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FIVE "ARTICLES OF FAITH"

Author : Unknown


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 hair properly).


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 practice.


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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