||"I have made this
body and mind a sacrifice, a sacrificial offering to the Lord. Dedicating
my body and mind, I have crossed over the terrifying world-ocean, and
shaken off the fear of death." (Guru Arjan, Chant, pg. 576)
Who and What
is a Khalsa?
"He who keeps alight the unquenchable torch of truth, and never swerves
from the thought of One God; he who has full love and confidence in God
and does not put his faith, even by mistake, in fasting or the graves
of Muslim saints, Hindu crematoriums, or Jogis places of sepulchre; he
who recognises the One God and no pilgrimages, alms-giving, non-destruction
of life, penances, or austerities; and in whose heart the light of the
Perfect One shines, - he is to be recognised as a pure member of the Khalsa"
(Guru Gobind Singh, 33 Swaiyyas)
word "Khalsa" means "pure", Khalsa's are Sikhs which have undergone
the sacred Amrit Ceremony initiated by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind
Singh. The Khalsa order was initially created on Baisakhi Day March
30 1699, with Guru Gobind Singh baptizing 5 Sikhs and then in turn asking
the five Khalsa's to baptize him. Following this the Guru personally
baptized thousands of men and women into the Khalsa order. The Khalsa
baptism ceremony is undertaken as part of ones own personal spiritual
evolution when the initiate is ready to fully live up to the high expectations
of Guru Gobind Singh. All Sikhs are expected to be Khalsa or be working
towards that objective.
The Khalsa baptism
ceremony involves drinking of Amrit (sugar water stirred with a dagger)
in the presence of 5 Khalsa Sikhs as well as the Guru Granth Sahib.
The initiate is instructed in the following; (a) You shall never remove
any hair from any part of thy body, (b) You shall not use tobacco, alcohol
or any other intoxicants, (c) You shall not eat the meat of an animal
slaughtered the Muslim way, (d) You shall not commit adultery. The initiate
is required to wear the physical symbols of a Khalsa at all times as
well as follow the Khalsa Code of Conduct.
Quotes from the Gurus about Who is a Sikh
Comments from Sikh Scholars about who is a Sikh
- Stage 1: Manmukh
- A person who
is self-centered and only thinks about himself and the material world
around him and is totally oblivious to God.
- Stage 2: Sikh
- Anyone who sets
out on the path of learning and meets the specific definition of a
Sikh as appears in the Rehat Maryada (Official Code of Conduct).
- Stage 3: Khalsa
- Total dedication
to Sikhism. One who has has shed his ego and personality and truly
honours the memory of Guru Gobind Singh through his actions and deeds.
- Stage 4: Gurmukh
- One who has achieved
mukhti (salvation) and is totally God-centered.
Articles of Faith
- Long unshorn
hair. A symbol of spirituality. The Kesh reminds a Khalsa to behave
like the Guru's. It is a mark of dedication and group consciousness,
showing a Khalsa's acceptance of God's will. Long hair have long been
a common element of many spiritual prophets of various religions such
as Jesus, Moses and Buddha.
- Turban. A symbol
of royalty and dignity. Historically the turban has been held in high
esteem in eastern and middle eastern cultures. Guru Gobind Singh transformed
this cultural symbol into a religious requirement so that the Khalsa
would always have high self-esteem. It differentiates Sikhs from other
religious followers who keep long hair but wear caps or keep matted
hair. The turban cannot be covered by any other head gear or replaced
by a cap or hat. The turban is mandatory for Sikh men and optional
for Sikh women.
- Comb. A symbol
of hygiene and discipline as opposed to the matted unkept hair of
ascetics. A Khalsa is expected to regularly wash and comb their hair
as a matter of self discipline.
- Steel bracelet.
A symbol to remind the wearer of restraint in their actions and remembrance
of God at all times.
- Drawers. A symbol
signifying self control and chastity.
- Ceremonial Sword.
A symbol of dignity and the Sikh struggle against injustice. It is
worn purely as a religious symbol and not as a weapon.
Understanding the Kirpan for non-Sikhs
These Are Not Symbols
What is a Head Worth?
See Rehat Maryada category for greater details
The Sikh will worship only God. They will not set up any idols, gods,
goddesses or statues for worship nor shall they worship any human being.
The Sikh will believe in no other religious book other than the Holy
Guru Granth Sahib, although they can study other religious books for
acquiring knowledge and for comparative study.
The Sikh will not believe in castes, untouchability, magic, omens, amulets,
astrology, appeasement rituals, ceremonial hair cutting, fasts, frontal
masks, sacred thread, graves and traditional death rites.
The Khalsa will remain distinct by wearing the Five K's but shall not
injure the feelings of others professing different religions.
The Khalsa will pray to God before starting any work. This will be over
and above his usual prayers.
Although a Sikh may learn as many languages as he likes, he must learn
Punjabi and teach his children to learn to read it.
Every male should add "Singh" after his name and every female Khalsa
should add "Kaur" after her name. They must never remove hair from any
part of their bodies.
Drugs, Smoking and Alcohol are strictly forbidden for Sikhs
Khalsa men and women will not make holes in their ears or nose and shall
have no connection whatsoever with those who kill their daughters. Sikh
women will not wear a veil.
A Sikh must live on honest labour and give generously to the poor and
the needy thinking all the time that whatever he gives is given to the
A Sikh must never steal or gamble.
Except for the kacha and the turban there is no restrictions on the
dress of a Khalsa, but a Khalsa's dress should be simple and modest.
When a Khalsa meets another Khalsa he will greet him by saying, Waheguru
Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh (The Khalsa belong to God, Victory
belongs to God).