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What is the difference between a knife and kirpan?

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Rory, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Rory

    Rory
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    I am buying my first kirpan but it seems like they are pretty expensive; I have looked on other knife sites and there are knives which look in some ways similar to a kirpan.

    What is the technical (physical) difference between a knife and kirpan?
    I know a kirpan tends to have a metal or wooden sheath, whereas most other knives come with a leather sheath.

    Can anyone help me? Or suggest some sites selling nicely priced, sharp kirpans?
     
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  3. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Rory knife is an offensive weapon or used for eating food. Sikh Kirpan by essence is defensive. The style between a Kirpan and a knife can be quite different too with knives being straight with possible cerated edges. Kirpans being rarely so and definitely not the traditional Kirpans carried by Amritdhari Sikhs.

    The folks at the following site support you and me participating here and upkeep at spn.

    Check it out with them,

    http://www.sikhistore.com/products/kirpans/

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  4. Archived_Member16

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    FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES:

    source: http://www.indolink.com/printArticleS.php?id=022405023333

    Kirpan(Sword) in Sikhism -
    A Symbol of Benevolence and Dignity

    by: Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD, FICS

    Kirpan, which can be literally translated into sword, has a much deeper meaning in the Sikh religion. It consists of two words, Kirpa and Aan. The word Kirpa means benevolence and the word Aan means dignity. Therefore Kirpan is a symbol of benevolence and dignity.

    Guru Gobind Singh made Kirpan as an integral part of the 5 k’s. The Kesh, meaning hair symbolizes devotion, asceticism, and renunciation. The hair is associated with spirituality in many other religions. But Guru Gobind Singh made Kangha (comb) also one of the five k’s, which symbolizes order and organization as well as purity and cleanliness. Karha the iron bangle around the wrist is the symbol of universality. Kachara the underwear is the symbol of piousness and sexual purity.

    It is Kirpan, which imparts uniqueness to the Sikh religion. Guru Gobind Singh in the worship of Kirpan calls it a symbol of justice, equality and struggle against oppression and discrimination and exploitation. The Guru Hails Kirpan as the liberator and sustainer of mankind and the destroyer of the oppressors and the exploiters. He also sees Kirpan as a symbol of bravery and knowledge because it can dispel cowardice and ignorance. He sees celestial beauty in the shining Kirpan.

    The Guru asks us to worship Kirpan as one of the aspects of God. As opposed to the Judeo Semitic concept of creation, which considers the creation as a separate act of God that created the universe in 6 days, from Monday to Saturday and then rested on Sunday, the Sikh religion sees the creation as an uninterrupted and constant act. The Sikh religion believes that the creation has 3 aspects symbolized by Barhama, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva). Barhama symbolizes creation, Vishnu symbols sustenance and Shiva symbolizes destruction.
    Destruction is an integral part of construction because without destroying the worn out old, room cannot be created for the emerging new.

    The outlook and attitude of the Sikh religion to Kirpan is fundamentally different than the others who generally view sword as a symbol of power and domination. The sword can generate and encourage arrogance. Arrogance always leads to ignorance.Kirpan constantly reminds the Sikhs of the power of the Almighty. Therefore Kirpan should promote humility. As arrogance and ignorance like each other’s company similarly humility and knowledge go together.

    It is very important in the contemporary world that we use our power as Kirpan and not as a sword. Whereas Kirpan was used by Guru Gobind Singh to liberate the oppressed people, the sword of the colonialists was used to enslave the other people and nations.

    The judicious use of force can help us to change the outdated old world order, which has outlived its usefulness and has become redundant and irrelevant.

    The only way peace and harmony can be kept in the world and prosperity maintained is by upholding principals of equality, fairness, justice, benevolence and showing respect for other peoples beliefs and values.

    We can only suppress others temporarily until they are strong enough to fight against the oppressor. On the other hand benevolence, compassion, universal concern and universal well-being are principles which can lead to a lasting peace and progress. This is the global perspective of Guru Nanak. What we should understand is that Guru Gobind Singh raised Kirpan not only to uphold the principles of Guru Nanak but also to give a practical shape to those principles.

    Dr. Sawraj Singh is Chairman of Washington State Network for Human Rights, and Chairman of Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice.


    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Rory

    Rory
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    Thank you for both your answers, you've helped me understand it better.
    I do appreciate both your replies and I might buy my Kirpan from SikhiStore - but I ask just again, what are the physical differences between a knife and Kirpan? I understand the ideological and meaningful significance the Kirpan as opposed to a knife, but what are the physical differences when they are looked at and touched?

    I know the Kirpan usually has a clean edge (not serated), and it has a curve at the top most times, it also tends to be kept in a wooden or metal sheath.
    But can any blade be carried as a Kirpan or are there specifications as to what is physically a knife and what is physically a Kirpan?

    EDIT: Also @Ambarsaria, the Kirpans on that website look to be a little crudely made and very dull. The sheaths are nice but the actual Kirpan seems badly made.
     
  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    If SPji were around, he would say

    your kirpan chooses you, not the other way around :)
     
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  7. SikhiStore

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    I can assure you Rory, that our Kirpans are definitely not crudely made.

    The design of our Kirpans are the traditional Taksali Design (hand made by Taksali Singhs) and they are made from Sarbloh (Iron).
     
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  8. Rory

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    I'll give them a try. :) They seem to be the best value, the only thing is that the blade looks dull in the pictures.
     
  9. SikhiStore

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    Sure you'll be more than happy :)

    Just out of interest, could you explain what you mean by 'looks dull'?
     
  10. Rory

    Rory
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  11. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    These are not samurai swords that you purchase depending on the strength and sharpness of the blade. It is a 'kirpan', i'm sure you have by now read what the significance is.
    To me personally and most others,- you don't determine a purchase on the sharpness of the blade. In fact, taking your kirpan out of the sheath and admiring it's blade is not something I would do.- Maybe with a collecter samurai sword!!

    Also, if one who is wearing the kirpan, repeatedly takes it out for no purpose but to admire or clean the blade, -then in my opinion it CEASES to be a kirpan, It is NO LONGER the GURU's order or given article!

    Waheguru
    Lucky Singh
     
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  12. Rory

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    Thanks for the reply Luckysingh.
    Obviously I amn't judging my purchase solely on the sharpness of the blade, and I absolutely agree with you that constantly taking out the kirpan or showing it off etc. would demean the principle behind it and make it no longer a kirpan. :singhsippingcoffee:

    So I do understand completely how important it is not to unsheath the kirpan unless I'm being attacked or I am witness to an injustice being done to a defenceless person (hopefully I would never have any reason to unsheath my kirpan, Waheguru), or of course to bless food in Langgar.

    Sorry if it sounded like I misunderstood the sacredness of the kirpan. : )

    I know that kirpan is largely (or mostly) symbolic and a spiritual item, but I believe Sikhi is a practical religion as opposed to doing things blindly or just symbolically - wouldn't it be an injustice to the kirpan if the time came to defend someone, and you were left unable to do so?

    I want a kirpan that is practical, basically. That's what I think makes most sense.

    I'm also going to wait to be baptised to carry any of my 5Ks, so I'm sure I will have a lengthy discussion with the Baba and other Sikhs at the Gurdwara about all 5Ks.

    I hope I don't sound argumentative, I just want to get my points across. :)
     
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  13. Harry Haller

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    I would just like to put my point across, before we all congratulate Rory on his choice of Kirpan. Yes, Roryji, it does look dull, were you perhaps looking for something a bit sharper, a bit sexier perhaps?

    This is precisely what happens when we yearn for the physical appearance of something before we have earned it. My advice to you would be to further your inner Sikhi and grow that, before you start looking like one. In any case, only the baptised, those who have reached the highest standards of Sikhi, have the spiritual authority (in my view) to wear the 5 K's with any conviction, and even then, every day, they have to work at being a Sikh, at upholding the highest standards that are expected from a Khalsa.

    To say that a Kirpan 'looks a bit dull', clearly shows your surface interest only in the whole matter, please do not pass yourself off as something you are not, work for it, earn it, then wear that dull kirpan with pride
     
  14. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    OF EQUAL VALUE..is the GYAAN KHARRAGH...Kirpan of KNOWLEDGE that is also a requirement of a 5 kakaaree Khalsa. Gyaan Kharragh is "DULL" if for example the 5 kakaree Khalsa cant even recite the japji Sahib..or the names of the Gurus ( dont be surprised..I have met several such khalsas ).
    In fact it is the GYAAN KHARRAGH that helps Bhai mani Singh get cut joint by joint without a single scream.......its this same Kirpan that helped Bahi mati dass ji get sawn alive into 2 halves and the only voice coming out was the Japji being recited...etc etc etc..just TOO MANY to list here..but I am sure you get the idea...SECURE the Gyaan kharragh Firts and Foremost..then carry the outer sarbloh Kirpan...then even a "blunt/dull/etc kirpan will be the best and only weapon you ever NEED !! The SHARPNESS is on the Gyaan kharragh !!!:redturban:
     
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  15. SikhiStore

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    These Kirpans are sharper as standard then all Taksali Kirpans I have had before. Could definitely be sharpened more though.
     
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  16. Rory

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Harry ji and Gyani ji, I think you both might be right. I'm going to wait a while now, I'll spend the money I have at the moment on a good translation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, and I'll spend my time learning a bit more.

    First
    This is not what I was trying to do.

    I know, I agree - I amn't going to wear any of the 5 Ks until I am baptised. :)

    Okay, thank you. :) I'm sure I'll be happy when I do decide to buy one.

    Thanks everyone for your comments on this thread, I learnt a lot more than I expected to.
     
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  17. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Roryji

    You are a gracious, open minded wise young soul. You already seem like a Sikh brother to me

    mundahug
     
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  18. Rory

    Rory
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    0:)
    Thank you so much Harryji, that really means a lot.
     
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  19. Archived_member15

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    My dear brother Rory ji mundahug

    I just want to wish you good luck and give you a big cyber gingerteakaurto your spiritual journey and studies of the Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    I agree with brother Harry that you are wise and open-minded. I am heartened that someone of your age is actually taking a true interest in religion at all - let alone having the inner strength to actually follow his conscience and pursue the spiritual path which he feels called too. That can't be easy. Of course, I don't know your upbringing but it can often be difficult to make the transition from one religious and cultural background too another or even to express an interest in spirituality/religion in our modern youth culture.

    Such conviction and faith in God is few and far between in teenagers nowadays, I feel, in many Western countries. There are so many materialisms, media temptations and peer group pressure discouraging such spiritual pursuits among people of our generation.

    For that reason you strike me as a pearl of great price! mundahug
     
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    #18 Archived_member15, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  20. Rory

    Rory
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    Vouthon-ji, thank you so much! cheeringmunda
    I'm really thankful for the support.

    I'm lucky that my friends are all really accepting of things like this, I've told them about my interest in Sikhi and they are really supporting. Most have said "I'll come with you to the gurdwara when you decide to go" and it makes it much easier to have my friends on my side. :)

    I was raised Catholic in the Republic of Ireland where I was born, but at a pretty young age church stopped making sense to me, I just couldn't "get into" what I was being taught. I don't want to get into it but I just never really felt much comfort from saying my rosaries and taking confession, it felt like I was doing it for the sake of doing it, and it didn't feel right to me.

    My family are all devout Catholics and I know it'll be weird for them. I've told my mother about my interest in Sikhi and she at first was very angry at me, but as I get chances to tell her more about it and how I feel she's starting to become a little more accepting.
    I'm not sure how everyone else will react but I'm prepared for it.

    Thank you again everyone for being so supporting :)

    My age was something that didn't really occur to me before this - if I travel to a gurdwara to become baptised, do you think my age is something that might cause problems..?
     
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