Amrit Da Bata
In order to prepare the bata of Amrit the Panj Piare did ardas. The Iron vessel, Khanda, Water and sugar pellets were already present. A blanket was layed in front of Guru Sahib, on top of a large rock the iron vessel was steadily placed. In the attendance of Guru Granth Sahib sat one Singh and the jathedar arrived in the panj. They (the panj) all sat in Bir asaN (warrior position) and became the Sanmukhs of the Guru. Together the Panj poured the water into the vessel and then put in the sugar pellets. Turn by tuen the Panj bania, Jap, Jaap, Sodha Swaiye, Chaupai and full Anand Sahib were read. Whilst doing paaT the Singh held the Khanda in his right hand, whilst the bata was held with the left with complete concentration. The other Singhs held the bata with both hands and everyone focussed their conciousness into the nectar being prepared. Once the five prayers were over the Jathedar did ardas. In order to give the candidates Amrit the jathedar asked the Singh in attendance of Guru Sahib to seek permission. After this the Panj piare again sat in Bir AsaN (warrior position) ready to bless the abhilakis with Amrit. There were approximately 8-10 people getting initiated into the Khalsa brotherhood, my turn came after the 2nd or 3rd person.
This was an unforgettable experience which occured after complete Sodh Sudhayee. My inner state was uncontrallable, I was half concious and was completely mesmerized; my body was just shaking. It is extremely difficult to describe in detail. As Sanmukh I went to humbly bow my head before Guru Granth Sahib Ji, as I was about to do so Guru Gobind Singh Ji in all his glory gave me his Partakh darshan (in real body) on Guru Granth Sahib Ji's throne. It was as if there was a mirror and behind it Guru Gobind Singh Ji sat in Bir AsaN. It seemed as if it was happening for a long time, but it was only a second or so. After bowing my head I drank the Amrit, then Amrit was splashed in the Kesh (hair), then in the eyes. The Jathedar then proceeded to teach the method of reciting the Gurmantar, at that time my hands just clasped together in prayer and I suddenly received Guru Gobind Singh Ji's darshan once again on the throne of Guru Granth Sahib, my eyes shut and I placed my head in the holy feet of the Guru. The Jathedar Ji then tapped me on my back as if to say 'be aware!'. (Saavdhan!) He also had to physically wake one Singh up from this state of Vismadh. Everyone started doing Abhyas and the Amrit ceremony ended quiet quickly.
The time was 1-2am. In the hall upstairs a Rehnsbhai Keertan was in progress. I can clearly remember that the Panj Piare came into the Darbar Sahib along with us without the formal dress for the Panj, but on the other hand I do not know whether they came in with us or came in after. What I do know is that after Degh (parshad) was distributed after the Amrit Sanchar they went into a separate room in order to get changed. This I know for sure. Just like normal members of the Sangat they bowed their heads in front of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and took a seat in Sat Sang. I was coloured in the divine colours at that time, but when I did come to full conciousness I found myself sitting right behind Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji. Only the Guru knows how that happened! On Bhai Sahibs dastar was the Chakar (iron quoit) and whenever he swayed back and forth I felt a pull towards him as he was a divinely imbued soul. My mouth just filled with unbearable taste. Bhai Sahib was singing the following Shabad on the Baja: “Poota Mata Kee Asees”. Keertan was taking place with an ecstatic atmosphere which is hard to forget.
Bhai Sahibs eyes were closed, but they were rolled up towards the sky. The sound of his voice was as though a child is screaming. After 2am, abhyas started in the hall for 2 or so hours. I do not know who turned the main lights off and put on a dim one. The beautiful Jaap of ‘Vaheguru’ was being meditated upon. At that moment it seemed as though no one was present there and I myself was not present there, all that was being heard was the Vaheguru Gurmantar. My spiritual state rose to such a height that I was not conscious of my body or anything else that was happening around me. Only the beautiful name was heard all around, it can be compared to the ticking of a watch, no one was at a higher or lower pitch than anyone else, everyone was reciting with exactly the same tone and rhythm. When my eyes were closed, at times I would experience ecstatic light through my inner eyes. Sometimes I would get a divine glimpse of ‘Ik Oankar’ and it looked as though it was an electric Halogen light shaped like the symbol, whereas sometimes I would get vision of the word ‘Vaheguru’. Then, after about 2 and a half hours the Keertan kicked off again. After some minutes, we started to hear the Vaheguru dhunni resounding everywhere, even though the keertan continued. When I came down from this avastha I noticed that I was still in the same hall as before and the sangat was joined with the keertan enjoying the ecstacy of his name.
Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh and Baoo Mal Singh were sitting infront of me. Some keertani bibia were doing keertan. Some sangat were sitting behind me, some infront of me, all in total bliss. Bhai Sahibs chakar (iron quoit) was continuing to mesmerize me and had a magnetic glow. “Vaho Vaho Gursikh dhan hai”. To tell you the truth, I did not understand what kautak was taking place, nor did I know what this ras was, otherwise I would have grabbed the holy feet of that Sant (bhai sahib) and never let go. When I did get some knowledge the true king (Guru ji) made me into good friends with Bhai Sahib, he bought this Ant into his holy shade.
In the morning, after Bhai Sahib had sung many shabads, the ceremony came to an end.
After this we went home and ate langar, we then went straight back to the Gurdwara Sahib. (In them times langar was made for sangat that had come from outside). Sangat was getting ready to go. Bapoo ji (bhai sahib) and another Singh were trying to get accommodation for the sangat to stay. I kept on gazing into their lovelorn eyes and enjoying ras and they also kept looking at me. The Singhs who were coloured in divine colours were hugging each other and leaving. Initially Bapoo ji was very sad, all the Singhs had tears in their eyes. Everyone was yearning for the same thing as I was – that the Keertan never stopped along with the Naam and Bani. But everything happens in the will of Vaheguru.
“Sanjog vijog doe kaar chalave lekhe avai bhaag”
Translated from Soan ChiRee ChRee GaiN by Bhai Sahib Jodh Singh (Delhi) by r.singh