"ARTICLES OF FAITH"
An initiated Sikh must always have Punj
Kakăr (The five "articles of faith." These
are called Kakăr because the these five
begin with the Punjabi letter k, K.) On
one's person and one can never part with
them till one's death. These five articles
of faith are:
1. KES (Unshorn hair)
Kes is an article of faith for a Sikh.
[The Sikhs use Keski (small/under turban)
to cover their hair. Its purpose it to
protect hair]. Unshorn hair is must for
a Sikh. It is unique in Sikhism and it
distinguishes the Sikhs from the rest
of the world. A Sikh must not trim hair
from any part of his body. Hair is "the
seal of a Sikh's faith." Removal of this
seal makes one a "Patit" (apostate). Such
a person can not present oneself as representative
of Sikhism. A Sikh must keep his/her hair
neat and clean. A Sikh must comb his/her
hair twice a day. Hair must be covered
with a Dastăr (the Sikh turban). The females
may cover their hair with Dastar or a
Dupatta (a cloth of a size enough to cover
2. KANGHĂ (THE SIKH COMB)
A Kanghă is a specific comb of the Sikhs.
It is used for combing one's hair. A Sikh
must keep his/her hair perfectly clean.
It should always be attached to the knot
of the hair. A wooden Kanghă is a universal
3. KARĂ (THE SIKH BRACELET)
Every Sikh must wear a Kară in his right
wrist. It should be made of iron or steel.
(Usage of a Kară made of gold is not authentic
practice in Sikhism). Kară reminds a Sikh
to desist from un-Sikh like acts. [The
term 'bracelet' however, is not proper;
hence it should be avoided].
4. KACHHEHRĂ (THE SIKH SHORTS)
Every Sikh must wear a Kachhehră. It is
a specific type of shorts designed and
stitched in a specific manner. It reminds
a Sikh of chastity. High moral standards
are a must for a Sikh.
5. KIRPAN (THE SIKH SWORD)
Every initiated Sikh must wear a Kirpanon
his person. Kirpanis worn in a Gătra (a
specific belt of cloth) hanging from the
right side of shoulder to the left side
of the waist. The Sikh Kirpan reminds
a Sikh of his duty to help and defend
the weak, the poor and the oppressed.
Kirpan represents duty to struggle for
justice and human rights.
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