Are the five symbols really necessary?

It has been found that the maintenance of a similarity of appearance is essential, not only for the sake of uniformity but also for sustaining the enthusiasm of an organization. Such uniformity should be a living demonstration of the inspiration of the personality that created them. They symbolise the ideal and make it more real and meaningful to the followers.

The Sikh symbols were not intended to create a spirit of exclusiveness or of “chosen people”. They were meant to serve as aids to the corporate life of the community. It may be possible for a man to devote himself to God without adopting any forms or symbols, but if he wants to join an organization, he must keep up the disciplinary forms of the group. One may be a good soldier without military drill and uniform, but that does not minimize the need for such in a regular army, in the same way, the Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh stick to his uniform and the symbols ordained by him and find them a great aid in Panthic organization.

It has been recorded in history that whenever Guru Gobind Singh was pleased with anyone, he welcomed him to the fold of the Khalsa. Lachhman Bairagi became Banda Singh. It is said that more than eighty thousand Sikhs received initiation through the ‘Amrit of the double-edged sword’, within a few months of the creation of the Khalsa.

The symbols have kept the Sikhs united. They have also helped to maintain their ideals in great crises. Many Sikhs faced death but refused to shave off their hair (Kesh). The maintenance of unshorn hair is in keeping with the idea of living according to the Will of God. The Kesh symbolise the spiritual link with the Guru-power.

Along with the maintenance of five symbols, the leading of an exemplary life – Rehat – is essential. Abstinence from tobocco, Kuthha (slaughtered or butchered meat), wines, narcotics and adultery is part of the discipline of a Khalsa. The code of conduct is a difficult one. Guru Gobind Singh valued the form of the Khalsa, and state that so long as Khalsa maintains the symbols, he will march to glory; when he indifference to them, his luster will tarnish and fade away.

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One Response to “Are the five symbols really necessary?”

  1. Brenda Lee says:

    Does one have to be a baptised Sikh to wear the 5 Ks?
    You could say I am nothing
    You could say I am multi-faith
    I have used angels to help me and sometimes they have said I do not need them
    I have used Jesus Christ to help me and sometimes he has said I do not need him to walk me that I know where to walk
    The Buddhists would have me be Buddhist
    The Christians would have me be Christian
    The Catholics would have me be Catholic and bow to the Pope, I have used Mother Mary to help me as well
    Each has their own energy form, their own identity
    I want it all, and yet I am to be attached it seems to none at all
    There is too much to learn, it would bog me down in any religion and take away from time in my remote and spiritual healing through the psyche and through the heart
    And yet the Kundalini Yoginis say turbans are essential to higher power and healing the world
    And yet to be a yogini would take too much time and energy
    My physical studies are a martial art called Taoist Tai Chi
    I digress
    Each K has special powers
    Also the Khanda has great powers and I ‘sensed’ a three dimensional one casting golden light around the altar of the Saviour, I have also had a spinning one above my head, like a lighthouse sending out golden light to the world.
    I have no desire to be a vegan, I love cheese.
    Also our local lake trout (when I can catch it) and ocean canned salmon fills me with energy
    my body likes certain fish.
    Sigh.
    I am so pure that when I drink water without asking for a blessing it first, it is blessed as it enters me. Which makes no sense, if all is god, why is not all always blessed? It just isn’t because there is energy that is love and light and I can sense food that is blessed either because someone asked it to be so, or because it was prepared with love and joy and service.

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