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KHALSA DOES NOT MEAN PURE

KHALSA DOES NOT MEAN PURE (Khaalas)

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The word Khalsa is of Arabic origin which means a territory directly ruled by the emperor while the word 'khalis' which is also of Arabic origin means pure, matchless etc. During the Mughal period 'khalsa'word was used for the territories which were under the direct rule of the empire i.e where there was no feudal or vassal in between just like the present Union Territories in India. With reference to the Sikhs, most of the people interpret the word as pure which is wrong.  
 It would thus, be interesting to note that in what sense the creator of khalsa Guru Gobind Singh termed the Sikhs as 'Khalsa'.  
 Right from the times of the early Gurus the missionary activities were carried out in a well organised manner. For every major area which had the potential of growth of Sikhism, a person called 'masand' (Arabic 'masnad') or agent was appointed. There are several references in the Sikh history to the masands. At one place it is mentioned that the third Guru appointed 22 masands for various cities. As a token of appointment the masands were handed over the Sikh flag' (yellow coloured) and a pothi the Gurbani book. The place of masand was called manji, the cot as they were not expected to sit on a formal throne. For this reason many historical Gurdwaras are called manji sahib like the one at Karnal.  
  Apart from carrying out the missionary activities the masands were required to accept the offerings from the Sikhs, and pass them over to the Guru's headquarter. lt is again interesting to note that a Sikh was expected to offer before the Guru something or anything according to his capacity which could be as humble as a flower or a single grain ('til-ful').  
With 'time a tendency emerged which gave masands a hereditary character and slowly a few of them became corrupt and too powerful . Complaints against the masands started pouring in and increased by the time of the eighth Guru.  
 From hukumnamas or the edicts of the sixth Guru, it appears that even Guru Hargobind while dealing with the Sikhs had started by-passing the masands. By the time of Tenth Master, Guru, Gobind Singh, complaints against masands had become multifold.  
 According to a tradition Sikhs gathered at the Guru's headquarter once in a year on Baisakhl (April) which happened, to be Guru Nanak's birthday. ln the year 1699 there was a mammoth gathering on this occasion and some Sikhs staged a drama which highlighted the plight of Sikhs at the hands of the masands. The whole congregation was in anguish over the conduct of the masands. Many  masands were punished on the spot and some were even burnt alive.  
 The Guru then issued a promulgation that the masand system stood abolished. Not only that he even provided that thereafter it was the sangat or the gathering which would baptize a person for his entry to the Sikhism. He ordered that any five Sikhs selected by the sangat would baptize the seekers. Not only this that very moment he stopped baptizing the Sikhs himself and in that momentous gathering of Baisakhi he was himself formally baptized by the five Sikhs the panj pyara where he bowed before them in all humility.  
 He thus ordered that henceforth the Sikhs have become 'Khalsa'i.e directly linked to Almighty and the middlemen i.e masands stood abolished. Several hukamnamas or the edicts are preserved even today declaring that a sangat of particular place was henceforth 'Khalsa' and it would not honour any masand. Contemporary writers have also witnessed this change. Kavi Senapati who was one of the 52 court poets of the Guru deals this issue at length in his Sri Gur Sobha.  
 Thus interpreting Khalsa as pure is erroneous. ln fact the Sikhs who are attached to oneor the other so called 'sants' or the 'saints' if called the 'Khalsa' technically, stand outside the periphery of the term 'Khalsa'.  
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2 comments:

Jairaj Singh said...

Please dont spread misinformation. The word khalsa is described in the Dasam Granth Swayya 33 by Guru Sahib as pure.

Jairaj Singh said...

Please dont spread misinformation. The word khalsa is described in the Dasam Granth Swayya 33 by Guru Sahib as pure.

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