Written by Ramdeep Kaur Khalsa of Maryland
I fully believe the story as it is was shared by Abu Tarani, Emperor Aurangzeb’s spy who gave an eye witness account in his book “Dasmesh Chmatkar”. I feel deeply in my soul that the Guru was a master of many forms, to include the physical form and was fully capable of bringing that what was once “dead” back to life.
From the prospective of one who without hesitation knew they would go through Amrit Sanchar, I think it may be too obvious of what I would do. With the Guru present in front of me, in flesh bidding me I would not hesitate to do as my Guru ordered. If Gobind Rai was indeed my Guru, I have pledged allegiance to him and the Dharma that if and when necessary I would step up and freely give my earthly life and I don’t believe that whether I am a woman or a man that it would make a difference to me, my pledge and my devotion of that I am certain. Pure love and devotion would propel me to the obedience and surrender to the One, the understanding that there is something bigger than this corporal being, the soul’s knowledge that Guru sees the unseen, hears the unheard and speaks the unspoken and all with purpose and the knowledge that one’s life especially at that time of immense strife knowing that it can never be guaranteed, not to even mention the quality of life to come with the foot of the Mughal oppressor at the Sikh throat. All of these would propel me forward, that full belief and surrender that WaheGuru and Guru will care for any family left behind.
The hold backs would be responsibility to my family, which I believe would be overcome by the overwhelming sense and pride to serve the Guru. What a blessing to give one’s head to the Guru and I fully believe that blessing would be extended to my family, living and future.
All of this reminds me the first time I heard the story of Amrit Sanchar that took place that faithful Baisakhi day in 1699, I literally felt it on my skin. I could feel heaviness in my throat, the sun warming my skin, the sheer volume of the crowds, the silence falling on the crowd as Guru came, the heaviness of the steel in Guru’s hand, the magnificence of his dress and court, the flow of his garment in the wind, his strong resounding voice, the gasps and shrill of the crowd as he cut the first man’s head, a familiar hand on my forearm holding me back, a feeling of shame and despair as I’m pushed and escorted out. I feel shear pain and tears well up, as some unknown memory takes over, of a father or grandfather ordering me to stay away and not to follow, me feeling it to be unjust and imposing.
The names of the Punj Pyare remind me of the 5 elements, in this instance the 5 elements of the body of the Sikh, Mercy, Rightousness, Courage, Strength and Mastery. Without all 5 you cannot hold the spirit of the Sikh, embody the Guru’s hukam of a GurSikh.
Daya- as WaheGuru is merciful, so should be the GurSikh. How can the GurSikh love the other without mercy and compassion, how can the GurSikh serve through Seva without mercy to humans, animals or the planet? Seva is integral to being a Sikh. I truly believe that no one should call themselves a Sikh if they do not perform Seva or at least attempt to perform Seva and understand its importance in their life.
Dharam- the pursuit and struggle to do what is righteous, I believe builds the GurSikh. The word Dharam is not just righteousness in this life, but as part of Dharma that which upholds, maintains and supports the harmony of the universe. Thus the GurSikh must strive to find that which is righteous on all levels and in that manner would uphold harmony in the universe, with this comes a great deal of responsibility, foresight and intuition, because the GurSikh can not only choose that which is best for him or her but for the harmony of the entire universe, and not to push it out of balance.
Himmat-in order to live in the path of Dharma you must have courage, courage to keep going at insurmountable odds as the Sikhs have done so many times through history and especially during the time of Guru Gobind Singh. Courage courses through the veins of a Sikh, not just the type of courage you see on battle field, but courage on all levels, courage of a mother to let her child go into the world, courage to stand up for your spiritual path, courage to stand alone.
Mukham- A GurSikh must be strong of character, strong of patience, strong in his/her path to maintain his/her integrity and wit.
Sahib- A Sikh must at all times strive to master all facets of their being and those resources given to them, such as their body, mind, intellect and other tools in life, in order to put all other elements at play in the most balanced way. Mercy, righteousness, courage and strength with mastery are joined into one unit for the vision of a perfect being, one utilizing his/her full faculties and facilities.