Meaning: noun: Seerpaw, a robe of honour, presented by a person of rank and worn as a mark of distinction.
ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਕਰੇ ਆਨੰਦੀ ਜਿਸੁ ਸਿਰਪਾਉ ਪਇਆ ਗਲਿ ਖਾਸਾ ਹੇ॥
sadaa anaňd kare aanaňdee jis sirpaau paiaa gal khaasaa he.
One who has been blessed with the special robe (of Divine attributes) around one’s neck enjoys the bliss of spiritual union with the Blissful at all times.
– Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 1073
However, for better or for worse, in Sikh tradition, it has taken the form of a piece of cloth bestowed upon someone as a mark of honour for their achievements and contributions to the betterment of the community.
So what can bring us true honour and respect in life?
Only a robe of divine consciousness through the inculcation of divine virtues and attributes in our behaviour and actions can bring true honour and respect.
Etymology: From Persian sar-o-paa (head and feet or head to feet), hence an honorary dress or robe of honour, which used to cover a person from head to feet.
In the Sikh parlance, however, it may be a garment, scarf or a length of cloth bestowed on someone as a mark of honour.
Seerpaw, khalat or khilat are part of English now.