Vaisakhi - Birth of the Khalsa
During the time of Guru Gobind Rai, the rulers of the land were very cruel to people. They wanted everyone to join the same religion as them. They even took the life of his father, Guru Teg Bahadur ji. A feeling of darkness and unhappiness spread through the land. The time had come for the Guru to show how to bring.... THE LIGHT!! Guru: "I will turn my Sikhs... from sparrows to HAWKS!" So Guru Gobind Rai called for all the colorful and different Sikh communities to gather near his home in Anandpur. Vaisakhi means "spring" and in the spring of 1699 a humungous group of people had gathered! Some were farmers, some were shop-keepers, some were half-naked yogis, some were Hindus, some were Muslims, some were singers, some were warriors, some were mothers and some were children. Along with all the people, there were many different beings from the unseen worlds that also came to witness the event. Of all the beings there, some were average.... and some were fearless, perhaps even as fearless as Guru Gobind Rai himself!
Guru ji stood on a hill and revealed himself to the huge sangat. He looked perfectly radiant. People always felt good in his presence. Guru Gobind Rai was actually preparing a great test for his Beloveds.He knew that the darkness in the world needs to be healed by pure people who are unbreakable. He knew that for us to be unbreakable we have to be fearless of death. Now for the test!! Though he was still merged in bliss, Guru ji made himself appear very stern. Guru Gobind Rai unsheathed his sword and ROARED! "IS THERE ANY LOYAL SIKH WHO WILL GIVE THE GIFT OF THEIR HEAD??!" At first, most people didn't know what to think. Again Guru Gobind Rai roared, "WHO WILL GIVE THE GIFT OF THEIR HEAD!!??" The Guru's powerful voice shocked people to their very bones. Again Guru ji roared,"WHO WILL GIVE THEIR HEAD??!!" There was a man named Daya, whose fear did not rule over him. His eyes glowed with devotion. Without hesitating, hands clasped together, he moved towards Guru ji saying, "Guru ji, my head is yours." With a masterful stroke, Guru ji removed his head from his body.The Guru always challenges our fears so that we can be free from fear. Even though they'd heard of the Guru's miracles, most people didn't understand what was happening. Sometimes when we don't understand something we get afraid. In the same way many people allowed fear to take over their minds. Most people were scared, some were in awe and some felt the vibration of the heavens. The Guru raised his sword, it had blood dripping from it. Again he roared, "GIVE ME ANOTHER HEAD!!" Another man, Dharam Chand, moved towards Guru ji saying, "I will offer my head to you... my Guru!" Guru ji did the same as before. People started leaving,
Guru: "I NEED ANOTHER, WHO WILL GIVE ME HIS HEAD?!"
Many people started to run away. The crowd became smaller. They listened only to their minds and became convinced that this was scary and wrong. Very few felt the truth, that Guru ji was giving us a great gift. Not everyone understood this heavenly test of devotion. The mind always convinces us in various ways of things that may not be true. On this day, minds were going crazy with endless thoughts of doubt. They saw the blood and became scared. But there were some who were SO in love with Guru Gobind Rai that they WANTED to offer their heads. Three more men came before the Guru, their hearts answered Guru ji's call,
Himmat, Mokam, and Sahib offered their heads saying, "my head is yours and has always been yours..."
The truth is: We are not fully alive until we live beyond the fear of death. After removing the heads of his five Beloveds, Guru ji began putting the heads back on the 5 bodies! Through many people's eyes, a very weird and scary thing had just happened. Through the eyes of the angels, a very beautiful thing had just happened and a powerful opportunity was given to many souls. Can you imagine if you were there??! Next, a large bowl was brought out and water was poured into it. The Guru put his double edged sword in the bowl and started stirring. As he stirred he sang in his warm and heartfelt voice: "ik ongkar, satinam, karta purkh, nirbao, nirvair, akal murat, ajooni, saibhang, gurprasad, jap, aad sach, jugad sach, hai bhi sach, nanak hosi bhi sach...." He recited the whole Jap ji so that we never have to be too sad and we can have many other gifts from the heavens. Then he recited another Bani, "chakr chihn ar baran jaap, ar paat nahin jih..." He recited Jaap Sahib, so that we can have grace and dignity. Then the next Bani, "sravag sudh samuuh sidhan ke dekh phirio ghar jog jatee ke..." Guru Gobind Rai recited Tav Prasaad Savaye so that we won't be unsatisfied or misled by our own minds and so that we may always be loving! Then he recited his own personal prayer: "humree karo hath de raccha, pooran hoee chit ki ichha...." It is called Choupei Sahib! "kripa karee hum par jag mata..."It is a most powerful prayer of victory! The heavens were in awe; Guru ji gave humanity a great victory call: "...dukh darad bhou nikat na tin nar ke rahai, ho jo yaki ik baar choupei ko kahai!" The heavens erupted in cheers at this incredible gift to us. The seal of victory had now been given! Guru ji's wife, Mata Sahib, came over and put some sugary sweets in the bowl of water. She put in the sugar because she knew that whoever drank it would be so powerful that they must never forget their sweetness! That is the love and wisdom of our mother, Mata Sahib ji! Finally Guru ji recited the song of Bliss, Anand Sahib: "Anand bhia mere mai satguru mai paia..." We are now blessed to be happy and successful.
Infused with the vibrations of the Banis, the water turned in to nectar. Nectar mixed with the Guru's sword in the steel bowl and was blessed with the loving sweetness of Mata Sahib. The nectar, the Amrit, includes the blessings of heaven and earth! Daya was the first to give his head. Guru ji came over to him and sprinkled the Amrit on his head and into his mouth.
"WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH!"
THE BODY OF DAYA ROSE UP!... AND ROARED!! "WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH!" Everyone became totally silent. Everyone was completely enchanted by this miracle. One by one, Guru ji gave the nectar to each of the 5 Beloved Ones. "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh!" said the Guru. "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh!" said the five beloveds. Reverently, he sprinkled the water on the top of their heads. We call it the 10th gate, a sacred place on the human body. It's on the top of the head right where babies have a soft spot. After blessing their divine 10th gate and blessing their mouths and eyes, he gave the Khalsa invocation to all the bodies one by one. "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh!" One by one, they all got up and answered. "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh!" Rarely does one person pass the crucial test of faith and take the opportunity to give their life. On this day five men gave up all fears and became their true selves. They became divine humans. They were born in to a new life; a new life of light. Free from fear of death. They would no longer be convinced of anything but the Truth. They will always be awake as pure spirits, in a physical body or beyond it.
There is no way to count how many angels were singing and cheering at this time!! The Guru's wonders hadn't finished yet! Guru Gobind Rai brought them out of his tent. After giving them another life, do you know what Guru ji gave to them? He gave the priceless gift of being one with him. Guru ji dressed in the most beautiful clothes, the Guru's Bana! The robes of a warrior-saint. The five beloved ones, with bright faces, are now the shining image of the Guru! From that day on, these five beloved ones are honored as being royalty. They are called kings, they are called lions... They are Singhs!
The five beloved ones manifest the full glory of being human! They realized the great experience of living while liberated. They became masters. The house of Nanak now carries on in the Khalsa. The Khalsa are the fearless Sikhs who love the Guru so much, they merge with the Guru and become like the Guru. With high actions and humble minds may we all be so humble as to obey the Guru and manifest the same greatness as he. Then, believe it or not, another amazing thing happened. Like a mountain transforming in to a swan, Guru Gobind Rai knelt down on one knee, asked them to honor him, so he too could receive the Amrit from their hands. The Five Beloved Ones had sacrificed their heads, they had offered their lives to receive this gift!. Bhai Daya Singh asked the Guru: "What do you give as an offering to receive Amrit?" Guru Gobind Rai replied, "Oh great Khalsa, I would sacrifice my parents and my children for your sake." The five beloveds were convinced of this truth and agreed to give him Amrit. They sprinkled the water on him, just as he had done for them. "WAHIGURU JI KA KHALSA, WAHIGURU JI KI FATEH!!" From this day on Guru Gobind Rai was now Guru Gobind... Singh!!! Every soul there beamed with light. It was such a beautiful scene that even the angels longed to receive the holy Amrit. After this incredible miracle, the sangat started coming forward to receive the life-giving Amrit. On that day, thousands of men became royal lions and thousands of women became graceful princesses. The Khalsa had been formed! Corruption and darkness cannot stand in the face of the Khalsa who live beyond the fear of death and radiate the strength of God's Light. Guru ji, along with the Amrit, gave us the discipline to hold that blessing. Guru ji knew that it is only with discipline that one can remain Khalsa. Just as many people make a New Year's resolution, Guru Gobind Singh encourages us to be resolute! To stay fearless of death, and be divine humans. Do you remember what we were before we were born into our physical bodies? We were pure spirits merged in bliss. The path of Sikh Dharma, walked by the Khalsa, is a great way to live in that spirit while we live in our physical body. It is a complete path. We are blessed to even know about it! Great is Guru Gobind Singh; he is both the master and the student. Blessed is the Khalsa who bring the heavens to the earth. Great is the physical crown of bana and disciplined lifestyle the Guru has blessed us with. Great is the spiritual crown of Bani and light the Guru blessed us with. May we always be in rising spirits! May we all become perfect! The Khalsa has given itself to the Guru and the Guru has given himself to the Khalsa. You can give your head by giving all your thoughts to the Guru. Think light thoughts, see light in everyone. You can give your actions to the Guru too. Oh Khalsa ji, the Guru loves you more than you know! And Guru ji is with you..... always....