Kesh means hair. The Sikhs believe in keeping uncut hair. They regard it as a symbol, of respect for God. Traditionally, the Sikhs do not cut their hair and the male Sikhs should not cut their beards. It must be allowed to grow in this natural way. Many of them believe must be allowed to grow freely, while others use a beard net to keep it tidy and out of the way. Guru Gobind Singh encouraged Sikhs not to cut their hair, which should be allowed to grow 'as God intended'. The hair is sometimes tied in a simple knot known as a Joora or Rishi knot. It is also kept covered by a turban.
The Kangha is a wooden comb used for keeping the hair clean and tidy. Guru Gobind Singh instructed the Sikhs at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in 1699 to use a comb. He asked all the members of the Khalsa to wear the Kangha. It is regarded as one of the five articles of faith. It also represents cleanliness. It is to be used twice daily to comb and keep the hair in a disentangled and tidy condition. Thus, the Sikhs wash their hair very early every morning, then comb it, and then wind it into a topknot. The kangha is kept in the topknot and covered with a turban. The Kangha represents discipline in all aspects of life.
A Kara is a bracelet made of steel or iron. It is worn by both male and female who have been initiated. It is one of the five 5Ks or kakars. It is a closed circle which does not have a beginning or an end. It thus, symbolizes faith, strength and integrity. It reflects the view of the followers of Sikhism about God who is regarded as eternal and infinite. God too does not have any beginning or end. The Kara is also worn by many ethnic Punjabis who might be Hindu, Muslim, or Christians. The Kara is a representation of the totality of God and is also an important symbol of Sikh brotherhood. It is a sign of unbreakable attachment towards God. It also reminds the Sikhs of their duties and to lead a disciplined life. It is reminder of the duties to be carried out by the Sikhs in its righteous way following the path shown by the Guru.
The kara is made in different forms and sizes, like battle field types, sharp edges, spikes etc. it is also used during the Sikh martial art of Shastar Vidiya. They bangle is usually worn in the dominant hand.
Kachera are short trousers which are worn as undergarments. It was instructed to be worn by Guru Gobind Singh as part of the Khalsa uniform. It is regarded as a symbol of modesty. It is a loose garment with a tie knot. It is worn above the knee and gives a sense of dignity and honour. The garment is usually made from white, lightweight cotton material.
The Kirpan is a sword that the Sikhs carry. It is a sign of courage and sacrifice. The Kirpan was given to the first five Sikhs who came forward willingly to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their religion. It thus symbolizes bravery as well as faith in God. According to history, once the Sikhs were persecuted. It was then when they had to defend not only themselves but also their faith. The Kirpan is thus worn by the Sikhs as a symbol of their willingness to defend his or her faith and the weak or oppressed. It is usually worn with a cloth shoulder strap called a gatra. It depicts the warrior character of a Sikh.
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