Monday, January 30, 2006

Episode 4 of India Travels: Amrit Peeaa Satgur Deeaa

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ॥
amrit peeaa satigur deeaa
I drink the Amrit, spiritual life giving Nectar, given by the True Guru.

ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਦੂਆ ਤੀਆ ॥
avar na jaanaa dooaa teeaa
I do not know any other second or third.

ਏਕੋ ਏਕੁ ਸੁ ਅਪਰ ਪਰੰਪਰੁ ਪਰਖਿ ਖਜਾਨੈ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੧੨॥
eiko eik su apar parampar, parakh khajaanai paaeidaa
He is the One, Unique, Infinite and Endless Lord; He evaluates all beings and places some in His treasury. 12
(Ang 1034)


Its July 1st 2003, day 6 of the trip. I planned to go back to Sri Akaal Takhat the next day after finding out that the Amrit Sanchaar takes places at 12pm on Wednesdays and Sundays. I was excited and nervous after missing the first Amrit Sanchaar. I didn’t know what to expect, will I able to reach there in time or not?

Waking up in the morning I did Ishnaan (bathed) and Nitnem (daily prayers). However, today my was head was feeling HEAVY and I felt SICK. O dear! Of all days to go ill! Either it was heat stroke or God knows. But I didn’t want my health to come in the way of taking Amrit and asking Guru Sahib to accept me at His Feet.

The head was getting heavier and I was feeling queasy. When I walked it felt as if my head was going to topple over onto one side and my body was going to fall over. Chalo, Rab Rakha! I had some breakfast. Unlike Sunday I was unable to make Karhah Parshaad. However, all the family gathered and we did an Ardaas to Guru Sahib to grace Amrit di daat (the gift of Amrit).

This time only three of us went. My cousin, my mum, and I. As I was feeling weak and ill my cousin played Keertan tapes on the journey to Amritsar. “Sat Naam Waaheguroo, Sat Naam Waaheguroo… Dhan Guru Gobind Singh” was on my mind. I prayed that my headache is relieved by the time we reach Amritsar. It was July and therefore very hot.

We arrive in Amritsar and I am still feeling weak, but that didn’t change my mind about taking Amrit. We did Panj-Ishnaan (bathed face, feet and hands) in the Sarowar (pool) of Darbaar Sahib and did Matha Tekh at Sri Darbaar Sahibn. My ardaas was “Guru Sahib please bless me with darshan of the Guru-Roop Panj Piaare and bless your Daas (slave) with Amrit.”


It was 11am and we all sat in Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib and listened to the Paath (Gurbani) being read there. I was feeling better now. Other members of Sangat who wished to take Amrit were gathering and were sitting near us listening to the Paath being read. Then the sewadaars arrived and announced, “All those wish to become Guru-wale (the Guru’s ones) please come over.” My cousin and mum said that they will meet later in the afternoon. I walked over and the Pehredaar (guard) asked everyone that whoever wishes to take Amrit today must have had Keshi Ishnaan (bathed their hair as well as body) and be adorned with the Panj Kakkaar (5Ks). He clarified that the Kachhera should not be boxers or any other type of short. It can only be the Sikh-style of Kachhera which is tight near the knees.

As each person confirmed to the Pehredaar that they wish to take Amrit and are adorned with the Panj Kakkaar (with no jewelry or token of of any other faith on the body) and have bathed their body and kesh today we walked upstairs to the second floor of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib. Guru Sahib da Prakaash was there. We sat in Guru jee’s presence waiting, and I could hear the people standing next to me reciting Benti Chaupayee Sahib da Paath (a prayer). I joined in and repeated Chaupayee Sahib over and over again. Waheguru! I don’t know how to explain the feeling nor am I going to attempt. Guru Jee nicely summaries the feeling as:
ਜਿਨਿ ਇਹ ਚਾਖੀ ਸੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਗੂੰਗੇ ਕੀ ਮਿਠਿਆਈ ॥
jin eih chaakhee soee jaanai goongé kee mithiaaee
Only one who tastes it knows it, like the mute (deaf & dumb person), who tastes the sweet candy, but cannot speak of it.
(Ang 607)


Then we were called up few at a time to go upstairs to the top floor of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib. At the stair case two Pehredaars (gaurds) stood. They asked each person if they really wanted to take Amrit and whether we have the correct Bana (dress) and Kakkaars (articles of faith). I arrived upstairs and there was a Pehredaar at the door of the Diwaan (room) where the Amrit Sanchaar was to take place. One by one we entered the Diwaan, did Matha Tekh and sat down. The Panj Piaare arrived and said, “Anyone who does not want to become the Guru’s today, who does not want to take Amrit, they are requested to leave the room now. This is your last chance. Only those who wish to take the Guru’s Amrit and become the Guru’s should remain seated, everyone else must leave now.” Waheguru. I felt a shiver in a body. “This is the day” I thought to myself.


I still felt weak and my head still felt heavy and dizzy, however with Guru Kirpa my heachache and dizziness left during the Amrit Sanchaar. I am not going to talk about the Amrit Sanchaar itself and what happened, because I believe taking Amrit is a personal experience. An experience between oneself and his or her Guru. Sharing it with anyone and everyone seems to take away the sacredness and intimateness of the experience. However, I will share that if you would like to read about how the Amrit Sanchaar is conducted then please read the Sikh Rehat Maryada.

One memory, which I don’t mind sharing is of hearing the Jathedaar (leader) of the Panj Piaaré give us the Hukam (order) of keeping Rehat (disciplined way of life and code of conduct) and how we should now live, what is expected of us, what we are promising today, what we should avoid and refrain from and how to keep Chardikala jeevan (high spirited positive life) was mesmerising. There was pin drop silence. It took about 1 - 2 hours to explain the Rehat and Rehni Behni of the Khalsa from birth to death and how one should live life from now on. Dhan Guru, Dhan Guru Piaare.

Afterwards I walked back down to the groundfloor of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib. My mum and cousin were waiting for me, and my mum gave me one massive hug :)
ਹਰਿ ਤੁਮ ਵਡ ਵਡੇ ਵਡੇ ਵਡ ਊਚੇ ਸੋ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਿ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੀਸ ॥
har tum vadd vadde vadde vadd ooche so karehi je tudh bhaavees
O Lord, You are the Greatest of the Great, the Greatest of the Great, the most Lofty and High. You do whatever You please.

ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਆ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਬੀਸ ॥੨॥੨॥੮॥
jan naanak amrit peeaa gurmatee dhan dhann dhan dhann dhann guroo saabees
Servant Nanak drinks the Amrit, spiritual life giving Nectar through the Guru's Teachings. Blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed and praised is the Guru. 228.
(Ang 1297)

1 comment:

gurjeet kaur said...

vaheguru =)