Can A Sikh Color His/her Kesh/Beard? | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Can A Sikh Color His/her Kesh/Beard?

May 22, 2007
27
12
Dear all
WHKK WJKF

Just a general query on Sikh Rehat Maryada regarding Kesh.

There is this Gurmukh amritdhari friend I know whose beard has unfortunately turned almost completely white because of the hair-dye and fixo he used to apply before taking amrit. Now his children are small so a lot of time he is mistaken as their grandfather and not father. Just a few months back when he went to admit his 5 yr old daughter in school, the headmistress simply refused to believe that he was indeed her father and not grandfather. Such situations have embarrassed him and he wanted to know whether he could indeed colour his beard black.

Now Rehat maryada refrains a sikh from cutting his hair, but is there a mention of not colouring the hair.

So please if any of you could advise as per our Rehat, it shall be a great help.

SAT SRI AKAL

PRITPAL SINGH
 
Jan 7, 2005
3,450
3,760
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
source: http://sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_six.html

Sikh Reht Maryada
Section Six - Chapter XIII

Panthic Rehni (Facets of Corporate Sikh Life)
Article XXII (q):

( q.) The following individuals shall be liable to chastisement involving automatic boycott:

1. Anyone maintaining relations or communion with elements antagonistic to the Panth including the minas (reprobates), the masands (agents once accredited to local Sikh communities as Guru's representatives, since discredited for their faults and aberrations), followers of Dhirmal or Ram Rai, et. al., or users of tobacco or killers of female infants

2. One who eats/drinks Left-overs of the unbaptised or the fallen Sikhs;

3. One who dyes his beard;

4. One who gives off son or daughter in matrimony for a price or reward;

5. Users of intoxicants (hemp, opium, liquor, narcotics, cocaine, etc.);

6. One holding, or being a party to, ceremonies or practices contrary to the Guru's way;

7. One who defaults in the maintenance of Sikh discipline.

 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,211
Thanks to Soul_jyot for posting from the Sikh Rehat Maryada. Now I am wondering on a purely practical plane why it is that an amritdhari Sikh would not have this information for himself. To be baptized and not have the SRM handy for answering similar questions?
 
Jan 7, 2005
3,450
3,760
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
spnadmin Ji:

You have raised a very serious issue.

When one desires to get a Driver's license, he/she is required to study the Drivers' manual, take a written test & if she / he passes then take a road test!

Yet when one desires to take AMRIT, no one provides any coaching, direction or education about the duties, obligations & responsibilities for being an AMRITDHARI Sikh, let alone about providing a copy of the Sikh Reht Maryada!

I often advocate that when a Sikh submits his/her name for taking Amrit, they MUST be provided with a copy of the Sikh Reht Maryada. Furthermore, prior of being given the Amrit she / he must be asked if they have read & understand the terms of the Sikh Reht Maryada; and fully subscribes to it. Unfortunately Amrit ceremony has become a mere ritual than a ceremony:

Ceremony or Ritual?

Guruka Singh shares his thoughts on the difference between doing something as a ritual and a ceremony. Also taking about the power Guruka Singh shares his thoughts on the difference between doing something as a ritual and a ceremony. Also taking about the power and science behind many of the Sikh related practices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K65mROJdkjk
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,211
Thank you Soul_jyot ji

Guruka Singh always provides a lot to think about and ponder in a serious way. I do not agree with about 50 percent of what he says. I honestly do not know if Shakti and Shanti flows through us during amirt sanchar. This is a somewhat Vedic take. But I honor Guruka Singh's right to express this.

Guruka Singh does not address something that has concerned me for 5 years, a subject that is rarely discussed publicly. Amrtidhari have a heavy burden. They are expected to be more than models of the saint soldier. Models are often only static images of the khalsa. There are many aspects of Sikhi that go beyond being a model because they can be enacted only by amritdhari. Presumably they are expected to embody Sikhi, and this is more than being someone looks like a practicing Sikh.


The additional responsibility includes, but is not limited to, knowing the Sikh Rehat Maryada and being able to explain it to other people. To explain the SRM without adding rules and provisions that are not there. To explain the SRM without overlooking things that are there. To admit up front if one is following a sectarian rehat, e.g., Damdami rehat, and be clear about differences with SRM. To explain the SRM without including one's cultural and folkloric interpretations, which are not part of the document.

Of course this is only my opinion for what it is worth. However, I don't see spiritual leadership coming from any individuals who have taken almost no time to learn and who avoid their burden as knowledgeable teachers. Here I agree with Guruka Singh in the video above. The amrit does not come from undergoing amrit sanchar/khande de pahule as a ritual or an initiation, when it has not also been a transforming experience.
 

Tejwant Singh

Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Jun 30, 2004
5,028
7,181
Henderson, NV.
This is the reason SRM needs to be overhauled. In my personal opinion, it does not make one less Amritdhari if one dyes one's hair. Looking young can make one feel young which may trigger some youthful neurons. One never knows.

In the Sikhi spirit of full disclosure, I would like to add that I dye my beard and little hair left on the top grey in the natural way. Nature is my only dye I use. But if someone wants to use Grecian formula, it should not matter.

Tejwant Singh
 
May 22, 2007
27
12
Dear All,
WJHK WJKF
I would like to thank Tejwant Veerji for giving a straight and practical answer, rather that quoting the SRM. Only I couldn't understand the natural way to hair-dyeing that he has mentioned. If he could please elaborate a little, it could be helpful.

As it were I believe that in our religion today their is no uniformity of baptism. Various sections have their own ways and rules, and thus their are bound to be more than one versions of Rehat maryada. Actually what Guruji had advised against was 'Fokat Karamkand' as is prevalent in Hindu society, but contrary to their teachings unfortunately Sikh society is totally in the grip of Karamkand today. Various rules & ways have been devised for baptism according to the will of the various internal factions. I don't see God's will anywhere. He only wills that we become true inwardly.

The thing is that the 4 bajjar kurhits mentioned in SRM are :
1) No partaking of Kutha meat
2) No monogamy
3) No intoxication
4) No kesh-katal.

Basically it has been advised to respect the hair and protect it. Colouring hair should in no way mean that one is disrespecting the hair, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the inner transformation that Guruji actually advised us for.

But if SPN sangat ( I request spnadmin to take up this matter ) confirms that indeed hair-colouring is prohibited as a general rule, then I shall advise my gursikh friend against it.

Please confirm
 

Tejwant Singh

Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Jun 30, 2004
5,028
7,181
Henderson, NV.
Pritipal Singh ji,

Guru Fateh.

Only I couldn't understand the natural way to hair-dyeing that he has mentioned. If he could please elaborate a little, it could be helpful.
Nature has only found to dye everyone's hair grey or better silver. I hope one day, it will add another colour to it and my preference would be gold so I could buy a diamond crusted gold khanda to put it around my neck in a gold necklace, a gold kara and a fake gold Rolex watch to match with my golden beard.

Do you think a prayer or two may help?:)

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 

findingmyway

Writer
SPNer
Aug 18, 2010
1,665
3,777
World citizen!
With dying I would advise your friend to think about 2 things.

Most dyes are very harmful and contain chemicals that actually damage the hair further so is this really a good thing to do for the longterm?

Secondly, for what reason is he dying. Most people do it for vanity only. Is that a good reason for doing anything?
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,211
pritpal singh ji

The SRM does advise against dying one's beard. Now I take that to include hair-dye is out completely.

When Tejwant was talking about Nature's dye he was saying that Nature has died his beard gray. That is Tejwant Singh ji style humor. :)
 

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