In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh told his Sikhs at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar to constantly and regularly wear a Kirpan at all times. This was an article of defence which together with the other 4 Kakars formed the external visible symbols to outwardly display ones commitment to the Hukam of the tenth master.
This injunction was primarily in order to protect the weak from tyranny and slavery, to maintain a state of harmony and security, to allow for the free development of trade, craftsmanship, arts & literature and to safeguard and protect the universal right of all beings to live their lives in a peaceful, stable and sheltered environment.
The word “Kirpan” (Gurmukhi: ਕਿਰਪਾਨ ) has two roots – the first root is: Kirpa (ਕਿਰਪਾ ) which means “Mercy, grace, compassion, kindness” and the second root is Aan (ਆਨ ) which in turn means “Honor, grace, dignity”. So together the word stands for “the dignity and honor of compassion, kindness and mercy”.
|Dehi Shiva Bar Mohe Ihe (O God, give me these boons)
Shubh Karman Se Kabhun Na Taron (Never shall I shirk from doing good deeds)
Na Daron Ari Son Jab Jai Laron (Never shall I fear when I go to fight the enemy)
Nischey Kar Apni Jeet Karon (And with surety I shall attain victory)
|by Guru Gobind Singh. Also see Deh Shiva Bar Mohe|
While the bravery of a Khalsa can never be questioned as history is witness to the steadfastness of their resolve. (see Battle of Saragarhi). However, under no circumstances is the Sikh allowed to use force in aggression. Bhagat Kabir makes this very clear in the following verse:
|Kabeer, it is tyranny to use force; the Lord shall call you to account.
When your account is called for, your face and mouth shall be beaten. ((200))
|SGGS page 1375|