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Sikhism FAQs

Sikhism FAQs:What is the code of discipline for the Khalsa?

Q66. What is the code of discipline for the Khalsa?

At the first initiation of the Khalsa Brotherhood, Guru Gobind Singh gave the instructions to the Panj Piyaras during the ceremony of Amrit. These instructions may be summarized as under:

 
1. Believe in only the One Absolute God, the Ten Sikh Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib.
2. The Mulmantra contains the basic tenet of Sikh belief and the Sikh’s Gur-mantra is Waheguru.
3. Daily recite the five Banis namely, Japji, Jaap, Swayyas, Rehras- chaupai and Kirtan-Sohila.
4. Maintenance of the Five Ks: Kesh, Kirpan, Kachh, Kara and Kanga.
5. No stealing, plundering, gambling or exploitation of the poor.
6. No coveting of another’s wealth or wife.
7. No use of intoxicants like wine, hemp, opium, toddy etc.
8. Do not commit any religious offence (Kurahit) like the removal of hair, the use of tobacco, eating Halal meat or adultery. If a Khalsa does any of these, he has to take Amrit again, after due penance.
9. Do not perform any Hindu or other ritualistic ceremonies on occasions of birth, marriage or death in the family. Only Sikh ceremonies are to be performed.
10. Follow no rituals such as Havans, Pitries (ancestor-feeding), worship of idols or of graves, tombs, monasteries or maths.
11. Have no relationships with Minas, Dhir-malias, Ramrais and Massands.

In addition to the above instructions, Guru Gobind Singh also gave oral instructions to well-known Khalsa leaders like Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Desa Singh, Bhai Chaupa Singh. These were later written down and were called Rahat-Names(codes of conduct). He also gave some instructions to Bhai Nand Lal, the poet-laureate of his court, which is called Tankhah-Nama. The main points of these instructions are given below:

 
i) A Khalsa should not follow any ascetic practices of Yogis, Sanyasis etc. and should not follow any Tantra, Mantra or Jantra.
ii) He should not give his daughter in marriage to a Patit Sikh or accept any money for the marriage of his daughter from the boy’s family.
iii) He should give one-tenth of his income to charitable or religious purposes.
iv) He should not wear a cap, hat or helmet.
v) He should not use any money from temple offerings or charity funds. If he happens to be a priest, a granthi or the caretaker of a Gurudwara, he should accept only what is necessary for his needs.
vi) He should marry within the Sikh Panth.
vii) He should not break his vows or any other promise he makes nor commit perjury or treachery.
viii) He should not listen to vulgar, profane or sexy songs.
ix) He should have his head covered whenever going out.
x) He should teach his children how to read the Guru Granth Sahib and understand its contents.
xi) He should use the Sikh greetings when greeting another Sikh, namely Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

The above instructions form the main part of the Code of Discipline. They may be catagorized under two headings: religious and social. The religious directives are in keeping with the Sikh tradition. The social directives are intended to make the Khalsa a good citizen and a responsible member of the community. The prohibition of theft, plunder, perjury, treachery, cheating, gambling and exploitation of the poor and weak sections of the community contribute to the smoothening of the course of normal social life and benefit the community as a whole. The bans on the use of alcohol and tobacco are intended to safeguard the health of the Khalsa. The Directives against the four misdemeanours, association with patits, Dhirmalias etc., the misuse of religious offerings and charities are meant to wean the Khalsa from religious misdeeds. All in all, the code is intended to make a Khalsa an ideal person.

 

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