Skip to main content


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.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Khaṇḍe-dī-pāhul." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 16 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Khaṇḍe-dī-pāhul." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (March 16, 2019).

"Khaṇḍe-dī-pāhul." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved March 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.