Harnam Singh Shan, D.Litt. (Eminent scholar, former Prof. & Chair, Guru Nanak Studies, Punjab University, Chandigarh. 605, Sector 16 Chandigarh, 160015, Punjab ) describes the creation of the Khalsa as described by Bhatt Sarup Singh Kaushish in "Guru Kian Sakhian"
Bhai Sarup Singh Kaushish who wrote the account of that great event 14 years after Bhalla, 21 years after Chhibbar and 39 years after Koer Singh. He seems to have followed only the first-hand information he found recorded in the Bhatt Vahis of his ancestors who remained in attendance with Sri Guru Gobind Singh and happened to be eye-witness to most of the events associated with his court and camp till he passed away.
Basing his account on such an authentic and reliable contemporary source, Kaushish related the first "baptismal" ceremony, held at Keshgarh Sahib on the Vaisakhi Day (30 March) of 1699, in the next Sakhi, bearing no. 59, as follows:
That is, "now begins the anecdote regarding initiation with ambrosial baptism by the nectar of the double-edged broadsword."
"Guru ji asked Diwan Dharam Chand to bring a stone mortar, a steel bowl and the double-edged broadsword. Obeying the command, Diwan ji brought in the same.
"Placing the bowl on the stone mortar and putting in it the water of river Sutluj, Guru ji started the preparation of his ambrosial nectar. He began to stir the Khanda in it with his hand in front of the five Sikhs - Bhai Daya Ram and others. He recited at first Japji Sahib.
"The revered mother asked Bhai Kirpa Ram, ‘What Guru ji is doing?’ He said, ‘Revered mother’, Guru ji is preparing ambrosial nectar of the double-edged broadsword for administering it to the Sikhs.’ The revered mother was deeply moved on hearing this. She instantly came to Guru’s presence with a lawful of patasas. Paying at first her obeisance to Guru ji, she poured the patasas from her lap into that bowl. The all-knowing Guru ji did not look at her and continued with his recitation of Jap ji with full concentration. After reciting the sacred compositions of Jap Ji, Jaap Sahib, Sawayyas and Chaupai, he recited Anand Sahib. When the ambrosial elixir became ready, he stood up and performed the Ardas. Concluding it with the prayer; he called out Fateh, and raised aloud the spirited chant of Sat Sri Akal.
"The True Guru, then, dripped the ambrosial nectar five times, from the edge of the Khanda into his own mouth, repeating each time the Fateh, salutation of God’s victory.
"The True Guru, thereafter, holding the Khanda in his right hand, said, ‘This broadsword with the stirring of which I am going to give you the ambrosial nectar of steel, was endowed to me by the Immanent and Eternal Being (God) on His calling me from the mountain of Hemkunt. Keep it (its replica) under your short turban. With its blessing you will gain victory in every field of activity.’
"After this, he uttered the following three couplets38 in a roaring voice:
You are the Timeless
You are the goddess of death;
You are the arrow.
You are the symbol of victory.
You are the Almighty Hero of the world.38
"After uttering the above couplets, he looked towards the Five, Daya Ram and others, who were standing in front and watching with fixed gaze the bowl of nectar. Making them sit in the bir-asan, he administered to each, by turns, that ambrosial nectar of the broadsword. Then, starting at first from Bhai Daya Ram and going up to Bhai Himmat Chand, he made them drink three sips each of whatever nectar was left over in the bowl. Returning them from Bhai Himmat Rai and proceeding towards Bhai Daya Ram, he finished the nectar by letting them take two more sips each.
"Assigning the word Singh first to his own name and thence to the names of all the Five Chosen Sikhs, Guru ji called out Fateh (the victory salutation) and raised aloud the spirited chant of Sat Sri Akal.
"Thereafter, Guru ji pronounced, ‘on your rebirth in the Khalsa Panth, your previous lineage, caste, creed, calling, customs, beliefs and superstitions, etc. stand annulled from now onwards. Transforming you into the Order of Khalsa, I have endowed you with the apparel of the Almighty God, you shall have to keep its honour. Before administering this nectar of steel, I also bestowed you with five kakaars (Ks, i.e. defining emblems). You have never to keep them away from your body even by mistake. I gave you, at the start, kes, kangha, kirpan, sarbloh ka kara and white kachhehra. In the event of the loss or misplacement of any of these, get its infringement pardoned in the Sangat by going to Gurdwara without any delay.
"Now listen to the following four bajjar kurehats (negative injunctions or transgressions) by the commission of any of them a Sikh becomes an apostate and cannot intermingle with the Sikh sangat. The first is the dishonouring of one’s rom (hair) from top to be. The next are eating of kutha, using of tobacco and cohabiting with a Muslim woman. In the event of the infringement of any one of these, you must get yourself pardoned by having yourself re-baptized with the nectar of the broadsword. Do not cherish any relation or communication with the five antagonists of the Panth, that is, the descendants and followers of Prithi Chand, Dhir Mal, Ram Rai, masands and the shaven. Whosoever from any of them shall come to the Sangat and shall present himself for forgiveness for his omissions or commissions, he should be forgiven without any suspicion or hesitation. You shall not fix your faith, even by mistake, in any monastery, crematory, tomb or grave, excepting in God, the only One Timeless Being. I have blended you with gold’ - So do not harbour delusions and suspicions, differentiations and discriminations among yourselves".
It is very useful and encouraging to note that the basic elements of the process of the preparation of the nectar and its administration, as mentioned by Kaushish, accords in their basic formation with what is outlined in the Sikh Rehat Maryada approved in 1945 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar, and which are in actual practice until now, that is more than two hundred years after the completion of the text of Guru Kian Sakhian by Bhai Sarup Singh Kaushish.