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Kara - An Article Of Faith And Its Significance

Chaan Pardesi

Oct 4, 2008
London & Kuala Lumpur

Dear Gurmukh Loko,

Perhaps, I can try and help here with the little budhi, I have collected from here and there..I once many moons ago, explained this to similarly inquiste people..

For a Sikh, the iron bangle is an emblem of Justice and equality and fairness.A ring or a bracelet has all over the world , been used as a symbol of fairness, equality, moderation, self control, equanimity, brotherhood and modesty.These virtues balance gallantry, prowess, doughtiness, knightliness and both feminity and masculinity.

Without these restraining virtues of the bracelet/bangle the sword[kirpan] could indulge in rashness, impredence and indiscretion.Of all the things in the world the use of the sword requires the noblest virtues of the heart, and where these virtues are symbolised by the iron or steel bangle a Sikh wears on the right wrist.

However, some others may offer slightly differing opinions.In the scholarly work, Parasharprasna:Vesakhi of Guru Gobind Singh Ji,by Sr Kapur Singh Ji, a wonderful explanation is to be found.

1]The iron bangle symbolizes that a Sikh must forever remain mindful of his double role of spiritual aspirant and a useful citizen.No default on one side or the otehr of the discipline is permissable.

2]A circle, a chakra is a perfect figure , all inclusive in its circumferance and without a begining , without an end in its structure.So must a Sikh aim to be with the whole creation,as the objective of this compassuion and activities.

3]Since it is par excellance . symbolic of the dharam, the supreme law, it is symbolic of the faith, without which religious life is inconcievable.A sikh must lead a life, guided and supported by faith in God.The kara represents the circle of God's creation.

4]Lastly, the iron ,the world over , is commonly taboo to evil spirts and prevents spells from taking effect.A Sikh remains well protected against the inharmonious influences on his way of life virtue of holding fast to God and the Dharam.

Before we explore and bring out the meaning and symbolic significance in detail, it may be worthwhile to cast a glancing look at the great Guru who bestowed the bangle - kara - upon us.

Bhai Gurdas Ji writes...

"Lo a Man is born amongst men,Chivalrous, unfathomable and unique"

God was uniquely generous in bestowing unparralled qualities upon Guru Gobind Singh ji-the bestower of the Kara.

He was an excellent democratic leader, who organised five out of nothing,and demoralized and oppressed people into the brave fraternity of the gallant Khalsa...he alone with forty Khalsa, withstood a hundered thousands, and single handedly created a khalsa who stood to the might of 125,000 both mentally and physically...as thus there lies the greatest secret in the bangle that we as Sikhs have never been able to unravel to ourselves and understand it all, let alone able to explain to the world.

more later ...

<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset" class=alt2>Originally Posted by gsingh2011
I am having a hard time explaining why I wear a kara to kids at my school. Can someone help me?

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