Amrit Sanchar (also called Khande di Pahul and Amrit Sanchar) is the Sikh ceremony of initiation or baptism is introduced by Guru Gobind Singh when he founded the Khalsa in 1699. It is conducted. in a holy place, any place sanctified with the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, preferably a Gurdwara. The ceremony is conducted by five baptized Sikhs known as Singhs or Khalsa who must be observant of the Sikh religious discipline and the Sikh code of conduct
A Sikh who has been initiated into the Khalsa is titled Singh (males) or Kaur (females) and commonly referred to as “Amritdhari”. A Sikh can go through this initiation at any age.
The Guru caused his five faithful Sikhs to stand up. He put pure water into an iron vessel and stirred it with a Khanda or two edged sword. He then repeated over it the sacred verses which he appointed for the ceremony , namely, the Japji, the Jaap, Guru Amar Das’s Anand, and certain swaiyas or quatrains of his own composition.”
The ceremony is to be conducted in any quiet and convenient place. In addition to the Guru Granth Sahib, the presence of six Sikhs is necessary, one granthi to read from the holy text and five, representing the original five beloved disciples, to administer it.
Washing of the hair prior to the ceremony is mandatory by those who are receiving the initiation and those who are administering.
Any Sikh who is mentally and physically sound (male or female) may administer the rites of initiation, provided that he himself had received the rites and continues to adheres to the Sikh Rehni (Way of Life) and wear the Sikh Articles of Faith, i.e. 5 Ks .
There is no minimum age requirement; however, a person who is considering to be Amritdhari should not be of a very young age; he or she should have attained a plausible degree of discretion. The person to be Amritdhari must have taken bath and washed the hair and must wear all five K’s: Kesh (unshorn hair), strapped Kirpan (sword), Kachhehra (prescribed shorts), Kanga (comb tucked in the tied-up hair), Karha (steel bracelet). He/she must not have on his/her person any token of any other faith. He/she must not have his/her head bare or be wearing a cap. He/she must not be wearing any ornaments piercing through any part of the body. The persons to be Amritdhari must stand respectfully with hands folded facing the Guru Granth Sahib.
Those undergoing initiation must wear the five holy symbols, the 5 Ks. No jewellery or distinctive marks associated with any other religion should be worn. The head must be covered with a cloth.
Anyone seeking re-initiation after having resiled from his previous vows may be assigned a penance by the five administering initiation before being re-admitted.
During the ceremony, one of the five Pyare (the beloved ones), stands and explains the rules and obligations of the Khalsa Panth.
Those receiving initiation have to give their assent as to whether they are willing to abide by the rules and obligations.
After their assent, one of the five Pyare utters a prayer for the commencement of the preparation of the Amrit and a randomly selected passage (hukam, or word of God) is taken from Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The person being initiated “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh”. The salutation is repeated and the holy water is sprinkled on their eyes and hair, five times. The remainder of the nectar is shared by all receiving the initiation, all drinking from the same bowl.
After this, all those taking part in the ceremony recite the Mool Mantra and they are inducted into the Khalsa.