by Honey Kaur
There are many ways to experience life. While experiencing life, I view everything as a miracle of Waheguru. Life is a beautiful gift from Akal Purakh. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. In this article I am going to describe my own spiritual experience of accepting “Khande di Pahul” (Amrit). It was unique and awesome. It completely change my way of life and provided me with a unique and powerful identity.
Khande di Pahul is a sacred initiation rite introduced by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in his founding the Khalsa in 1699. In my opinion, any person “baptized” with Amrit has been blessed by Akal Purakh. Khande di Pahul also connects the Sikh with the panth and helps him/her/them lead a pure and pious life to unite with Waheguru.
I feel that only the very fortunate and lucky ones have the opportunity, urge, and desire to accept Amrit with the blessing of Waheguru. Today, I am “baptized” with Khande di Pahul but earlier in my life, the idea seemed lofty, like a dream of heaven. I say that because I was far away from Sikhi and I never thought of accepting Amrit during my teenage years. I lived in totally different circumstances than I do today and my relationship with Sikhi was very limited. For example, in my childhood days I could only recite some shabads or occasionally did Japji Sahib. Plus, after I attended Sikh camps, their influence would quickly wear off and I usually forgot about Sikh values and beliefs. Also, I would cut my hair. Lastly, no one in my family was Amrit-dhari, so I didn’t have any immediate role models. So, Amrit seemed impossible to me. But surprisingly, there was a turning point in my life, a “green revolution” which, completely converted me and brought me closer to the Waheguru.
The first turning point occurred during my first year of college in 2010. On campus, a Sikhi camp was organized by the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. I feel that it was this camp that played a major role in converting me into a “Kaur”. During this camp I realized that I really needed Khande di Pahul and I couldn’t live without it, for several reasons. First, it was at this camp that I tied my first dastar. But, some people at the camp told me it was strange for me to tie dastar while also cutting my hair. (Some people said I “wasn’t allowed to” wear a dastar.) I was internally shattered by hearing this. I came to feel that by cutting my hair, I was not truly a princess of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Second, I heard lectures by Dr. Avinder Pal Singh, Prof. Sarbhjeet Singh Renuka, and Bapu Surjeet Singh Ji. These lectures automatically answer my spiritual and Sikh questions. Third, after this camp, I stopped cutting my hair and told my parents that I wanted to accept Khande di Pahul. But they thought that it was the camp influencing me and it was a short-lived desire; a phase that would pass. Little did we know that it was actually a long-lived desire that happened with the blessing of Guru Sahib.
The second major turning point came in the year 2010, when I first time attended a 13 days camp at Dehradun in India which was organized by the International Institute of Gurmat Studies (based in California). During this camp, I realize that accepting Amrit was not so difficult but rather, it is an amazing feeling of love for Akal Purakh. At this camp I saw many children, teenagers, and youngsters who were already “baptized” with Amrit, and I saw that they lived very pleasant and happy lives. I also learned the lifestyle that comes with Amrit is not that difficult. In fact, the prescribed lifestyle works like a guideline for a smooth and pleasant life. Amrit is very simple in concept, but mentally, I had insisted on making it hard and complicated. On the last day of camp, even though I was doubting my decision, I decided 100% that I wanted Amrit!
“Eh man chanchal vass na ave, dhubhida lagge daah diss dhave”
“This unstable mind can’t be held steady attached to duality, it wanders in ten directions,” Guru Amar Das Ji, Ang 1260.
At camp, they held an Amrit Sanchar, but I didn’t participate. I came back from camp without Amrit and deeply regretted it. “Why didn’t I accept Amrit?” I asked myself. I only had one chance to take it, at this camp. I didn’t need anyone’s permission. It would have been under my own free will. So, I decided that I will definitely take Amrit from the IIGS camp next year in Urtrakhand (India).
I have no words for what it felt like to wait for whole year for Amrit. Each and everyday I thought that Guru Sahib was testing me. As Bhagat Kabir Ji said,
“Jo teo prem khelan ka chao, sirr dhar tali gali meri aao.”
“If you desire to play love of game with me then step on to my path with your head in hand,” Ang 1377.
Waiting made my wish of taking Amrit stronger. Each and every night before going to sleep, I promised Guru Sahib that one day, I would definitely walk on the path of Sikhi and become a princess of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. As Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, “Khalsa mero roop hai khas.”
Finally, the time came when our college announced the IIGS camp details. But our college made a different declaration this year…they said that only new students would be allowed to attend camp this year! Old campers were not allowed! This announcement shattered all my hopes and wishes. I was filled with deep grief. It was such difficult situation for me! Now where would I go for Khande di Pahul?!
Our college selected ten students for the camp but, before departure one student dropped out. So, finally the college allow me to attend camp! It was then I realize that Waheguru was looking out for me.
“Hath de rakhe jan apne, har hoe mai baap”
“Waheguru gave me his hand and saved me, the Divine is my mother and father,” Guru Arjun Dev Ji, Ang 714.
After the long wait, I was finally “baptized” with Amrit on July 27, 2011! I never forget that moment. After acceoting Amrit, I felt so relaxed. It seemed to me that I had finally reached my destination after miles of walking.
“Hau aya duro chal ke, main taki tau sarnie jio.”
“I have came so far for seeking the protection your sanctuary,” Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Ang 763.
Living this way of Sikhi provides me with pleasure, Divine happiness, and prosperity which, I never got on any another path. Waheguru always helps, not only on the spiritual path, but also on the wordy path. If I find any obstacles in my path, I simply read Guru Granth Sahib Ji and I receive the answer through the Hukam. I don’t think I would have been able to find peace by avoiding the real truth which is Akal Purakh.
Today all my friends and relatives are happy for me. I really thank Waheguru Ji. I am engaged in several Sikh activities and do seva with the blessing of Guru Sahib
“Amrit sacha naam hai, khana kachu na jai”
“The true name is ambrosial nectar, no one can describe it,” Guru Amar Das Ji, Ang 33.
I pray to Akal Purakh, to give me strength to follow the the reyat maryada and to live up to the values of Khande di Pahul. I ask for the energy to do seva as much as I can with the blessing of Waheguru.
Akal sahaie jio…