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The Sikh Emblem – Khanda

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The ‘Khanda’ is the symbol of the Sikhs and can be seen across various Sikh flags, including the Nishan Sahib, which marks all Gurdwaras and other religious premises.

The Khanda is made of three weapons.

The double-edged khanda (sword) in the center:

  • This stands for the power of god that is said to control the destiny of the whole universe
  • One edge of the Sword symbolizes divine justice, which chastises and punishes the wicked oppressors
  • The other edge symbolizes Freedom, and Authority governed by moral and spiritual values
  • The sharp edges are to depict cleaving of the Truth from Falsehood

Kirpans or Swords Piri and Miri:

  • This can be seen on the outside of the double-edged sword
  • The sword on the left is ‘Piri’, which is the sword of Spiritual Sovereignty
  • The sword on the right is ‘Miri’, which is the sword for Political Sovereignty
  • Piri and Miri emphasize the importance a Sikh must place on spiritual aspirations as well as obligations to society
  • There must always be a balance between the two and this is emphasized by the ‘Chakra’ or the circle
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The Chakra or the circle:

  • The Chakra is a symbol of the Divine, which manifests into various forms
  • Interpretations of the Chakra are – Without beginning or end; neither first nor last; including everything and wanting nothing; timeless, and absolute
  • It is the symbol of oneness, of Unity of Justice, Humanity, and the Immortality

Almost all Sikh warriors used to wear it in the eighteenth century, and ‘Nihangs’ (armed Sikh order) of today still do. In recent years, the Khanda has been used to show solidarity within the Sikh community on the happening of any unfortunate events.

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