Unshorn Hair

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A Sikh does not cut the hair of his or her children. Hair carries radiant energy which helps one to meditate and be mentally centered. The sikhs wear the hair tied in a bun at the tenth gate (at the top of the head). The hair is covered in a Turban for practicality reasons to keep it contained and clean. The hair is to be combed every day.


Note:- Please note that a Sikh stands for a student of spiritual knowledge and the hair, turban or the outward appearance has nothing to do with a Sikh but what comes out of his own mouth that counts. This article is written for laymen and the serious readers should refer to my article on Khalsa, who are bound to have head hair, turban.

All over the world, people who see some with turban and unshorn beard, moustaches and head-hair describe them simply as the Sikhs. In order to understand why the people who are the Sikhs of Satguru Nanak Devji put on turban and do not cut their hair, one should understand the significance of a "SATGURU" and the qualities the people should possess in order to be a Sikh of Satguru Nanak Devji.

Let us first understand the significance of a Satguru. "SATGURU" is a compound word of Indian origin that is made up of the two words, "SATT" and "GURU". "SATT" means spiritual abstract, called "SOOKHSHUM" in Panjabi, Truth that is Absolute and It dictates the "Spiritual Principles", Gospel or "His Word" pertaining to the four spiritual states "id"(HAUMAE), "mind"(MUNN), "wisdom"(BUDHI) and "Will"(CHITT) of soul, called BIRTIES in Panjabi and It has no exceptions in the Principles against the moral concrete, called "ASTHOOL" in Panjabi, truth, "SACH", that relate to the moral laws pertaining to our physical selves and it has exceptions. This is so because the souls of people are relatively the truer selves of the people than the physical bodies.

"Guru" stands for a "teacher" of the moral laws. Thus, the teachers, Pandits in India, Fetish Priests in Africa, Rabbis in M.East, etc., who teach the "letters" of the moral laws pertaining to the physical self, ASTHOOL ROOP(self) are simply called the "GURUS". "GURUS" are three mother, father and Pandit; mother is to be highly respected for her services whilst the Pandit is to be highly honoured for his "teachings". Further, for the physical self having both the male and the female genders, the statues of both the male and the female deities are worshipped in their temples.

Whereas the One Who preaches the Gospel of God pertaining to our soul, which has no gender, does so through the abstract, "SOOKHSHUM", concept of God and thus, the abstract Word of God, BAANI, is the "GURU" of the Sikhs. In India, the Preachers are called Satgurus whilst in the Middle East; they are called "CHRISTS" as well as the Royal Priests of God.

As the abstract "Spiritual Principles" are for the people of "spirit", "SURTI", and they are more difficult to understand than just knowing the moral laws by the "letters" of the Books, therefore, the people who would like to become the "Sikhs" of a Satguru should be sensible, open-minded and intelligent than those who are just learning the moral laws from a "Guru". This is further emphasised in the Saying:-


i.e. of all the Gurus, Satguru Nanak Devji is the Supreme Who guides me through the Dark Age.

This degree of sensibility and intelligence of the people who would like to become the "Sikhs", disciples, of Satguru Nanak Devji in order to appreciate His Preaching is amply reflected in obeying "His Will" both bodily (TANNO) in Brahma and spiritually (MUNNO) in Par Brahm. Thus, "His Will" is obeyed bodily by accepting the "Art" of Brahma without any grudge and spiritually by acting in accordance with the Preaching of the Satguru Nanak Devji as understood by your own satguru, ANTAR GURU.

So, that is why the Sikhs of Satguru Nanak Devji do not interfere in the natural "Art" and in doing so, they obey "His Will" bodily (TANNO) as well. This is also well stressed by Christ Jesus in Matt.6.28-30: "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" In fact, a person who is not capable of appreciating the natural "Art" of Brahma bodily, which does not need much efforts, is, in general, also not capable of obeying the "Will" of Par Brahm spiritually, which needs a lot of determination and efforts. Thus, for a sensible and intelligent person it is a good indication to see, before even knowing the person by his deeds, whether a particular person is sensible and intelligent enough to obey "His Will" or not.

A simple-to-understand analogy that will bring home the above-mentioned argument is that if I go to a close friend's home, take a nice painting off the wall of his lounge and start making alterations to this nice painting; first of all my best friend would not let me do it because I am not a renown artist and also it is not fair for me to make alterations in somebody's piece of art and in an extreme case if my friend did allow me to do so and I happened to spoil his painting, he will be indeed very cross with me. However, when the artist will come to know of this incident, he too will be very furious. In fact, both the owner of the painting and the artist will call me a "BIG FOOL". Further, this act of mine will also reflect my degree of sensibility and intelligence. Now, the greatest of all the artists the Lord of the Nature and to make alterations in or to distort the natural "Art" without any good reason is to go against the "will" of Brahma physically that will eventually annoy Him much more than the temporal artists.

The moral significance of hair in general and beard and moustaches in particular is also great but to a much lesser degree than the spiritual significance. Thus, the beard and moustaches grow only on the men and not on the women. This is so because the honour of the family greatly rests upon the men than the women i.e. in the event of any good or bad deeds by the members of a family, it is always the surname of the man that is quoted.

Further, beard and moustaches grow on men only and that too when they have become adults or of age and, in general, they also become responsible members of the society. Beard, in general, indicates the age of adults and, therefore, to put an adult to shame for any irresponsible or disgraceful act, it is always the beard that is mentioned and pointed at during the course of the rebukes. So, the people, especially the shopkeepers, who were accustomed to the irresponsible and disgraceful acts of malpractices, cheating, etc. got rid of the beard by shaving it off so that they could not be rebuked by the people pointing towards their beards. Thus, in the Arabian countries, Mohammad allowed the people to cut short their beards to such a length as could be grabbed by the hand so that in the extreme cases of irresponsible and disgraceful acts, the people could get hold of the beards of such bad characters not only to rebuke but also to jolt them by their beards. This cutting short of the beards and shaving off the moustaches under the nostrils in the Arabian countries is mainly based upon the scarcity of water so that the beard and the moustaches could easily be kept hygienically clean under such circumstances but now if there is no scarcity of water in those countries, the people should not cut their beards short and shave off the moustaches under the nostrils any more; otherwise they will be altering natural "Art" of Brahma without any tangible reasons based upon personal hygiene. Whereas the beard is used to rebuke and put the men to shame for the disgraceful acts, the moustaches are normally curled up during a challenge to an adversary who may dare to harm the family honour of the men.

As stated earlier, the moral laws pertaining to the physical selves i.e. the bodies, have exceptions and here it may be pointed out that the people who have beards, moustaches and in general have the hair intact DO NOT NECESSARILY either obey "His Will" spiritually better or are more shameful than those who do not have beard, moustaches and in general the hair intact i.e. the deeds of a person, which reflect his spiritual standing, count more than the physical appearances.

Lastly, the honourable people, especially the elderly, normally put on the turban in order to demand honour in the society and it also covers the honourable head hair from dust. In other words, a person who puts on a turban should be a responsible and honourable member of the society otherwise the people will throw his turban off his head if he happened to indulge himself in the irresponsible and disgraceful acts.

Further, the importance of head-hair was known to Pir Budhoo Shah who when asked by Royal King Gobind Singhji to ask for a "Boon" in appreciation for the sacrifices that his sons and disciples had given for Him in the battle, he requested His Kanga (comb) alongwith the head hairs. Remembering that we respect the "feet" for service they render and honour the "head" for wisdom, Pir Budhoo Shah did not go in for material wealth but for the highly spiritual Wisdom. Also, in the Bible, John 11.2: "It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick."

Finally, the importance of not distorting the natural “Art" of Brahma or YAHWEH un-necessarily is presented by the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah, in such a simple form that even the most simple minded people could understand it. By appreciating the natural beauty of Yahweh, Yahweh enhanced his physical strength whilst God enhanced his “will power”. So, the people who interfere in the natural "Art" knowingly in order to improve upon their outward appearances i.e. extrinsic values, are, in general, not so sensible and intelligent people to obey "His Will" in the entirety that will promote their "intrinsic values" best known to others through his "deeds". In fact, the essence of the beard, moustaches, etc. is also well summarised and stressed in an Indian moral proverbs:-


i.e. a person without beard and moustaches is a rogue of the two worlds - secular (moral) and ecclesiastical (spiritual) worlds and "SABAT SOORAT RAB DI, BHANNAE BAEIMAAN" i.e. Nature gave the person a perfect beauty, but the hypocrites distort it.  Lastly, most of the people who do keep the beards but generally tuck it up seems to be too ignorant/foolish to appreciate the natural beauty of the God's temple, the physical body.

These articles deal with Sikh's Five ks

Kesh (uncut hair) -|- Kara (bangle) -|- Kanga (small comb) -|- Kachera (under garment) -|- Kirpan (sword)