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Q: What do the large circles and swords in front of the alter represent?

A: The circles and swords are symbols of weapons signifying self defense to protect Sikh and everyone else’s belief by stopping injustice. The symbols in front of the alter remind Sikhs to stand up for justice. Sikhs are known as spiritual and warriors. These are the two different aspects that represent a Sikh. A Sikh’s meditation raises his spiritual level and he understands this world better and clearer. On the warrior side, a real Sikh will always protect the other from injustice and will never raise his hand for injustice. A real Sikh will never fire the first shot.

The rule is never to threaten anyone and not to be threatened by anyone. Sikhs have learned the hard way. When the Muslims were converting Sikhs and Hindus to Islam by force (during the Mughal occupation of India) from thirteenth to seventeenth century, Sikhs learned that they had to be strong to fight the Muslim extremists and stop injustice. Since Muslim extremists would kill anyone who would not accept Islam as their religion, Sikhs began to fight back and raise their voices against injustice.

Sikhs were instructed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji to take up arms against tyranny. The fact that the weapons are lying lower than the scripture level shows that the weapons and the warrior part of Sikhs takes the secondary position. Sikhs are spiritual first and then to defend their faith and the faith of others, Sikhs are warrior as well. One of the great examples of this belief is Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji laying down his life to protect the right for Hindus to carry on their beliefs.


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