Apne Sewak Ki Aape Rakhe – Bhai Sumeet Singh Patiale Wale
Extract – page 67 (In Search of True Guru)
In England, UK
I developed an interest in learning English. After office hours in the evening, I started attending English classes. There I made more friends. One day, while my friends and I were sitting and chatting in the canteen, we decided to take a trip out of town during the holidays. A Punjabi friend of mine had a car. Our group was made up of a brother and sister who were Christians, another girl from Israel, my Panjabi friend and me. All of us were classmates. We finalised our plan to visit other parts of Europe.
Pertakh Darshan (Experience of a Holy Sight in reality)
When we were about to leave for our holiday, one of the girls suddenly fell ill. We could not cancel our trip as we had already taken leave from work. The remaining four of us set off as planned. From Dover we went to Paris, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. I was reciting Japji Sahib and Chaupai Sahib all along the journey. The Israeli girl, Dalia, asked my Punjabi friend, “What is Ram reading in the morning and evening?” He replied, “He is reading the hymns of the Guru. By reading these hymns, the mind becomes pure. The Guru takes care of his Sikh and saves him from doing bad deeds.” Dalia asked him, “Then why aren’t you reading the hymns too?” to which he replied, “I used to read them. I didn’t cut my hair either. Now, because of work, I have cut my hair and also stopped reciting my prayers.”
We reached Germany quite late at night. All of us were exhausted. The hotel was almost fully booked. We managed to get 2 rooms with double beds. After booking the rooms, we realised that Dalia had to sleep somewhere too; she would have to sleep with one of us. Dalia knew I was a religious person and a Sikh of the Guru. Dalia said, “I really don’t mind. I’ll sleep with Ram as I have full trust in him.” At that moment, I remembered Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and in the depth of my heart prayed, “O True King, I have not become your true Sikh yet, I haven’t kept my hair. This girl believes me to be your Sikh. Please save the honour of your Sikhi.” Even then, my mind was doubtful as I wondered what thoughts could be running in Dalia’s mind. Hopefully, her mind would not waver. As I went to bed, I remembered the scene in hell. I was so exhausted that I fell into a deep sleep and even forget that there was a girl in the room with me.
At Amrit vela (about one or two in the morning), the room was suddenly flooded by a very bright light. My body became weightless. A sweet, melodious tune started playing in my ears, and I was in a state of spontaneous Naam simran. I could hardly bear the ecstasy of this phenomenon. At that time Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj gave me his holy pertakh darshan (Pertakh experience is that, the reality of which is not in any doubt i.e. “real, clear and present” (e.g. pertakh Guru nistaaray) i.e. not imaginary. Therefore pertakh darshan is not a vision but a real experience of seeing and hearing a holy person or a diety). I felt that I had seen Guru Maharaj Ji in this form sometime before, when He was in a living body, during His lifetime. Guru Maharaj Ji’s first words to me were, “Take Amrit and be initiated as a Singh. Your mission will be to promote Amrit baptism in many countries.”
The Amrit Ceremony re-creates this experience from 1699. It gives a chance for the Sikhs of any time, and in any country, to give themselves to the Light of the Guru in a complete and absolute way. Those who take Amrit commit to becoming protectors and custodians of the Universal Truths held within the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and, in fact, of all living beings. They also embody the spiritual way of life that the Sikh Masters created. Those who take Amrit commit to surrender everything – body, mind, property and life – to preserve this tradition and wisdom.
The Amrit Ceremony takes place during the Amrit Vela – the hours before sunrise. Five people who have already taken Amrit serve as the Panj Piaray. They represent the original five Beloved Ones who gave their heads to Guru Gobind Singh. Collectively the Panj Piaray is the channel of the Guru’s Light for the ceremony. Gathering together in the Gurdwara, the people who will be taking Amrit meditate while the Panj Piaray stir water and sugar in an iron bowl, each one reciting one of the five Banis (daily prayers of the Sikhs). The power of the sacred vibrations infuse the water and, it is said, impact its molecular structure. The frequency of the Shabad enters the water and transforms it. When this process is complete, those receiving the Amrit come forward and participate in a beautiful and powerful ceremony of transformation – charged with the power of the Shabad Guru through the prayers of the Panj Piaray, the Amrit Sanchar (ceremony) opens the door for a person to manifest their purity and light in every aspect of their lives. This is the inner experience of Khalsa.