Panj Kakar


Kesh is one the ‘Panj Kakar’ or ‘Five Ks’ that people have after being baptized. However, Kesh, or uncut hair from everywhere on their body, is one of the two Ski’s that most people have, even if they aren’t baptized. Sikh males tie their hair into a ‘Joora’, or bun. They cover this with a ‘Pag’, or turban. At a younger age, people cover their Joora with a ‘Patka’, a smaller turban. Most females either braid their hair or put it in a bun on the back of their head. There are some women who tie and cover their hair like the men do. A lot of emphasis is put on Kesh because it is the body in the natural way that it was created by God.
The Kanga is an article that allows the Sikh to care for his or her unshorn long hair, Kesh. The kanga is usually tucked in front of the “Rishi Knot” and tied under the turban to help in keeping the rishi knot firm and in place. It is to be used twice daily to comb and keep the hair in a disentangled and tidy condition. It represents the importance of discipline and cleanliness to the Sikh way of life and is used to keep the hair healthy, clean, shining and tangle-free.
The Rishis the ancient sages of the Hindu religion kept their hair tied in the top knot reminiscent of Mt. Meru, the mythical home of the Hindu Gods (also the style usually associated with Vishnu and sometimes with Shiva, who more often than not kept his hair in a tangled mess) and the central axis of Jambudipva.
Since many of the Hindu Rishis, or fakirs went about naked or nearly so with tangled and dirty hair, Guru Gobind Singh by the addition of the Kanga and the emphasis he placed on keeping ones hair clean and neat, and especially by the turban that is used to cover a Sikhs hair (Men and even some women) sought to differentiate his followers as separate and distinct (not part of) the Hindu religion.
The kanga is placed at the most highest place of the body, above the dasam duar. As it is made of wood it controls the electrical impulses running through the kesh and helps the wearer refrain from being angry.
The Kara is the third of the Panj Kakar and it is the other Kakar that most people where, regardless of the fact whether they are baptized or not. The Kara is an iron or steel bracelet that binds the Sikh, who is wearing it, to God. The Kara is used to remind the Sikh to do the right deeds. The Kara is usually worn in the predominant hand so that the Sikh can see the Kara whenever he does anything.
Kachera/Kaccha undershorts/undergarment which resemble boxer shorts are one of the five Sikh articles of faith, given as gifts of love by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in 1699 they are worn by all Sikhs, initiated into the Khalsa. Both males and females Sikhs wear the same type of kachera. This was one of five articles of faith, collectively called Kakars that form the external visible symbols to clearly and outwardly display ones commitment and dedication to the order (Hukam) of the tenth master.
Kirp kirpan comes from the words (which means act of kindness, blessing or a favor) and Aan (which means honor, respect or esteem). So, for the Sikhs, the kirpan represents is a commitment to respect for self and one’s freedom of spirit. The Sikh who wears it is symbolically an Army soldier of God, and uses it to protect the weak and needy and self-defense, but a kirpan is never to be used for bursts of anger.