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For the UNESCO Arab-Norman Palermo, see Kalsa.
For the armed forces of the Sikh Empire, see Sikh Khalsa Army.
Khalsa ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ The Khanda
Active 13 April 1699 – present
Type Sikh religious order
Size c. 30 million
Headquarters Panj Takht, Akal Takht Sahib, Anandpur Sahib
Motto(s) Deg Tegh Fateh
Colors Navy blue and xanthic
Anniversaries Vaisakhi, Holla Mohalla, Bandi Chhor Divas
Founder Guru Gobind Singh
Panj Pyare Bhai Daya Singh Bhai Dharam Singh Bhai Himmat Singh Bhai Mohkam Singh Bhai Sahib Singh
Jathedar of the Akal TakhtJagtar Singh Hawara (Sarbat Khalsa)
since 10 November 2015ActingDhian Singh Mand (Sarbat Khalsa)
since 10 November 2015Harpreet Singh (SGPC)
since 22 October 2018
Insignia Insignia Khanda
Individual/Personal Identification The Five Ks
Corporate/Panthic Identification Nishan Sahib
19th century Sikh warriors.
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General topics and terminology
GlossarySikh Topics vte
Nishan Sahib in blue, at Akali Phoola Singh di Burj in Amritsar
Jung Khalsa warriors playing Gatka and Shastar VidyaKhalsa (Punjabi: ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ, Punjabi pronunciation: [ˈxaːlsaː], lit. 'to be pure' or 'to be clear' or 'to be free from' or 'to be liberated') refers to both a community that considers Sikhism as its faith, as well as a special group of initiated Sikhs. The tradition was initiated in 1699 by the Tenth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh. Its formation was a key event in the history of Sikhism. The founding of Khalsa is celebrated by Sikhs during the festival of Vaisakhi.
Guru Gobind Singh started the tradition after his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded during the Islamic sharia rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Guru Gobind Singh created and initiated the Khalsa as a warrior with a duty to protect the innocent from religious persecution. The founding of the started a new phase in the Sikh tradition. It formulated an initiation ceremony (, nectar ceremony) and rules of conduct for the warriors. It created a new institution for the temporal leadership of the Sikhs, replacing the earlier system. Additionally, the provided a political and religious vision for the Sikh community.: 127
Upon initiation, a Sikh is given the titles of Singh (male) meaning "lion" and Kaur (female) meaning "princess". The rules of life, include a behavioral code called Some rules are no tobacco, no intoxicants, no adultery, no Kutha meat, no modification of hair on the body, and a dress code (Five Ks).: 121–126
1 Etymology 2 Background 3 Foundation
4 Dress and code of conduct
4.2 Duties and warriors
6 Initial tensions with the non-Khalsa disciples
7 Contemporary status
8 Demography 9 See also 10 References 11 Cited sources 12 External links
"", is derived from the Arabic word "Khalis" which means "to be pure, to be clear, to be free from, to be sincere, to be true, to be straight, to be solid.".
Sikhism emerged in the northwestern part of Indian subcontinent (now parts of Pakistan and India). During the Mughal empire rule, according to professor Eleanor Nesbitt, originally meant the land that was possessed directly by the emperor, which was different from land granted to lords in exchange for a promise of loyalty and annual tribute to the emperor. Prior to “Guru Gobind Singh Ji”, the religious organization was organized through the or agents. The would collect revenue from rural regions for the Sikh cause, much like would for the Islamic emperor. The , in Sikhism, came to mean pure loyalty to the Guru, and not to the intermediary who were increasingly becoming corrupt, states Nesbitt.
The Sikhs faced religious persecution during the Mughal Empire rule. Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru, was arrested and executed by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1606. The following Guru, Guru Hargobind formally militarised the Sikhs and emphasised the complementary nature of the temporal power and spiritual power. In 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs and the father of Guru Gobind Singh was executed by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for resisting religious persecution of non-Muslims, and for refusing to convert to Islam. Guru Gobind Singh’s sons were killed since they refused to convert to Islam.
Khalsa, (Punjabi: “the Pure”) the purified and reconstituted Sikh community instituted by Guru Gobind Singh on March 30, 1699 (Baisakhi Day; Khalsa Sikhs celebrate the birth of the order on April 13 of each year). His declaration had three dimensions: it redefined the concept of authority within the Sikh community; it introduced a new initiation ceremony and code of conduct; and it provided the community with a new religious and political vision. Khalsa is used to denote both the body of initiated Sikhs and the community of all Sikhs. The early Sikh community had been shaped by three levels of
By The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Article History
Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, northwestern India
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See all related content →Singh Sabha, (Punjabi: “Society of the Singhs”) 19th-century movement within Sikhism that began as a defense against the proselytizing activities of Christians and Hindus. Its chief aims were the revival of the teachings of the Sikh Gurus (spiritual leaders), the production of religious literature in Punjabi, and a campaign against illiteracy.
After the annexation of the Khalsa Raj (the independent Sikh kingdom in the Punjab founded by Ranjit Singh in 1799) by the British in 1849, Christian missionaries increased their activities in central Punjab. Dalip Singh, the last Sikh ruler, converted to Christianity in 1853, and Harnam Singh, a Sikh aristocrat from Kapurthala, followed soon thereafter. Christian missionary activity was thus quickly perceived as a threat to local religious traditions, but it was not the only challenge facing the Sikhs. The lower rung of the British administration in the Punjab included English-speaking Bengalis, who were largely Brahmo Samajis (members of a Hindu reform movement). They actively established their branches in several Punjab cities in the 1860s. Punjabi Muslims concerned with saving their heritage formed the first Anjuman-i-Islamia (an association created to improve religious, educational, and social conditions in the Muslim community) in Lahore in 1869.
In response to these developments, Sikhs initiated the Singh Sabha movement, which sought to revive Sikh doctrine in its pristine purity. The first unit, formed in Amritsar in 1873, was followed by a more radical branch in Lahore that, among other things, stressed that Sikhs were not Hindus. By the end of the 19th century, the number of Singh Sabhas exceeded 100.
Building on the early 18th-century understanding of Singh identity as the accepted Sikh ideal, Singh Sabha leaders undertook a major effort to make Sikhs aware of what they saw as correct doctrine and practice, using the newly arrived print culture to propagate Sikh history and literature. These leaders emphasized the religious significance of learning Punjabi written in the Gurmukhi script (developed by the Sikhs in India for their sacred literature) while simultaneously stressing the importance of Western education. They worked closely with the British administration, convincing them of the importance of treating the Sikhs as a distinct political community.