A prominent Sikh symbol, the Khanda symbolizes the fundamental tenets of the Sikh faith. It is made collectively of three symbols representing the concepts that are the pillars of Sikhism.
The icon gets its name from the unique twin-edged sword (also known as Khanda) that stands in the center. The sword represents the divine power that controls life and death and dictates the destiny of all creation. Its right edge is indicative of authority and freedom which are governed by spiritual and moral values. The left edge stands for divine justice that chastises and penalizes the evil tyrants. In totality, the sword symbolizes the cleaving of the truth from all falsehood. It also signifies disintegration of vanity or false pride and destruction of caste barriers or other inequalities.
The circle or Chakra surrounding the Khanda is a metaphor for the eternal God. Being without any beginning or end, it symbolizes the absoluteness, perfection, and timelessness of the Almighty. It is representative of unity, oneness, morality, and humanity and encourages the followers of the Sikh faith to spread their compassion on the entire creation. The Sikhs warriors of the 18th century used to wear the Chakra, wielding it as a weapon to fight oppression and injustice.
The two swords that flank the Chakra are symbolic of the two concepts of Spiritual and Temporal authority advocated by the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind. The sword on the left is Piri, representing spiritual sovereignty, while the one on the right is Miri, symbolizing political sovereignty. The circle in the Khanda symbol even denotes the balance that must be maintained between these two and underlines the need for every Sikh to place an equal emphasis on spiritual aspirations along with societal obligations.
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