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Summary of Question:Wearing a Karra
Category:General Sikhism
Date Posted:Sunday, 4/25/1999 12:21 AM MDT

All Sikh people that I know wear Karra's. My question is,

What classifies a Karra? As we all know, we can get Karra's
from any gurdwara, but in my case, I am wearing a solid steel chain around my wrist. In my mind it represents a karra. Other people are
telling that it does not count. Can I keep on wearing my bracelet
as long as I BELIEVE that it represents a karra, or out of
should I take it off? Please respond to my question!

Thank you very much


Dear Friend,
You have asked a good question. It is certainly true that in our imagination, our fantasies and in our dreams, anything can be anything. But, in reality, that doesn't make it so.

The Kara is one of the 5 sacred forms given to the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh. You may have heard the story that when He was a young boy of about 5 years, His name was Gobind Rai. Someone gave Him a gold bracelet. Gobind Rai looked at it and threw it into a lake. The giver was quite shocked and recruited several people to dive and dive into the lake until they found it and, once again, gave the gold bracelet to Gobind Rai. And, once again, He threw it into the lake. And then he stated that gold didn't impress him at all, that iron and steel were far more sacred and beautiful to him. For Him, a gold bracelet was no substitute for an iron bracelet (kara). And neither is an iron chain a substitute for the form that He gave us. It's no problem to wear a steel chain, there are steel chains worn over the shoulder by Nihang Singh Sahibs as a weapon, and there are steel chains worn on the wrist to use as a mala in meditation. But a steel chain is not a kara.

The perfect circle of an iron or steel kara represents the <zero> nature of Infinity, it is a perfect conductor or energy (unlike a chain, which connects and disconnects), and iron (when it is carried within our psychic, magnetic field) has the capacity to remove Fear from our aura and mind. Chains don't do that, and Guru ji didn't give us a chain to wear instead of a kara. So, dear one, if you want the benefit of a kara, then wear a kara. It was His gift to us and to you.

You can even wear a kara and a chain. Why not? It will make a wonderful noise, the sound of steel on steel (unless others complain, or unless you need to be very quiet). At any rate, don't be confused, be intelligent. That will be a much more effective identity. You have a good heart.

With love,
Krishna Singh Khalsa

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