ost people have questions regarding whether they should take Amrit or not. In this article, we will discuss why one should get blessed with Amrit.
This has been the Way.. since ages!
Guru Granth Sahib Ji talks about Amrit in multiple Shabads (hymns). All the Gurus’ were Amritdhari themselves. Guru Nanak Dev Ji took Amrit from Vaheguru. As mentioned in Bhai Gurdaas Ji’s Vaar:
ਢਾਢੀ ਸਚੈ ਮਹਲਿ ਖਸਮਿ ਬੁਲਾਇਆ ॥
ਸਚੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਾਲਾਹ ਕਪੜਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
ਸਚਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਆਇਆ ॥
ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਖਾਧਾ ਰਜਿ ਤਿਨਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
Then when Guru Nanak Dev Ji came back, they gave the Sikhs Amrit as well. They would dip their feet in water and Sikhs would drink that water. This Amrit was called Chranamrit.
Enrolment is Step #1
Nowadays, we think of Amrit as the end goal, but it is actually the very first step for someone willing to walk the path of Sikhi. It is the initiation process post which we have a lot of progress to make, just like you get yourself enrolled in a school first and then go on to progress with your education. Amritdhari Sikhs are not perfect beings, rather, they have made a commitment to their Guru to keep on this path and try to become better Sikhs with every coming day.
The Code of Conduct
Amrit was not just made by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Angad Dev Ji and all other Gurus got Amrit as well. All Guru Gobind Singh Ji did was change the way Amrit was prepared, and added a code of conduct as the requirements of being Amritdhari. There was always an inner Rehit from the beginning. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji starts from Jap Ji Sahib, Rehraas Sahib, and Kirtan Sohila Sahib which are the bare minimum daily prayers that a Sikh must do. Other Gurus added to the Nitnem (Sikh daily prayers) as they came. For example, Guru Amar Das Ji would have added Anand Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji added the Five Ks. While we make a big deal out of it nowadays, for most Sikhs back then, it wasn’t a problem, rather they willingly embraced it as part of their lifestyle.
The Call of the Guru
In 1699, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji picked up a Kirpaan, they didn’t ask who would wear the Five Ks and become a Khalsa, rather, they asked who was willing to give their head at this very moment. The Panj Piaare, knowing that the Guru could never be wrong, willingly offered their heads. Sikhi is about faith in the Guru and experiencing God. Today, we have diminished the Guru's role to that of a mere teacher. The Gurus are not teachers; they are the One Vaheguru himself.
The external discipline of wearing the Five Ks is straightforward, but the true challenge lies in cultivating inner discipline through Bhagti (devotional worship).
The Game of Love
Sikhi is a game of love. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that if you want to play this game of love, then come to me with your head on your palm.
ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥
ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ ॥
This game is about unconditional surrender. When we give our head, we don’t pay heed to what other people have to say about it.
ਇਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੈਰੁ ਧਰੀਜੈ ॥
ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਕਾਣਿ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੨੦॥
If you don’t want Amrit, don’t have it. Guru Ji says that only those who are thirsty for Amrit should take it.
ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਲਗੀ ਪਿਆਸ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸੇਇ ਖਾਹਿ ॥
Amrit is a priceless gift from Guru Ji. It's not something you take, but something you receive by the Guru's grace. Giving your head to the Guru is more important than taking Amrit. Many people take Amrit without truly surrendering their minds and intellect to the Guru. That is where they miss the catch.
Sikhi is about losing the ego. We are all suffering from the disease of Haumai (ego) even though we may look perfectly healthy. So, we need the doctor, i.e the Guru to cure this disease.
ਮੇਰਾ ਬੈਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੋਵਿੰਦਾ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਦੇਵੈ ਕਾਟੈ ਜਮ ਕੀ ਫੰਧਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Gurbani tells us that the name of Vaheguru is the medicine for the disease of ego.
ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਭੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥
When Gurbani states that ego contains its own medicine, it means that you have to give your head to your Guru. You have to accept that Guru Ji is more important than your mind.
Guru’s Shabad (Gurmantar and Bani, i.e Naam) is the medicine to the disease of ego. As Bhai Gurdas Ji says,
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਜਪਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਖੋਈ।
Taking Amrit means surrendering to the Guru's guidance instead of following our own desires, which is a crucial step in overcoming our ego. It is more accurate to refer to it as ‘giving your head’ rather than ‘taking Amrit’.
Amrit is all about love. Explore the history of Guru Sahibs and the meanings of Gurbaani. Build the love and thirst for the Guru and then do Ardaas to Guru Sahib to bless you with Amrit.