Baisakhi is celebrated by both Hindu and Sikhs.This is one festival which common to the whole of India and to all the communities. South India celebrates “Baisakhi” as the beginning of their solar year which calendar is adopted by them. In some parts of northern India also. In the south, it is the end of the harvest season and the farmers rich with the yields celebrates the festival in a thousand ways.
The festival of Baisakhi has a unique importance for the people of the Punjab. Being the New Year day in naturally occupies the position of the first and foremost festival day of the coming year. It also signifies the climate of the spring season, besides it heralds the advent of summer. The major crops of the year are ready for harvesting, and the farmer eagerly awaits this day to apply his sickle to gather the fruit of his previous six months labour.
According to Gurbani Baisakh month is:
‘Vaisakh deeran kion vadhia jina prem bicho II
Har sajjan purakh visar ke lagi maya dho II
Putar kalatar ne sang dhana har avinashi uh II
Palch palch sagli mui jhuthe dhande moh II
Ekesh har ke nam bin agge laiye khoh II
Pritam charni Jo lage ta ki nirmal soi II
Nanak ki prabh bainti prabh mileh prapet hoi II
Vaisakh suhava tan lage ja saint bhete har soi II
Birthday of the Khalsa
The khalsa birthday on the 1st of baisakh (on baisakhi day)on 13th April is a Special day in the history of the sikh people . It is on this day that Guru Gobind Singh the last Guru of the Sikhs laid the foundation of a casteless society based on perfect equality and fraternity.
He organized a militant and spiritual group by the administering of the nectar of both sword and spirit, thus creating the best and toughest soldiers of india.
On this very auspicious day, the sikh community received its final socio-religious form at the hands of its last preceptor, Guru Gobind Singh when the last acts in the transformation of the Sikhs was performed, and the khalsa the pure or model man,was brought forth after two hundred and forty years of hard labour by the ten Gurus( Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh).
In the words of ‘Cunningham’ He (Guru Gobind Singh) fired the minds of his country men with new nationality and gave practical effect to the doctrine that the lowest is the equal with the highest in race as in creed. In political rights as in religious hopes”. He effectually aroused the dormant energies of a vanquished people and fired them with a lofty longing for social freedom and national ascendency”.
Guru Gobind Singh wished to instill courage to sacrifice among the fellowmen. To fulfil his dream, Guru Gobind Singh called on the historic Baisakhi day congregation of Sikhs at keshgarh sahib near Anandpur(Punjab)in1699.when thousands of people assembled for Guru’s blessing Guruji came out of the tent carrying an unsheathed sword. He gave powerful speech to infuse courage amongst fellowmen.
At the end of the speech he said every great deed was preceded by equally great sacrifice and demanded that anyone prepared to give his life come forward for Dharma. There was a big silence, but the Guru went on repeating his demand at tha third call Daya Ram of Lahore, rose from his seat and offer himself.
The Guru took him into an adjoining enclosure…………………- ..(and soonafter)came out with the blood dripping…………….sword in hand and flourishing it before the gathering,asked again;Is there any other sikh here who will offer himself as a sacrifice(for the cause of Dharma)?At this time Dharma Das From Delhi of HARYANA SIDE CAME forward and was taken into the enclosure………….(the Guru ji again came out with the blood stained sword and made his previous demand) In the same way three other men stood up, one after another and offered themselves for the sacrifice.
One was Mohkam Chand from Dwarika(Gujrat state),another was Himmat Rai from Jagannath Puri (Orissa State)and the third was Sahib Chand of Bidar(Karnatka state).Total of five Sikhs had gone into a tent with the Guruji. Everyone present was worried and though that Guru Gobind singh has killed five Sikhs.
At this point Guru ji presented all the five man before the assembly of eighty thousands.Every one present was surprised to see all five men alive and wearing turbans and saffron coloured garments.these five men were called Panj Piaras or ‘Beloved Five”.by the Guruji.The Guru ji blessed them with a’ PAHUL’ ceremony .In an iron vessel, the Guru stirred with a ‘KHANDA.
“(double edged sword) the batasha (Sweet candy) that his wife, Mata Saheb Kaur had put into water. The congregation recited verses from scriptures as the Guru ji performed the sacred ceremony. The water was now considered the sacred nectar of immortality called ‘AMRIT’.It was first given to the five volunteers or Panj Piyaras.
The Guru ji regarded the the Panch Piyaras as the first members the Khalsa and the embodiment of the Guru himself.With the constitution of the Panj Piyare the high and low castes were amalgated into one as among the original Panj Piyare.
The Guruji gave the surname of SINGH(lion)to every sikh and also took Amrit from Panj Piyaras and also took the name for himself.From Gobind Rai to he became GURU GOBIND SINGH.
This step was seen as a great step in the national Integration because society at that time was divided on the basis of religion,caste and social status.
– Guru Gobind Singh ji also bestowed on Khalsa,the unique Sikh identity to wear five ‘K’s Kesh,kangha,Kirpan,Kachha &kara.Daily Nitnem Of five Gurbanis and Code of conduct. Guruji also discontinued the tradition of living Guru and asked all Sikhs to accept the Guru Granth Sahib as their eternal Guru(Guide).He urged them to come with their hair and beard unshorn to get baptized by the ‘KHANDA’.
– Guru Gobind Singh has defined ‘KHALSA’ as in the following words:
He is the Khalsa who speaks evil of none,who combats in the war, who gives in charity,who destroys his enemy,who subdues his passion.who does not yield to suppression,who is vigilant day &night. People of different faiths were attracted to the Guru whose teaching was that all Men were equal and that though the outer forms different.The fundamental truth was the same everywhere:-He said: Recognise all mankind,whether Hindu or Muslims as one.The same Lord is the creator and Nourishes all. See no distinctions among them.TheMonastry and the Mosque are the same. So are the Hindus worship and the Muslim prayer,Men are all one.
According to a prof., “Khalsa Panth was the result of that initiative which had been progressing since the beginning. The crop that bore fruit during the period of Guru Gobind Singh,was planted by Guru Nanak ,while the other eight Gurus tended it. The sword that spread the glory of Khalsa,may have been prepared by Guru Gobind Singh but its steel was forged by Guru Nanak.’’
Deg ,Teg ,Fateh. Panth ki Sada jeet.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.