THE Khalsa, a Nation of Amritdhari Sikhs, was created by Guru Gobind Singh on March 30, 1699, A.D. The ten Gurus had trained the Sikhs and wanted to demonstrate the holy qualities in these men and women. The Sikhs would be a model of Bhakti and Shakti. Thus, Guru Gobind Singh decided to create the Khalsa, men who would be strong enough to free themselves from the oppression of ruler’s and. to maintain this freedom. Dr. Gokul Chand Narang, a renowned Sikh historian, writes that the KhaIsa developed from 200 years of teaching given by all of the Gurus: “The harvest which ripened in the time of Guru Gobind Singh had been sown by Guru Nanak and watered by his successors. The sword that carved the Khalsa’s way to glory was, undoubtedly, forged by Guru Gobind Singh, but the steel had been provided by Guru Nanak”. The day on which Guru Gobind Singh formed the Khalsa is known as Vaisakhi.

On Vaisakhi Day, Guru Gobind Singh assembled most of the Sikhs at Anandpur with the idea of transforming them from subservient to self-respecting people. On this day, he prepared Khande da Amrit and asked for five volunteers to offer their lives. The Guru baptized the five volunteers, naming them the Panj Piara. These Piaras belonged to different communities, high and low, and hailed from the different regions of the Indian subcontinent: Daya Ram was a Khatri from Lahore in the North; Dharam Das was a Jat from Delhi, the heart of India; Mukham Chand was a launderer from Dwarka in the West; Himmat was a cook from Jagannath in the East, and Sahib Chand was a barber from Bidar in the South. Thus the serving of Amrit to the five beloved of different castes was a revolutionary act which gave a crushing blow to untouchability and rocked all those who were proud of their castes. It sparked the path towards a national feeling of Khalistan for which the Sikhs are still striving.

After baptizing the five, Guru Gobind Singh said, “Those who. Take the Amrit become my lions. I name them Singh’s, From now on; the names of my Sikhs will not end in as, Rai, Ram, Mal, or Chand”. They will all end in “Singh”. My Sikhs must always wear the following five articles whose Punjabi names begin with K” namely, Kes (uncut hair), Kangha (a comb), Kirpan (a sword), Kacha (short drawers), and Kara (a steel bracelet). My

Sikhs should practice arms. They should be ever ready to use them for the defense of their principles, their faith, and their country. They should not show their backs to the foe in battle. They should ever live and act according to the three golden rules laid down by Guru Nanak. They should ever help the poor.

They should always protect those who seek their protection and help. They should give up and forget their previous castes. They now belong to one caste, namely the “Khalsa”.

The Guru then asked his Beloved Five to prepare the Amrit as he had done. When it was ready, he stood up before them with folded hands and requested that Amrit be administered to him also in exactly the same way as it been done in their case. The Guru said, “‘I have given you my form, my glory, and my appearance. I name you the Khalsa. There is no difference between you and me. I am now your chela or disciple. Administer Amrit to me as I have administered to you. Make me a Singh as I have made you Singh’s”. The Guru then invited others to take the Amrit. Thousands of them were administered Amrit on that day. They all became Singh’s. That ceremony was carried on daily for several days. Thus Khalsa was born: a nation of Saint Soldiers, worshippers of one God, friends and servants of man, and sworn foes of all tyrants; a Brotherhood in which all were to be equal in all respects, and in which all castes were knitted to form one caste.

The single most marvelous effect of Amrit was that it infused a new spirit into the Guru’s followers. Those who never for generations carried a sword and who trembled at the very name of a Mughal, a Pathan, or an Afghan, now, after receiving pahul, become daredevils ready to sacrifice their lives, and everything they possessed, for the sake of their dharma, their nation, and for the sake of righteousness. On the occasion of the first Amrit ceremony, Guru Gobind Singh had proclaimed that he would make one Sikh fight against a lakh and a quantic he would have sparrows hunt hawks, this was not mere rhetoric; it was given a practical form. It was the effect of this very Amrit that made the two elder sons of the Guru to die fighting in the battle against the Mughals at Chamkaur. It was the result of this ambrosia that impelled Guru Gobind Singh’s two younger sons to become martyrs at Sarhind, rather than renounce their dharma. It was this newborn spirit which induced the forty Singh’s (Muktas) to die fighting for their dharma, for their Guru, at Muktsar. Even after the death of Guru Gobind Singh, his followers continued to demonstrate this spirit by fighting the Mughal government and sacrificing their lives for dharma. Shahid Ganj in Lahore is a living monument to Sikh sacrifices. Also, thousands of Sikhs recently have given their lives to gain freedom from the oppressive Indian government. The spirit of the Khalsa has enabled them to do this and is continuing to provide us with the strength to establish our own Sikh homeland, Khalistan. The following words by Guru Gobind Singh have given the Sikhs direction and have kept the spirit of Khalsa alive:

Grant me this boon O God, from righteous act May I never refrain, May I fight without fear All foes in life’s battle, With confident courage Claiming the victory, May my highest ambition be Singing Thy praises And may Thy glory be Embedded in my Mind! When this mortal life Reaches its limit, May I die fighting with limitless courage!

Article extracted from this publication >> April 15, 1988