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One God

Sikh Customs


Khalsa is the body of initiated Sikhs to which most adult Sikhs belong. After Sikhs go through the Amrit Ceremony of initiation they take new names, and wear the 5 Ks.

Khalsa is the breath of my body,
Khalsa is the very soul of my life,
Khalsa is my real pride and glory,
Khalsa is my own personal self,
Khalsa is my life’s sustainer,
Khalsa is my body and breath,
Khalsa is my creed and karma,
Khalsa is my conscience keeper,
Khalsa is my perfect satguru,
Khalsa is my brave friend,
Khalsa gives me intellect and wisdom,
Khalsa is my object of meditation.

Guru Gobind Singh

The Five Ks

The 5 Ks are 5 physical symbols worn by Sikhs who have been initiated into the Khalsa.

The five Ks are

Kesh (uncut hair) 
Kara (a steel bracelet) 
Kanga (a wooden comb) 
Kaccha (cotton underwear) 
Kirpan (sword)

The Kanga, the Kesh, the Kara, the Kirpan and the Kachha were all delicate gifts of love and beauty to the Khalsa from his Master who desired nothing for himself, but everything for the Khalsa. These gifts were from a Guru who grabbed not the gifts of his disciples but instead totally surrendered everything for the cause and love of the Khalsa - a way of total love which was to be unique for the Khalsa.

Harcharan Singh

Kesh (uncut hair)

Historically, hair (kesh) has been regarded as a symbol both of holiness and strength.

To Sikhs, keeping hair uncut indicates that one is willing to accept God's gift as God intended it. It also symbolizes the adoption of a simple life, and denial of pride in one's appearance. It shows spiritual maturity.

Kara – A Steel Bracelet

To Sikhs, Kara is a symbol of restraint and gentility. A symbol of God having no beginning or end. 
It is a symbol that a Sikh is linked to the Guru. It acts as a reminder that a Sikh should not do anything of which the Guru would not approve. 

Kanga – A Wooden Comb:

Kanga symbolizes a clean mind and body. Functionally, it keeps the uncut hair neat and tidy.

Kanga symbolizes the importance of looking after the body which God has created.

Kachha – Special Underwear:

Kachha is a pair of breeches that must not come below the knee. It is a symbol of chastity.

Kirpan – A Ceremonial Sword

The Kirpan symbolizes Spirituality. It is a metaphor for God. 
It denotes the defense of good and the weak and the struggle against injustice. 

Khanda - The Sikh Insignia

The Khanda constitutes three symbols in one. The name Khanda is derived from the central symbol in the insignia, a special type of double-edged sword which confirms the Sikhs' belief in One God.

The double-edged sword is the creative power of God which controls the destiny of the whole creation. It is sovereign power over life and death.

This double-edged sword is a metaphor of Divine Knowledge, its sharp edges cleaving Truth from Falsehood. The circle around the Khanda is the Chakar. The Chakar being a circle without a beginning or and end symbolizes the perfection of God who is eternal. The Chakar is surrounded by two curved swords called Kirpans. These two swords symbolize the twin concepts of Meeri and Peeri - Temporal and Spiritual authority. They emphasize the equal emphasis that a Sikh must place on spiritual aspirations as well as obligations to society.

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