Amrit Sanskar

Sikhs who have been through the Amrit Ceremony, which is known as a baptism for Sikhs, become baptised Sikhs and take new names.  The Amrit Ceremony was introduced by Guru Gobind Singh when he found the Khalsa, which is a very important Sikh festival, in 1699. The ceremony takes place in a Gurdwara, which is their special place to pray just like we have a church to get baptised in.  Before the ceremony, everyone takes a bath. A Sikh can go through this initiation as soon as they are old enough to understand the full commitment that they are making.The Guru Granth Sahib presents the 5 K’s.

The 5K’s are symbols they use just like we have symbols in our Christian life. They wear the 5 K’s to show that they are dedicated to Guru.  The 5 K’s have a very important meaning.

Kesh  means uncut hair and symbols holiness and strength. In the past Sikhs have been regarded to keep their hair long to show a way of keeping God gift. Women are not allowed to trim any body hair and men aren’t allowed to trim their beards. It is like Samson the strong in the Holy Bible.

Kara is a steel bracelet. It symbols restraint and gentility. It also shows that there is no beginning and no end. Sikhs made it out of steel because it is not an ornament. It tells the Sikhs they should not do anything wrong.

Kanga is a wooden comb. It shows a clean mind and body. It symbolises the importance of looking after the body which God has created. Since you only have one body you have to take care of it very carefully.

Katcha is an special underwear. They are forbidden to go past your knee. It symbolises chastity. When Sikhs rode horses they wore these special kind of pants.

Kirpan is a special sword. There is not exactly a perfect fixed one but as long as it is a few inches to 3 feet long then it is fine.   It is kept in a sheath, which is a close-fitting cover for the blade of a knife or sword, and can be worn over or under clothing.  It symbolises spirituality,  defence of the good, defence of the weak, the struggle against justice, a metaphor for God, or the soldier part of soldier saints.

The symbols have become greatly more powerful with each passing year of Sikh history. For a Sikh the fact that the Guru has instructed the Sikhs to wear the 5 Ks is a good reason and nothing more needs to be said.

During the ceremony, hymns are recited from the Sikh scripture and prayers are said. The amrit is prepared. Amrit is a mixture of sugar and water that has been stirred with a double-edged sword. The amrit is sprinkled on their hair and eyes. There are readings from the Guru Granth Sahib and an explanation of rules of Sikhism. 5 sikhs perform the ceremony.

The ceremony ends with the eating of the ceremonial Karah Parshad. Karah Parshad is a sweet tasting food which has been blessed. It is made from semolina, sugar and ghee.The sikhs promise to lead a pure and pious life to unite with Almighty Lord.

After the ceremony everybody has a large meal called the langar. Children usually have the Amrit ceremony when they are born to welcome them to the community. Some have it after.

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