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Re: Origin Of Khanda Symbol, The Sikh Insignia


Mar 12, 2009


The Khanda constitutes three symbols in one. However, the name is derived from the central symbol, a special type of double-edged sword which confirms the Sikhs' belief in One God.

The double-edged sword is the creative power of God which controls the destiny of the whole creation. It is sovereign power over life and death.

The right edge of the double-edged sword symbolizes freedom and authority governed by moral and spiritual values.

The left edge of the double-edged sword symbolizes divine justice which chastises and punishes the wicked oppressors.

On the left side is the sword of spiritual sovereignty, Piri; on the right side is the sword of political sovereignty, Miri.

The original Khanda with which Guru GOBIND SINGH stirred the baptismal waters on March 30, A.D. 1699 is now preserved at Anandpur

There must always be a balance between the two and this balance is emphasized by an inside circle. The circle is what is called the Chakra. This is a symbol of all-embracing divine manifestation including everything and wanting nothing, without beginning or end, neither first nor last, timeless, and absolute. It is the symbol of oneness, unity, justice, humanity and morality. The Chakra was also used by the Sikhs as one of the war weapons against injustice and oppression. Almost all Sikh warriors used to wear it in the eighteenth century.

The word Khanda comes in DG and AGGS, which has been used for Virtue, Spiritual wisdom, Spiritual path, Name of the Akal Purkh and a weapon;

ਖੰਡਾ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੈ ਸਾਜ ਕੈ ਜਿਨ ਸਭ ਸੈਸਾਰੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ

Khanda Pirthmai saaj Kai Jin Sabh Saisaar Oupae-aa.

At first the Akal Purkh created the double-edged sword and then It created the whole world.-----DG, Page, 298-11

ਮਿਆਨੋ ਖੰਡਾ ਧੂਹਿਆ ਮਹਿਖਾਸੁਰ ਭਾਰੀ
Mianay Khanda Dhuu-e-aa Mehkhasur Bhaari.

Mahishasura pulled out his huge double-edged sword from his scabbard. -----DG, Page, 306-12

ਧੂਹਿ ਮਿਆਨੋ ਖੰਡਾ ਹੋਈ ਸਾਹਮਣੇ
Dhoo Miano Khanda Ho-ee SahmaNay.

She pulled her double-edged sword from her scabbard and came before the enemy.-----DG, Page, 310-9

ਦੋਊ ਖੰਡ ਖੰਡੀ ਦੋਊ ਮੰਡ ਮੰਡੰ

Douo Khand Khandi Douo Mand Manadan.

Both were the destroyers of the enemies with their double-edged swords and were also their establishers. -----DG, Page, 381-10

ਬਾਣੇ ਅੰਗ ਭੁਜੰਗੀ ਸਾਵਲ ਸੋਹਣੇ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਸੈ ਹੱਥ ਉਤੰਗੀ ਖੰਡਾਧੂਹਿਆ

BaaNay Aung Bhujungi Saaval SohNay, Trai Sai Hath Outangi Khanda Dhoo-e-aa.

The army (with Kalki) had worn beautiful garments and that three hundred hands long-sized Kalki drew out his double-edged sword;-----DG, Page, 1156-5

ਨਮੋ ਖਗ ਖੰਡੰ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਣੰਕਟਾਰੰ ਸਦਾ ਏਕ ਰੂਪੰ ਸਦਾ ਨਿਰਬਿਕਾਰੰ

Namo Khag Khandan KirpaNan Kataran, Sada Ayk Roopan Sada Nirbkaran.

Salutation to him, who wields spear, double-edged sword, sword and dagger, which is ever monomorphic and ever without vices. -----DG, Page, 108-11

ਕਾਹੂੰ ਖਪਰੀ ਖੋਲ ਖੰਡੇ ਅਪਾਰੰ ਨਚੇ ਬੀਰ ਬੈਤਾਲ ਡਉਰੂ ਡਕਾਰੰ

Kahoon Khapri Khol Khanday Apaaran, Nachay Bir Baital Douroo Dakaran.

In this fight, somewhere there are innumerable shafts, helmets and double-edged swords in use. The evil spirits and ghosts are dancing and the tabors are resounding.2.-----DG, Page, 118-13

ਚੰਡ ਦਏ ਸਿਰ ਖੰਡ ਜੁਦੇ ਕਰਿ ਬਿਲਨ ਤੇ ਜਨ ਬਿਲ ਤੁਟੇ ਹੈ

Chand Daey Sir Khand Juday Kar Bilan
Jan Bil Tutay Hai.

Chandi hath separated their heads with her double-edged sword just as the fruit of marmelos breaks away from the tree.160. -----DG, Page, 218-9

The word in AGGS has been used by Gurus to refer to the right path for spiritual growth.

ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ ਗਲੀ ਅਤਿ ਭੀੜੀ ਲੇਖਾ ਲੀਜੈ ਤਿਲ ਜਿਉ ਪੀੜੀ
Kandė ḏẖār galī a bīī. Lėkā lījai il ji*o pīī.

This path is very narrow, like the sharp edge of a sword. When his account is read, he shall be crushed like the sesame seed in the mill.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1028-7

ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਤਜਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਏਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਜਾਣਾ

Lab lob ahaʼnkār aj arisnā bahu nāhī bolā. Kanni*ahu ikī vālahu nikī ė mārag jāā.

They renounce greed, avarice, egotism and desire; they do not talk too much. The path they take is sharper than a two-edged sword, and finer than a hair.-----Guru Amardas, Raag Ramkali, AGGS, Page, 918-19

ਗਰੀਬੀਗਦਾ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਖੰਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਰੇਨ ਛਾਰੀ ਇਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਕੋ ਨ ਟਿਕੈ ਵੇਕਾਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਏਹ ਗਲ ਸਾਰੀ
Gareebee Gadda Hamaree, Khanna Sagal Rayn Chaari, Iss Aagai Ko Na Tikai Vaykaaree,Gur Pooray Ayh Gal Saaree.

Humility is my mace, and being the dust of the dust of all men’s feet is my double edged sword, which no evildoer can withstand. The matter has been arranged by the perfect Guru.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 628-13

ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਮੇਰ ਤੇਰ ਬਿਬਰਜਿਤ ਏਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਿ ਭਵਜਲੁ ਤਰੀਅਲੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਸੰਤ ਸੰਗਾਰ

Mān moh mėr ėr bibarji ėhu mārag kandė ḏẖār. Kaho Nānak in bavjal arī*alė parab kirpā san sangār

To forsake pride, emotional attachment, and the sense of 'mine and yours', is the path of the double-edged sword. They alone swim across the terrifying world-ocean, who, by God's Grace, joins the Society of the Saints, Says Nanak.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Devgandhari, AGGS, Page, 534-13

ਵਾਟ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਖਰੀ ਉਡੀਣੀ ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਪਿਈਣੀ

vāt hamārī karī udīī. Kanni*ahu ikī bahu pi*īī.

The path upon which I must walk is very depressing. It is sharper than a two-edged sword, and very narrow. -----Sheikh Farid, Raag Suhi, AGGS, Page, 794-15


A Sikh should wear a sword/kirpan of spiritual wisdom .Kirpan’s size has come down from 42 inches to 4 to 6 inches. Its ancient use as a defensive weapon is out of date in view of the present technologically of superior weapons. Should one have to protect self or some one; a more sophisticated weapon can do the job. During my life time I have not seen it being used as a defensive weapon to save some one but is definitly been used often in Gurudwara fights leading to legal consequences and dragging the name of Sikhs in media down the drain. Emotionally wearing it for show of spirituality it can be a few inches long and preferably stitched in. When flying now a days they willingly surrender it otherwise walking or riding a horse will take them years to reach the west.

Why it cannot be worn as a small symbol in a chain around the neck or some where else since it cannot be used for defensive purposes in the present context?</PRE>
Using it as a small symbol in a comb or necklace can fulfill the emotional and religious needs of the Sikhs as I did in my youth. </PRE>The word sword/double edged sword has been used in Sabd Guru for Virtue, Spiritual wisdom, Spiritual path, Name of the Akal Purkh. Here few references;

ਤਰਕਸ ਤੀਰ ਕਮਾਣ ਸਾਂਗ ਤੇਗਬੰਦ ਗੁਣ ਧਾਤੁ

Ŧarkas īr kamā sāʼng ėgban guḏẖā

The pursuit of virtue is my bow and arrow, my quiver, sword and scabbard. -----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 16-17

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ

Gi-aan Kharhag Lai Man Si-o Loojhai Mansaa Maneh Samaa-ee Hay.

Taking up the sword of spiritual wisdom, duality struggles with the mind, and hope and desire are smoothed over in her mind. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1022-1

ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਅਤਿ ਖੜਗੁ ਕਰਾਰਾ ਦੂਜਾ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਗੜੁ ਕਟਿਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ

Gur Tay Gi-aan Paa-i-aa At Kharhag Karaaraa. ūjā baram ga kati*ā moh lob ahaʼnkārā.

From the Guru, I have obtained the supremely powerful sword of spiritual wisdom. I have cut down the fortress of duality and doubt, attachment, greed and egotism.-----Guru Amardas, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1087-4

ਗੁਰਗਿਆਨੁ ਖੜਗੁ ਹਥਿ ਧਾਰਿਆ ਜਮੁ ਮਾਰਿਅੜਾ ਜਮਕਾਲਿ

Gur Gi-aan Kharhag Hath Dhaari-aa Jam Maari-arhaa Jamkaal.

You hold in your hands the sword of the Guru's spiritual wisdom; with this destroyer of death, kill the Messenger of Death. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 235-4

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗ ਪੰਚ ਦੂਤ ਸੰਘਾਰੇ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਜਾਗੈ ਸੋਇ

Gi*ān kaag pancū sangārė gurma jāgai so*ė.

With the sword of spiritual wisdom, kill the five demons. Remain awake and aware to the Guru's Teachings. -----Guru Amar Das, Raag Sloke Vaaran To Vadeek, AGGS, Page, 1414-6

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਖੜਗੁ ਸੰਜੋਉ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਕੰਟਕੁ ਮਾਰਿ ਵਿਡਾਰਿਆ

Sagurū kā kaag sanjo*o har baga hai ji kāl kantak mār vidāri*ā.

Devotional worship of the Akal Purkh is the sword and armor of the True Guru; and has killed and cast out Death, the torturer. -----Guru Ram Das, Raag, AGGS, Page, 312-13

ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਹਥਿ ਦੀਨਾ ਜਮਕੰਕਰ ਮਾਰਿ ਬਿਦਾਰੇ

Sagur gi*ān kaag hath īnā jamkankar mār biārė.

True Guru has placed the sword of spiritual wisdom in my hands; I have overcome and slain the Messenger of Death. -----Guru Ram Das, Raag Vadhans, AGGS, Page, 574-14

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਦੀਨਾ ਦੂਤ ਮਾਰੇ ਕਰਿ ਧਾਈ ਹੇ

Gi-aan Kharhag Kar Kirpaa Deenaa Doot Maaray Kar Dhaa-ee Hay.

In Its Mercy, God has blessed me with the sword of spiritual wisdom; I have attacked and killed the demons.-----Guru Arjan, Maru Sohlay, AGGS, Page,


IMHO a Sikh should wear a sword of spiritual wisdom or a small symbol consistant with local laws fulfilling the religious feelings.



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