This article was inspired by something I was told, but which might not be true. According to my source one of our leading Gurdwaré flew over Sikhs from Panjab to be the Panj Piaré for the Vaisakh Khandé di Pahul ceremony.
This reminds me of how various swamis and other charlatans whisper your own personal mantr in your ear. Those that read the Guru Granth Sahib know that our Guru does not give us a mantr, Guru wants us to keep ‘nám’ in our minds, and act there on.
You can learn to see ‘nám’ (Godly essence) in nature, you can find it in Guru’s sabads, in words like Vahiguru or in what I have heard call Guru’s signature, Ik Ongkar Satguru Prasád (or Ik Ongkar Sat Nám Satguru Prasád / Ik Ongkar Kartar Purkh Satguru Prasád) or in the full nine descriptions of God starting with Ik Ongkar and ending with Gur Prasad.
These are all gifts from God, part of the Divine Understanding that comes to us through Guru’s sabad. This gift is there for all, this gift is not owned by Jathabandis or Deras, this gift is not owned by Sikhs, it is God’s gift to all.
Similarly ‘Khandé di Pahul’ is Guru’s gift. It is a contract between the individual and Guru. Our part of the ‘bargain’ is to offer our heads, to commit ourselves to living a Sikh life, a life of service, a life of honesty, humility. We are weak, we keep making mistakes, but we keep trying.
Guru’s part of the ‘bargain’ is that because you stop living for Maya, stop looking for fulfilment through having more, more and more again, because you start looking for inner peace, inner joy instead of joy given by artificial stimulants, you will become truly happy.
In the process of taking Amrit the Panj Piaré represent Guru and that makes it important to find people who are truly committed to following Guru’s way. They do not need to be perfect (I am 62 years old and so far have not met any perfect persons). They do not need to be part of any particular group within Sikhí. They should be seriously committed to living Guru’s life.
But more important is the commitment and understanding of the person undergoing the Khandé di Pahul. If you are seriously committed to follow the teachings of the Guru Granth, if you are truly committed to living a Sikh life, it does not really matter all that much who the Panj Piaré are.
The practice that Panj Piaré can impose their own rules, or the rules of their dera or jathabandi, on people undergoing Khande di Pahul is just not right. We should follow Guru. If our Panj Piaré think that they or their dera or their sub-group has the authority to change Guru’s teachings they are badly mistaken !