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Khaṇḍe-dī-pāhul

Khaṇḍe-dī-pāhul (Pañjābī, ‘sword initiation’). Sikh incorporation or initiation ceremony. On Baisākhī day 1699 (according to tradition), Gurū Gobind Siṅgh instituted khaṇḍe-dī-pāhul or initiation. When the original pañj pyāre had volunteered their lives, Gobind Siṅgh stirred water with a khaṇḍā in an iron bowl, while reciting certain prayers (see below). His wife added patāse (sugar sweets). The Gurū then gave each of the pañj pyāre in turn five palmfuls of the amrit (sweetened water) to drink and sprinkled it five times in their eyes and on their hair. Each time the initiate repeated, ‘Vāhigurū jī kā khālsā; vāhigurū jī kī fateh’. The Gurū himself then received amrit from them in the same manner. He gave them and himself the new surname Siṅgh (lion) and instructed them as his khālsā to maintain the five Ks and observe certain rules and prohibitions.

Sikhs who wish to follow their faith more strictly, those who have lapsed since taking amrit, and those adopting Sikhism are still initiated in this way by the pañj pyāre.

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