4. Five Kakārs | Sikh Code | v2

Five Kakārs

The following five Ks are the mark of Sikhi.
These five can never be parted from the body.
Kara, Kirpan, Kachera, Kangha, recognise these as four of them
The fifth is Kesh, without which the other four are useless.
There are also four H's which must he avoided.
Understand this without any doubt, no lies have been told.
Hukka, taking tobacco (including any other type of intoxicants).
Hajamat, removing of hair.
Halalo eating meat.
Haram,  adultery (sexual relationships outside of marriage).
These are the four H’s.
Dyeing of beards (including any other body hair),
and the wearing of Mehndi (Henna) (including other types of make-up)
are strictly forbidden.

(Sri Dasam Granth)

1. Kesh / uncut hair

From your head down to your toes all hair is to be kept intact.

"...complete form is with turban donned." (SGGSJ Ang 1084)

For the respect of your hair, two turbans are to be tied, tying each layer one at a time. There should be a small turban tied underneath and a larger one tied above this.

Women must not plait their hair and should keep their hair tied in a bun. If possible, in order to respect your Kesh then a small turban should be tied. Keski is not a Kakārs (one of the five K's).

"Listen to this command oh beloved, this is the essential pre-requisite to attain my darśan. Without arms and Kesh I will not give you darśan."

God also revealed himself as Kesdhari (when God gave Darśan/revealed himself to Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev jī he did so in the form of a human with his hair intact), as does the following line narrate;

 “Your nose is so graceful, and Your hair is so long." (SGGSJ Ang 567)

"He does not need to eat: His Hair is Wondrous and Beautiful; He is free of hate."
(SGGSJ Ang 98)

2. Kangha / a wooden comb

In order to keep the Kesh clean a wooden Kangha (Sikh Comb) is to be kept in the hair.

According to scientific research keeping a wooden Kangha in your hair reduces the level of static energy building up. A metal or ivory comb is not to be used as a substitute.

"Comb the hair twice a day, covering it with turban that is to be tied from fresh (i.e. no folds already put in it). Teeth cleansed with a daatan daily (brushed if this is not possible) - thus ill health will be avoided Lal jī."
(Tankhanāma Bhai bland Lal jī, p.57)

To keep the hair clean it must be combed twice daily.

In the morning and evening after combing your hair a turban is to be tied:

It is to be tied a layer at a time, and it is to be removed in the same manner, taking it off a layer at a time. Starch and pins are not to be added to the turban, which would make it look like a hat.

"Being a Sikh he/she who wears a hat they will enter into seven diseased life-forms."
(Rehatnama Bhai Prahlad Singh jī. p.65)

If your Kangha becomes damaged in any way it should be replaced immediately.

The Kangha is placed on the head the highest point of the body and thus becomes supreme. In the same way the Khalsa is to become supreme by removing ego and being humble.

Just as the Kangha removes broken hairs and cleans the hair physically, it is also spiritually questioning the individual as to how many good and bad deeds have been committed during the day.

Just as clean hair is attached to your head so are your good deeds. Similarly, as broken hairs are removed by your Kangha, your vices should be removed in the same way.

The hairs removed by the Kangha are not to be thrown in a dirty place or on the floor. They are to be kept in a clean and dry place/container and when enough hair has gathered they are to be burnt.

Women and children are to tie a string to their Kangha so that it can easily be tied to their hair, and to stop it from falling. At home 2-4 spare Kanghas are to be kept.

3. Kara / a metal bracelet

The Kara must be of Sarab Loh (pure iron). The Khalsa is not to wear a Kara that is made of gold, silver, brass, copper or one that has grooves in it. Only the Sarab Loh Kara is acceptable to Guru Ji.

The Kara is a handcuff placed by the Guru upon the individual to remind us of our duty to God, stopping us from committing sins. The Kara acts as protection if someone goes to strike you with a sword on your wrist.

According to scientific research, the Kara adds to the iron levels in the body by rubbing on the skin.

The Kara teaches us that these arms belong to Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh jī - with which we are not to steel, con, commit forgery, oppress, bully, persecute, sin or murder.

Gambling and playing cards and gambling are not permitted. With these hands we should earn an honest living and share its benefits.

In addition, your hands should serve your community and the Khalsa nation.

The Kara is a precious gift bestowed upon us for life by Guru Sahib, which cannot be separated from the body. The Kara is circular, having no beginning and no end. Similarly, Vaheguru has no beginning or end and the Kara reminds us of this.

4. Kirpan / a curved sword

"The mark of a Khalsa is one who holds a Kirpan in hand, by doing this tens of millions of sins are abolished.“ (Sri Dasam Granth Ang 42)

The Kirpan is there to protect the poor and for self-defence. With patience and mercy, the Kirpan is to be used as a sword in order to destroy oppression.

The Kirpan is to always be in a Gātra and never to be removed from the body. The Kirpan protects us from hidden and seen enemies. The Kirpan is a weapon to protect the whole body, as a minimum it should be 9 inches in length.

Keeping the Kirpan in a Kangha, in the Kesh and putting it on a string around the neck like a Janeu, are against the Rehat and forbidden.

"Those who never depart his/her arms, they are the Khalsa with excellent behaviour."
(Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh ji, p. 148)

You are never to walk over your Kirpan or other weapons. When washing your Kesh, the Kangha is to be tied to your Kirpan and the Kirpan tied around your waist.

When bathing, your Kirpan is to be tied around your head and not tucked into the Kachera as this dishonours your Kirpan and is therefore forbidden.

When going to sleep your Kirpan is not to be removed from your body.

The Kirpan is only to be used for two things:

Firstly, to give Guru's blessing to freshly prepared Karah Prasad or for langar.
Secondly, in order to destroy tyrants and oppressors. It must never be used for anything.

If the Kangha, Kara or Kirpan are separated from your body, it is forbidden to eat or drink until they are replaced.

Upon the replacement of your missing Kakār, an Ardas must be performed for the loss and beg for forgiveness. The Ardas may be performed either in a Gurdwara or the place where you are replacing your Kakār.

Having done this, you may eat and drink.

5. Kachera / cotton undergarments

The sign of true chastity is the Kachera; you must wear this and hold weapons in hand."
(Bhai Gurdas ji, Var. 41, paurī 15)

The Kachera is the sign of sexual restraint. The Kachera and Kirpan are never to be separated from the body.

The Kachera and Kirpan are never to leave the body."
(Rehatnāma Bhai Deśa Singh ji p. 147)

You are only to wear Rev Kachera (a traditional style Kachera). The Kachera gives us the teaching,

 “Men should look at the opposite sex as mothers, sisters and daughters.
(women should look at the opposite sex as fathers, brothers arul sons)
."
(Var. 29. Pauri 11. Bhai Gurdas ji)

The Kachera is never to leave your body i.e. stepping out of it with both your legs.

After doing Ishnana, one half of the wet Kachera is to be removed from one leg and a dry clean Kachera is to be put on that leg, and similarly for the other leg.

If the Kachera does leave the body by accident, then you are to approach "Five Singhs" who will do Ardas for you and give you a punishment.

If the Kangha, Kirpan and Kara leave the body you can do an Ardas yourself, but if the Kachera leaves the body only "Five Singhs" can do the Ardas.

The Kachera is never to be changed whilst your head is uncovered.