Meaning of KHALSA in English

(the Pure, from the Persian khales, pure), the dominant order of Sikhism. Most Sikh boys and girls undergo initiation into the Khalsa upon reaching puberty. The ceremony, called pahul (baptism), is conducted by five members of the Khalsa, who mix sweets in water with a double-edged dagger while reciting hymns. The initiates drink the preparation from the same cup, signifying the breakdown of caste differences. Boys are given the surname Singh (Lion), girls the surname Kaur (Lioness). The male initiates must agree to wear the five K's, which are the emblem of the Khalsa: kesa (uncut hair and beard), kangha (comb), kacch (short trousers), kara (steel bracelet), and kirpan (double-edged dagger). In addition, they vow not to use tobacco or liquor, to eat only jhatka meat (from an animal slaughtered with respect for religious ritual and the suffering of the animal), and not to commit adultery. The Khalsa brotherhood was founded as a militant fraternity by Guru Gobind Singh in Anandpur (in modern Punjab state, India) in 1699, when the Sikhs were severely persecuted under the Mughals. Within a few days some 80,000 members were initiated into the new order, and it soon assumed leadership within Sikhism. Sikhs who did not join the order and remained clean-shaven became known as Sahajdharis (Those Who Are Slow to Adopt); the division between the Khalsa and the Sahajdhari has remained.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.