"Is it true that all Sikh men are required to carry a knife?"
Five K's - Panj Kakkars - Part 1 of 2
"The Teachings on Form came via The Final Teacher, Guru Gobind Singh as the completion of the Dharma was coming to close.
What must be noted is they only appeared once the solid philosophical base had been re-established through written Scripture and a linked number of events had unfolded over a 200 year time period.
The conditions had therefore been set and were now ripe for these teachings to appear, much like every other aspect of the Dharma.
Everything is therefore linked in an unbroken stream of continuity.
Guru Nanak laid the foundations of the Dharma with Ek Oan kar, Guru Angad finalised the Gurumukhi script, Guru Amar Das gave us one of the five major Passages in this script, Guru Ram Das laid the foundations for the Golden Temple whilst Guru Arjun Dev compiled and installed the Scripture in this complex before being martyred.
Guru HarGobind brought to us the concept of Defence where Guru HarRai disowned his own Son for verbally attempting to change one word. Guru HarKrishan made the water carrier recite the essence of Dharma perfectly to the Pundit when mocked, and Guru Tegh Bahadhur was martyred for upholding the Hindu Dharma after they asked for assistance.
And then through Guru Gobind Singh came The Khalsa, the personification of the Sikh Dharma that is firmly rooted in the Teachings, built on the foundations of nine successive Predecessors and thirty Bhagats who too were all also at one with the will of God.
The Khalsa could therefore be considered the physical manifestation of the Teachings, a natural extension of the scriptures, and ultimately the crowning glory that connects one with God, Guru and Dharma.
It is a total immersion that creates a powerful bond between Teacher and Disciple ensuring that one is securely fastened to the path, ultimately becoming the very embodiment of The Teachings.
In the same way that the whole body works as a perfectly interlinked system, so to do the Teachings of the Gurus work in beautiful harmony, completing and complimenting each other in a perfect totality.
Whilst it may be possible to function without certain aspects, it is never whole and as a result does not lend itself well to reaching the heights it was designed or intended to.
Explicit instructions for the Panj Kakkars are not found in the scriptures, but if one were to look into the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, one sees how the ways of The Khalsa are infact intricately interwoven and rooted in it, merging seamlessly as one because they are infact both expressing the same principles in different ways.
One in Scripture, One in Form, both combining together to finally reveal the complete Sikh of the Guru, The Sant-Sapahi Saint-Solider, as had always been intended.
Nobody embodied this better then the final Guru Himself, Guru Gobind Singh, who took Amrit from the very hands of the Panj Pyare - The Five Beloved Ones who were not afraid to die for The Teachings.
This not only made Him The Guru who was at One with God, but the Disciple at the same time, walking with and guiding others to their destination of release from Samsara. Truly an unparrelled act in the of whole of mankind."
5 K's - Panj Kakkars - Part 2 of 2
The Panj Kakkars bind one firmly to the Dharma making one strongly associate with it and ensure that one is actively guided by it.
In doing so, one builds a sincere congruence where thought word and deed are unified and working as one. Once these are combined, the final result can only be the production of a peaceful, tranquil and sincere person who responds from the state of equanimity, as they have been touched by the Teachings.
Whilst one does not grasp the Teachings due to Form alone, it is more conducive to practice.
An individual may feel that merging into his local environment is fine, but may not always realise that it could be motivated by in-correct principles suchas desire, ignorance, aversion and so on, which go against the Path.
As one thinks, so he becomes, unaware, perhaps even oblivious to the fact that he could be building conformity with wrong view as he is totally immersed in it due to the appeal it has over his senses .
The Panj Kakkars serve as a reminder that one is walking the path of God and therefore instils in the person to act with Right Action in mind ultimately making him do good deeds.
Of course there are times when an individual will falter, but essentially it sets the person on the path of Dharma, something he may have never done otherwise.
By physically expressing faith, one begins to return society to its spiritual base because of what it represents, ultimately changing the environment once again for the better, motivating others to take up the Path of liberation with the Follower.
Because of this, a powerfully synergised collective will naturally begin to form and as result a greater overall influence will be exerted, transforming others to become like this also.
The Panj Kakkars upholds confidence in the Dharma amongst The Sikhs as well as the general population at large, because there is a visible expression of Dharma.
I would even go as far as to say that there it is something comforting, relaxing and pleasing in knowing that Dharma is central to so many people’s lives that it has been physically expressed, an outpouring if you will, of their proclamation that they are Sikh and walk the Right Path, the path of Dharma.
The Panj Kakkars make one forge a strong connection with The Gurus Teachings, and by natural extension The Dharma, making the person build an affinity with it to such an extent that they identify with it in its totality having developed faith in The Guru.
A point will come when There is no difference between him, Dharma and ultimately The Guru. They have infact become one and the same as eventually, not only will they have brought out Key Principles that are infact deeply imbedded within us all, they would have in reality reached their Supreme State.
Closing, I wish to say that had the final teachings of Form not been given, then The Sikhs and the general population at large would quickly loose their confidence and commitment to the Dharma leading to its absorption into the world as the Teachings would not remain intact. It would therefore just become another religion that cannot truly enlighten or liberate people, as all of its knowledge and guidance would fade into the mist.
By simply expressing ones faith, even with a small subset of Kakkars, one strengthens The Sikh Dharma many fold, spiritually uplifts the person who has committed, and brings forward the Teachings that came through the succession of the Enlightened Gurus to the World as intended."
just to add some thoughts to the story mentioned earlier in the thread,
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