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Solid meaning of the 5 kakaars

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Rory, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Rory

    Rory
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    The 5 Ks are obviously a very important way of reminding us about Waheguru throughout the day, and I think most of us attest to understanding the meaning behind the 5 Ks, but do we really?

    I've read many different interpretations for each of the 5 Ks.
    Some are very clear and some are not; going to try and see if we can come to a unanimous agreement about the meaning of all 5 Ks, because it is something that bothers me when I hear vague or even contradicting explanations.

    Kara has been described as a symbol showing the eternal, unbroken relationship between a Sikh and Guru. Without much explanation, I've also heard it being described as a symbol of righteousness and honor. Another proposed meaning is that it represents the ownership of Sikh by Waheguru, because it resembles the shackle worn by a slave - what are your thoughts here? It seems the meaning of the kara is generally interpreted by the circular shape and strong metal it is made of, indicating endlessness and unbreakability in the relationship of Waheguru and Sikh.

    Kirpan has been described as a symbol of defending truth, defending honor, defending righteousness and defending the weak from injustice. I think the kirpan probably has the most clear meaning, in that it simply stands for fairly, actively defending what is good - would everyone agree with this?

    Kes also seems to be quite a simple reminder of hukam - even though people question the validity of kes (for instance, a thread while back in which there was a lengthy discussion about why we should/should not also cut our fingernails, etc.), I think the meaning behind kes is quite well understood - hair grows back because God has designed it this way, and thus it should generally remind us of hukam; that which God has decided to be so, should be left so.

    Kaccha again this is quite well-understood; the kaccha represents modesty, humility and equality; we are all the same "when it comes down to it", so to speak? I think the kaccha are quite practically placed to remind people of this - let's imagine a Sikh is about to put on an exquisite, impressive and expensive outfit. They will still first have to put on their kaccha - and their kaccha will remind them of their modesty foremost, ensuring they don't become deluded by their own designer appearance.

    Secondly of course the kaccha is also practically placed to remind us to be pure of lust; if someone respects the meaning behind their kaccha, then taking them off to commit a bad / lustful sexual act will make them feel guilty and ashamed, and maybe deter them from doing it.

    Kanga represents physical, mental and spiritual cleanliness and order / neatness - it is a good way to spend a moment in order to sort your thoughts and also keep your kes clean. I think the kanga's practical meaning is blatant; it works like a comb. But mentally I think it is also important we keep our thoughts organized and repel negative mentality.

    Any thoughts on the above, disagree/agree with my interpretations? I think the 5Ks are maybe something we should think about a little more. I personally just kind of accepted other people's interpretations, but it seems that everyone has a different understanding; surely we should be able to come to some sort of definition that suits everyone?

    Gurfateh peacesign
     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    There is NO UNIVERSAL interpretation because there is NONE. No justification etc needed.
    These are the starting points of Gurmatt...following the Guru.s Matt and leaving ours behind bit by bit..ALL these help.
    Simple example..when we start out in Kindergarten there is a school UNIFORM..we just wear it ..BUT when we are of University standard..we are allowed leeway...in the KHALSA SCHOOL there is no "University" standard because its a LIFE TIME SIKH SCHOOL where Ones MATT was left at the DOOR from day One and never picked up again...so we leave this world SIKHS...STUDENTS...the More "learned" we become..the more we love the Uniform of the School where the students are required to give their HEADS as FEES.

    People as a rule love to speculate...whats the Tie for..some say..its a WESTERN style of clothing..it represents the Christ-CROSS..( and thus some conservative diehards refuse to wear a cross around their neck even if its a "tie".)..others speculate why buttons are on the right side and button-holes on the left and not vice versa, why shirt tails must be IN and others why they must be out, soldiers can argue what the reason to shine shoes spick and span in peace time.why not wear lazies or slippers while in Camp...why cnat they sleep late laze around in peace time....why continuously take apart weapons guns etc and oil them daily etc etc etc.. blah blah blah....the Majority of students can live with wearing the uniform given.and Living LIFE in MARYADA..DISCIPLINE.....as Good SOLDIERS DO..Do and DIE and NOT to QUESTION WHY ???
     
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  4. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Solid point Gyanji, there is no universal explanation or justification.
    It's like trying to define the 'truth' in a few sentences and points.. It can't be fully explained ever in such a manner, infact, we spend our whole life in search of this 'truth', and if we did have it or were completely immersed in it, then we wouldn't be here!!
     
  5. Rory

    Rory
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    That's a very convincing perspective, but it's pretty confusing in some ways.

    Aren't we supposed to think, and question? Wearing the 5 kakaars means nothing if we don't understand them, isn't that true..? How can we understand them if we do not reflect?

    I have been very interested in Sikhi because it is a religion that causes and challenges me to think - and unlike other religions, when it provokes me to think I always end up coming to the conclusion that what Sikhi teaches makes sense.
    It sounds to me that the sum of you are saying we should just accept and do things because we're supposed to. I don't think that's right.. how are we supposed to decipher what is valid and what isn't, if we don't think for ourselves?

    All cults have in common at least one thing; and that is they don't want people to think.
    If you want someone to believe something that doesn't make sense, the worst thing you could do is allow them to question and think about it - people are intelligent and if we rationally think and question enough, we will come to the right conclusion eventually.

    I've found it is safe to question Sikhi's teachings - not because I doubt them, but because I know Sikhi is the thinking-man's religion, and that questioning it will only bring me to conclusions that strengthen my faith.

    Perhaps you are right, and at some stage on our journey we should trust Sri Guru Granth Sahib-ji's teachings enough to completely abandon our own mat and follow Guruji without any questions - but I don't think I am at that stage.
    I still think there is always reason to question, because questioning practices is the best way to understand if they have Guruji's favour or not.
     
  6. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    I think you are getting mislead a little.
    What I meant to say was that theres is NO one single STANDARD explanation for everyone. There are a number of reasons to feel inclined to wear the 5 K's.

    I'm certain that if you ask the ones wearing them, then they will ALL give you their own personal reasons or what each one of them means to them.
    Personally, I feel that I can certainly educate myself about all the 5k's and their signifiacances ...etc... before I begin to wear them.
    BUT, only AFTER I have been wearing them, will each one of them actually mean something personal and slightly different to me from my previous education about them.
    The 'real' experience I get with wearing them would be my own personal significance and understanding!!
     
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  7. Rory

    Rory
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    Thanks Luckysingh-ji, my post was directed at Gyaniji

    EDIT: Also hope my post didn't sound too strong-worded, just trying to get my point across

    :sippingcoffeemunda:
     
    #6 Rory, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
  8. Rory

    Rory
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    I see what you mean as well Luckysingh-ji, and I suppose that is probably where the importance of actually wearing the 5 Ks lies.
     
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