Sikh Duties | Conclusions

Sikh Duties | Conclusions

10. Conclusions

We have referred to the two aspects from which the problem of duties in Sikhism may be examined. These are:

1. the general principle of duties, raza, and
2. some specific ethico-organisational duties, Rehat.

The most conspicuous among the organisational imperatives relate to the wearing of the 5 Ks, namely: 1) unshorn hair, 2) sword, 3) short breeches, 4) comb and 5) a steel bangle.

While, generally, no casuistry is allowed in respect to these organisational duties, and all of them are held as categorical injunctions, there has been some attempt in recent times at determining which is the most important of the five:

Bhai Jodh Singh maintains that the Rehatnāmas reveal that there is some distinction among these duties:

He expresses this distinction by the use of 2 terms,

1. patit for those who cut the hair and
2. tankhahia for others who violate any one of the remaining 4 obligations.

The first violation is thus considered to be the more serious.

However, this distinction is not sustained in the Sikh Rehat Maryādā and consequently we may regard all the five duties as categorical injunctions.

A question may now be asked whether these personal and organisational duties are the substitutes for the ethico-spiritual teachings of the Ādi Granth:

The answer generally is – of course, NOT - as the organisational duties are primarily meant to bring the Sikhs closer to the teachings of the Ādi Granth which is recognised as the ultimate guide.

The principle of raza, therefore, is more fundamental to Sikhism though the organisational duties also occupy an important place.

The Raza and Rehat, as the principles of duties and the life rules, respectively, taken together are the necessary obligations in Sikhism. The Sikhs do not envisage any conflict between the Raza and the Rehat.