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Punj Kakkar : Keshas ~ The Hair
The first and foremost importance is of Keshas (hair). This fact is fully borne out by Sikh tradition. Being nature's gift preservation of Keshas gives their wearer a look of sagacity, scholarship, bravery and meanliness. With Keshas, man looks like a lion and thunders like him. The custom of keeping long and unshorn hair is, therefore, among the most cherished and distinctive signs of an individual's membership of Khalsa brotherhood. At the time of baptism the Sikh is impressed upon to keep the hair unshorn.

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh faith, wore long hair. All his successors did likewise. When Bhai Nand Lal met Guru Hari Rai, the seventh Master, he is said to have declared: "At first do not cut the hair."

Like his predecessors, the tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh kept long hair and beard. He was an undisputed spirtual guide and his dominating personality always signified his spirituality. In order to follow him in character and in sprit, his follows realised that it would be easier for them to emulate the qualties of the great Guru if they could begin by looking like their Guru. Being in the image of the Guru would certainly have its spiritual impact on them. Therefore, in making the wearing of long hair one of the conditions for those taking the baptismal initiation of amrit, the Guru was cautual regeneration.

With the creation of Khalsa, the spiritual impact of long hair for Sikhs become so great that they began to prefer death to the sacrifice of their hair. Among those who sacrificed their lives for preserving thier hair are Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Taru Singh, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Dayala. They are among the hundreds of devout Sikhs who laid down their lives to preserve the sanctity of their hair.

Keshas are symbol of masculinity and strength. The tenth Master ordained his Sikhs to wear long hair and keep them till their death even if they had to make sacrifce for retaining them.

The Punj Kakkar as follows:

1. Keshas : The Hair
2. Kanga : The Comb
3. Kara : The Iron Bangle
4. Kirpan : The Sword
5. Kachcha : The Underwear


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