After taking Amrit, men commit to taking the surname of Singh (Lion), representing that their new identity is fearlessness. Women take the surname of Kaur (Princess), representing that their new identity is one of grace and fearlessness. Many men and women will also add the family name of Khalsa.
At the first Amrit ceremony, Guru Gobind Singh gave the Rehit, or self-discipline, which was recorded and passed down through the generations: The Rehit includes not cutting your hair; refraining from meat, alcohol and other stimulants; remaining celibate until married and maintaining a monogamous relationship with your spouse; wearing the Five Kakar’s (5 K’s); and chanting specific prayers each day. (The Daily Nitnem Banis.)
People who have taken Amrit also commit to wearing a specific dress – what is called Bana – also given by Guru Gobind Singh. Through Bana, a Sikh projects the power and light of the Guru. Bana bestows physical, mental and spiritual strength. Traditionally, Bana includes:
- Kurta: a loose-fitting tunic
- Churidar: pants that are loose-fitting around the thighs and buttocks, and tight around the ankles
- Cummerbund: a cloth wrapped around the mid-torso region
- Turban: a cotton cloth wrapped around the long, uncut hair of the head
- Five Kakar’s
- Kesh: uncut hair.
- Kangha: a wooden comb worn in the hair under the turban.
- Kirpan: literally means “kindness.” The kirpan is a small sword.
- Kara: a steel or iron bangle worn on the left wrist for women and the right wrist for men.
- Kachhera: cotton shorts.
The person who has taken Amrit also commits to :
- Amrit Vela: Rising before the sun to praise the Divine
- Accepting the Siri Guru Granth Sahib as your Teacher and Guide
- Dasvandh: Giving one-tenth of your earnings to the community
- Seva: Doing service selflessly, without thought of reward
- Vand Chako: sharing your earnings with those in need
- Naam Japo: Meditating on the Divine Identity within yourself and within all creation.
- Kirat Karo: Earning your money righteously, honestly and through your own hard work.
These technologies, when practiced, maintain the transforming power of the Amrit, and support a person to live in the purity of his or her Divine Identity.
Sikh Dharma International sponsors an Amrit Ceremony three times a year in the United States in three different locations.
- Every April, around Baisakhi, in Los Angeles, California
- Every June during the 3HO Summer Solstice Sadhana in Espanola, New Mexico
- Every December during the 3HO Winter Solstice Sadhana in Florida
All Sikh Gurdwaras around the world also have their own schedules for giving Amrit.
For more information about taking Amrit, contact Sarb Nam Kaur Khalsa at the Ministry Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional articles about Amrit: