Political Mishap leads Indian media to educate about Panj Paire

Guru Gobind Singh established the institution of Panj Piare while founding the Khalsa on the day of Baisakhi in 1699....

Editor's note: The following is from 'The Indian Express'

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat has apologised for comparing Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu and his four advisers to the Panj Piare. On Wednesday, he not only rendered his apology but also promised to do sewa at a gurdwara in his state as a form of penance.

But who are the Panj Piara?

‘Panj Piare’ is not just a group of five baptised people but a concept and tradition founded by 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.

Guru Gobind Singh established the institution of Panj Piare while founding the Khalsa on the day of Baisakhi in 1699. Addressing a large gathering, he asked for five heads for sacrifice. Five men responded to his call and the Guru baptised them and called them Panj Piare.
Since then, every group of five baptised Sikhs is called Panj Piare and accorded the respect enjoyed by the first five Sikhs.

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Who were the first Panj Piare?

The Panj Piare were from different castes and states of India. While Bhai Daya Ram hailed from Lahore, Bhai Dharam Rai was from Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Bhai Himmat Rai came from Jagannath in Odisha, Bhai Mohkam Rai from Gujarat and Bhai Sahib Chand was from Bidar, Karnataka.

In return, Guru Gobind Singh made them drink Amrit (sweet water prepared by reciting Gurbani) from one utensil. Then he suffixed Singh with their names and renamed them Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh.

Apart from defining the religious and social protocol for the Khalsa by dictating it to the Panj Piare, Guru Gobind Singh himself got baptised from them at the same stage to tell the Sikhs that Panj Piaras have higher authority and decision making power than anyone in the community.

The Panj Piare are also seen as a manifestation of the Guru himself...

Related article: Recognizing the 12 Forms of our Guru

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