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Sikhs did not cut their Hair because they lived in forests !

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If one wants to accepted and recognized as a Sikh, keeping uncut hair is a requirement

for that. When Guru Gobind Singh gave Amrit to the Sikhs, he also required them to wear the

5-symbol uniform. The Sikhs were living a very good life at that time in villages and cities. They

were not living in forests. The Guru was living at Anandpur Sahib and was accepted as a true

king. It is wrong to assume that Sikhs had to grow long hair because they could not cut it while

living in jungles.

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Gur Fateh!

As Harjinder Ji states in the closing comments, "The Sikhs were living a very good life at that time in villages and cities. They

were not living in forests. The Guru was living at Anandpur Sahib and was accepted as a true king" -the key lies here:-

Only a civilised and cultured person can really be thought to have the necessary means to groom themselves. Cutting one's hair actually would be more akin to a wild/forest lifetstyle as we see amongst Monks and the Army today (i.e. keep it so short so you don't have to bother with it...even though that may present other issues...).

If one is civilised person living in a home, naturally one would groom themselves every morning and hence, keeping unshorn hair is part of the householder values that the Sikh encapsulates in addition to its hinting role at the part Sadhu/Rishi/Sant appearence.

Hair is also associated with life, vitality, creativity and sex, hence clearly keeping one's hair indicates the intention to remain in life, in reality and not run away from it or repress it.

The fashion of shaving and trimming one's hair short is often traced back to Alexander the Great, who wished to maintain his 'youthful' look -Sardar Kapur Singh has written extensively on this topic in Parasaraprashna, which I would recommend that folks pick up this for a fair read.

As per the Kingly element, it is well known that in the Moghul Darbar, those bestowed with the honour of wearing turbans and hair/beards were the accepted elite -hence it's adoption in the "True" Darbar of Guru Maharaj (amongst the other reasons for their upkeep)...the Sri Guru makes reference to this element in the Shabd "sarbut soora dastar sira"

...ultimately, one should really ask the question "why do others cut their hair" as opposed to "why do we NOT cut ours"...

Forgive any errors in the foregoing,


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to keep long unshorn hair was instituted by guru nanak himselve(he was not in forests), in one of sikhya to mardana , he told

- tonot cut hair

- rise early in morn

- simran

guru Nanak's bani says;

'' sabat surat rabb di

bhanney beyiman''

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Mr Singh, this quote in my opinion (and I fully acknowledge that may wrong) does not as many suggest refer to the requirement for a Dastaar and Kesh, but rather in context of the entire shabd is using symbolic reference to the two in the manner alluded to in the ealier post...i.e. Darbari Rasam...as I say, this is simply my view, but I find this quotation all to often used in this context and also in the attempts by some to justify Keski being a kakkar...

Forgive any errors in the foregoing,



SAabat Surat Dastaar Sira :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Guys/Niranjana/Khalsa Soulja,

Can you please explain this in more detail...."Sabat Surat Dastaar Sira.." or point me to a resource on the web. And what is this Darbari Rasam ?


H Singh

Khalsa Soulja: P.S> I owe u an apology ....(we couldnt contribute on that website forum...of that Arya Samaji .......sho shorry ....)( I have been away (partly to Saudi Arabia.........for business ...not Hajj guys .....lol...... and not able to participate effectively in the forum...and I still dont have a PC ...boo hoo .........lol)

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Guys/Niranjana/Khalsa Soulja,

Can you please explain this in more detail...."Sabat Surat Dastaar Sira.." or point me to a resource on the web. And what is this Darbari Rasam ?


H Singh

Gur Fateh!

Bhai Sahib H Singh Ji, my reference to "Sabat Soorat Dastar Sira" was made as this is often, in my opinion, mistakenly used as an instruction for keeping one’s kesh and wearing a Turban, and more recently has been used by some to justify Keski as a part of the 5K’s. [For the record, I fully support the requirement for Kesh as a Khalsa Singh and accordingly wish to make clear that the intention of pointing out this anomaly is simply to clarify the meaning of the shabd within its context].

Gurbani makes repeated use of symbolic references for our relationship with Akal Purakh as that of a Turkish Sultan or or a Mughal Patshah. For instance, in the sahbd “Tu Sultan Kaha Hau Meean Teri Kawan Vadaee...†(Bilawal M1, Sri Guru Granth Sahib). This symbolism expands such that the ultimate desitination of one’s soul is described as the court of the divine Sultan/Patshah, that is the Darbar of Akal Purkh.

As is the custom and protocol for the Sultan’s Darbar, no unauthorised persons may appear in the court without the appropriate attire. For instance, criminals and others to be punished have their head-dress removed (more specifically in the case of a turban, it would be made to hang around their neck). In contrast to this, those permitted to enter with the befitting head-dress and attire, do so on account of acceptance and honour by the Sultan. The Sri Guru symbolises these aspects in sahbds such as “Vich dunia sev kamaeeay ta dargah vaisan paeeay†[Those who serve others in this world attain a seat in the Darbar (of Akal Purakh)].

This is also evident in the Jap Ji Sahib (“Panch Parvan Panch Pardhan Panchay Pave Dargey Manâ€) as a reference to the ‘Panch’ or ‘Pardhan’ of the village elders and/or members of the village councils symbolising that who remember Akal Purakh are accepted in the court like the Panch are in the Darbar of the Sultan. There are many more such examples that can be found within the Jap Ji Sahib alone as well as in the Sri Guru.

This, I feel to be the context in which the Sabad “Sabat Soorat Dastar Sira†is set, that following the correct conduct as set forth in the Sabad, one enters Akal Purakh’s Darbar in full attire, namely, an unshaven face -Sabat Soorat- [since criminals are presented before the Emperor with a shaven head and face] and a turban upon their head –Dastar Sira.

Hence, the shabd is not directly related to the instruction to keep Kesh or wear a Dastar.

Apologies if this has caused any hurt sentiments, I welcome feedback on the foregoing and please do correct any foolish mistakes on my part.

Sat Sri Akal!

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Dear Veerji,

We are all fools trying to learn. Also there is nothing offending about your explanation. Everyone is entitled to their point of view.

I do think however that when trying to translate a Shabad, we need to go over the ENTIRE Shabad carefully and analyse it.

I am below average person in understanding Gurbaani.

Following are my views and I would like you to analyse them. :)

The Shabad...we are referring to is on the following pages of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

It starts at Page 1083 and the lines we are referring to are in Page 1084.

You can please visit the site www.srigranth.org for the complete shabad. Ths site has a very good search engine in Gurmukhi and u need only write word dastar (using mousle clicks on a Java based screen Gurmukhi...found on the first page).

The Whole shabad (according to my understanding) is addressed to Muslims..(Muslims in Physical aspect only). The whole message is of course the same as in many other shabads and is for the universal brotherhood.

Now if we look closely we find that Guru Maharaj is comparing and the physical religion followed by Muslims and advising them on the right path o sikhi.

There is refernce to Mecca, Sunnat (circumcision) and a lot of other physical muslim traits.

Now if we come to the lines in reference, I believe that there are some importants things that Guru Maharaj is instructing here.

Gure Maharaj is saying......let your total awareness ..the complete form which i have given you..............."sabat surat".........be the turban on ur head)....................

If you notice the earlier lines of the complete Shabad...you will notice that Guru Maharaj is replacing the physical attributes of the Muslims with spirtual attributes + physical practical actions of sikhi)

In this line again, Guru Maharaj actually replaces the physical attributes of the Musilms ( a turban) with the Physical attribute (Hair (physical)...+ ....{sabat surat could also refer to no circumcision...but in an earlier line ...Guru Maharaj has already compared and replaced it}.......the complete awareness (spirtual) .....)

Hence in my understanding (alhtough it too is a bit different from contemporary understanding)...this is a very clear pointer about maintaing the Hair....in effect the complete natural form given by God.

I dont think this is a pointer towards wearing a turban. Of course when you keep a long hair, a turban is necessary to maintain the same properly. :D

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