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Why Sikhs Keep KESH ?


Feb 3, 2010
India, Canada
There are lots of questions regarding Kesh within the Sikh community and outside as well. The question asked I quite often asked is whether how the love of Gurbani and the Guru of a Keshadhari is different from the those without kesh.
The answers that kesh are natural ; the kesh are Guru ki Mohar , do not satisfy the questioning mind.
The question asked is difficult to answer not because answer is not there but because to comprehend the answer requires a frame of mind that is open to new thoughts.
The answer is rooted in the very nature of Sikhee wherein the Guru-Skh relation is of paramount importance.
The Gurbani of course is accessible for all. The Shabad Guru has been there since the beginning of creation. The Shabad is the first creative force of the Karta that further evolved the creation and is present in each and every one and everything. The Shabad as Guru within has been guiding Bhagats and saints always everywhere. The Shabad as guidance has come out in the form of bani of many Bhagats.
However the Shabad as Guru Jyote arrived in this world within Guru Nanak. The Shabad Guru Jyote was then transferred to the Guru’s who followed. The Shabad Guru Jyote is now within Sree Guru Granth Sahebji in the form of Gurbani.
The Gurbani is to guide the Sikh.
The Gurbani is to change the state of mind of the Sikh.
The Gurbani is to instill love of God in the mind of the Sikh.
The Gurbani is to make the thoughts and actions of the Sikh of highest purity.
The Gurbani shifts the direction of mind of Sikh from thoughts and feelings which are involved in sensory pleasures and the five passions to those of love and seva.
The Gurbani is to imbue the Naam Rang in the Sikh.
The Gurbani is to make the Sikh meet the Shabd-Guru within.
The Gurbani is to make the Sikh see the Karta and HIS hukam prevailing everywhere.
The Gurbani is to enable the Sikh to set aside Haume and experience being Jyote swarope origin.

This journey starts with a Guru-Sikh relationship. This relationship has many aspects and depths. This relationship blossoms when the Sikh agrees to die first. This death is death of manmat. This death is death of the thought process that accepts the ideas different from those of the Guru. This is death of doubt on the Guru’s word. This is acceptance of the word of the Guru. This is acceptance of the way of life towards which the Guru guides. This is beginning of development of Faith in Gurbani’s words.
The world of spirituality around is also a world full of misdirection’s as well. There is subtle influence of many a thought processes. The initial steps are very very difficult. It is said as an illustration that the difficulty level of spirituality is reverse of worldly education. As the child progresses’ from nursery, Ist , 2nd towards higher standards leading to post graduation and PHD the study becomes difficult and difficult. Whereas in the Spiritual life the initial levels are difficult and as the person progresses the higher levels are easy.
To aid the Sikh in the initial levels there has to be support of collective consciousness of the Guru. This support comes in the form of a Panth. The Sikhee is part of the Sikhs life and Sikhee enters the Sikhs world in the form of his appearance by keeping kesh .
Why? It Is a valid question.
The reason is that Sikhee is devoid of rituals which do this job in some other religions. There is no worship of form for a Sikh in the shape of an idol or a picture.
There is no living Guru before the Sikh.
There is to be no bathing or pilgrimages for purity for the Sikhs.
There are no outward rituals for the Sikh.
To keep on a different path without being enticed by easy spiritual attractions is a difficult task which requires commitment and a strong relationship with the Guru. Keeping of Kesh is the first symbol of this relationship. The Guru’s kept kesh and so the Sikh keeps. The Tenth Guru hence forth made the five Kakars as defining symbols. In these symbols the Kesh is the only bodily part that gives the Sikh a distinct identity. This identity is to keep the distinct way of the Sikhee alive from being absorbed and modified by outside influences. The Sikh simply keeps kesh out of love of the Guru. This does not mean that non keshadharies do not love the Guru or they are in some way inferior.
The difference lies in the emotional commitment of being in a serious spiritual relationship with the Guru and being part of a panth. The kesh have become spiritual identity for the Sikh and a platform to develop the Sikhee.
Lastly Kesh have a role during simran. The Sikhs actively doing simran report heatup of scalp and buildup of energies there.The hair and covered head contain these energies.

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