Hair, why cut it?
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It is clear that in modern society many people trim their hair some because they look around and see that it has become the norm. Rarely does one look to see why something; a style of clothing, a style of keeping ones hair or even going to a certain school for a particular subject in which to spend one's working life.
Sampson, a mythic hero of the Israelites, is said to have made a pact with God by which he attained superhuman powers, his strength is comparable to the Greek mythic hero Heracules. He kills many of his tribes' enemies, thousands at a time. Later the enemies bribe a harlot with whom he is carrying on to find the source of his strength. She finally learns his secret, which turns out to be his long hair. With his hair shorn he loses his strength and his enemies easily subdue him and put out his eyes. Later after his hair has grown long again he is tied to two pillars in a temple full of his enemies, whereupon he implores the Lord God to return his strength if only for a few minutes. With his strength restored he pulls down the massive columns which kill him and all of his enemies then present in the great structure.
The moral of the story is if God grants you a boon, keep your part of the bargain and never trust a woman with whom you shouldn't be having relations, who this story tells will destroy your strength.
G.A. Gaskell writes,
‘Hair of the head is a symbol of faith,
intuition of truth, or the highest qualities of the mind.’
Dictionary of all Scriptures
Shiva the Hindu God of destruction is always pictured with long dirty matted hair. Although also shown dancing as Nataraja (King of the Dance) in a ring of flames where his long flowing hair has the look of smoke, becoming a long winding element in these valued Chola bronzes. Hindu scriptures tell that Shivas locks were used to safely guide the Holy Ganga from heaven to the earth.
Vishnu the sustainer God of the Hindus is also always depicted with long hair usually tied in a jura (knot on the top of his head. One of his best known names is Keshvara - the Lord of the long hair. His avatars Krisna and Rama are also pictured with long hair and both are usually pictured as well in huge Golden crowns with a Khakra (depicting a sunrise over Mt. Meru.)
The Prophets of the Bible, including God are always shown with long hair in western art. And Jesus is as well depicted with long flowing hair and beard. It is recorded in Islamic tradition that Mohammet had long hair and kept a beard even dying it with henna in his later years. This is common among many sects of Islam even today.
It was common for men of the Khatria caste to keep long hair, mustaches and beards. The 10 Gurus of Sikhism all being of that caste also did not trim their hair and had beards and moustaches as well.
Even Sidhs and Jogis in Hindism keep hair uncut and you can see qazis and peers of Islam doing the same.
So why has the trimming of hair become more the rule today?
more to come...
Everybody believe God to be a perfect creator. It therefore follows that whatever He creates is perfect. The keeping of uncut hair is therefore, recognition of God’s perfection and the submission of a Sikh to the Will of God. (Hukam)
Most Sikhs regard hair as a gift from God. But what does this gift actually do for us? Well, the functions of hair can be divided into 5 sub categories. These include an ornamental function, physical function, psychological function, Sikh specific function and a spiritual function.
Nature has decorated a man with a beard and a moustache to differentiate between a male and a female. A good example from the animal kingdom is a lion with its majestic mane.
Just like the skin, the hair helps to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. It also helps to supply the pituitary gland (located in the head) with phosphorous. Phosphorous is an element which is used in meditation by the aforesaid gland. The hair on our body regulates body temperature and our eye lashes, nostril hairs and ear hairs help to keep out fine dust particles.
This is by far, is one of the most important functions of hair. People cut their hair to look good for other people, and although everyone wants to look sexy and cool, a Sikh is encouraged to impress God and not bother so much about the opinions of everyone else. Keeping hair therefore encourages us to become less vain and more God orientated.
Sikh specific function
Uncut hair is a mark of Sikh identity. The 10th Sikh Guru instructed all his Sikhs to come before him with long hair and weapons. Long hair also represents sacrifice, because there have been many Sikhs like Bhai Taru Singh, who preferred to have their scalp removed instead of their hair cut.
Hair enhances the ability of a human being to experience God. This can be explained by understanding the workings of electromagnets. An electromagnet consists of an iron rod with a coil of wire wrapped around it. The strength of an electromagnet can be increased by increasing the number of coils. Now in a human being, there are nine visible inlets/outlets (2 nostrils, 2 ear holes, 1 mouth, 2 eyes, 2 below the waistline). And the 10th inlet is located in the head and is invisible. It is called the Dasam Dawar. This is where we experience the reality of God and we can consider this to be the iron rod. Hairs are like coils of wire which amplify spiritual energy at the 10th inlet. A greater quantity of head hair will lead to more coils in the (Joora) knot and therefore a higher concentration of spiritual energy. Of course, it is possible to experience God without any head hair like Buddhists. However anything that helps us to experience God more easily should be welcomed. Hair is essentially a spiritual technology that makes it easier to connect with God.
In the religious literature of the world there is much evidence which suggest that God has created humans with great interest. The earthly material used for this purpose was kept kneaded for two centuries. (It is just an assumption and has no relevance with modern calendar system) and then another hypothetical period of 280 years was spent on giving shape to this creation so that the humans thus created should look the most lovable in all respects. Everything was done with much enthusiasm and conscious efforts. The Jewish and Christian churches also contain evidence to this effect that God created man in His own image and put His own particle as soul within him. On the basis of all this, it can be easily presumed that God did not add anything, including hair, to human body which could be termed as superfluous. Thus, trimming the hair amounts not only declining the gift given by God but also disfiguring the shape given to man by Akal Purakh i.e. Lord God. In other words, it can also be taken to mean that by so doing man takes pleasure in finding faults in the blue print prepared by God and thus showing off himself as better qualified and more competent than the creator Lord. to sum up, this amount to endeavours equalling Him and even excelling Him by trying to improve upon His work. Ironically, the creation is getting zealous to override the Creator, thereby allowing ungratefulness to predominate. The only point of consolation in this regard is that this blunder of cutting and disowning hair has not been made by man since the times of Adam, but the same is in practice only since the last few centuries.
Scientific Research on the Hair
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries in the West provided increased avenues of employment, but at the same time lack of security measures in the factories led to several fatal accidents caused by long hair. To avoid such accidents, the workers started, though unwillingly and with a heavy heart trimming their long hair.
Consequently, the number of people with long hair like that of Shakespeare decreased and with the passage of time such a breed became almost extinct. But inspire of all this one positive development that had taken place there, was a lot of good and deep research on the hair. They wanted to ascertain the benefits of keeping hair and also to find out the changes they effect in human body and temperament. The research carried out with this end in view has highlighted the fact that the hair serves as a factory providing Vitamin D for the body. Vitamin D protects a person against the fatal disease like Tuberculosis and is an essential element for bones, teeth and the nervous system. This is an item that is becoming scarce today. The reason behind its scarcity is that Vitamin D in vegetables is missing to a great extent as a result of the insecticides being sprayed for the protection of vegetable crops from certain diseases.
Consequently, the lackness of Vitamin D is being felt throughout the world. The developed countries have realized this and keeping in view the grave scarcity of Vitamin D, have started producing synthetic Vitamin D. They add this vitamin to the food of the children so that they must not grow up physically weak and mentally tense persons. As against these developed and affluent nations, the poor countries can easily get precious Vitamin D for their children free from the open Sun through their long hair. The significant research has also revealed that longer the hair the more will be the production of Vitamin D through the interaction of Sun heat with the oil in the hair. Thus all this shows that keeping hair is very important for one's physical as well as mental well-being. It has also been proved on the basis of experiments that the hair tied in the form of a knot on the top of the head are capable of attracting the maximum heat energy of Sun just as the television antenna has the capacity to hold photo waves from the atmosphere. (According to Tessitas, the ancient Germans also used to tie their long hair into a knot on the top of their heads. May be, they did so with a view to obtaining the above mentioned benefits). If the rare of Vitamin D can be obtained free from Nature only by keeping long hair, health wise also it becomes imperative for human beings to keep long hair.
Harms of Trimming Hair
If the hair are not trimmed, their length, growth stops automatically after reaching a certain length. In this situation, hardly 0.5% of the protein that we take in with our daily diet, is spent on their upkeep. On the other hand, the trimmed hair consumes much more protein because this has to be spent on the re-growth of the hair. Had the hair stopped re-growing after having been trimmed once, there would have been no extra expense of protein. However, keeping in view the multidimensional usefulness of the hair for human body, Nature has created within the human body an interesting mechanism to help continuous growth of the hair. This mechanism continues being operational till one breaths one's last. Thus, this mechanism goes on spending more protein on the re-growth of the hair after a person shaves them off or trims them. Nature does this so as not to deny a person the varied benefits of hair. It seems modern man is busy in shaving off the hair under a sort of atheistic culture whereas God is ever involved in their growth. God is quite serious about the hair, whereas man is equally careless. Let us wait and watch the final outcome. Meanwhile, we can only say there is a sort of deadlock as under:
He won't change His habits, Why should we change ours?
Unfortunately, God's Will shall prevail on the long run because He knows the mystery and significance of the hair, whereas modern fashionable man on the other hand knowing the importance of hair tends to be careless, But we must at least think in the light of this fact that hand, foot or any other organ of the body if once get chopped off, does not sprout again, but on the contrary if we trim or shave off the hair, they grow up again soon except in very old age. It must be presumed from this fact that importance of the hair can be more, and certainly not less than hands, feet or other organs of human body.
It is generally observed that the Hindus perform the first mundane (shaving off hair of the head) of their children at the age of 2 or 3 years. On this occasion, the head is completely shaved off. On this shaven head, the hair grows up to half centimeter within one month. The hair grows more rapidly in the case of youth vis-à-vis the small children. In the case of the former, the hair grows 1/8th of an inch in just three days. Nevertheless let us make the case of 2-3 year old child the basis of our contention: his hair grows half centimeter in one month. On average, every person has 85,000 to 1,25,000 hairs on his head. If we take the child to have one lac (hundred thousand) hair on his head, we shall find that such a child spends energy from his body to grow one hair up to the length of 50,000 centimeters or 500 meters if his total growth is computed on a one single hair. If he is in the habit of getting his hair regularly trimmed throughout his life, we can well imagine the amount of energy he might use to grow up the hair again and again. Thus valuable energy and minerals are wasted just for nothing. There should be limit to one's ignorance, but as Ghalib has said 'Who can instruct the already learned.' Man by trimming his hair, is harming himself in many ways.
Another harm that trimming of hair causes is, that
The hair have been the means of receiving energy for brain from the sun, but by trimming then we destroy to great extent that system and there by render the mechanism almost inert.
It does not imply that social classes prone to trimming hair, lack intellectual level even without keeping full hair, they could have accomplished much better had they kept hair intact. Thus we do feel sad that they unwittingly make those means inoperative, which has to supply large quantity of energy to human organism. If we take into account the cumulative loss suffered generations after generations, it seems certain that trimming of hair is certainly an impediment in the way of realizing the aim of perfect human intellect. It thus is certainly a great disadvantage for entire mankind.
Who will consider it wise to continue the trade causing continuous loss? Think and be watchful. This is the need and the expectation of time.
Nature of the Hair
After their comprehensive research, the scientists have reached the conclusion that the hair stop growing having achieved the level of optimum growth. They remain alive for two to six years. They play their active role during this period and then getting weak, fall off as we comb them. This is called the death of the hair. There is no use keeping the dead hair. However, keeping in view the utmost importance of hair for human being, Nature is ever ready to replenish these dead hair by sprouting new ones in their place. The importance of the hair can also be gauged from the fact that the operation of replacing the dead hair with the new ones gets started immediately and forcefully so that body does not suffer because of their lack. This also shows that new and healthy hair on the head is needed throughout life. That is why God has created such a wonderful mechanism as a result of which person continues to be bestowed with healthy hair for long years of his/her life. The fact that the hair grows rapidly even after their regular trimming, also implies that God does not approve of the human action of shaving off or trimming their hair. In spite of that, God has not yet got annoyed with him. As a proof of this, we find that the new born baby in any family or tradition in the world is blessed with beautiful hair. These hairs are the gift, which God bestows upon him while sending him on to this earth. It is another matter that except Sikhs nobody else endeavors to learn and abide by this will of Almighty. They also do not seem to be in a mood to value this precious Divine gift as much as they ought to. Man considers himself highly cultured. A follower of the Sikh faith does realize that God has blessed him with the sacred hair from his very birth, and these remain with him till his death. Thus, a true Sikh of the Guru neither comes nor goes naked from this world as all parts of this body are covered with the precious gift of hair. Thus, belief in the sanctity of hair saves him from the sense of duality. If we look from the point of view of the naturalists we see that they believe the existence of two ways to live life. One is to live in conformity with nature and the other is to live in conflict with it. The first is the way of harmony and the second is the way of a conqueror who wishes to subjugate and dominate leading to personal and public nuisances. The Gurmat or the Sikh way is one which accepts no dichotomy between man and nature as is enjoined upon Sikhs by Guru Nanak in Bara Maha and Guru Gobind Singh in Akal Ustat and both these Banis serve as the foundation of the Sikh oral and orational practices. 'Hair Power' is the out come of the first attitude and as such is ever charged energizing battery for the human machine.
|These articles deal with Sikh's Five ks|