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On the day of Vaisakhi in 1699 at Anandpur, the Sikh faith underwent its greatest transformation. Guru Gobind Rae, son of the martyred ninth master, Guru Tegh Bahadur had come to the realization that his Sikhs must adapt or perish in these perilous times. He sent forth messages across India and asked Sikhs to congregate at Anandpur at the annual Vaisakhi festival. They came from far and wide, each starkly different in costume and custom from their fellow brethren, but all united by the teachings of Guru Nanak.
Guru Gobind stepped onto the stage along with Mata Sahib, unsheathed his sword and demanded that a Sikh amongst them should prove his devotion by offering their head to the Guru. The congregation fell silent and some started to creep away now that the festival had taken a darker turn. In dismay, some Sikhs even went to the Guru’s mother so that she might beseech him to relent in his demand. She would not act and the Guru persisted. Finally a hand rose to the sky. His name was Daya Ram, a devoted Sikh from Lahore. He alone stood tall amongst a crowd of a hundred thousand. Mata Sahib beckoned him onto the mud built stage and the Guru took him into the tent to perform the sacrifice, away from the eyes of the congregation. Time passed. The Guru remerged from the tent alone, with a sword slick with blood. Four more times he asked for a head and four times a hand emerged from the crowd. When the last of these brave souls was lead away by the Guru, the faint of heart had long since withered from amongst the devotees.
Only those who were compelled by their faith stood witness to the great event. The Guru emerged from the tent accompanied by the five beloved ones, not slain but garbed in the fabled blue of the Khalsa. He awakened them to the brave new order by performing the ceremony of Amrit, declaring them his Panj Piaray, his five beloved ones. Together they were now equal to the Guru himself, and they in turn baptized him. He would now be forever remembered in hearts of Sikhs as Guru Gobind Singh, the father of the Khalsa. Mata Sahib, who lovingly ushered the first five, would be its mother.
As that auspicious day wore on, the Sikhs who had remained were each in their turn transformed and left Anandpur as part of great brotherhood of Singhs and Kaurs. Though their will would be tested time and again in that barbarous age, the gift of union they had shared with their Guru on that day would forever hold them to their faith.