amrit are given for drinking, five handfuls are sprinkled over the hair and another five are sprinkled into the eyes of each of the devotee who offer to be initiated.

In this religion, it is believed that it should not be taken into mind that Amrit Chhakhna is the end purpose. It is the start of journey on a right path to attain pure and pious life which is essential to attain God (according to the Guru Granth Sahib. It is not something external.

Is Amrit Chhakhna essential for a Sikh?

Every Sikh is under an obligation and is required to submit himself to the order of the Khalsa. This can happen at any age and anytime they feel ready to fulfill their religious duties without fail. This is a pledge to remain under control, governess of the Ultimate reality. Amritdhari is the honour of being a member of the Panth (a disciplined force of the God).

A Sikh must live life according to terms of Sikhism. There is general understanding that novice must have “lent period” during which he must prepare to go the way of Guru and a voluntary firm decision to change life style and must not be desirous and willing to live by the values and virtues of Gurmat. Then and then only, the novice will become worthy to get the gift of Almighty Lord’s grace and attain eternal unity.

Some people are of the view that initiation may be administered to a boy or girl when he or she reaches an intelligent age.

According to Bhai Gurdas,

“Whosoever gets initiation of the Guru and follows the Guru’s instructions is in fact a real Sikh”
– (Bhai Gurdas Var 3.11)

“The life may become successful and blessed, if you take Amrit of double edged sword”
– (Bhai Gurdas Var 41)

Directions to the Amrit Ceremony

McAuliffe writes,

“The Guru caused his five faithful Sikhs to stand up. He put pure water into an iron vessel and stirred it with a Khanda or two edged sword. He then repeated over it the sacred verses which he appointed for the ceremony , namely, the Japji, the Jaap, Guru Amar Das’s Anand, and certain swaiyas or quatrains of his own composition.”

-The Sikh Religion by M.A. Macauliffe, V-5, p.94

  • The ceremony is to be conducted in any quiet and convenient place. In addition to the Guru Granth Sahib, the presence of six Sikhs is necessary, one granthi to read from the holy text and five to administer it.
  • Washing of hair prior to the ceremony is mandatory by those who are receiving the initiation and those who are administering.
  • Any Sikh who is mentally and physically sound (male or female) may administer the rites of initiation, provided that he himself had received the rites and continues to wear the 5 Ks, i.e. the Sikh symbols.
  • No minimum or maximum age is stipulated for those receiving the initiation.
  • Those undergoing initiation have to wear the five holy symbols, the 5 Ks. No jewellery or distinctive marks associated with any other religion should be worn. The head must be covered with a cloth.
  • Anyone seeking re-initiation after having resiled from his previous vows may be awarded a penalty by the five administering initiation before being re-admitted.
  • During the ceremony, one of the five Pyare (the beloved ones), stands and explains the rules and obligations of the Khalsa Panth
  • Those receiving initiation have to give their assent as to whether they are willing to abide by the rules and obligations.
  • After their assent, one of the five Pyare utters a prayer for the commencement of the preparation of the Amrit and a randomly selected passage(hukam, or word of God) is taken from Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

The person being initiated “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh”. The salutation is repeated and the holy water is sprinkled on their eyes and hair, five times. The remainder of the nector is shared by all receiving the initiation, all drinking from the same bowl.

After this, all those taking part in the ceremony recite the Mool Mantra and they are injected into the Khalsa Brotherhood.

Does Amrit Sanskar constitute ritualism?

One who performs this external gesture without inner commitment to the ideas being expressed under philosophy of Amrit, is performing ritual. Without practice of the teachings in life and without cleaning inside and outside, such like initiation will be termed as ritualism. The Amrit Sanskar ritual is not external. The cleansing of the soul can only be done internally by the subject himself.

Amrit Sanskar is not ritualism, when novice promises and submits to the will of Gurmat, leads clean, pure and pious life according to concepts and philosophy of the Guru and emerges from the ordeal endowed with a totally different being from that which he possessed before his initiation.

It  Always an Emotionally Moving Moment

I could not hold back my tears when I saw my niece Parveen walking into the Darbar Sahib as an Amritdhari Sikh. I just wanted to run up and give her and the rest of the new initiates a warm hug. Seeing the radiant faces of the Punj Pyares was very inspiring indeed – a Bhenji sitting in sangat

I am happy to be part of the ceremony and hopefully my husband will be inspired to take the Amrit next year – Mata Mindo Kaur

Vesakhi was truly magnificent with the highlight of it being the Amrit Sanchar Ceremony. The sangat in the main Darbar hall were listening to kirtan when suddenly the hall seemed to be transformed as though it was the congregation back in 1699! The splendour of Vesakhi was experienced with the Amrit Sanchar procession walking slowly into the Darbar Hall beginning with the entrance of the Punj Pyaras, one of whom was carrying the Amrit-da-bata followed by the new Amritdharis or new initiates of the Khalsa Panth and the Sewadars.

It was an awesome sight to behold the procession and ensuing ceremony. The integration of the ceremony with the ongoing proceedings in the Darbar Hall elicited feelings of inspiration and respect among the sangat for the new initiates. The sangat would have missed this sublime experience if the ceremony had culminated on the 3rd floor mini-darbar at CST where the new initiates had taken their Amrit earlier in the day. The integration of the ceremony in the main Darbar Hall also allowed the new Amritdharis to receive the blessing of the sangat for having partaken the Amrit.

The run-up to Amrit started 2 days before with special talks held in Punjabi and English to explain the “A to Z” of Amrit. The talks conducted were scheduled to last an hour but once again proved to be so informative and inspiring that they ended up lasting for almost 2 hours each. The talks were followed by the distribution of the kekaar to those taking Amrit.

Vesakhi, as a celebration, is different and truly a very inspiring one as it is the only celebration in which everyone gets to experience the splendour of Amrit. Amrit is a must for all Sikhs. If you missed out on the opportunity to partake Amrit this year, be ready for Vesakhi !

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