Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the last Guru of the Sikhs in human form. He created the Khalsa, a spiritual brotherhood and sisterhood devoted to purity of thought and action. He gave the Khalsa a distinctive external form to remind them of their commitment, and to help them maintain an elevated state of consciousness.
Every Sikh baptized as Khalsa vows to wear the Five “K’s”:
- Kesh – uncut hair and beard, as given by God, to sustain him or her in higher consciousness; and a turban, the crown of spirituality.
- Kangha – a wooden comb to properly groom the hair as a symbol of cleanliness.
- Katchera – specially made cotton underwear as a reminder of the commitment to purity.
- Kara – a steel circle, worn on the wrist, signifying bondage to Truth and freedom from every other entanglement.
- Kirpan – the sword, with which the Khalsa is committed to righteously defend the fine line of the Truth.
Khalsa also vows to refrain from any sexual relationships outside of marriage, and to refrain from taking meat, tobacco, alcohol, and all other intoxicants.
Then Guru Gobind Singh infused his own being into the Khalsa, declaring that the Khalsa was now the Guru in all temporal matters. For spiritual matters, the Guruship was given to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, a compilation of sacred writings by those who have experienced Truth. For Sikhs, Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the living embodiment of the Guru, and is regarded with the utmost reverence and respect wherever it is found. Sikhs all over the world took to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their living Guru, as the source of spiritual instruction and guidance.