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Kirpan holster, is the gatra necessary


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Waheguru ji ka khalsa 

Waheguru ji ke fateh 

Sangat ji, I have a question. Need your help. 

I work in construction, I sweat alot. My gatra over time gets very wet at work due to sweat. And it smells. I have to wash it quite often. So my question is, can I have a kirpan holster on my belt instead of the gatra(strap) going around my shoulder? Just for work. At home I out my gatra back on because obviously I'm not wearing my belt all the time. I figured it should be fine because the 5Ks is kirpan only and not the gatra. Im not sure this is why I'm here.

Your advice will be great, since Guru is Sangat, Sangat is Guru too. Guru khalsa panth. I can turn to you for help or questions.

Also another question. I know we are suppose to carry the best shaster and I include the kirpan in that category. I saw a really nice hunting knife that comes with a holster its made of the best metal for knifes. Is that OK or does it have to be a taksaali kirpan. 

Thank you.

Waheguru ji ka khalsa 

Waheguru ji ke fateh 

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On 3/23/2021 at 7:07 AM, Singhkhalsa19842020 said:

So my question is, can I have a kirpan holster on my belt instead of the gatra(strap) going around my shoulder?

I would say yes you can. Kirpan is what you should have at all times.

 

On 3/23/2021 at 7:07 AM, Singhkhalsa19842020 said:

I know we are suppose to carry the best shaster and I include the kirpan in that category. I saw a really nice hunting knife that comes with a holster its made of the best metal for knifes. Is that OK or does it have to be a taksaali kirpan. 

Hmm... this is a trickier question as we need to know what makes a kirpan a kirpan. Dunno about this one.

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Ever since the rise of adjustable Gatras about a decade ago people are increasingly wearing their Gatras like belts instead of over their shoulders. I guess it was just a matter of time before Sikhs today would do away with the Gatra altogether and wear their kirpans in a belt. I know in some places like Taksal they do not let you take Amrit with an adjustable Gatra. 

It all comes down to puratan tradition, ਪਰਮਪਰਾ. We can do innovations all we like, like wearing stainless steel kirpans/karas instead of Sarbloh ones, wearing adjustable Gatras, belts instead of traditional Gatras. Or wearing a Patka instead of Dastar.

We have made many changes in our lives but I feel Kakkars should be left the way they are. Surely our lives are not more difficult than the lives of Puratan Sikhs who held on to the traditions of the Gurus.

Maintaining the tradition of the Kakkars is a form of Bhagti in itself. It is a Shingaar the soul bride maintains for their Guru because the Guru had established it. What is pleasing to the Guru matters more than any minor inconvenience.

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Interesting to hear your views Singho.

I recall the panj Piyare specifically  stress the requirement for a kirpan on a gatra to be worn at all times ('gatray wali kirpan') and could not be on a dori or worn as a necklace etc, and not to be kept in kesh. They did say wearing additional shashters to this was fine. 

I think this had stuck in my mind as in the lead up to Amrit, due to work and wearing a kirpan under a shirt I started off with a gatra worn as normal under shirt but it would stick out. Then id put the gatra around both shoulders so the kirpan would neatly tuck under the arm , then I was looking for other holsters etc so I could wear something bigger but keep it concealed, like wear at belt level and it had crossed my mind too whether gatra was required at all. So was interesting the Panj said that when I took Amrit. Otherwise I may have swayed a diff way personally.

 

I agree perhaps back in the day shaster were traditionally in a kamar kassa, but actually it may not have been unusual for there to have been a gatra of some sort/form, as practically if you want to keep a large shaster on your person and travel, say on horse back or doing seva, then a gatra would have also been useful to hold a long kirpan across the body as it may be awkward in a kammar kassa in certain  positions. So may have been a combination of ways to carry weapons. Even both ways, on a gatra and tucked in a kammar kassa.

Ultimately the gatra ensures the kirpan stays on your person at all times.

 

Below is a quote from the taksaal marayada.

"3.10.4. Kirpan – Sword of Mercy

ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਣ ਪਾਣ ਧਾਰੀਯੰ ॥ ਕਰੋਰ ਪਾਪ ਟਾਰੀਯੰ ॥

"The mark of a Khalsa is one who holds a Kirpan in hand,

by the wearing of which millions of sins are abolished."

Sri Dasam Granth Ang 42

The Kirpan is there to protect the poor and for self-defence. With patience and mercy, the Kirpan is to be used as a sword to destroy oppression. The Kirpan is to always be in a gatra and never to be removed from the body. The Kirpan protects us from hidden and seen enemies.  The Kirpan is a weapon to protect the whole body, as a minimum it should be nine inches in length.  Keeping the Kirpan in a Kangha, in the Kesh and putting it on a string around the neck like a Janeoo, are against the Rehat and forbidden.

ਸ਼ਸਤਰ ਹੀਨ ਕਬਹੂ ਨਹਿ ਹੋਈ, ਰਹਿਤਵੰਤ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਸੋਈ ॥

"Those who never depart his/her arms, they are the Khalsa with excellent conduct."

Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh Jee, p.148

You are never to walk over your Kirpan or other weapons. When washing your Kesh, the Kangha is to be tied to your Kirpan and the Kirpan tied around your waist. When bathing, your Kirpan is to be tied around your head and not tucked into the Kashara as this dishonours your Kirpan. When women bathe they are to tie their dupata on their head and then their Kirpan.

When going to sleep your Kirpan is not to be removed from your body.

The Kirpan is only to be used for two things. Firstly, to give Guru Jee’s blessing to freshly prepared Karah Prasad or for langar. Secondly, in order to destroy tyrants and oppressors. It must never be used for anything else.

If the Kangha, Kara or Kirpan are separated from your body, you are forbidden to eat or drink until they are replaced. Upon the replacement of your missing Kakkar, Japjee Sahib is to be recited and an Ardas must be performed for the seperation and to beg for forgiveness. The Ardas may be performed either in a Gurdwara or the place where you are replacing your Kakkar. Having done this, you may eat and drink."

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2 hours ago, intrigued said:

Correct me if i'm wrong, but in the Guru's time, there were no gatras. To hold the shastars, there was a camarkas tied around the waist. Think gatre came possibly with the British

Gatras were always around back then. If one looks at the early pictures of nihangs from the late 1800s or even earlier sketches/drawings Gatras are always part of the Sikh attire. Another method was that many Puratan Sikhs used thin rope Gatras to support their Kakkar Kirpan. The Kakkar Kirpans of Puratan Singhs are still around. That's is how Singhs did ishnan by tying their kirpans around their dastars since a Kakkar cannot be separated from the body.

Using a belt for holding a Kirpan is basically because we no longer wear Banas. We have become Pant wearers for which a belt is used.

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