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The majority of Sikh customs are associated with the Khalsa, the body of initiated Sikhs to which most adult Sikhs belong.

Sikhs who have been through the Amrit Ceremony of initiation become Amritdhari - or initiated - Sikhs, take new names, and wear the 5 Ks.

  Caste System...

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 5 Ks date from the creation of the Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.

The Guru introduced them for several reasons:

  • Adopting these common symbols would identify members of the Khalsa
  • Because all members of the Khalsa wear the 5 Ks the members of the community are more strongly bound together.
  • Each K has a particular significance

The Meaning of the 5 Ks

The 5 Ks taken together symbolise that the Sikh who wears them has dedicated themselves to a life of devotion and submission to the Guru.

For a Sikh the fact that the Guru has instructed the Sikhs to wear the 5 Ks is an entirely sufficient reason, and no more need be said.

The symbols have become greatly more powerful with each passing year of Sikh history.

Every Sikh remembers that every Sikh warrior, saint, or martyr since 1699, and every living member of the Khalsa, is united with them in having adopted the same 5 Ks.





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