Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Why are we not allowed to cut hair when it's ok to cut nails, since both are created by God?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by skeptic.freethinker1, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    74
    I understand one of the reasons we are not supposed to cut/trim our hair is because we want to keep the 'roop' given to us by God intact.

    But even the nails were given to us by God. Why is it ok to cut them regularly and not hair?

    Both nails and hair are made up of dead tissue and hygiene aspect applies to both equally.

    Last time I asked this question on a forum, someone told me that this is because our Gurus told us to do so.
    But I am looking to find out why we were told to do so. How does this actually bring us close to God spiritually?
     
    • Like Like x 3
    #1 skeptic.freethinker1, Sep 8, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Sikhs Following Hindu Customs . Why Are We So Foolish And Whats This Guilt About ? Hard Talk Oct 1, 2016
    Opinion Who The Hell Are Sikhs? And Why Do They Wear The Turban? Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Sep 18, 2016
    Hard Talk Why Are Airports Still So Clueless About Respecting Sikhs? Hard Talk Mar 12, 2016
    Sikh News Why Are Airports Still So Clueless About Respecting The Rights of Sikhs? Breaking News Mar 9, 2016
    Sikh Why Are You A Sikh? Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Feb 28, 2016

  3. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
    Expand Collapse
    Admin SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    5,977
    Likes Received:
    5,043
    It is surprising when people argue that there is no mention in Gurbani about cutting or not cutting your bodily hair. In japji Sahib, it is clearly stated to live our life in accordance to the Hukum (The Laws of Nature). This statement encompasses every trivial argument we make like justifying of Cutting/shaving/plucking of Hair from any part of the body.

    Kesh or Bodily Hair grow as per the Hukum (The Laws of Nature) of the Almighty. Cutting edges of hair or plucking or shaving eyebrows/facial hair or shaving hair from any part of your body is a clear defiance of the Hukum (The Laws of Nature) of the Almighty.

    Now, about people who seek justification for cutting bodily hair, in cutting nails, i would request them to immediately stop cutting their nails and see what happens next? Doing your day to day chores, the nails will break-off automatically, even if you take utmost care to prevent them from breaking. This means Breaking-off of nails is perfectly in accordance of with the Hukum (The Laws of the Nature).

    For me this fake argument of Nails v/s Hair ends right here! End of the Story!

    The Hukum by the tenth Master to Keep Kesh is simply a reminder to follow this important Hukum ie. The Laws of Nature as ordained by the almighty.

    But as Tejwant ji stated earlier in this discussion itself, a person who is hell bent upon to defy the word of the Guru or the Hukum, will eventually find a way to justify his/her acts.

    Gurfateh!
     
    • Like Like x 5
    #2 Admin Singh, Sep 8, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  4. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    3,761
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Why don't Sikhs cut their hair?

    The unshorn hair (Kesh) is part of nature and God's system. Sikhs maintains long unshorn hair (‘Kesh’) as an act of acceptance of God's Will and living as nature intended, sustaining the individual in higher consciousness. The unshorn hair is regarded with the highest importance in the Sikh religion and is one of the basic requirements for a Sikh. Dishonouring one’s hair is one of the four Bajjar Kurehats (cardinal sins), which the Guru has told a Sikh never to commit. A Sikh doesn’t disfigure their hair from head to toe because of the Guru's order to maintain the sanctity of the Kesh. Nothing else matters. A Sikh does what their Guru tells them to do.

    ਮਾਈ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਸਾਧਾ ॥
    ਬਚਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਜੋ ਪੂਰੈ ਕਹਿਓ ਮੈ ਛੀਕਿ ਗਾਂਠਰੀ ਬਾਧਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    “O mother, True, True True is the Lord, and True, True, True is the Guru.
    The Word, which the Perfect Guru has spoken, I have tied to my robe. ||1||Pause||”
    (Ang 1204)


    The Kesh act as the identity for a Sikh as well being a spiritual and practical tool that helps the body. Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, the founder of the Sikh Path, followed the ancient practice of the sages, prophets, and holy mystics of keeping the hair unshorn because keeping it in a natural state is regarded as living in harmony with the Will of Vaheguru.

    The biological functions and benefits of human body hair are for example:

    * The hair on our head protects the skull and brain
    * The hair on our body acts an insulator and is linked to our nervous system
    * Our eyebrows prevent water going into your eyes
    * Facial hair absorb ether energy
    * The hair under our armpits prevent friction and irritation when we move our arms


    ----- KESH REHAT - GURBANI UPDESH -----

    There is a principle (vidhaan) of maintaining Kesh.
    ਸੋਹਣੇ ਨਕ ਜਿਨ ਲੰਮੜੇ ਵਾਲਾ ॥
    "Beautiful is Your nose and long hair."
    (Ang 567)


    Meaning, those who have beautiful nose and beautiful Kesh, they too are your nose and Kesh. Thus, a Sikh should keep full appearance (i.e. maintain unshorn hair and not pierce the nose), crowned with a turban on the head.

    ਮਾਠਿ ਗੁੰਦਾਈਂ ਪਟੀਆ ਭਰੀਐ ਮਾਗ ਸੰਧੂਰੇ ॥ ਅਗੈ ਗਈ ਨ ਮੰਨੀਆ ਮਰਉ ਵਿਸੂਰਿ ਵਿਸੂਰੇ ॥
    "I have woven my hair into lovely braids, plaits, and marked the centre parting with red colouring (Sandhoor); but in the presence of You, I am still not accepted, and (because of this) I am dying suffering in anguish."
    (Ang 559 )


    Meaning, braids, plaits, making partings with the hair and adding colour to the hair etc is prohibited for the Sikh of the Guru. Such people do not get accepted the Court of the Lord.

    Any form of intended disfigurement or mutilation of the body is prohibited in Gurmat, including shaving, plucking, tattooing, circumcision, piercing, colouring etc. Guru Ji says:

    ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ ॥ 12 ॥
    "O person of God! Purify the mind what is impure (with bad thoughts) “this is the religious tradition through which you can experience the Lord's Presence. (Abandoning circumcision, mutilation and deferment of the body etc) preserve a complete appearance with a turban on your head" this becomes the way to maintain respect and honour. ||12||"
    (Ang 1084)


    There is one Salokh of Bhagat Kabeer Ji which is often misquoted by mischievous people trying to justify the un-Godly act of shaving or trimming their hair.

    ਕਬੀਰ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਇਕ ਸਿਉ ਕੀਏ ਆਨ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਭਾਵੈ ਲਾਂਬੇ ਕੇਸ ਕਰੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਘਰਰਿ ਮੁਡਾਇ ॥੨੫॥
    "O Kabeer! When you are in love with the One Lord, duality and alienation depart. You may have long matted hair, or you may shave your head bald. ||25||"
    (Ang 1365)


    These lines criticize both those who have long matted hair or shave their head completely in order to achieve union with God. In these lines, the question of keeping or not keeping Kesh is not the case. Similarly Guru Ji says:

    ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਮੂੰਡਿਆ ਨਹੀ ਕੇਸ ਮੁੰਡਾਏ ਕਾਂਇ ॥ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮਨ ਕੀਆ ਮੂੰਡਾ ਮੂੰਡੁ ਅਜਾਂਇ ॥੧੦੧॥
    "O Kabeer! You have not shaved your mind, so why do you shave your head? Whatever is done, is done by the mind; it is useless to shave your head. ||101||"
    (Ang 1369)


    This salok (couplet) clarifies the above salok.

    As well as having biological functions and benefits, the hair is sacred due to the fact that spiritual energy abides within each and every pore of hair on the body. The hairs are like electrical wires, which preserve, carry and vibrate energy. When one chants & meditates the Divine- Name (Naam), each hair vibrates. Sikhs do not forcibly or intentionally remove any hair from the body but maintain clean hair with proper washing; tying and keeping them covered are requirements for a Sikh.

    Gurbaani (the Divine Word) says:

    ਰੋਮ ਰੋਮ ਮਹਿ ਬਸਹਿ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ॥
    “On each and every hair, the Lord abides.”
    (Ang 344)


    ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਰੋਮਿ ਰੋਮਿ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥
    “The Gurmukh meditates on the Lord with every hair of his body.”
    (Ang 941)


    ----- KESH REHAT - REHATNAMAS & PURAATAN GRANTH -----

    ਜਬ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਸਬ ਸਿ੍ਰਸਿਟ ਉਪਾਈ । ਤਬ ਹੀ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹਿ ਬਨਾਈ ।
    ਤਨ ਇਸ ਕੇ ਸਿਰ ਕੇਸ ਜੁ ਦੀਨੋ । ਸੋ ਇਹ ਤਨ ਸ਼ਿੰਗਾਰਿਹ ਕੀਨੋ ।
    ਦਾੜ੍ਹਾ ਮੁੱਛ ਸਿਰ ਕੇਸ ਬਨਾਈ । ਹੈ ਇਹ ਦਿ੍ੜ ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਰਜ਼ਾਈ ।
    ਮੇਟ ਰਜ਼ਾਇ ਜੁ ਸੀਸ ਮੁੰਡਾਵੈ । ਕਹੁ ਤੇ ਜਗ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਵੈ ।
    “God created the whole universe and then he fashioned the human body. He gave man a beard, moustaches and hair on the head. He who submits to His Will steadfastly adheres to them. They who deny His Will how will they find God in this world?”


    (Bhai Desa Singh Rehatnama)
    ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਛਾਪ ਸਿਰ ਕੇਸ ਕੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ, ਦੇਇ ਉਤਾਰ ਸੋ ਬੇਮੁਖ ਜਾਨਹੁ।
    ਬੇਟੇ ਕੋ ਬੰਧੁ ਕੋ ਛਾਪ ਮੁੰਡਾਵਤ, ਜਮ ਦੁਖ ਭੋਗ ਕੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਤ ਪਛਾਨਹੁ।
    "The Guru's stamp is Kesh and (Khandi di) Pahul, one who removes (their Kesh) is known as an apostate (bemukh). One who shaves the stamp (of the Guru) of their child (i.e. cut their children's hair), realise that person will suffer a terrible death and known as a ghost."


    (Bhai Sahib Singh Rehatnama)
    ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤ ਰੱਬ ਦੀ, ਭੰਨੇ ਬੇਈਮਾਨ । ਦਰਗਹਿ ਢੋਈ ਨਾ ਮਿਲੇ, ਕਾਫ਼ਰ, ਕੁੱਤਾ, ਸ਼ੈਤਾਨ ।
    "God has made the human perfect, but the dishonourable destroy it.
    They will find no place in the Court of God, like the unbeliever, dog and Satanist."


    (Guru Nanak Janam Sakhi)
    ਨਾਈ ਦਾ ਹਥ ਸੀਸ ਚਿਹਰੇ ਨ ਲਗਣਾ ਪਾਵੈ । ਕੇਸਾਧਾਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਦਾ ਪੰਥ ਕਹਾਵੈ ।
    "The head (of a Sikh) should never have to pass through the hands of a barber. The Guru's Panth (community) calls itself Keshdhari (those with unshorn hair)."


    (Bansaavaleenama, Bhai Kesar Singh Chhibar)
    ਇਹੈ ਮੋਰ ਆਗਯਾ ਸੁਨੋ ਲੈ ਪਿਆਰੇ ।
    ਬਿਨਾ ਤੇਗ, ਕੇਸੰ ਦਿਵੋ ਨ ਦਿਦਾਰੇ ।
    "Listen O beloved ones: It (the Kesh) is my stamp. Without (wearing) a weapon and keeping Kesh, I will not give my audience."
    (Gurbilaas Paatshaahee 10 - Bhai Sukha Singh)


    ਕੇਸਨ ਕੀ ਕੀਜਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲ । ਨ ਉਸਤਰਨ ਸੇ ਕਟਯੋ ਬਾਲ ।੧੮।
    "Maintain and look after your Kesh. Do not remove or cut any hair."
    (Gur Panth Prakaash - Rattan Singh Bhangu)


    ----- NAILS & HAIR -----

    Someone could argue why do Sikhs cut their nails when they don't cut their hair. Firstly, nails and the importance of hair cannot be compared. The hair is sacred that have a spiritual importance whereas the nails merely have biological function. Secondly, nails naturally remain short as they are brittle and rigid as a result of which they break off easily. A Sikh is required to do seva (selfless service) with his or her hands. When a individual uses their hands to do selfless service of washing up dirty dishes, cleaning shoes, sweeping the floor, cooking and serving food then there is no possibility for nails to remain long.

    ----- BHAI TARU SINGH JI - SCALPED ALIVE -----

    A Sikh lives in the grace and glory of God. The Kesh are magnificent. Biologically, physically and spiritually they do so much for us. Looking at the Kesh of a Sikh one sees the Sikh principle of "Living in the Will (Bhaanaa) of the Almighty." The Kesh is a symbol of Sikhism and what the fundamental belief of Sikhs. Bhai Taru Singh jee is a Shaheed (martyr) who is a living reminder of what the Kesh means to the Khalsa. When asked to give up his faith and denounce Sikhi, he preferred to have his scalp removed than cut and disfigure his Sacred Kesh.

    source:
    http://www.sikhism101.com/node/148
     
    • Like Like x 6
  5. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    74
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Soul Jyot Ji,
    Thanks for your attempt at answering my question. But this doesn't really satisfy my curiosity.

    I don't mean any offense but I have received this response many times before and that's why I had specifically requested not to tell me that Gurus had said so and tell me more about 'Why'?

    Majority of your post tries to establish that our hair are sacred but I don't find a convincing arguement as to 'Why' are they sacred and not our other body parts which were also created by God?

    Also some of the arguements that you do make don't really seem true. For example:-

    Except us Sikhs, everyone else cuts hair. I don't see them suffering terrible deaths. Even the people who are born in Sikh families and later cut their hair seem to live fulfilling and happy lives. If this quote is not true how can I be sure that everything else being said on this topic is not false?

    Again, why are hair more sacred then nails. Both were created by God..weren't they? Why did God even create the nails if they were not important.

    But, so do hair. I have seen my uncles who don't cut their hair but all their hair have fallen off. They can't even tie their hair into a bun. Since hair also fall off on their own, why aren't we allowed to cut them anyways?

    In this quote you are referencing practicality as to why we need to cut our nails. By same principle, it should be fine to cut hair, since in many jobs it is impractical to have long hair. For eg. working with machines or working with food. Your hairs can fall into the food, or the food particles can get entangled in your free beard
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    2,766
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    I usually eschew long copy/pastes, but this says it much better and in more detail than I can. From


    Hail Hair !
    by Dr. Birendra Kaur


    In the end, though, however annoying it might be, I keep kesh because my Guru has told me to do this.
     
  7. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    74
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Harinder Kaur Ji,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my query. I appreciate that you have tried to respond using logic and reason as I was indeed looking for such an answer. After all logical and critical thinking is what separates true path from blind superstitious beliefs.

    Unfortunately, being an advanced science student myself, I had to check the validity of the statements made in the article. And it seems majority of the article you quoted is using false assumptions, some blatant fallacies and cyclic reasoning.

    False. Majority of men tend to loose their hair after certain age irrespective of their religion. It's called male pattern baldness. Also, all statements about hair needed for protection of skull seem false as that would mean that older men don't need any protection of their skull.

    Again, since the previous statements were false, this assumption doesn't hold true. Also, scientific research has shown that hairs are devoid of any neurons and if their is any damage to hair except at follicles, their is no feedback mechanism to communicate the damage to our body.

    Not true. Aesthetics aside, a healthy (finger)nail has the function of protecting the distal phalanx, the fingertip, and the surrounding soft tissues from injuries. It also serves to enhance precise delicate movements of the distal digits through counter-pressure exerted on the pulp of the finger. [1] The nail then acts as a counterforce when the end of the finger touches an object, thereby enhancing the sensitivity of the fingertip,[10] even though there are no nerve endings in the nail itself. Finally, the nail functions as a tool, enabling for instance a so called "extended precision grip" (e.g. pulling out a splinter in one's finger).

    This is a false statement in regard to nail's strength. Our nails are as strong as hooves of a horse. You can read about it on 'new scientist' site - http://tinyurl.com/2chv6aw
    And even if for a moment we assume that hairs have more strength, how does that prove them to be superior to nails. It's like saying since our 'Cardiac muscle tissue' is not as strong as hair so it's not as important!

    In my opinion this is all the more reason why we need to save nails instead of Hairs. We are supposed to conserve things which are scarce as compared to things which are abundant.



    Let us not even go there. Long hair are not more practical. Try making microscopic slides with long free flowing beard. Try working with semi-conductor wafers with long beard. Try working in a cafeteria with long beard and long hair or try working with heavy machinery in a factory. I am not saying it can't be done just that you have to be extra cautious with long hair while doing these activities. At the end of the post, you yourself said that it can be a bit annoying at times.

    And in the beginning of article their was a statement about how hair and nails originate from different layers of skins. Fact is both hair and nails are made up of protein called 'keratin'. Both are devoid of any nerves or blood vessels and both are considered dead tissue or appendages to skin. So the article just tries to confuse and doesn't really answer anything.

    I respect your belief. But the problem that our community is facing now days is that youngsters are not ready to blindly follow. We need to know why our Gurus chose a way of life, what is its spiritual significance and why does that bring us closer to God. And this generation can't be blamed for just seeking answers.

    As I said before, logical and critical thought is what separates a true path from blind superstition.

    I hope someone can help answer my original question!
    Thanks.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Skeptic Freethinker,

    Guru fateh.

    Are you a skeptic or a free thinker?:) A skeptic can find faults in anything and a free thinker can be open to accept everything. One can be devil's advocate towards anything one wants to be.

    The same thing that you mentioned are difficult to do with long beards can be said about someone having long nails and like them and want to keep them. I have seen women who have very long nails.

    You know very well that there is no answer that can satisfy you or do you have the answer for us that is of your satisfaction?

    Allow me ask you a question and I am sure with the help of your research you can find the answer and help me out.

    How did the homosapiens cut their nails?

    After all they also had long hair and nails.

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 7
  9. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    74
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Tejwant Ji,

    I am not entirely sure what you are getting at but I will surely try to answer your question if that will help you answer mine.

    I am both. Skeptic is one who questions and does not blindly accept any concept. Free thinker is one whose thoughts are not tied down by established norms. I am obviously not as enlightened as our Gurus but our Gurus were the 'Free Thinkers' of their times. They just didn't follow blind superstitions and found a true path for themselves.

    If I had an answer, I wouldn't be asking questions. I am at a crossroad in my life where I need to make some tough choices. I know I won't get a reasonable answer from my family and that's why I am forced to seek answers elsewhere. And surely the bhaiji at our Gurudwara Sahib are of no help either.
    And what makes you assume that I won't be satisfied by a logical answer? Is it because you fear you don't have a logical answer?? In that case you don't need to respond. There are plenty of truth seekers on this forum. I am sure someone will have an answer.

    Now here I have no idea what you are even trying to ask. Why are you referring to Homo Sapiens in past tense??
    You do realize the term Homo Sapiens refers to humans? i.e you and me.
    I use nail cutter and NO I don't have long nails. What about you?
    If you are going to leave sarcastic comments, at least get your facts right!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?


    Skeptic thinker ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    There is no need to get upset. It is not only your right to ask questions. it is everyone's. No one got upset except you for the reasons only known to you.

    You know why I wrote homosapiens rather than humans. If you do not understand the difference then allow me to explain that to you. By homosapiens I meant earlier humans. So, my question still stands.

    What kind of logical answer are you looking for?

    No one is stopping you to cut your nails if that is your question. As far as hair is concerned, it is a tradition and it is a natural way the way we were created. Your assumption about long beards not able to work at Intel or in a kitchen is simply wrong.

    The reasons we keep hair and men use turbans is to stand out and to be outstanding. I have no idea how much you know about Sikhi. In the day of Guru Nanak, only Brahmins or the Mughal emperors and others in high positions could wear turbans. Guru Nanak defied that and created a new school of thought by using turbans and keeping hair as mundan was the Hindu custom where the child was supposed to have his/her head shaved.

    In case you did not know, there are two kinds of skeptics, the scientific ones and the religious ones

    Definition - Scientific skepticism - Religious skepticism

    So, I would like to know which skepticism you have in mind and as I said before that your question is not to be satisfied with an answer but be a devil's advocate, which in other words is the one who wants to remain skeptic-doubtful.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 6
  11. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    74
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Tejwant Ji,
    I understand the difference. There is none. Term Home Sapiens refers to Humans.
    Anyways, if you are referring to all pre-historic humans, the answer is that, as far as we know, they didn't cut their nails or their hair. They didn't use toilet paper either.
    Can I respectfully ask you, what was the point of this question?


    Well, something with sound reasoning and logic. Preferably factual logic.

    Something like this:-
    Question:- Why do metals conduct electricity efficiently?
    Answer:- Because they have free electrons due to larger nucleus.

    Question:- Why do we take antibiotics when sick?
    Answer:- Because antibiotics kill disease causing bacteria.

    Something that does NOT involve "Because that's the way it is", "Because that's what our ancestors did", "Because our hair capture spiritual energy!" or "Because ghosts live in our hair who will come out if we cut them!"

    Obviously I cut nails. But we both understand what my question means. Why is it wrong to cut hair when it is ok to cut nails since both are part of God gifted 'Roop'. That's what I am seeking an answer for.

    Again, nails are also part of the natural way, the way we were created. This does not answer my question.

    Now statements like these make me upset. First of all I never said I am unable to work. I just said I have to be more cautious. I am doing research in microelectronic applications specific to telecom. That's why I had specifically referred to semiconductor wafers in my earlier post. When working with microelectronics, all sources of dust need to be covered. Unless you are bald, you have to wear a special cap. And unless you are clean shaven, you have to wear surgical mask or something similar. Since my beard captures significant dust, I wear a mask in lab. You mention Intel. I regularly visit labs of many major chip manufacturers like STM, Freescale, AMD and Intel.

    So don't assume stuff. I am NOT "wrong". You are.


    I get this. And I respect it. But if this is the only reason for keeping hair then all we are trying to do is 'look different' from Hindus and look similar to Mughal emperors. And since we don't have Mughals or Brahmins wearing turbans anymore, how is this relevant today?



    There are many more kinds of skepticism including Philosophical skepticism and Political skepticism. But a skeptic is a skeptic. One who critically thinks about all things before accepting any concept. And it is in no way a negative trait. It only makes you stronger in your beliefs since you have actually examined them instead of taking someone's word for it. So to answer your question I am a skeptic. The only kind and all kind.

    Let me be honest. Inspite of being a Gursikh so far, my faith in our religion isn't as strong as it used to be. Reason being, everytime I question a reason behind a religious belief, be it wearing a 'kada' or keeping the kesh, it always comes down to "Because that's the way it is" and "That's what our ancestors did". It used to be good enough for me when I was a kid but not any longer.

    I hope you understand the source of my frustration and I truly hope someone can answer my original question!

    Best Regards
     
  12. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
    Expand Collapse
    SPN Sewadaar
    Historian SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    2,952
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    You can cut you hair if you wish and still be a Sikh, but you just can't be an Amritdhari Sikh!

    You would be classified as a Sehajdhari or slow adopter.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. amritpalsingh

    amritpalsingh
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gur Fateh,

    I will quote what I heard in a Katha by Maskeen Ji. He said, we cut/remove only the dead nail, we do not cut live nail. Similarly, we do not keep the dead
    hair either. Only the comb (kanga) knows, which hair is dead. When we comb everyday, the dead hair is removed.

    Not sure if I explained it well.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    I am sorry to know that you refuse to see the difference when I explained you in my earlier post why I used homo sapiens -as earlier humans. So, if the explanation as simple as that does not convince you what I mean, then I am afraid there is nothing I can do about it.Is not using a toilet paper something degrading? Have you heard of something called Bidet which has been in use in Europe and other parts of the world for a very long time. Now the toilets come with bidets attached. So, if you want to discuss the toilet paper, we can do that too.:)
    But let's continue. Shall we?

    The common belief is that their nails naturally fell before they became an hindrance like climbing trees and other things. As we do not do those kinds of jobs, we have to cut our nails. They- the homo sapiens- the early humans did not have any tools to manicure their nails. Nature took care of that. May be with time we will evolve enough and may not have any bodily hair, but we may still have hair on our heads as protection from the Sun. Our nails may stop growing with time. Now a days, you may or may not know that many babies are born without appendix and without wisdom teeth. It is part of the evolution.

    But from what I gather, your true inquiry is nothing to do with the nails. You want to find some justification as a Sikh to cut your hair.

    No one is stopping you to do that. Your journey is your own, that is what Sikhi is all about. Your cutting hair, does not affect me nor anyone else. It only depends on what you are looking for within as a person and how you want to grow within which will depend on what path you choose.

    So, you are looking for a scientific skepticism rather than the religious one to find your religious answer. How utopically interesting!

    Doesn't that we say about the gravity?:)

    So, it seems that being a skeptic and a freethinker, the nail cutting is just a facade. Deep down you want to cut your hair and you want to justify that with the nails. How interesting.

    In other words you want to emulate our Gurus as you said in your first post but without your hair. You want to be a skeptic and a freethnkers like our Gurus were but on your own terms. How interesting!

    My statement:

    Your answer

    You sound upset and defensive again. I may be wrong because I am a Sikh, a seeker, a learner. So, I expect myself to make mistakes which is part and parcel of the learning process.

    But, let's check your response about the same subject to Soul Jyot ji.

    Your response:

    What does,"since in many jobs it is impractical to have long hair. " mean? Does it mean unable to do one's job?

    The relevance in Sikhi is not pick and choose at will. It makes us stand out so we have to be outstanding. Gurbani is a unique poetry which did not stop in time, just like Sikhi. The same Shabad teaches us something new about ourselves everyday. A Sikh's duty is to learn, unlearn and relearn daily. Having a turban and Gurbani has been always an advantage for me since I left India at the age of 16. My Sikhi with my hair and turban has always been my asest and I have lived all around the world, even 9 years in Brazil.

    If I were you, I would read the following interesting thread recently posted in the forum:

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-...c-interests-in-european-sikhs.html#post132810

    Once again, it is nothing to do nails but all to do with your faith which is Sikhi and hair. Nails things is just a cover up to sound logical.:)

    Good luck and enjoy your journey, whichever you may choose.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 7
    #13 Tejwant Singh, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  15. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    I beg to differ with Maskeen ji provided what you heard is true. If we cut our hair, it is the same as cutting out nails. If we pull our nails from the cuticle, then it is painful and it is the same as pulling out your hair from the scalp. Both are dead tissues.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 4
  16. Seeker9

    Seeker9 United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Cleverness is not wisdom
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    973
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Dear Skeptic-freethinker Ji

    Far more learned individuals than I have already given you advice on this matter

    If you want a direct answer based on logic you won't get one because the source should be the scriptures and I am fairly certain the direct comparison between hair and nails does not exist

    Perhaps this is because it was never envisaged that centuries later someone would nitpick to try and justify an action that suited them personally

    Apologies if that sounds harsh

    No one here is to pass judgement on you. Getting consent from a complete stranger on an internet forum should perhaps not be seen as justification for what you want to do

    I would also respectfully suggest that if you move away form the hair thing for a moment and do everything else you're supposed to, that I daresay a lot of individuals with uncut hair don't do, then you will have a lot more to gain

    I hope I have not offended you or anyone else with this post

    All the best
     
    • Like Like x 6
  17. polpol

    polpol
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    119
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Skeptic freethinker 1
    I am not a Sikh but I asked myself the very same question not out of defiance though. I came up with a functionalist hypothesis as to "why", leaving the reference to the scriptures to Sikhs in all due respect. The basic idea is that Sikhs being neither muslims nor hindus, the Gurus provided the followers with apparent means to show their distinctiveness. I am thinking mostly about women Sikhs. I don't know about hindu women, but muslim women (not even sure if we can generalise), discard bodily hair except the hair on their heads, a mark of beauty. So, even dead, naked or unconscious a Sikh woman will be readilly identified as such and she will identify herself as a follower of Sikh values and way of life even in absolute intimacy when she is alone or with her husband. It is a way of integrating absolutely Sikhism to one's very nature. Does that make any sense? I don't have all the information to make my point, I thought that maybe you could find an answer outside the scriptures without having to split hairs over your faith and the validity of the Scriptures. Also, in regards to women, not shaving stresses the golden rule of equality between men and women, so distintive of Sikhism. In some feminist cercles, not shaving is the summom of women's liberation.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    #16 polpol, Sep 10, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  18. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    74
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Tejwant Ji,
    Once again thanks for your response. But you assumed a lot of things while responding.

    I didn't say not using toilet paper is any way inferior. I spent my formative years in Delhi where toilet paper is still not the norm.
    I am very well aware of Bidet and its predecessor the famed 'Lota/Mug'
    Reason I mentioned the toilet paper was beacause you were trying to do some sort of comparison between ways of early man and us. I didn't mean any disrespect to anyone.


    Again you are assuming while overlooking my question. Why is it wrong to cut hair? Comparison with nails comes in because the most common explanation for not cutting hair is that they are a gift from God.

    I get the part about early man not having to specifically cut nails since the nails didn't grow too big due to their living conditions. But that really has nothing do with my question.
    How does early man not cutting nails explains us not cutting our hair? For thousands of years before Sikhism came into existence, people around the world were cutting their hair as well as nails. What changed with sikhism? Why did changing our appearance in one way(cutting nails) became acceptable and in another way (cutting hair) unacceptable.


    No. I am not looking for a justification to cut my hair. I am looking for a justification to keep my hair.
    I would appreciate if you can leave your pre conceived notions about me for a while and genuinely try to answer my question.



    I can't convey to you how much I appreciate this comment. Understanding and inclusiveness should be the central tenant of all religions.
    Again, I am not eager to go down a path that would upset me as well as my family. But it's hard for me suppress the questions within me if I don't get any answers, spiritual or otherwise?

    I am looking for a rational answer that can stand the test of critical thinking. I don't care from where it comes.

    Yes it is.


    Are you trying to compare gravity with religion and spirituality??
    You do realise experiments on gravity satisfy the most basic criteria of science. Gravity is predictable, demonstrable and repeatable.
    Even though research is still going on to understand its mechanism, noone says that research should be stopped and everyone should accept that God makes two bodies with mass attract each other.

    On the other hand the concepts like quoted by Soul_Jyot "People who cut their hair will die terrible deaths" are not predictable or demonstrable.


    You find too many things interesting. I like that about you. Natural curiosity is what leads to discoveries.

    Again I am not trying to justify 'not cutting' my nails. I have no wish to grow inch long nails. I am trying to justify keeping long hairs. I am seeking an answer to justify keeping long hair. That's the answer you are unable to provide so far!
    And I am not seeking this answer just for myself. There would be many more youths, who would come seeking answer for the same question. I hope it never comes to this but what if someday your own children ask you these questions like I asked my parents.
    Would you continue to give them the same cyclic explanationslike "We need to look like Mughal emperors"? What if these explanations aren't good enough for them?


    You are still trying to put words in my mouth and fit it into your pre conceived notion that I am looking forward to cut my hair.
    But I will try to be patient and tell you this once again. I am not seeking a justification to cut my hair. I am seeking a justification to keep my hair.

    I'm glad you find everything I say as interesting. If you keep up with your interest, I hope you will find some answers.


    No worries. I am learning too. It's just that I ask more questions so that I have to assume less.


    Once again, you assume too much. I said 'impractical'. Where did you get 'unable to do'?

    Impractical means 'Not practical.' 'Unable' means NOT being able to do something at all.

    Let me use them in a sentence for you:-
    Walking from Las Vegas to Los Angeles is 'impractical' but doable, given enough time and resources. But I am 'unable' to swim from Las Vegas to Los Angeles since there is no water body connecting the two cities.

    Don't worry about this. We all make mistakes.

    Now let's proceed, shall we?


    I am glad you pointed this out. That's part of the reason why I am trying to seek answers. I hope we all are always open to 'unlearn' our blind beliefs and ready to 'learn' concepts which lead us to a True path.


    I'm glad to see you have lived a successfull and fulfilling life so far. I am even more glad to see that you live near the 'Sin city'. Living in Vegas would be like a dream come true for me :)
    But I hope you are not assuming that I am having problems 'fitting in' since most sikh youth in west go through that phase. I am past that. Since I am successful in what I am doing, I don't have any problems with 'fitting in'. i am not seeking answers to become acceptable to others.


    You are partly correct. It has lots to do with my faith which is Sikhi. I am seeking answers to help keep my faith. I don't see anything wrong with that.

    i hope some one will be able to find the answers and enlighten me too?

    Thanks and Best Regards
     
    • Like Like x 3
  19. polpol

    polpol
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    119
    Re: Why are we allowed to cut nails but not hair?

    Skeptic.freethinker1ji,
    This is another post because I would like to consider your question from another point of vew. The question you raise does not concern Sikhism only but all religions because not one of them has mentioned what to do with nails. So your question is " why do people and religions give significance to hair and not to nails."So if we open your question to the wider question of culture and why do people beleave and do what they do, we must admit we have no idea. But In regards to hair vs nails and why hair is universally bestowed with significance, while nails are not, I humbly suggest that nails are too limited. They grow, we can only chose to cut them or not, we can also paint them but in comparison to the versality of hair, its possibilities in aesthetique or religeous expression, they are meaningless. It could also be because nails remind us too much of our animal nature while hair is neither fur nor feathers, it is specifically human.:fish:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer sikhiart.com

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,912
    Likes Received:
    1,640
    Skeptic.Freethinker ji,

    You ask for justification for keeping hair but realize that you were born with it. Its the default setting on your body. What is the justification for cutting a part of your body? And further what is the justification for shaving almost every part of the body?

    Maybe it would be a good idea to ask, why does everyone else cut their hair?
    We should realize that we have evolved with long hair. What lead us into the present day where we have all these products not only for cutting our hair but for shaving every hair off our body?

    It would be good to understand exactly what lead to the "mass face-shaving" phenomenon in men, and the phenomenon of women in the west, shaving their armpits and then legs.

    If you are truly a freethinker as you claim to be then you must make the effort to understand questions associated with this developing trend underneath the level of social norms and bias.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  21. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Skeptic.Freethinker ji,


    Guru fateh.


    Many of my comments have been distorted by you but I would not get into *** for tat because that leads us no where nor does it give you the justification you are looking for.


    So, let's just talk about the main reason of your so many posts involving cutting nails etc is what you really said the reason behind all this and that is:



    You have mentioned the above more than once.


    Following are the definitions of self justification that you are trying to convey.
    Definitions of self justification on the Web:

    • excuse: a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.; "he kept finding excuses to stay"; "every day he had a new alibi for not getting a job"; "his transparent self-justification was unacceptable"
      wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    • Self-justification describes how, when a person encounters cognitive dissonance, or a situation in which a person’s behavior is inconsistent with their beliefs, that person tends to justify the behavior and deny any negative feedback associated with the behavior.
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_justification
    define:self justification - Google Search

    These definitions are self explanatory. No one can decide for you what to do and I think you do not do yourself justice asking for a shoulder to lean on, in other words someone will make you keep or cut your hair. It seems you do not have much knowledge about Sikhi but I may be wrong there.


    So, stop asking other people to give you reasons for the actions you want to commit. Look for them within because no one can satisfy you with an answer you are looking for and I am sure you knew that before posting your questions.


    I hope the definitions above help you find the answer within.


    Enjoy your journey whichever path you choose.


    Regards


    Tejwant Singh
     

Share This Page