On the 13th April 1699, the first day of Vaisakhi, Guru Gobind Singh Ji transformed the Sikh community into the Khalsa Order or saint-soldiers. He asked for five volunteers who would give their lives for the Guru. The five that accepted Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s call were all from different castes:
Dharam Das was a jat (farmer)
Daya Ram was a khatri (soldier)
Mokham Chand was a dhobi (washermen)
Himmat Rai was a jhir (water carrier)
Sahib Chand was a nai (barber).
Guru Gobind Singh Ji initiated these five Sikhs in the Khanday Di Pahul (initiation by the double-edged sword) ceremony. Guru Gobind Singh Ji prepared amrit by stirring water in an iron bowl with a Khanda (a special double-edged sword) whilst reciting the five baanis (scared prayers);
Jap Ji Sahib
Mata Jeeto Ji added “patasse” (sugar sweets) to the water to signify the balance of humility and sweetness to go with courage and bravery that the Khalsa would have to show. Guru Gobind Singh Ji named the five volunteers the Panj Pyarey (five beloved ones) and in doing so gave concrete shape to Guru Nanak’s foundation – that we are all equal irrespective of caste.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji received amrit from the Panj Pyarey and gave the Sikhs the new greeting of Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji Ki Fatech, meaning “The Khalsa belongs to God; all victory is the victory of God”, the Sikh National Anthem along with the name Singh to males meaning lion and Kaur to females meaning princess.
After taking amrit both the Panj Pyarey and Guru Gobind Singh Ji took the name Singh. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was Guru Gobind Rai before he took amrit and the Panj Pyarey became: