The Kangha and the Vikings
By Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba
Kangha is one of the five articles of faith gifted to me by my Lord Guru Gobind Singh. He was such a wonderful magician that he could pick up abandoned and neglected pebbles and stones and then with his crafty hands turn these into rubies, gems and diamonds. He will not stop here rather would put his soul and power into these and give perpetuity to these.
Centuries ago Scandinavian warriors who were known as The Vikings were hirsute keshadhari warriors who attired themselves with a belt around their waist. And surprise of all surprises this belt had a pocket to carry beautifully carved wooden kangha and a small kirpan. Linguists have not enriched us as to what name they had given to their kirpan and kangha. Danish museums display prominently these centuries’ old kanghas and kirpans with which we can proudly associate ourselves in some way.
Guru Gobind Singh picked up existing raw material but radically transformed it into absolutely new product. The change was chemical and not mere physical. Like a potter makes earthen-ware and art pieces from mud but after completion these pots and art pieces cannot be converted back into mud. This is the magic Guru Gobind Singh performed. He picked up centuries old raw materials, philosophies, pebbles, mythology and transformed it into absolutely new thing in content, properties and effect. Amrit has water and puffed sugar patashas but the end product is not the same. Similarly we have karah prashad where all the ingredients are indigenous but the end product can neither be called sugar, wheat flour or ghee, nor is it just a mixture of these.
Guru Gobind Singh picked up men and transformed them in such a way that now there was no difference between Guru and the Sikh. Gurmat had given message that there is no difference between Creator and His Creation. Now Guru Gobind Singh had shown that there remained no difference between Him and His Creation, the Khalsa.
Every year the Danes proudly grab costumes of The Vikings with the Kesh, Kanga and Kirpanto educate their present generations of their rich heritage. Are we less proud that we always carry these living articles of faith given by the great Guru?