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The Spiritual Strength of Woman

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by kaur-1, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. kaur-1

    kaur-1
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    The Spiritual Strength of Woman - The following is an article that Shanti
    Kaur Khalsa presented at the Women's Seminar at the World Sikh Samelan,
    Amritsar 1995.


    BANA: The Khalsa Uniform Bana is our own flag. Bana is our Nissan that
    states unequivocally who we are. If we have the dress and fashion of a movie
    star that makes a statement as to who we are. If we wear the clothes of
    beggar that also tells the world what our status is. And if we wear the Bana
    of the Khalsa, this makes a statement of strength that cannot be ignored by
    the hardest of hearts. Bana is the image and dress of grace. Bana is the
    five K's of the Khalsa: Kesh, Kachera, Kanga, Kara, and Kirpan. Each one of
    these beautiful accoutrements gives us strength and beauty. Bana is a
    statement that says, with a look, that I belong to Guru Gobind Singh, and He
    belongs to me.

    I belong to the Khalsa and Khalsa belongs to me as the drop of water forever
    merges into the ocean. Guru Gobind Singh


    I would like to share with you my own story and experiences in relation to
    the Bana of the Khalsa. When I first became a Sikh, twenty-three years ago,
    I had never seen an Indian Sikh woman. I knew only American Sikhs, and in
    fact, very few of those. But I knew that Kesh and Dastar were part of the
    5-K's of Guru Gobind Singh. And I knew that Guru Gobind Singh promised:

    If the Khalsa maintains the distinct path, I shall give them all my
    strength. But if the Khalsa leaves this path, then I will withdraw my
    recognition.
    Guru Gobind Singh


    Well, as a young woman of 18 years, full of the spirit of life and the
    excitement of discovering the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, it never
    occurred to me to not wear a turban. The Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh wore
    the dastar, and that was who I wanted to be. So it was with great sincerity
    that I tied my first turban. From the moment I put on a turban, the effect
    was immediate and exciting.

    Physiologically speaking, the turban creates a dramatic effect on the body.
    The human skull is not solid, but is made up of 52 moving plates, whose
    alignment affects our well being and our mental processes. Osteopathic
    Doctors have developed a science of cranial adjustments to treat many
    general and specific ailments. By tying the turban, and thus creating the
    proper pressure and angles, the bones of the skull are automatically
    adjusted, and remain aligned throughout the day. In situations of mental
    activity or emotional stress, when the cranial bones tend to go out of
    proper alignment, the turban contains and maintains the integrity of the
    skull. This contributes greatly to our strength and ability to succeed under
    pressure. In addition to this, the effect of the Kesh properly combed-up and
    the acupressure points that the turban presses at the temple contributes to
    the person's ability to maintain an elevated state of mind, a higher state
    of consciousness. All of this was apparent to me the very first day I wore
    the turban of the Khalsa.

    But as you can imagine, the most dramatic effect of wearing a turban is not
    physiological, but rather it is social. Wearing a turban is to walk the
    Niagara path. My parents and my friends were stunned. They thought they had
    lost me, but of course they had not. Rather the experience of being distinct
    has made me more committed to the welfare of those around me, because
    everything I do is highlighted and examined by others.

    Now that I have lived my life experiencing the benefits of the turban, I can
    tell you honestly that you are missing a great advantage by not doing so. I
    have been given the respect and the status of a spiritual woman, even when I
    myself have been filled with self-doubt and misgivings. This I see as Guru
    Gobind Singh Ji fulfilling his promise, giving me strength even when I do
    not have strength myself. This beautiful dastar proclaims to the entire
    world that I belong to Guru Gobind Singh and that is a reality I will never
    deny.

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