|The Foundation of the Khalsa|
On the feast of Baisakhi in 1699, the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, called a gathering of faithful Sikhs at Anandpur.
After the normal prayers Guru Gobind Singh, holding up his sword, asked the gathering if anyone were willing to lay down their life for the faith. The people sat in shocked silence - no one moved. The Guru repeated his call for someone to sacrifice their life. Still no one moved. Gobind Singh called for the third time. Slowly one man stood, Daya Ram, and offered his life.
Guru Gobind Singh took Daya Ram into his tent. Outside the people waited expectantly until the Guru returned, his sword dripping with blood. He asked for a second volunteer. Dharam Das stood and offered his life. Again he was taken into the tent, and again Guru Gobind Singh returned, his sword dripping with blood. Three more faithful Sikhs were willing to give up their lives and entered the Guruís tent: Mukham Chand, Himmat Rai and Sahib Chand.
A while later Guru Gobind Singh brought the five men out of his tent alive and dressed in new clothes. He gave the five men Amrit (water and sugar mixture) stirred with a sword, and called them the Panj Piare (or Panj Piaras) - the Five Pure Ones. Then the Guru humbly asked them to do the same for him. The five remained with the Guru for the rest of his life.
The Panj Piare were the first members of the Sikh Khalsa (brother/sisterhood). They were to wear five symbols of membership: the Five Ks - Kesh, Kanga, Kara, Kirpan, Kaccha. Sikhs remember these five brave men who showed that their faith was more important than their lives, every day in the Ardas prayer.