Establishment of the Khalsa Panth

The Khalsa Panth was established by the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, on April 13th, 1699, which is celebrated as Vaisakhi. The word "Khalsa" means pure, and the establishment of the Khalsa Panth was a step towards creating a community of pure and devout followers of Sikhism.

The establishment of the Khalsa Panth was not just a religious movement, but also a social and political one. The Guru's message of equality and social justice inspired many Sikhs to challenge the existing social order, including the caste system and the oppression of women.

The Khalsa also played a crucial role in the political struggles of the time, particularly in the fight against the Mughal Empire. Many Khalsa warriors fought alongside Guru Gobind Singh Ji in several battles, including the Battle of Chamkaur in 1704, which is considered one of the most heroic and inspirational events in Sikh history.

The Khalsa Panth was established in response to the oppression and persecution that the Sikhs faced from the Mughal Empire, which was ruling over India at the time. The Mughals saw the growing influence of Sikhism as a threat and tried to suppress it through force.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the ninth Guru of Sikhs, was beheaded by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam and for standing up for the rights of Hindus. After Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, his son Guru Gobind Singh Ji took his place and continued to fight against the Mughals.

On the day of Vaisakhi in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji called together thousands of devotees at Anandpur Sahib to seek his blessings. He appeared before the crowd with a sword and asked for a head, which initially sent a chill down the crowd's spine. But then a brave Sikh named Daya Ram, a Khatri of Lahore, stepped forward and offered himself.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji took Daya Ram to a nearby tent and returned with his sword drenched in blood. He repeated this process until five devotees had gone with him. The crowd was shocked to see the five men return wearing turbans and saffron-colored garments. Guru Gobind Singh Ji had baptized these five men with holy water called "Amrit" and formed them into the Panj Pyare or the Five Beloved Ones. These five men were- Daya Singh, Dharam Singh, Mohkam Singh, Himmat Singh, and Sahib Singh.

With the establishment of Panj Pyare, the caste system was shunned, and all Sikhs were considered equal. Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave every Sikh the surname of "Singh," which means lion, to instill courage and strength. He also gave Sikh women the surname of "Kaur," which means princess, to represent royalty.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji instructed all Sikhs to carry the five K's: Kachha (shorts), Kripan (sword), Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (comb), and a Kara (bracelet). These five K's were a symbol of the Sikh identity and served as a reminder of their duty to live lives of courage, sacrifice, and equality.

Today, the legacy of the Khalsa Panth lives on in the Sikh community around the world. The principles of courage, sacrifice, and equality remain central to the Sikh way of life, and the five K's continue to be an important symbol of Sikh identity and commitment.

On the occasion of Vaisakhi, Sikhs gather together to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa with great joy and enthusiasm. They perform traditional dances, sing devotional hymns, and offer prayers of gratitude for the blessings of the Guru. The festival is a time for renewal and reaffirmation of their faith, and a reminder of the timeless values that the Khalsa Panth represents.