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That is why I have Kesh (Hair)

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by Amarpal, Dec 2, 2004.

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  1. Amarpal

    Amarpal
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    Dear Khalsa Ji,

    Today, I share with you the reasons for my preserving the natural growth of my Kesh.

    This I am doing, because I am convinced that Khalsa Panth is a rational way to divinity and all round progress –materially, spiritually, physically, socially, and intellectually. This environment of Khalsa Panth as designed by Guru Sahib that enables continuous all round advancement, which is evident from its past achievements, must be maintained in the interest of all those who belong to this Panth. The rational behind all that constitutes Khalsa Panth needs to be discussed understood and made known to all its followers, first of all the women i.e. the would be mothers. Through mothers it will reach the Khalsa children, who are the future of the Panth. This process has to be made self-sustaining.

    It is my considered opinion that in this knowledge based materialistic world, only rational religions have the chance to survive and come out shining and stronger after and beyond the knowledge age in which humanity is at present.

    I consider the unique identity with Kesh to be an important ingredient of success story of Khalsa Panth. Why I consider Kesh so important I discuss below.

    First in discuss Kesh in a very gross way, without reference to Khalsa Panth.

    No matter to which religion the specific divinity followed, I know these divinities had Kesh. Indian Rishis and Munis all had Kesh. Spiritual individuals always live in harmony with the nature. Preserving the Kesh in their natural form was part of there living in harmony with the nature. Kesh became the outer expression of their inner spirituality. Today science too is telling us to live in harmony with the nature. Its implementation should start with us living in harmony with our own body, of which the Kesh is a part. That is why I have Kesh.

    Body and mind interact; one influences the other. Inner spirituality leads to preserving what is natural. In the same way, preserving what is natural leads to a brain formatting that is conducive for spiritual evolution. That is why I have Kesh.

    Now I discuss Kesh with specific reference to Khalsa Panth.

    My tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, was very farsighted; he had an excellent understanding of the sociology of his time and the future needs of those who lived according to Sikhi. He asked the Khalsas to preserve the natural growth of the Kesh; Guru Sahib made Kesh as a part of the uniform of the Khalsas making it a part of this unique Khalsas identity. The need for this unique identity I elaborate below.

    The majority of the followers of Guru Sahibs were from economically weaker sections, bulk of them were illiterate. Needless to say that they did not have the mental and material resources, and the connection with the rulers of their areas to help them preserve the new values and beliefs that were given to them by our Gurus. The followers of the Gurus were geographically spread out; they lived in the social environment, which was created by the values and beliefs of the established dominant religious group of that area. We all know, the established order attacks any thing that is new; this was the case with the followers of the Gurus they were insecure.

    Khalsa Panth had a system of values and beliefs that were not in line with that of the prevailing order and were substantially different. Migration of the population to this new order meant reduction in the following in the established order; it affected the earning of the priests who lived on what their devotee gave them. The priests of established order were naturally hostile to the new order.

    Concept of equality among humans was a big change that had the potential to substantially alter the established order affecting the elites adversely and benefiting women and downtrodden. Naturally the priestly class and elites of the established order did not take this new evolution lightly.

    Guru Sahib found a unique solution to overcome the weakness that made his followers feel insecure. Guru Sahib infused the element of synergy into the Panth to compensate for the weaknesses in numbers and resources. Guru Sahib linked all the Khalsa together through a common identity. We all became one and each one of us is for all. In such synergetic environment we know 1 and 1 becomes 11 or more but not 2; this environment does not follow mathematics. Guru Sahib knew the potential of this synergy; it is evident in his statement: ‘Sewa lakh se ek ladaaon tahbi Gobind Singh naam khaaun’. This synergy is evident in our fight to restore the right of Khalsa students to wear turban in the schools in France. This unique identity allows us to feel one in the success of any member of Khalsa Panth and get inspiration from it, to reach greater heights in life. This feeling of oneness and consequent happiness is evident from the way the Khalsa feel proud to see Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister of India and the happiness that the Khalsas got from the news that the next General of India Army is going to be one of them. This shared feeling of achievement among the Khalsas provide the sustenance to strive for greater heights. It gives each one of the Khalsas the mental strength to challenge and overcome the mental barrier which the caste system over thousands of years have been ingrained in the mind of the Indians that only some special class of people alone are ordained by God for higher achievements in life, the other have to wait for some new birth. This synergy, which is linked to the unique identity of Khalsa, has allowed us to come out of the strangle hold of the orthodoxy, become free and make progress – both horizontally and vertically; Stagnant and stationary individuals of earlier days have now all the possible avenues of mobility open to her or him. Women and Men have been brought to equal level; orthodoxy of discrimination by sex is the process of being defeated.

    If one studies the progress made by individuals in some specific trade and belonging to different religions, one will find that no one has made as much progress as compare to those belonging to Khalsa Panth. What a great strength, Guru Sahib has infused into Khalsas through this unique identity with Kesh. Without Kesh it would not have been possible. Wah-e-Guru; I simply cannot afford to loose this gift from Guru Sahib. That is why I have Kesh.

    The problems and difficulties that the Khalsas faced in the past are not over yet. The forces of orthodoxy are still there. They are within Khalsa Panth and outside it also. The Caste feelings and affiliations have not completely gone out of the mentality of Khalsas. Women are still being discriminated as evident from the adverse sex ratio in the Khalsa population. The physical threat still persists, as evident from Panth’s experience in recent past. Significant percentage of Khalsa population is still the see the glow of evolution and progress in material and spiritual domain. The task started by Guru Sahib is not yet over; lot has been done lot more still needs to be done. This unique identity is as important today as it was in earlier times. It is relevant today in this competitive world. That is why I have Kesh.

    Through this unique identity with Kesh, I have benefited from its synergetic effect that my elders and my ancestors in Khalsa Panth provided me. It helped me in my progress. I have this debt on me. I can only discharge this debt by providing the same element of synergy to the next generation of Khalsas, which demands my adherence to the unique identity with Kesh Guru Sahib gave me. It is my dharma. That is why I have Kesh.

    I am a Khalsa today, a beneficiary of progress, because many of those who preceded me, including my Gurus, laid down their lives to preserve the values and beliefs of Khalsa Panth and to preserve the freedom of conscience. Without the motivation and strength that their sacrifices gave to Khalsas, the Panth would not have survived. In fact, I am tall only because I am standing on their shoulders. I have this debt to pay. The efforts put in by early Khalsas have not only to be continued but also intensified. Khalsa Panth is a corporate religion, each of its member has to contribute in the total task effectively; I know I have a role to play in this effort. That is why I have Kesh.

    My being a true Khalsa is the best tribute that I can pay to Guru Sahib. Preserving the unique identity that Guru Sahib gave us is part of it. That is why I have Kesh.

    With this I close.
    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal.

    <a href="http://mhlnk.com/B1419C65" target="_blank"><img src="http://media.markethealth.com/bannerServer.php?type=image&ad_id=2434&aid=713449" border="0"></a>
     
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    #1 Amarpal, Dec 2, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2012
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  3. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa
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    Re: That is why I have Kesh





    Dear Amarpal ji

    You have written a marvellous piece of writing and I am feeling difficult how to thank you for the contribution you are making to us and infact I think you are paying off the debt you just mentioned and I also feel the same and infact I will do it:) :)
     
  4. Amarpal

    Amarpal
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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    Dear drkhalsa Ji,

    I was a great pleasure to read your post. Sharing is Wand Shakna, a basic pillar of Khalsa Panth. It is my Dharma.

    Thanks for conveying me your resolve 'infact I will do it:) :) ' ;


    This is synergy.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal
     
  5. Arvind

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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    Amarpal ji,

    I consider this our good karma that you are present on this forum, to guide us. Your posts/responses are awesome, and are very much responsible to put concrete thoughts in mind, sometimes which we think are just obvious and keep on ignoring it.

    With lots of appreciation.

    Warm Regards.
     
  6. Amarpal

    Amarpal
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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    Dear Sevadaar Singh Ji,

    We are all one.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal
     
  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh.

    Warm greetings and thanks to veer Ji Amarpal on this beautiful post.
    It is indeed great karma that we come into the company of other Gursikhs on the same path that help us guide our way along..GURU JI has a purpose in all things and the INTERNET and its Forums is a very good way of sharing.

    Waand Chhakna is NOT about FOOD alone...waand chhakna is also about SHARING - ALL types of sharing...Food, Knowledge, Experiences, sadness, and gladness, hope...and all things nice so that the soul as well as the body are nurtured.

    GURU NANAK JI left his family to fend for themselves while He travelled the Known World East-West-Noth-South...to SHARE His Divine MESSAGE... the best example of Waand Chhakna the world has ever known. The Siddhs on the Himalyas "wondered" if Guur nanak's wand chhakna could work in every situation...so they gave Guur Ji a Raii seed ( mustard seed which is tiny in size)...and said Guru Ji, show us how to waand chhakna this seed. Guur Ji asked for a Mortar and Pestle ( Ghotna and Koonda) and some water. He put the rai seed into the mortar, ground it with the pestle and poured the water into the koonda...and gave each Sidh a "glass" to drink. Everyone got his fill of raii water !! You see Waand chhhakna is not about how much we "have"..IT is about HOW MUCH we WANT to GIVE. A Millionaire might think twice about giving a donation of 10 dollars...while a daily paid labourer might give away all his day pay without a single thought.

    SO again, a very bigh thnk you to amarpal ji for sharing this with us. we are indeed blessed to be on this Forum.

    jarnail Singh
     
  8. Arvind

    Arvind
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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    That s a great reminder. I dont do Wand Chakna in all those aspects as of now, as I am kind of introvert, though my feelings mostly come out in the form of writings on internet or paper only. I will keep this in my mind more now.

    Thanks :)
     
  9. Sher Singh

    Sher Singh
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    That was indeed a very good post!! I loved it!!
     
  10. BaljeetSingh

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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    I have one line answer to "Why do I keep my kesh uncut?".

    The answer is "Because my Guru told me to".
     
  11. Inderjeetsingh

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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    GuruFeth Amarpal veerjee,

    Today only I read your post and found to be very inspirational .....Thanks for sharing with us and it's our pleasure to have such a learned member in this fourm.

    Jarnail singh veerjee, thanks elaborating the concept of "WAAND CHAKNA" really, I wasn't aware of OR thinking that way.

    Chardi kaala,

    Inderjeet Singh
     
  12. etinder

    etinder
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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    respected amarpal veer ji n gyani ji
    you wont even realise how fortunate and blessed we feel having you on the forums and really appreciate your efforts and thoughts..as lot many times your posts have made my day
    may guru ji bless you all with chardi kala always
    gurufateh
     
  13. Arvind

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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    I totally agree :wah:

    And thanks to all the participating members, who continue to help us in learning more. Great job ji
     
  14. sonapreet

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    Sikhi Di Pehchaan

    SIKHI DI PEHCHAAN

    Please Listen These Audio Tracks Shabad Gurbani With Viakhiya
    And Watch This Video


    Main Banda Bekharid
    Kesa Di Mahanta - About Kes
    http://207.38.254.54:83/nylocal/Prof%20Dar...hi%20saroop.mp3

    Siri Aspan Kirpa Tumhri Kar
    The difference Between The Word Ram In Sri Guru Granth Sahib
    And The Ram As Raja Ram Chander
    http://207.38.254.54:83/nylocal/Prof%20Dar...about%20ram.mp3
    Nanak Amrit Ek Hai
    About Khande Baate Da Amrit
    http://207.38.254.54:83/nylocal/Prof%20Dar...out%20amrit.mp3

    Tabey Roas Jagyeo video
    http://media.waheguroo.com/KhalsaTV/Bhai_Sukhpreet_Singh_Udhoke_Tabhe_Roos_Jageo/Bhai_Sukhpreet_Singh_Udhoke_Tabhe_Roos_Jageo.wmv
    Documentry- RSS Diyan Nazran Vich Sikh Itihas
    In Their Books They Are Showing Sri Guru NanAk
    Dev Ji As Clean Shaved, Wearing Janau And Marriage
    Ceromany Arround Vedi.
    Tabhe Roos Jageo is a lecture of Bhai Sukhpreet Singh Udhoke which was recorded live in Canada on his recent visit. Bhai Sahib has been working immensely to uplift the spirits of the Sikh community. His main motives are to realize Sikhs of their proud traditions and history. He is a distinguished member of GURSIKH - Global United Research and Service Institute of Knowledge for Humanity and has also written numerous articles which have been published in many magazines, newspapers and websites.

    To Downoad More Audio Tracks For This Cd Visit Us At
    http://www.sonapreet.net

    Need Help To Download On Your Computer Or If You Need Free Cd Contact Us

    Surinder Singh Tucker 404 579 7509

    Harvinder Singh Sethi 678 467 0010

    Gururakha
     
  15. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    Re: That is why I have Kesh

    Sarbat Da Bhala hovei.

    Great team - Amarpal Ji and Gyani Jarnail Singh Ji.
     
  16. japjisahib04

    japjisahib04 Kuwait
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    Amarpal and Giani Ji

    I am indebted to you. A beautiful article.

    Thanks a lot

    Mohinder Singh Sahni
     
  17. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    A Sikh au Courant

    August 17, 2009 by I. J. Singh Source: www.mapleleafsikh.com

    http://www.{url not allowed}/files/news/2009/August/IJSingh.jpgDr. I.J. Singh looks like a traditional Sikh uncle or elder, but his ideas are anything but traditional. I would consider him one of the most progressive, contemporary Sikh thinkers alive today. His ideas are insightful and thought-provoking. I consider his numerous articles and three published books required reading for Sikh youth around the world. I included one my favourite articles below.


    A Sikh au Courant
    I.J. Singh


    We all want to be modern. There is nothing quite so distressing as to be told that one is behind the times or is clueless about the world in which he or she operates. It is worse than being poor, fat or ugly. But what is it to be modern? What does being modern mean? Let me illustrate my concerns by two little tales.

    Not so long ago, a young Sikh technocrat and I were passing the time of day over a cup of coffee. He is a bright MBA and a good man but not a recognizable Sikh. All of a sudden he blurted out: "We Sikhs have a very practical and logical religion with an incomparably attractive and modern worldview but our external appearance is not consistent with that modern framework." He was pointing to the turban and bearded visage of the observing Sikh male.

    Another incident is from a few years ago when I was single. Some kind friends tried to set me up with a Sikh lady in a different town and gave me her telephone number. She was a bright, young, professionally educated Sikh - a psychiatrist.

    We talked a few times on the telephone. Here, we both thought, might be some possibilities. Naturally, we wanted to meet face to face to see what kind of chemistry might result. We hadn't yet met and didn't know what the other looked like. One day, we were on the phone chatting about the logistics of meeting, when she abruptly inquired: "Are you a modern Sikh?"

    I knew what she was about but decided to play it for what it was worth. To me, the antithesis of being modern is to be primitive. So, my response turned out to be somewhat tactless but not entirely pointless. I countered that I never ever left the house without clothes, could coherently converse on a variety of subjects including religion, politics and sex, and knew which fork to use with which plate at dinner; therefore, I was not exactly primitive. She thought my response was aggressively, if not offensively, unresponsive; she had wanted to know if I was keshadhari, long-haired Sikh or not. I thought a crew cut would not necessarily endow me with the so-called characteristics of modernity, anymore than long hair would automatically transform me either into a sage or a savage. Needless to say we never met.

    I must confess that in both encounters - with the lady psychiatrist and the MBA - initially I was somewhat taken aback but, upon reflection, realized that perhaps this is how most of the world thinks of us. I see that many Sikhs also seem to reason similarly; that says something for our sense of self and the self-imposed psychological burden that many Sikhs seem to carry. The question, of course, is less how others view us, even though that is extremely important but, more significantly, how comfortable we are with whatever we have chosen to be.

    My cohorts in both encounters insisted that Sikh philosophy and precepts were modern. (Did they really know enough of Sikh tradition to so assert or were they only mouthing the words? I merely raise the question here.) Nevertheless, if I accepted their protestations then the unassailable definition of modernity for a Sikh would be to understand and live by the very modern tenets and postulates of Sikhism. And would that not, I wondered, include the lifestyle of a Sikh, including one's appearance as one? It seems to me a very clear outcome of their logic on the modernity of Sikhism.

    But in common parlance - in proposing such a conditional definition of modernity implied by my friends - we usually mean only the principles of Sikhism that should govern our everyday reality - trade, family and at most the ethical framework of our existence. But in such reasoning both of my friends have created a rift between the postulates of Sikhism and their historical manifestation in the individual Sikh with his articles of faith, including the unshorn hair. This dichotomy states that other rules of the game - such as the ones that dictate our outer garb - are an entirely different matter and perhaps irrelevant and immaterial.

    In this view, the external appearance of the male Sikh is not consistent with the ways of the world, as we know it, hence not in keeping with the times. Seriously, I have come across several fresh arrivals from India who said to me: "On the phone you leave a different and more modern impression. But I see that you look like a traditional Sikh, something we didn't expect after so many years." I wonder what they were really thinking.

    There are several ways to explore this paradoxical situation and many levels of objections to such an attitude that seems to select some rules as applicable while branding others as extraneous. Qualitatively, there are at least two kinds of argument that I can muster to dismiss such reasoning.

    One can sensibly suggest that the Sikh appearance was not decided by a people after some sort of a referendum but was willed to them by their Guru. Surely these articles of faith are not at all like corporate logos that are redesigned periodically by a professional team of consultants after a survey and market-analysis of the current trends and fads.

    Now, one can choose either to walk the path of the master or not - that choice is always available. But to walk while continuing to quibble full force reminds me of the adage "faint heart never climbed a mountain." (Or was it faint heart never won a fair lady, but let's not be sexist.) To sit around and second-guess the Guru's intention and how he might have decided if he had lived in this 21st century is a game with no rules or one where every player makes his own rules.

    It reminds me of many students who protest that the rules and requirements of the course that I teach are onerous, unfair and demanding, but this protest occurs during mid semester usually after a harrowing and hopeless test and is primarily limited to those who are floundering. That's when the rules no longer appear convenient or helpful to the learning process but loom as a hurdle to their graduating. Students look only at the fact that the rules impose hardships on them or set them apart from other friends who may not be in a similarly demanding program. On the other hand, I am aware of the role my students are destined to play as health professionals and I must design the rules of the game that will prepare them for such responsibility. Inconvenient the rules may be but are they necessary? If necessary then they are also eminently fair. To demand less would not be doing justice to the professional choices these young people have made in life.

    I am not unmindful of the social isolation and the economic repercussions that many Sikhs fear their appearance might produce. The other side of the coin raises an interesting issue: what insecurities in me suggest that life would be so much rosier if only I looked like John Doe? If such attitudes reside in me and govern my outlook in life it must be difficult indeed to look in the mirror. Life has taught me that no matter what I look like there will always be some who will not like me while there will be others who will accept me as I am. For many, I will always remain too short or too tall, too fat or too thin, too dark or too pale, too this or too that. No matter how smart I am there will be millions who will be smarter and just as many who will not be. No matter how rich I am…. and so on, ad infinitum. Whether it is in personal relationship or in social and professional interaction there is always a glass ceiling. But is it the result of our own inadequacies or those of others? Perhaps a little of each.

    If I truly feel uncaged and free only when dressed in a particular manner then the problem lies primarily in my head, not in others. No one can make me feel small without my consent. So to look for an excuse or explanation in the demands of society is really not meaningful. Also, such demands can never be settled in full. My sense of self must be pretty feeble if it depends primarily upon my button down collar, wing tip shoes, blow-dried hairstyle or, most importantly, the opinion of others. I know the requirements of the corporate culture but my bonus is finally determined more by my production figures and only minimally, if at all, by my spit-shined shoes.

    I know full well the pitfalls in taking the road less traveled. I also know that Sikhs are a minuscule minority in any part of the world, even in the Indian culture, except perhaps in Punjab. I know the situation is not likely to change. I am also convinced that Guru Gobind Singh, when he ordained the Khalsa, never had any expectation that there would ever be more Khalsa than there are people of other kind in the world. We are ordained to remain a minority. We have to learn to rejoice in this and not try to metamorphose into a brown sahib. For instance, there will never be more of any kind of people in this world than there are Chinese but that is no reason why everyone has to look Chinese or ape their very rich culture.

    The five symbols of our religion, including the long unshorn hair, become articles of faith only when their magic and historical impact become integrated into our lives and embedded in our psyche such that they define us. Otherwise they remain symbols that can be discarded as and when the spirit moves us. As articles of faith they become a part of the self and good people will fight and die for them but not abandon them. As symbols they will always leave us uncomfortable and ill at ease. Symbols have a price; they can be bought and sold in the marketplace. As articles that define faith they acquire value which is often greater than life itself; they can't be weighed and measured in the market, nor do they become shop-worn. Then the question of their being with the times or not becomes silly as would a question that demands to know the price, justification or relevance of any part of the self.

    Parenthetically, I wish to leave with you one thought. Look closely at these five articles of faith in Sikhism. You will see that they have undergone transformation with time, some more than others. I have attempted a fuller discussion on this elsewhere and it is not pertinent here.

    Even though, and perhaps especially because they were so few, the challenge for Sikhs was always to remain undaunted and to walk the razor's edge of their faith with courage, confidence and a smile. In other words to live life fully, not by half measures. That was, perhaps, the meaning behind Guru Gobind Singh's challenging call for a head on Vaisakhi 1699. This is maybe the lesson that emerges from the sacrifices of Guru Arjan, Guru Tegh Bahadur and countless Sikh martyrs that history has honored. This is what Guru Nanak may have meant when he challenged his followers to walk with the head in the palm of the hand. I would think that to be able to put your head on the line for principle is an utterly modern concept that only a free people can adopt.

    To live free is to be modern. This implies the courage to be distinct and to walk the different beat of your distant drummer. Look back, perhaps not so many years in your life, and what do you see? During adolescence when life was driven by raging hormones, the most powerful urge - not always clearly seen - was to define one's own self by being different from everyone else. (I know that this drive was also accompanied and backed by another - to belong to a pack, which emerged from the fear of being alone.) The sense of self - indeed our identity - developed out of the complex interplay of these competing desires and directions.

    We spend our defining years learning to become individually distinct. In selecting what we wear or carry, we spend our teen years trying to make a unique statement. I am my own person, we want the world to know. It doesn't matter if the world thinks it's ridiculous but dyeing pink a swath down the middle of the head makes me unique, so that's what it will be. I want to be alone on my path but not lonely, so I look for a ratpack that travels together, where each enhances the other's emerging individuality. I also search for a badge that stamps me as exclusive - a limited edition - by joining exclusive clubs and secret societies.

    In Sikhism, the Guru gave us the gift and the courage to stand out and yet to belong to a rich, powerful and eloquent tradition. I can't imagine a more fittingly modern idea. The question is how to model our lives so that our difference makes a statement. And then the question is what kind of a statement do we wish to make.

    We are an integral part of society and so are integrated into it. Being like others defines the niche to which we belong - a space that is carved out of a shared history. By attaching ourselves to the timelessness of a heritage we become free of the restraint as well as of the tyranny of changing customs and changing times. Would the slavery to fad and fashion not make us prisoners of our time? And in the process would we not lose the sense of our heritage that makes us different and unique?

    It is not always easy, even the concept isn't so easy to grasp. But I think the most expanded version of being in tune with the times would be - being the right person at the right time in the right place for the right reason.

    Extracted from the author’s book “Being and Becoming a Sikh” (pp. 9-16) published in 2003 by The Centennial Foundation, Canad
     
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  18. spnadmin

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    Kesas -the Fort of Uncut Hair

    September 4, 2009 by Charanjit Singh

    http://www.{url not allowed}/files/news/2009/September/hair-THUMB.jpg

    The young Khalsa of today is struggling to keep his promise with Guru Gobind Singh. Many, who are tune with their conscience, tie the turban everyday, look in the mirror and get a glimpse of their father - men and women alike.

    He wages a war every time not with anyone else but with his own haunting shadow which keeps pulling him towards his peers, those peers who are more inclined to look similar than different.

    He keeps reminding everyone around that 'Differentiate or Die' might be Jack Trout's defense against the era of cutthroat competition but its true meaning was understood and was thus taught by the Tenth Master.

    At times he suffers because he is different.

    The differentiation was not given to its followers with an aim to bring popularity to its initiator, the way modern gurus have been attempting, every now and then.

    The similarity inherent in your physical programme if preserved, lovingly, as it is, makes you different, while the very annihilation of the similarity made everyone similar. Ironical, isn't it?

    Some youth today colour their body and pierce it with tattoos all over the body. A pierced body may be obnoxiously loathsome but somewhere you cannot ignore the creativity of a tattoo and its ability to scream "Hey look there is much more to me as a person!" But why pierce the divine body? Are the violent impulses within, struggling to be contained, finding an expression in this masochism? It is nothing but an exteriorization of consciousness within!

    The Guru had a different exteriorization in mind. Sirdar Kapur Singh in his monumental work Prasar Prasna (Questions of Prasara) explains the significance of human hair and highlights the superficiality of 'fashion'. The author goes to the very core of human psyche and explains hair-Kesa as an integral part of wholeness of physique- which is an effortless expression of complete human psyche -a psyche which is spiritually uplifted and is healed of psychological fissures and inadequacies.

    PrasaraPrasna- The Blessed of the Uncut Hair P 85....

    Those who are right on the way to the wholeness of the psyche, how do we expect that their mode of appearance as well as the 'fashion' of their cut of hair- an integral and living organ of the body- would tend to express it, instinctively and effortlessly?

    The obvious answer is that the original simplicity of the human nature, the pristine wholeness of the human psyche , during and through its process of healing and restoration, shall exteriorize itself in the 'fashion' of the uncut, untrimmed and unshingled mode of Kesa and the body hair, as enjoined in the discipline of Khalsa.

    The state described by Sirdar Kapur Singh is one which is quite profound and would require serious discipline. There are ample living examples around.

    It's very difficult for them to alter any expression of nature or to put it in Sirdar Sahib's words difficult for them to change or alter any expression of psyche, a psyche which is wholesome and complete. Hence -the unshorn hair and flowing beards.

    The GenX may argue that the path to 'restoration' and 'healing' as may have been followed in the ways mentioned above is not only long and distant but also a bit too complex. The path to reach the wholeness is the ultimate aim of spirituality.

    Can there be a simpler way?


    Celebrated Harvard Professor William James who brought a near revolution in clinical psychology when he proposed that thought was what followed the will rather than the prevailing belief which was vice-versa i.e. will was an expression of thought. He said, "Action seems to follow feeling but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not."

    What is means is that when a person is feeling emotionally depressed (emphasize "feeling") then by regulating his deed that is just putting a smile on his face (action) or humming a favorite song would definitely alter his feeling inside and would make him joyful.

    Does the thought and will theory hold ground for Kesa as enjoined in discipline of Khalsa. I definitely believe it does.

    If being whole and complete in our psyche right on day one of our spiritual journey seems too much so can we alter our action which will go a long way in altering our feeling and thereby our psyche.
    Can we allow nature to fully take its course and exteriorize itself in our bodies so that at some point this action would complete us from inside?

    This might be a first step towards spiritual upliftment but if William James is to be believed fully then a person who allows nature to express itself in its body is following suit as far as thought and mind are concerned.

    It would unimaginable for him to pierce his body or his soul as he finds both equally divine expressions.

    Did not the Guru initiating spirituality want us to start from our own bodies?

    Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Bihaagraa on page 554 says
    naanak so prabh simareeai this dhaehee ko paal ||2||
    O Nanak, meditate in remembrance on God, and nurture this body. ||2||

    Further the paramountcy of human body is explained elaborately in Bhagat
    Peepa Ji’s Shabad in Raag Dhanaasree on page 695

    kaayo dhaevaa kaaeiao dhaeval kaaeiao ja(n)gam jaathee ||
    Within the body, the Divine Lord is embodied. The body is the temple, the
    place of pilgrimage, and the pilgrim.

    kaaeiao dhhoop dheep neebaedhaa kaaeiao poojo paathee ||1||
    Within the body are incense, lamps and offerings. Within the body are the
    flower offerings. ||1||

    kaaeiaa bahu kha(n)dd khojathae nav nidhh paaee ||
    I searched throughout many realms, but I found the nine treasures within the
    body

    naa kashh aaeibo naa kashh jaaeibo raam kee dhuhaaee ||1|| rehaao ||
    Nothing comes, and nothing goes; I pray to the Lord for Mercy. ||1||Pause||

    jo brehama(n)ddae soee pi(n)ddae jo khojai so paavai ||
    The One who pervades the Universe also dwells in the body; whoever seeks Him,
    finds Him there.

    peepaa pranavai param thath hai sathigur hoe lakhaavai ||2||3||
    Peepaa prays, the Lord is the supreme essence; He reveals Himself through the
    True Guru. ||2||3||

    So let's look at our hair as not only a gift from the Great Guru, which serves to remind us of his presence around us but also a psychological tool which if understood properly has the potential to change us from within. It enables us to be different, still similar.
     
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