At the initiation of the Khalsa, the Guru introduced the Khalsa code of belief and conduct which all those taking amrit are instructed to follow. All those who accepted initiation into the Khalsa were required to adopt the five physical attributes called the five ‘K’s’, so called because each of the five articles begin with the letter ‘K’:
Kesh (uncut or long hair). Sikhs believe hair should not be cut from any part of the body
Kanga (small wooden comb) required to keep long hair well groomed
Kara (steel bangle) with steel representing strength and the circle of continuity
Kirpan (small sword) a symbol of self-defence and the fight against injustice
Kachhera (a pair of shorts now usually worn under the clothes) which formed part of the military uniform under Guru Gobind Singh and also a symbol of sexual restraint.
Male members were given the surname ‘Singh’, meaning ‘lion’ and women the surname ‘Kaur’ meaning princess. The creation of the Khalsa ensured that every Sikh (or at least every adult Sikh male) would be instantly recognisable.
Guru Gobind Singh closed the canon of Sikh Scripture by adding his father, Guru Tegh Bahadar’s verses to the Granth Sahib. He also decreed that after himself, there would be no further human Gurus. He bestowed the Guruship on the Adi Granth which, from that day forward, became the Guru Granth Sahib, and he directed Sikhs to draw spiritual guidance from the Guru Granth Sahib. In
accordance with this, the Guru Granth Sahib is venerated by Sikhs today above all else in Sikhism.