Amrit Panjabi, «undying»; Sanskrit, «ambrosia») is the nectar of immortality. However, for the Sikhs, amrit has other related meanings. Taking amrit (amrit chhakana) means receiving initiation (amritsanskar) at the khande-di-pahul ceremony with sweetened baptismal water. According to tradition, Guru Gobind Singh first prepared the amrit to initiate the khalsa in 1699 AD.

During the preparation of the amrit for the naming ceremony, only the first five verses of the Japji Sanib are recited. In popular usage, amrit is frequently holy water believed to possess healing properties, especially which has been close to Adi Granth during a path reading.

Used metaphorically in the Adi Granth, amrit suggests both immortality and sweetness particularly as a result of meditation upon God’s name (nam simaran), that is, «Ambrosial (amrit) is the True Name» (Adi Granth 33). The «amrit vela» is the hour before dawn especially precious for prayer. A.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 6