On the day of Baisakhi 13th April 1699 a momentus event took place, the young Guru assembled his Sikhs, numbering 200,000 - 250,000, at Anandpur Sahib. Guru Ji demanded a head of a Sikh, a Sikh stepped forward. Guru Ji took him into a small tent and severed his head. The blood seeped out from under the tent, the crowd looked on in stunned silence , four more times Guru Ji with fiery eyes demanded the head of a Sikh, each time a Sikh submitted his life to the will of his Guru. After a small interval Guru Ji brought out all five Sikhs, alive and well, dressed in saffron clothing.
Panj Piyarai or five beloved ones were :
Bhai Dhaya Raam who became Bhai Dhaya Singh Khatri from Lahore, Punjab.
Bhai Dharm Das who became Bhai Dharam Singh Farmer from Hastinapur (Delhi)
Bhai Himmat Rai who became Bhai Himmat Singh Water carrier from Puri (Orissa)
Bhai Mohkum Chand who became Bhai Mokhum Singh Calico printer from Dwarka (Kathiawar)
Bhai Sahib Chand who became Bhai Sahib Singh Barber from Bidhar, Karnataka.
Guru Ji baptised the five with Amrit. Amrit was prepared by stirring water from the nearby river and sugar in an iron or Sarbloh vessel with a Khanda (double edged sword), while reciting the five proscribed bani's or prayers. The five prayers being :
Japuji Sahib, morning prayer composed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Jaap Sahib, morning prayer composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Amrit Sawayia, 10 verses, composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Bainti Chaupai, 10 verses, composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Anand Sahib, morning prayer composed by Guru Amar Das Ji.
The Five Beloved became the first members of the brotherhood of the Khalsa, or the pure. The word Khalsa coming from the sanskrit word khaals meaning pure.
All five from different castes drank the Amrit out of the same bowl and their last names were replaced by the suffix 'Singh' meaning lion, and Kaur for the ladies meaning princess, thus removing all caste barriers. The significance of this cannot be underestimated. For members of different castes to drink from the same bowl would have been unheard of, yet Guru Ji in his great wisdom and forethought brought together castes and communites into the one Khalsa.
They were enjoined to observe the five K's.These five emblems of Sikhism being Kesh, uncut hair, a natural gift from God that gave them a distinct identity, Kungha , a comb to keep the hair tidy,Kasha, undergarment shorts,worn by soldiers of the time but also to dipict chastity and personel hygene, Kara, steel bracelet, symbolic connection with God, and they were always to carry aKirpan or a sabre ready to uphold righteousness and defend the weak.
Guru Ji asks for a sacrifice.
Guru Ji prepares the Amrit. Mata Sahib Devan adds the patasey (suger candy)
Guru Ji prepares the Amrit by reciting the panj banies (five morning prayers)
Many explanations have been given for the ceremony of baptism. Apart from the profoundly spiritual nature of the communion , making people of different castes drink Amrit from the same bowl broke down some orthodox Hindu practices. Guru Ji gave the final form to the Sikh faith. He declared the institution of the Guruship at an end and ordered all Sikhs to bow down infornt of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji the holy scriptures of the Sikhs.