Khanda (Sikh symbol)

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Emblem of Sikhism: Deg Tegh Fateh
A huge replica of Khanda in city of Kaithal, Haryana

The Khanda (Punjabi: ਖੰਡਾ, khaṇḍā) is the symbol of the Sikh faith, that attained its current form in the early 20th century.[1]

It is an amalgam of three symbols:[2]

  • A double-edged khanda (sword) in the centre
  • A chakkar (chakram)
  • Two single-edged swords, or kirpan, crossed at the bottom and sit on either side of the khanda and chakram. They represent the dual characteristics of Miri-Piri, indicating the integration of both spiritual and temporal sovereignty together and not treating them as two separate and distinct entities.[3]

It depicts the Sikh doctrine Deg Tegh Fateh in emblematic form. It consists of three weapons and a circle: the khanda, two kirpans and the chakram which is a circle. It is the military emblem of the Sikhs. It is also part of the design of the Nishan Sahib. A double edged khanda (sword) is placed at the top of a Nishan Sahib flag as an ornament or finial.

The Khanda is often confused with the emblem shown on Iran's flag which the Khanda predates. In recent years, the Khanda has been used to show solidarity within the Sikh community after high profile shootings in the United States.[4]

Another symbol that may be confused with the Khanda is the aad chand (lit. "half moon") of the Nihang, which consists of a khanda sword in the middle of a crescent, aligned with points upward.[5]

The symbol is encoded in Unicode, in the Miscellaneous Symbols range, at codepoint U+262C (☬).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "20th Century - The Modern Design", Nishan Sahib, SikhMuseum.com
  2. ^ Rose, David (1995). Sikhism photopack. Folens limited. p. 10. ISBN 1852767693. 
  3. ^ Teece, Geoff. Sikhism. Black Rabbit Books. p. 18. ISBN 1583404694. 
  4. ^ Nolan, Bruce. "Sikhs in New Orleans gather to for Milwaukee shooting victims", The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, 08 August 2012. Retrieved on 08 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Mistaken Identity - Shiva Crescent Moon", Nishan Sahib, SikhMuseum.com.