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Gurbani Says Hair Are Not Significant, Then Where Do We Stand ?

Sikhi 24/7

Jun 17, 2004
We follow gurbani and live according to it on the path towards divinity then where does the immaterial thing of shape and identity divides sikhs.

kabir ji says
kabir preet eek saiyon aan naa dubidaa jaayae
baahvain laambai kesh baahvain kharaar mundaiyan.

i am not saying here to cut your hair those who like to keep it but there is no religious significance of hair in sikhism


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Member (sikh reporter),

All the divinities, whether belonging to Sikh religion or not, had Kesh. It was, probably, a natural expression of their intrinsic innocence i.e. spiritual purity. When one reaches that high level of spirituality, the question to keep Kesh or not does not arise; divinities do not live in dualities; they always live in harmony with nature; they do not cut their hairs. I am sure if one becomes divine that individual will also have Kesh.

You are correct in saying that we follow Gurbani and live the life according to it on the path toward divinity. I am in full agreement with it.

For spiritual aspect of any religion, body itself has no meaning, what to talk about ‘Kesh’. Guru Sahib has said ‘Hui prapat manukh dehuriya, Gobind milan kee -------‘. This tells clearly that human body is a means to achieve divinity it is not an end. Body is temporary, it has to perish one day and that includes Kesh also. But we must keep in mind that body become irrelevant only when one has become divine; till this end is reached one has to pass through the temporal aspect and spiritual aspect of life that remain mixed.

We Sikhs live a life of a householder and in that we strive for spirituality. We go through the spiritual aspect and the temporal aspect of life living in a family. We strive for better material and spiritual life at the same time. This is the special context that is applicable to our Khalsa Panth.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib enshrines the spiritual aspect of Sikh religion in it. It elaborates the life and the way it should be lived to achieve spiritual purity, become a Gurmukh and finally attain divinity.

The requirement of Kesh comes from the temporal aspect of the religion and not from the spiritual aspect; that is why Sri Guru Granth Sahib does not cover it. This requirement has to do with the need to survive, evolve and grow. Kesh are part of Sikh uniform, Sikh identity, and is a temporal requirement of Khalsa Panth. Why I say so, I explain below.

The special identity that we Sikhs have is an essential element of synergy among Sikhs within Khalsa Panth. The proof of this synergy already exists.

(i) You look back in time and see the group of people who were in the similar trade as your ancestors and belonged to a religion other than Sikhism. Compare this Sikh group with that other group following the other religion; you will notice that Sikhs have made greater progress than the other group.

(ii) A great majority of us were illiterate before the arrival of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jee; today thanks to the values and beliefs of the Khalsa Panth we have reached great heights. We are less than 2% of Indian population but our representation in all competitive places is more that that.

(iii) After partition of India, a large population had to migrate from what became Pakistan – both east and west. Those groups who migrated from west Pakistan had large Sikh component; today they do not have any trace of refugee attribute left in them; the same can not be said of those who migrated from east Pakistan. The difference is visible. This is because we have some thing special in us, which the others do not have. What is that thing I explain below.

As you study development of ‘Human Brain’ you find that a part of its capabilities come from the genetic contribution referred to as ‘nature’; the other part of the capabilities come from the environment in which that brain grows, referred to as ‘nurture’.

The genetic part takes an extremely long time to change – many generations. The nurture part can be changed relatively fast; it is because of this reason that the children of the same parents have different capabilities. Next to the family that impact on the nurture component of brain’s learning is the social grouping - the environment of which influences the brain and its capabilities. My values and beliefs and those of the other Sikhs this contribution comes from the Khalsa Panth and to a small extent from my peer group. It is the dynamics of the Khalsa Panth and the synergy within it that has allowed us to cope with the challenges survive them and excel as a community.

The environment resulting from the Sikh way of living and thinking creates an enormously powerful and positive ‘nurture’ element in we Sikhs that give us an edge over others. The values and beliefs that nurture Khalsa Panth are the cause of our state of ‘Chardi Kala’ (blissful ascendancy). Added to this, the very conspicuous identity that we have, plays a very important part in creating synergy among we Sikhs; it allows us to take sustenance from each other’s achievements. When we learn that a person with Kesh (Sikh) has achieved something spectacular, a special feeling of ascendancy and happiness comes in us. Don’t you feel this way when see our present Prime Minister, or former Chief Election Commissioner, the proprietor of Ranbaxy, flying Sikh Milkhs Singh, former Air Chief Marshal Arjun Singh and -----? The vision of these achievers fills we Sikhs with confidence in our capabilities, which results in alignment of all our mental resources in the direction of intended achievement. This is what in modern days called synergetic feeling and one becomes much more than what she/he is otherwise. Guru Gobind Singh Jee knew about the impact of this special identity on synergy and probably that was basis behind his saying ‘Sava lakh se ek ladaon, tabhi Gobind Singh naam kahaon’. That was the vision of our Guru Sahib some 300 years ago; see his farsightedness. Those who do not want us to surge ahead attack our special identity for this specific reason only; they know in absence of this identity the synergetic component in us will no longer be effective and then our march to ascendancy will get retarded.

What we are today is because of individual’s hard work within the dynamics of Khalsa Panth. In this achievement there are contributions of many of those who are no longer in this world. We have become tall standing on the shoulders of those who preceded us; we have a debt to be paid to them. They had provided sustenance for our growth; we have to provide the same to those who are going to follow us. Retaining this special Sikh identity is a basic element in this process of continuity.

Today, many of us are well off at individual level, probably we feel that we do not need the synergy that Panth provides and we turn to become individualistic forgetting that our future well-being is linked with that of the Panth, we are part of the Panth. Shaving hairs and giving up the special Khalsa identity is something similar to denying one self the growth hormone – that come from Khalsa Panth. Do not forget that none of us has reached the pinnacle; there is always something to be achieved. No matter where we are in this path of ascendancy synergy is needed to surge ahead – we need Khalsa Panth and the Panth need us.

It is my considered opinion that those who cut their Kesh have no knowledge of what has helped them to reach the level at which they are; they are not responsible enough to do, for the coming generations, what their preceding generations have done for them. Once the Sikh has removed his Kesh, what ever she/he me tell oneself the synergetic component of Khalsa Panth will elude her/him; the individual has disabled the connection through which the synergy can flow.

With this I close. I have other postings also in this forum on the same topic. If you have time you can read them also.

With Love and Respect for all.


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