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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guru Gobind Singh: Five for Five

Photo by Harisingh
Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth - and last - Sikh Guru in human form. 

Unlike his nine predecessors (all of whom chose humans as successors), Guru Gobind Singh picked a holy scripture (the Adi Granth, thereafter referred to as the Guru Granth Sahib) as the next, final, and eternal Sikh Guru.  Guru Gobind Singh’s other unique contributions included the Five Ks that were thereafter to be incorporated into the everyday Sikh lifestyle. 

These Five Ks are as follows:  Kesh (hair that remains uncut because it is a natural gift from God); Kanga (a wooden comb that is used to keep hair, and metaphorically life itself, tidy); Kara (a steel bracelet, the circularity of which symbolizes infinite life, and the wearing of which serves as a reminder to keep one’s hands out of trouble); Kachera (a knotted drawstring undergarment that serves as a constant warning against lust and other uncontrolled impulses); and Kirpan (a short curved dagger that symbolizes bravery, as well as protection of the meek).

These Five Ks were introduced by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 AD.  They signify a commitment to following the Sikh teachings, as well as to avoiding the Five Evils.

According to Wikipedia, the Five Evils of Sikhism are as follows:  Kam (lust); Krodh (rage); Lobh (greed); Moh (attachment); and Ahankar (pride).  They are also referred to as the Five Thieves because they will rob from one’s spirituality if left unchecked.


Copyright January 5, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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