What Is The Khalsa?


The Khalsa Knighthood arose to fight the Muslim Inquisition in Indian in 1699. The Khalsa Knighthood of the Sikhs is and was a very unusual group because both men and women belong, and because the Khalsa Knighthood is “defense only”. A Khalsa Knight is under vow to never attack anyone. They must never fight out of fear or anger or revenge. They can only defend the oppressed from oppressors. This they vow to do but that is it.

Thus Sikhs fighting in WW2 did NOT fight against Hitler, rather they fought on behalf of Jews and Jew’s right to practice the Jewish faith.

Not all Sikh men and women belong to the Khalsa Knighthood – and, unfortunatlely, not all Sikhs who you see wearing the 5 symbols of the Khalsa Knighthood – uncut hair, comb, sword, steel bracelet, and underwear – are keeping the 5 Khalsa vows that these symbols represent.

1. Kesh, uncut hair: Khalsa Sikhs vow to keep their bodies natural and live wholesome lives. No intoxicants, no smokes.

2. Kanga -comb: They bathe daily and keep clean.

3. Kirpan – the sword: Khalsa Knights vow to defend the innocent and/or oppressed. A Khalsa Knight is under vow to jump in and help those being oppressed or attacked. They feed the poor too.

4. Kara – the bracelet: They vow to defend the Divine Ideals, and again never to attack. Khalsa Knights vow to be ethical, to shun corruption, to live truthfully.

5. Kacchera – underwear: Khalsa Knights wear underwear (rather like simple boxer shorts). This symbolizes the 5th Khalsa vow. Khalsa Knights treat all men and women as brothers and sisters, as equals. They vow to not view the opposite sex as sex objects or romance objects, or practice any sort of rock-star-itis.

In Sikh history, a history that Sikhs remember, Sikhs have fought in battles to defend the rights of Hindus and also Muslims to practice their religions in peace. Sikhs are proud of this. Sikhs are a proud people with a glorious (study them) past. Only Sikhs have ever run into battle yelling “Sat Siri Akal!” which means “Truth is Undying” or “The Truth Will Out!”.

That said, most Sikhs are ordinary folk. Most are not Khalsa, and some who think they are Khalsa, are breaking Khalsa vows. Basically Sikhs are just as messed up, at times more messed up, than other humans. They are a tiny minority everywhere. Before 1984, Sikhs had politically clout in India (they were the swing vote between Hindus and Muslim in a small, but very prosperous, part of Northern India) since then they don’t. All their historic Gurdwaras (temples) are in India and also in Pakistan, and those two countries are full of hotheads (mostly Hindu, Muslim; also Sikhs, Jain, and Christian Missionaries), and those two countries have the bomb.



Filed under The Khalsa Knighthood

3 responses to “What Is The Khalsa?

  1. Gurmit Singh

    Thanks for caring and sharing.

    The Khalsa is required to represent/reflect the concept of Piri & Miri – Saint Soldier – Bhagti & Shakti – Gurbaani & Gurmatt as taught and practiced by our Gurus Sahibaan (1469-1708).

    But now there is hardly any Khalsa because we remain divided into various factions & groups and different cults & sects. Gurduara Sahib and other Historical places have been reduced to the Parkaash of Guru Granth Sahib, kneel & bow, put some money in Go+luck, throw some dollars / pounds / rupees in front of Bhai/Raagi/Giani, sit for few minutes, take delicious lunch/dinner, meet some known mates and come back. No one goes to learn Gurbaani and Guru’s Teachings. No one bothers about the dignity and glory of the
    Khalsa whether in Punjab, India or abroad. Sikh leaders whether political or religious have become lackeys of others for the sake of pelf and perks.

    Perhaps, you young persons could do better to guide the apostates and others pretenders.


  2. not that it’s really on topic, but did you know that mahmoud ahmadinejad has a blog?

  3. kamallarosekaur

    Off topic but fascinating.

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