Principles and Concepts

What is the mission of the Khalsa?

The Khalsa was the creation of the last living Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. The ten Gurus had given more than 200 years of training to the Sikhs and wanted to demonstrate the type of Godman who would be perfect in all respects. He would be a model of Sikh principles. Guru Gobind Singh gave the Khalsa “Amrit” – the initiation through the nectar of the double-edged sword. He knelt before the Panj Piyaras and begged for Amrit (The nectar prepared by the Panj Piyaras). He said that the Khalsa was his physical form and the embodiment of all that is best in the Sikh religion. He game them the uniform of the five symbols and the five Banis. They were to be saint-soldiers, devoted to the service of mankind.

Amrit of the double-edged sword was meant to create fearlessness in the Sikhs. They were enjoined to carry the Kirpan, for purposes of the defence of others and for the uprooting of evil. This mission of the defence of the weak and the downtrodden gave an impetus to a spirit of service and sacrifice. the Khalsa Panth had to meet the need of the times – to protect the weak against the oppression of Moghul rulers. History shows how the Sikhs bore the brunt of Moghul tyranny and indignation. The two holocausts – Chotta Ghallughara of June 1746, when more than ten thousand Sikhs were butchered, and Vada Ghallughara of Feb. 1762, when more than thirty thousand Sikhs were killed – clearly demonstrated that the Khalsa was always ready to meet the challenge of bigoted Muslim rulers. In the freedom struggle (1931-1947), the Khalsa Panth, gave a good account of itself. During the Chinese invasion of 1962 and Indo-Pak wars of September 1965 and December 1971, the Sikhs won many official awards for their heroism.

Some people suggest that the Khalsa was created only to meet the needs of the time. This is not correct. The Khalsa was intended to perpetuate the ideal of the godly warrior – the saint-soldier – which Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh had in mind. Here was a harmonious development of physical and spiritual personality within the Grihst Ashram (The state of a family man; the married life of a householder). Here the best characteristics of past and present were fused together to create a man for the future – A Khalsa – dedicated to the glory of God and the freedom and dignity of man. Undoubtedly, the Khalsa will come to the forefront in meeting any future crisis in any part of the world.