Sunday 8 September 2013


What if someone was to explain Indology, albeit in symbols? How would he do it? What if someone was asked to jot down any three symbols of Indology, symbols which define it or characterize the very basis of Indology. What if you were asked to compile the list?

While the presence of Swastika would be a bit debatable despite it being a major symbol in Hinduism since eternity, because the symbol finds its presence in other ancient civilizations as well, OM would make it to the list thanks to the ascendancy and the rich symbolism it boasts of. Any such attempt, specially of a comparatively later Indian context would be incomplete without the analysis of undoubtedly the most revered and prime symbol of Sikhism, the Khanda.

Around the year 1499, when Guru Nanaka was thirty years old, he laid the first foundations of a new stream of spirituality, the obvious signs of divinity being already acknowledged by those near and around him. He began teaching and spreading the very lessons of this new branch of spirituality, called Sikhi. The followers came to be known as Sikhs.

The Khanda:  Primarily, the Khanda consists of three distinct entities taken together, a solid circle, two interlocked swords, one double-edged sword at the center. The emblem of Khanda appears on Nishan Sahib, the Sikh flag. Commonly, it is called the "Coat of arms" or Khalsa crest.

Symbolically, Khanda is rich in meanings and connotations more than what meets the eye. There are a number of triads, which the Khanda as a whole composite unit signify. Primarily, the two swords represent Piri and Miri, literally meaning spiritual and secular respectively and were wore by Guru Har Gobind.  The circle, or Chakra is a circlet, which is a throwing weapon used in battles.
The double-edged sword, also known as Khanda, represents sword which is used to stir the immortalizing nectar of Amrit given to initiates to drink in the Sikh baptism ceremony.

The two swords represent balance in every phase of life. While one symbolizes that a person needs power to protect his faith, the other symbolizes that a person needs to power to protect and help the needy and the weak, thus teaming up to brand the bearer Sant-Sipahi.
The Chakra represents eternity of Godliness, the continuous cycle of life and death, of creation and destruction, a concept quite similar to the symbolism of Shiva.
The Khanda itself represents a weapon to cut the evil down both ways.

Literally, the Khanda depicts the Sikh doctrine Deg Teg Fateh in the form of an emblem, which means "Victory to charity and sword". This would mean that a person who wears the Khanda needs to protect the oppressed and to provide food to the needy and the hungry.

Other meanings: The Khanda below is shown in a slightly different manner using ears of Wheat, the basis of all bread on earth - the common food for all people.  The Khanda is dedicated to all those seeking freedom from suffering where ever they may be.

The Sikh flag is a saffron-colored triangular-shaped cloth, usually reinforced in the middle with Sikh insignia in blue. It is usually mounted on a long steel pole (which is also covered with saffron-colored cloth) headed with a Khanda. The Sikh flag is often seen near the entrance to the Gurdwara, standing firmly on the platform, overlooking the whole building. Sikhs show great respect to their flag as it is, indeed, the symbol of the freedom of the Khalsa.

At times, the Khanda is rendered in the form of a pin and can be worn on the turbans.

From the endless of pages of the history of India, no one, and just no one can take away the very fact that Sikhism and Sanatana Dharma share a common lineage and ancestry. The Constitution of India powers this country to place both of them under the broader heading of 'Hinduism' and an analysis of either one of their later years is incomplete without the mention of other. The interweaving of two distinct schools of thoughts into one another, is what makes India such diverse, and Indology, a mighty interesting topic.

With that, I wish to bring and an end to this post. If you liked the above post, please click on Khoj-In Search of lost signs and like the page which opens up.
Also, you can subscribe to the posts and keep getting latest updates on your mail. yep, its that easy!!
Bidding Adieu for now.


  1. This was good enlightening
    This double-edged sword is a metaphor of Divine Knowledge, its sharp edges cleaving Truth from Falsehood

  2. Namaste,
    Thanks for liking the blog.
    The double edged sword, the Khanda, cleaves truth from falsehood, and wisdom from ignorance. You are absolutely right