THE AXIAL RITUAL
This is an account of the ritual and the certain rites and ceremonies by which a Sikh is knighted as a Singh enrolled as a member of the Order of the Khalsa.
The following Rules and Regulations have received the formal approval of the premier statutory Body of the Sikhs, for managing the historic shrines in the Punjab, and. they also have the general approval of the theologians, head-priests of Sikh Seats of Authority, called ‘the Thrones, takhats, and Sikh congregations in various parts of India, and other parts of the world, such as Malaya, Canada, Burma, U.S.A, and Africa.1 The Amrit is administered to a Sikh, when he is knighted a Singh, enrolled as a member of the Order of the Khalsa, in accordance with the procedure laid down in these rules, which, substantially represent the procedure formulated and adopted by Guru Gobind Singh, on March 30, 1699, when he enrolled the first Five Beloved Ones, as the Khalsa.
1. For administering Amrit, a specially enclosed, separate place should be reserved for the occasion which is not a public thoroughfare, or otherwise public.
2. The Guru Granth should be formally throned and opened there with due ceremony and wrapped in ceremonious robes. There should present, at least six Singhs as officiants, and they must be certified and adjudged as having been not guilty of any un-expiated breach of Sikh .discipline and formularies. One of these should sit on the throne in attendance of the Guru Granth, and the other five should co-operate in preparation and, administration of the Amrit. They all should have had a full bath including the washing of head-hairs, and should be dressed in clean and proper clothes. These Singhs may be of any sex, male or female.
3. None of the five; who have to prepare and administer the Amrit, should be physically defective, such as, one-eyed, lame, blind, paralytic, or suffering from any unseemly, serious or chronic disease. They should all be of good physique, good health and good bearing.
4. Every sane human being, of adult mind, irrespective of caste, creed, country, climate, race or sex, is entitled to be administered the Amrit, whenever he solemnly makes such a voluntary request to be enrolled into the order of the Khalsa.
5. Such a petitioner should have had a full bath, including that of the head-hairs, should be neatly and properly dressed, in possession of the five symbols of the Khalsa, uncut hair, comb duly tucked up in the tress-knot of the head hairs, the iron bangle on the right wrist, a sword in the belt, and short breeches up to the knees. He should wear a turban on head. He should stand in front of the Guru Granth, with due respect.
6. One of these five officiants then should put the following questions publicly to the petitioner : “Sikhism enjoins love and worship of the one Creator in contradistinction to the creatures. The worship must be implemented through selfless service of humanity and compassion towards all living creatures. Such selfless service and compassion must be inspired by continuous and progressive understanding of the ‘Guru’s Word’ as recorded in the Guru Granth, broad-based on the discipline of the Name. Holy congregation is the context of this great and marvelous discipline, and the Khalsa is the Society pledged to propagate and perpetuate this holy way of Life; through which the Universe shall be blessed in the beginning, shall be blessed in the middle, and shall be blessed in the end, without end and forever. Do you, after due consideration and voluntarily, accept this Way of Life ?
7. When the petitioner has answered, “I do” then one of the five officiants should perform the congregational prayer, the ardas and the “orders”, the hukam of the Guru Granth should be obtained. Then, one of the five officiants should stand up and addressing the holy congregation in its capacity as the Acting Guru, Guru Panth, should ask : “Have we the permission of the Guru to prepare and administer Amrit to the petitioner?” On receiving the assent of the holy congregation, that is, such members of the Order of the Khalsa, as are present, which assent is usually given by some or all members of the holy congregation, saying in unison, “The Guru giveth the permission,” all the five officiants, the five Beloved Ones, who now are transubstantiated into the original Five Beloved Ones to whom Guru Gobind Singh first administered Amrit on March 30, 1699, and who are now under the miraculous captaincy of Guru Gobind Singh himself, should sit in a circle on the already appointed place, where a round bowl of pure steel, full of pure water, is placed in the centre. In this bowl of water should rest, handle upward, a double edged sword of pure steel, and sugar plums or pure sugar should be added to the contents of the bowl. All the five officiants, should then assume the hero-posture, birasan2 which consists of placing the right knee on the ground with its heel forming the stool and seat for the body, while the left knee points heavenwards, and the left toe is firmly planted on the ground. Then all the five officiants should visualise in their minds the archetypal Form of Guru Gobind Singh, tall, erect; dark blue clad, wearing an aigrette of pure dazzling gems on His turban facade, with a white hawk on His left hand and a pure steel lance in His right, fully armed, and with a dark blue steed as His vehicle. They should thus concentrate their minds within ‘as the tortoise withdraws his limbs underneath his shell’. Thus, firmly postured and self-controlled, one of the officiants should firmly hold the handle of the double-edged sword in his right hand grip and place the tips of the four fingers of his left hand on the edges of the steel bowl, while the remaining four officiants should likewise place the finger tips of both the hands on the edges of the steel bowl. All the five officiants should fix the gaze of their eyes into the water of the bowl, and the first officiant should then recite the Japu of Guru Nanak, all the while stirring the contents of the bowl with the sword. In a similar manner, the Japa of Guru Gobind Singh should then be recited by the second officiant. And then the Sudha Swayyiyas and then the Bainti Chaupai, of Guru Gobind Singh, and then the Anand (five first and the last stanza) of Guru Amar Dass, should be recited in a similar manner, in a firm well modulated and clear voice, by the third, fourth and the fifth officiants respectively. 3 The reciter should mean while keep on stirring the contents of the steel bowl with the double-edged sword.
8. After these recitations are thus over, the bowl should be covered with a clean white cloth, and one of the oficiants should lift the bowl in both of his hands, and he should then again leading the ‘congregational prayer’ every body present standing and facing the throne, in which the ratification of Timeless God the Akalpurkh should be beseeched, of the Amrit thus prepared.
9. Then the Amrit should be administered to the petitioner or the petitioners in the following manner. The petitioners should sit in the hero-posture in a straight line, keeping the throne of the Guru Granth to their right. Then one of the five officiants should carry the bowl of Amrit in both hands, and another officiant should dip his right hand into the bowl and pour about an ounce of Amit into the cupped right hand of the petitioner, which the petitioner should hold up with the out-stretched left hand as its base. The petitioner should then raise his cupped right hand to his lips and sip the Amrit, while the officiant who poured the Amrit into his cupped palm, should bid : “Say, The Khalsa is of the wonderous God, and Victory to God”. Bol, Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fatahe. The petitioner should then repeat: “The Khalsa is of the wonderous God, Victory to God”. This process should be repeated five times in the case of each petitioner. Then each petitioner should be required to fix his gaze, with open unwinking eyes, into the open unwinking eyes, of the Amrit administering officiant, while the officiant, should throw a few drops of Amrit into the staring eyes of the Petitioner, with some force, to cause the shut-reflex, and this should be repeated five times, accompanied by the bidding and repetition of the formula : “The Khalsa is of the wonderous God, Victory to God,” as aforesaid. Then, five times five drops of Amrit, should be sprinkled into the tress-knot of the hairs of the head of each petitioner, again accompanied by the bidding and repetition of the above mentioned formula thus transubstantiating the hair of the petitioner into sacred keshas.
If then some Amrit is left over, it should be sipped by all the petitioners, one after the other, from the same bowl till it is drained off. All this while, when two officiants are administering Amrit, one carrying the bowl, the other passing it on, the remaining three officiants should stand two steps behind, in a straight line, facing the petitioners, and in the attention posture.
10. When the Amrit is thus administered to the petitioner, the two officiants should step back to join the other three officiants, and all the five in unison, then should say :
“Wonderous God, One, Numenon, Phenomenon, Truth, Name, Creator, Person, Without fear, Without malice, Timeless, Form, Unborn, Self-existant-subsistent, Light, Gracious.” 4 And the petitioners should then repeat in unison, the same formula. This should be done five times.
11. Then one of the officiants should address the petitioner or the petitioners thus : Today you take a new birth in the House of the Guru.s
You have become a Knight of the Order of the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh is the Father, and holy Sahib Kaur 6 the Mother of the Order of the, Khalsa. Your birth place is the Blessed Fort of the Sacred Uncut Hair 7 and you are a citizen of the Town of Bliss. 8 Your previous, race, name, geneology, country, religion, customs and beliefs, your subconscious pulls and tensions, samskar, and your personality have today been burnt up, annihilated and transmuted. Believe it to be so, without a doubt and with the whole of your soul. You have become the Khalsa, 9 a sovereign man today owing allegiance to no earthly person or powers. One God Almighty, the Timeless, is your only Sovereign to whom you owe allegiance, and He alone is entitled to your devotion and worship. The way to final fulfillment of human destiny, mukti, is laid down in the Revelations of the Guru Granth and the teachings of the Ten Gurus. Follow this Way and no other. Learn Gurmukhi-script if you do not already know it (till such time that the Guru Granth becomes available to you in your own mother or other known tongue to you), and read or hear read out and explained, the Guru Granth daily, as far as practicable and recite the five compositions of the Gurus, the first three in the morning, the fourth at sunset, and the last before retiring for night, viz. the Japu the Japa, the Ten Swayyios, the Rahiras and the Kirtan Sohila. Keep intact five symbols of the Khalsa, the five K’s on you, the uncut hair (kesha), a comb (kangha), an iron-bangle (cada), a sword (kirpan), and short drawers (kachha). Do not commit these four grave breaches of discipline. (1) To trim or shave hair of the body. (2) To eat kosher meat or that obtained by similar semitic methods. 10 (3) To have unnatural sex gratification or sexual relationship outside the marital bond and (4) To use tobacco. Any of these grave breaches of discipline results in automatic suspension from the membership of the Order of the Khalsa of the culprit and a re-initiation ceremony of Amrit administration in full is then necessary, after penance, for restoration of his original status. Till such re-enrolment, he is a patit a fallen limb of the Order, a drop out, so to speak. Association with such as are guilty of these four grave offences is forbidden to the Khalsa, till their expiation and reinitiation. Remain ever ready to serve the Khalsa Panth, and through it the whole humanity. What ever you earn as your livelihood, which must be through lawful means and through productive effort, a one-tenth of it must always be given away to further common-wealth, to the Central Treasury of the Khalsa, and all your life must be lived in a Sikh-like manner, which means, the Discipline of the Name, earning of livelihood through legitimate and productive effort, and sharing the fruits thereof with others. Be a disciplined member of the Khalsa, always and if you commit an error, confess it before an assembly of the Khalsa, and accept the penance, they impose upon you, and be careful in future.
12. The following five groups of men are actively and basically hostile to the organisational purity of the Khalsa. Do not enter into any enduring social relationship with any of them, such as marriage, till the individual duly joins the Khalsa Brotherhood and undertakes to observe its discipline. A disregard of this precept entails culpability, (literally, makes him a defaulter, a salaried servant, tankhahia. 11
(1) The Minas, the Dhirmalias, the Ram-raiyas, the Masands. These in the past have tried to create schism in the historical growth of the true Sikh doctrine, and also those who become patits.
(2) Those who establish social intercourse of common dining or marriage relationship, with any of these.
(3) Those who dye their hair or use make-up, in vanity to appear other than what they are.
(4) Those who corrupt the institution of marriage by basing it on secular, monetary, and somatic considerations.
(5) Those who use intoxicants to befog their minds to escape from reality.
Be diligent and remain alert always to maintain your integrity and authenticity.
13. After these instructions have been thus parted to the petitioner, then one of the officiants should again lead the congregational prayer, the ardas, and then the “Order” that is, the sortilege guidance of the Guru Granth should be taken seeking blessings to and ratification of the due enrollment of the petitioner to the Order of the Khalsa, and the first letter of this “Order”, should normally, though not necessarily, form the first letter of the new name, if it is desired to be given to the petitioner.
14. The sacrament, Karrahprasad, should then be distributed to those present, and all the newly created knights then should partake of the sacramental food from a common bowl.
15. The ceremony of Initiation is now over and complete, and the congregation should now disperse.
Here are English translations of the opening lines from the five compositions which are recited when Amrit is prepared.
The Japu. “1. Absolute. Truth. Name. Creator. Person. Sans fear. Sans-malafides. Time-less. Person. Without birth. Self-subsistent. Light. Gracious. The Japu (begins). True, beyond the Flux of Time. True, at the commencement of Time-cycles. True, without the Time Flux, and True shall also be, for ever and evermore, says Nanak. By human mind He cannot be comprehended even though it cogitated a hundred thousand times. Nor by suppressing and annulling this cogitation doth the human mind reach the Silence (of Self-realisation), even though it achieve single-pointed concentration without a break. By accumulating the goods of all the worlds, tangible and intangible, the Lust for grasping within is not satiated. No amount of profound wisdom or possession of know-how availeth. (Then) how shall man come near unto Truth; how may the Veil of Error be lifted up and rent? Nanak (answers) : “Living and acting (in social context), in harmony with following the Law of God and His Will, accessible to man as embedded in the depths of his own heart. 1. This Law createth the archetypal Forms; This Law cannot be stated. This Law createth the life-monads with urge to grow and evolve implanted in them. The lower and the higher is determined by this Law. The Pleasure and Pain to all sentient beings is apportioned by this Law. By this Law, some receive Grace and are thus delivered, and others wander about, in cyclic existence. All that is, is within the compass of the Law. Nanak (explains), he who understands the Law, never then says ‘I am .2.”
The Jap. “That which hath neither features nor characteristics, nor contour, colour or caste, nor genealogy. There is naught to say for anyone, what its form, what its complexion, what its physiognomy and what its dress. Stable Entity, the Light suigeneris, without measure, so it be stated. Count countless gods, the Kings of gods, earthly kings and their Emperors. (And) the lords of all the three worlds, the gods, the mortals, and the titans, all these (together) (Still) every blade of grass beareth witness to, “Not that,” “Not that, neti, neti.” Who can make an all-true proposition sarvnam about Thee and the wise, thus, utter adjectival statements (to refer to Thee). 1. Salutation to the Timeless. Salutation to the Compassionate. Salutation to the Formless. Salutation to the Incomparable. 2. Salutation to the One without a persuasion. Salutation to the Measureless. Salutation to the One and Alone. Salutation to the Unborn. 3. Salutation to the Non-aggregate. Salutation to the Disintegrate. Salutation to the Name-less. Salutation to the Non-resident. 4. Salutation to the Deed-less. Salutation to the Law-less, Salutation to the Description-less. Salutation to the Home-less. 5. Salutation to the Unconquered. Salutation to the Unsurrendering. Salutation to the Un-fortified. Salutation to the Un-demolished. 6. Salutation to the Space-less. Salutation to the Un-consumed. 7. Salutation to the Non-aggregate. Salutation to the Disintegrate. Salutation to the Liberal. Salutation to the Shore-less. 8. Salutation to the One-alone. Salutation to the Many. 9. Salutation to the Substance-less. Salutation to the Unyoked. 10.”
Sudha Sawaaiyyas. I went to Houses of the sravaks, the Jaina-monks, ‘the True ones’, the Siddha-teams, the Yogis, and the Celibates, the Sun-worshippers, the saints and anchorites of many persuasions. Throughout the world, I saw and scrutinised, but I did not meet anyone with the Religion of the Lord of Life. Without the grace of the Lord of the Grace, the Lord God, all sects are worthless. 1. The inebriated war-elephants, covered with gold-cloth, bedecked with jewels, without a compeer, protected with glittering mail coats, Countless war-steeds, nimble like a deer, and swifter than wind. And mighty monarchs, with vassals and allies, countless and without number. Such a mighty Emperor of men as this, and yet what of it, for in the end he must depart unshod and unclad. 2. They may subdue country after country, with bugles blowing and trumpets blaring. Surrounded by herds of war-elephants uttering proboscisic cries, and thousands of horses neighing in battle excitement. Such world-conquerors of the past, present and the future are so numerous as to be uncountable. Without remembrance of God, all these lords of the earth go in the end to where every thing goes in the end.3.”
Bainati Chaupai. Protect us with Thy Hand as our shield. May our aims be fulfilled. May our minds rest concentrated at Thy Feet. Sustain us, knowing us to be Thy slaves. 1. Destroy all the evil around us. Save us through Thine own intervention. May those, our allies and dependents, live in felicity. My aides and my disciples, all of them, O, God, 2. Safeguard me with Thine own Hand: Destroy all my enemies here and now. May my hopes be completely fulfilled. May I ever remain athirst for Thy Love. 3. May I love nought but Thee. May I receive every blessing from Thee alone. Save my helpers and my disciples. Alleviate my ills and pains. 4. Uplift me with Thine own Hand. Destroy my fear of the Hour of Death. By ever our support. Lord of the Banners; grant us safe conduct. 5. Protector, protect me, Thou. The Lord, the Guide-saint, the Ally and the Beloved. The Helper of the poor, the Vanquisher of the evil ones. Thou art our Refuge in all the fourteen Regions. 6. Brahma, the Creator-Demiurge, carne into being with the Time-cycles. The Vishnu, the Sustainer, the Primordial Person, is also encompassed by ·Time. All this Phenomenon is grounded in Time. 7. The Time, which made Siva, the Lord of the yogis. Which created Brahma, the knower of Vedas. The Time, which made all the temporal universes. To That, our salutations. 8. The Time that created all the worlds. And created the gods, the titans and the genii. The Time, which is the same one in the Beginning and the End. Verily, that is our Light and Guide. 9. To Him alone we salute. He who hath created all the creatures; He giveth unending joys to His own. He destroyeth them that deny Him.” 10
Anand Sahib. “Brethren, the Light of God is my Guide and peace is in my heart. The Light hath brought Realization, and my mind is instinct with joy. The gods and goddesses of Music and cosmic Harmony have assembled to make heavenly music of bliss. Sing (ye also) the praises of God, O, servants of God, Nanak sayeth, the peace hath descended into my heart and true Light is my Guide, 1. O, heart mine, be with God ever. Remain with God, O, my heart, and have sorrow and pain no more. He ,whom God accepts, his problems are solved. Forget not Him, the God Almighty. Nanak sayeth, O, heart mine, remain with God, ever. 2. True, Lord, what hast Thou not in Thy House. All everything is there in Thine House. But he alone receiveth whom Thou givest. (Thy greatest gift), Thy praises and Thy adoration, bestow upon us by implanting the Name in our hearts. Where the Name resideth, in that heart the divine music of the Presence of God is heard too. Nanak sayeth : True Lord, what hast Thou not in Thine House.3.”
1. Sikh Rahit maryada (Punjabi), published by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar, 1950, pp. 1-9.
2. Bir, or Vira, literally means hero, one who is endowed with viryam, heroic efforts. Hero-posture is considered most appropriate for shooting arrows from a bow, in battle array. The Ideal hero is portrayed in Indian sculpture and iconography, by the carved figure of a tirthankar, such, for instance, as is represented by the statue of Rsabhanath, at Mount Abu temples (11th Century) and the stone colossus of Gommata at the Sravana Belgola mound (10th Century). Here, the Ideal Man stands erect in the attitude of, kayotsarga, “dismissing the body,” in a rigid immobile posture, with arms held stiffly down, as in the “attention” military exercise. He has a fully developed chest, a firm abdomen, normal and unbulged, and otherwise an athletic figure of almost Greek proportions. He is a vira, a hero, for he has conquered his lower self and achieved the supreme human victory. That is why the twenty fourth Jaina tirthankar, is styled, Mahavira, the great hero. It was a happy admixture of these two ideals, the physical and the spiritual, which Guru Gobind Singh had in view on this occasion, with primacy of the spiritual. Nanak vichon ahamakaran — declares, a hero is one and his is the heroic effort, who destroys the enemy entrenched within himself, the evil self-centredness.
Nanak, so sura varyam jin vichon dust ahamkaran maria — Guru Granth. Var Srirag. III.
3. English translations of a few first lines out of each of these five texts, are given at the end.
4. Waheguru. Ek. Omkar. Sat. Namu. Karta. Purkhu. Nirbhau. Nirvair. Akal.Murat. Ajuni. Saibhang. Gur. Prasadi.
“Waheguru is the focal Word around which the Sikh discipline of the Name revolves. It was adopted as the basic concept of the Sikh thought and the esoteric essence of Sikhism, from the times of Guru Nanak. It is found in the revelations of the early Sikh Gurus, as preserved in the Guru Granth. It was not a new concept, though the word itself has been coined by the Sikh Gurus, for the concept is of an ancient origin. The Chinese pilgrims, who visited India in the seventh century, testify that, in the Buddhist congregations when any exposition was made of some profound or basic metaphysical doctrine of the religion, it was customary for the member of the congregation to murmur in appreciation, “Wahu, wahu,” (Wonderous, wonderous) and an approbatory reference to this practice exists in the Guru Granth itself, “Wonderous, wonderous is truly expressive of the waking reactions of the religious-man.”*
* Wabu, wahu, gurmukh sada karhi. — Gujri III
This writer has himself witnessed this practice in vogue in the assemblies of the Namdhari Sikhs, at their headquarters, Bhaini Sahib. In the occult Tibet, the expression, samyagya, is uttered or written before all sacred knowledge, indicating that teachings are too profound and esoteric to be taught to, or comprehended by, any save the purified and the disciplined. The formula is itself regarded as a seal of secrecy on the esoteric teachings. Samyagya is the exact equivalent of the Sikh esoteric formula, Wahegruu. Samya, means infallible knowledge, which is complete realisation of the Self, and gya word of the Tibetan language is originally a Sanskrit word, which means, ‘wonderous’, wahu. The meanings of the formula, Waheguru, have been given by the famous Sikh theologian, Bhai Santokh Singh, in his Nanak Prakash, (I. 1.62-63) as follows : “Wahu means, wonderous, that which cannot be described by means of propositions or syllogism, Gu, means, Inertia, Matter, Nescience. Transience, and Ru, means, the destroyer of them, the Light that animates, and sustains Pure Consciousness.” Wahu namacraj ko hoi, acraj te par ukat na koi, gu, tam tan-agyan anitt, ru, prakash kio jin citta.” The formula taught to the initiate, when he is knighted to the Order of the Khalsa, prefixed by the esoteric utterance, waheguru, speaks of the basic Truth and knowledge of the Sikh Religion and Pratice.
5. Compare, “Thou art now my son, born out of my mouth, the son of Dhamma.” —Ittivuttakam. 100. Also, “Thou art my loving Son; this day have I begotten thee.” — Luke. iii. 22.
6. A celibate wife of Guru Gobind Singh who was granted the privilege of adding sugar plums to the Amrit, that was first prepared by the Guru on March 30, 1699.
7. The geographical location of the place, called Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, is on a spur of a mound in the town of Anandpur in the Indian Punjab. For the significance of the uncut hair See. Appendix II. of the author’s book in English, The Parasharprasna. Hind Publishers, Jullundur 1959.
8. The name of the town, Anandpur, (Anandpur Sahib), is literal equivalent of Mahayan Buddhist concept of Sukhvati-vyuh contained in the Sukhvati-vyuh, of Nalanda fame. Sukhvati is a luxuriant apocalyptic heaven situated in the Dharamdhatu Region of Pure Forms, divorced from Desire and presided over by the Bodhisattava, Amitabha. Into this heaven are born all those, who through faith, have controlled and canalised their emotions to the Ideal. The paradise of Mohammed, described in the Koran appears to be a somewhat hazy and fragmentary reflection of this paradise of the Sukhvativyuh. Amitabha, the presiding-deity of this heaven, in his previous life on earth, was a king, who moved by the preachings of the Buddha of his age, renounced his throne and the world, to achieve the highest realization, the Buddhahood. At some stage of his spiritual quest and career, he made a series of famous vows, pranidhan, the eighteenth of which is as follows : “If after my obtaining Buddhahood, all beings in the ten Quarters should not desire in sincerity and faith, to be born into my region, the Sukhavati, and if they should not be born only thinking of me ten times (except those who have committed the five grave offences and are abusive of the true Dharma), may I not attain the Nirvana.” (Quoted in, Pratt : The Pilgrimage of Buddhism, p. 480). Thus, Amitabha renounced the reward of his efforts in order to preside over the Sukhavati, until all beings had arrived there. Citizenship Ideal of Amitabha, the Bhakti Yoga, at its best, where the Ideal of the service of humanity is grounded in a grand compassion, the deliberately cultivated power of self abnegation and Self-realisation, where through Grace awakened within, the clamour and glamour of the illusion of the individual self dies away.
9. ‘Khalsa’ is a Perso-Turkish administrative term, which means, royal, not subordinate to anyone, answerable to none subordinate, sovereign, directly administered by the sovereign.
10. According to the ancient Aryan Hindu tradition, only such meat as is obtained from an animal which is killed with one stroke of the weapon, thus causing instantaneous death, without exciting the fear glands secreting poisons into its blood stream, and without causing harmful psychic waves to emanate from the animal mind, is deemed fit for human consumption. Under the influence of compassionate Buddhism, the flesh became taboo to the generality of the Hindus. With the establishment of Islam, and the Muslim political hegemony in India, it became an item of state policy in India, not to permit slaughter of animals for food, in any other manner except that made lawful by the Koran, which is the kosher method, of slowly severing the main blood artery of the throat of the animal, while reciting religious formulae, the main object of slaughtering in this manner being, a “sacrifice” to God to expiate sins of the slaughterer, and its flesh as food being only a secondary object. (“Without shedding of blood is no remission,” Hebrew: 9 22 “It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Lev: 17.1) Guru Gobind Singh took a rather serious view of this aspect of the whole matter, and while making it permissive to eat flesh as food, repudiated the whole theory of this expiatory sacrifice and the right of the ruling Muslims to impose it upon others. He made the ancient practice of obtaining meat by instantaneous death jhatka as obligatory, but for food only.
11. In the Sikh slang, the sandhyabhasha, or the twilight language, the term, ‘salaried servant’, is employed to mean a ‘defaulter’ or ‘one guilty of a breach of discipline’, for the good reason that he who accepts salaried employment owes allegiance to, undertakes to serve, a mortal, and therefore, is not a true Khalsa, a free man, owing allegiance to none other than the Timeless One.
12. The Sikh Rahitmaryada, op.cit., pp. 32-37.