Khanda (Sikh Symbol)

The Khanda is the most recognizable emblem of the Sikh faith, symbolizing the four pillars of Sikh belief. It consists of four symbolic weapons: In the center, the double edged sword, or khanda, from which the symbol derives its name. The Khanda represents knowledge of divinity and the creative power of God. Surrounding the khanda is a circular quoit, called a Chakkar (or chakka), meaning wheel, from the same root as chakra- a medieval weapon which symbolizes the unity of God. On either side, crossed daggers, or kirpans, called Piri and Miri (after the personal weapons of Guru Hargobind), symbolizing spiritual and temporal (earthly) power in balance. Another important device incorporating this symbol is the Nishan Sahib, or Saffron banner, which adorns Sikh Gurudwaras (temples).

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