Guru Gobind Singh summoned the entire Sikh community to Anandpur Sahib in Punjab on Vaisakhi Day. During the large gathering, he called for a Sikh who would be willing to sacrifice their head for the faith. The call was answered by five Sikhs who were lead, one by one, into a tent. The five Sikhs who stepped forward are known as the five beloved ones, or Panj Pyare:
• Bhai Daya Singh
• Bhai Dharam Singh
• Bhai Himmat Singh
• Bhai Mokham Singh
• Bhai Sahib Singh
Guru Gobind Singh then dressed them in the same clothing as himself, and prepared the amrit or nectar of initiation. He knelt by an iron vessel, filled with water, and stirred it with a double edged sword while reciting verses from the Sikh scriptures. Guru Gobind Singh’s wife, Mata Jeeto jee added sugar crystals to the water to sweeten it. When the Amrit was prepared, it was administered to all five Sikhs. Upon initiation, they were given the name “Singh” or lion.
Guru Gobind Singh then asked for the five to initiate him in the same way and declared that any Sikh who wished to be initiated into the faith would follow the same rite and receive amrit from five initiated Sikhs. Sikh women like Mata Jeeto jee who received the initiation were given the name “Kaur” or princess.