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Gurfateh,

Is the kesh really that important to non khalsa sikhs?

I recently cut my beard..and i dont feel bad..ive come to the conclusion that its not my conscious which has been blown, but the ideal which so many people have thrown at me since ive been into sikhism that hair is an essential part of sikhi, which has been broken. And that is why i feel, to an extent, ashamed..but spiritually, i feel no different..i dont feel as if my love, or indeed the gurus love, for me has changed.

Can i have some input into kesh for non khalsa sikhs..thanks!

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i just read what you wrote and it sounds ok by my conscious. actually i have some reservations, but thats probably out of the ideal thing you mention. let me explain.

so you cut your beard. well the first thing that means is i hold you to a lower standard. no that doesnt mean i think any less of you. it just means if you had ur beard, id ask, "is he worthy?". the reason is, if ur a k-singh i expect you to be cool. i expect you to be a lot of things before i'll accept you. if ur slightly elitist, then that'll turn me off. if u are weak, i'll be turned off. etc. if ur honest and down to earth, then i'll be impressed. if you are on a reformist trip, then i'll want to know if ur doing it for the right reasons. that sort of thing. the reason i have these standards is because i wish to meet them myself.

so straight away, i have no problem with the way you look. but yeah, one thing that never ceases to impress me is good conduct in a person AND/OR passion for sikhi, regardless of what sort of "stage" they are on - for the lack of a better term. i know ppl like jassa dont like it when others say it. but a good heart is important.

alright, so say you are an ok person, and you cut ur beard .. at least by this one sikh, ur still worthy of love and respect. hope this helps!

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so straight away, i have no problem with the way you look. but yeah, one thing that never ceases to impress me is good conduct in a person AND/OR passion for sikhi, regardless of what sort of "stage" they are on - for the lack of a better term. i know ppl like jassa dont like it when others say it. but a good heart is important.

good point dude!

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uh huh. thanks for the input Khalsa Fauj.

SF, i don't really know what your question is about. but i think your acceptance as a Sikh has more to do with what you feel inside than it does with what other people say.

of course what other people say matter. but if you see yourself as a Sikh, then there isn't much that can change that. if in your eyes, it's unSikh to have trimmed/cut your beard or whatever, then you are an unSikh. lol... that sounds so funny.

anywho... i so totally forgot my point. argh.

oh yes. i think it's important to cultivate the inner virtues necessary to be a real Sikh. as important as the physical aspect is to bein a khalsa sikh, i think it's equally important to cultivate the inner aspect. BUT havin said that, it stands to say that if you really wanna be a khalsa sikh, you should definitely make sure you're not choppin off all your hair.

and if you wanna be really honest, i gotta say yeah, people are definitely gonna look at you differently. they won't think you're all sugar and spice and everything nice anymore. and they might think you're a pakhandee for knowing so much bout Sikhi but lookin like the furthest thing from a khalsa sikh.

and how much of an effect this has on you and whether you feel like you're sikh or not depends on how seriously you take others talkin smack about you.

i personally still haven't discovered what having or not having uncut hair does for one's spirituality. i've heard a lot of intermeresting theories. but as far as i can tell, nothing's set in stone.

perhaps someone out here in the world of SA is willing to *ahem* shed a bit of hair on this topic. *ahem*

and i know i could probably go on forever on this topic. lol. but i think i'll stop boring you guys now.

just make sure you put up a concrete question or point us in the direction you want us to take this thread.

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Gurfateh veera.

im playing devils advocat here ok so dont harass me when u see me. lol.

you say ur love for Guru Ji hasnt changed, but is that true or of the top of ur head... Was it love for Guru Ji that made u keep ur hair in the first place?

i think it takes a bigger man to say... hey i fcuked up, im not strong enuff at the mo... instead of .. hey... im ok... its still me... etc..

how relevent this is to ur situation is debatable. ask ur self y u do what u did.... and i think the reason wnt hav much to do with spirituallity at all, but the usual reason of uncomfortableness or ego or whatever, the latter being probs worse than the former.

sometimes we make things ok for ourselves by coming uo with reasoning.... like using juice bro... wether u do or u dnt isnt relevant, its wether u can admit it and take whatever comes, frm ur closer peeps anyway. sum ppl will understand and sum wont but giv the close one the benefit of the doubt. i always hear the same excuse for kesh dhari boys cutting their kesh... i used to get headaches/lumps on my scalp... and the doc goes cut ur hair... 90% of these ppl cht shizer. i wud respect them more for jus saying, yo i dont want to keep my hair, it means nothin to me.

sorry for the cynical post....

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Rakash singh, ur 100% right.

There is no doubt that ego made me do this..and im not ashamed to admit this, but its deeper than that..theres alot of reasons to why ive done this. To pigeon-hole it as me wanting to look more attractive would be too black and white..and my decision to do this, was far from black and white.

The fact that im posting this on sikhawareness means, to an extent, i have regretted what ive done..but as ive mentioned, and as sukhi touched on, its been more because of how people see me, rather than how i feel inside!

Okay maybe i need to rephrase this, is it really of any significance for a non khalsa sikh to keep the kesh??

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a sikh must have a guru rite....so how if ur not following ur gurus teachings, how is it that u can still be a sikh??

When you kno ur guru has put importance on keeping hair, and u disregard it by cutting your hair, its like telling your guru to get lost, and that you kno better than they do....

im sorry if im being harsh, bt reality has a habit of being a little bit like that....

Like khalsa fauj mentioned, cutting hair is a kurehit...meaning you have cut urself away from your guru.

I think in this time and age to be a Sikh is far easier than it used to be, because ppls definition of Sikh has changed....instead we shud be using Gurujis definitions....I personally am not a Sikh....because i kno i dnt follow everything that Guruji says, bt i am trying...trying doesnt mean that you accept what has been said and carryon like normal, it means that you see ur own faults and correct them.

if all the gurus were nanak, then surely they are all the same, and what has been said by all is equally important....

Also i donot see the difference between Khalsa and Sikh...because in order to be Khalsa, u have to be a Sikh and in order to be a Sikh you have to be Khalsa....if u get what im getting at...Amrit makes you Khalsa....bt Amrit is a requirment of a Sikh....the giving of your head (homai) to ur Guru, so i see Khalsa and Sikh to be the one and the same....

When you say that its more about how ppl see you, rather than how u feel inside....i think thats a bit of a contradiction as, depending on how ppl see u, it affects how you feel....

If you are discarded and disliked, then you feel weak inside and hurt....bt if you are respected then , there is a self confidence inside....

People generally feel certain emotions due to the ppl they are around......

If you feel the need to change urself to an extent that you go against the gurus teaching....then u seriously need to look deep inside yourself and see what it is you are lacking, and also think about the ppl you hang around with....if they treat u better because of what u have done, then i wud not call them friends....

and if u say u cnt find decent sangat, if u start doing what guruji sez, then the sangat comes to u on its own....

Sikhism is about living...its practical, the theory needs to be physically committed in order for it to work....

oh i just want to mention this isnt aimed to attack you or make u feel lower...if it does...then you should do something to change it....everything said is for myself aswell...

Sorry if ive made any mistakes

Ppl can talk and talk and think and think and keep on thinkin about sikhi and spirituality, bt spirituality doesnt come from thought...it comes from practice...

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waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh

A very important issue indeed! Is Amrit really all that necessary? Simple answer is, if someone like Guru Gobind Singh Jee who had to kneel down and request Amrit, are we better off than Him for even questioning Amrit? If He, who sacrificed His EVERYTHING had to actually REQUEST Amrit, do we have any authority to doubt WHY we need it?

What I am going to say is my own personal view on what it means to take Amrit. Please feel free to agree/disagree/correct me.

Suppose you are deeply in love with someone else. As this love grows, you reach a point where this love becomes so intense where its called “burning love†(no it doesn’t actually burn you off, nor does it refer to any Bollywoodistic type of love) where you are totally absorbed in the love of your beloved. At this point, you want your beloved to take charge and control of your life and you wanna give it up to him/her. Basically, you surrender to him/her.

Taking Amrit is not very different. You surrender yourself, your ego, your life, your mind, everything to Gurujee! I personally feel that taking Amrit is what happens when one’s love for Gurujee turns into that burning love! when you surrender to Him not caring about the world or anyone or anything else (no I haven’t reached such a blessed stage yet…sadly)!

When someone says that they have love for Gurujee, and that they haven’t taken Amrit yet, it may sound kinda confusing. Because one might think “If he/she loves Gurujee, why hasn’t he/she surrendered himself/herself to Him yet?†The simple response is that perhaps the person in question hasn’t reached that stage of burning love. As love grows, develops, progresses, the “burning†stage is arrived at and only then does taking Amrit make sense to this person.

No! I am not saying that those who are not Amritdhari have any less love for Gurujee. The only thing I am trying to express here is (what I feel) means to take Amrit. The best thing to do would be to do Ardas to Gurujee so that He Himself blesses you with more love for Him, for His charan, so that one day when you reach that “burning love†stage, you actually have the courage and determination to not listen to your ego and surrender yourself at His feet.

Please forgive anything wrong or offensive that I may have said. I have just expressed my mere thoughts and am not close to any stage of “burning loveâ€. Its just a level of love and surrender I find very necessary to reach before one is a true Sikh of Gurujee. After all, Sikhi is all about love, isn’t it? The more you love, the better Sikh you are! The more you “burn†in this love, the more vices you burn off!

bhul chukk maaf

waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh

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A very important issue indeed! Is Amrit really all that necessary? Simple answer is, if someone like Guru Gobind Singh Jee who had to kneel down and request Amrit, are we better off than Him for even questioning Amrit? If He, who sacrificed His EVERYTHING had to actually REQUEST Amrit, do we have any authority to doubt WHY we need it?

Regarding this statement that leans towards emotional blackmail in order to get people to take Amrit, one may ask several questions, one of which could be:

Did Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji force everyone (all Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, etc) to take Amrit? Yes/No?

If yes, then why do we have records of non-Khalsa Sikhs who never took Amrit, yet accompanied the Guru, and were considered Sikhs? Some were even given special tasks to carry out at the behest of the Guru himself, eg, Bhai Kanhaiya, Sewa Das, Banda Bahadur, etc.

If not, then why not allow people to make their own decisions as to whether to take Amrit or not? Why should mainstream 'Panthic' institutions state that one may consider themselves as 'Sikh' only if they have taken Amrit (reference, 'Sikh Rehit Maryada' on www.sgpc.net).

Not every individual is designed to become a warrior, or poet, or musician, doctor, nurse, mortician, Canadian (?) etc, in a similar manner, not everyone wishes to take Amrit., or is capable of taking that path. Indeed, their destiny may lie elsewhere...there are many paths to God, not all of them clad in Sarbloh. Some may wish to see Amrit as their eventual goal, but whether this transpires with the passing of time is dependent upon their karams and Guru Kirpa.

Even reality proves that taking Amrit does not turn an individual into a saint, if anything, this gives them a licence to delve into arenas of disgust and still retain an impression of being a saint.

We are all aware of "Uncles", "Aunties", collegues, friends, associates, etc., who have not taken Amrit, but have the hearts of saints (Sikh and non-Sikh). Such people appear to be closer to what a 'Sikh' is according to the edicts of the Gurus than some who have taken Amrit - this is reality. They are examples of how a person surrenders the ego (as suggested earlier) without Amrit, and takes on the role of pursuing/promoting/nurturing Dharam...

(on the other hand, no one is suggesting that all Amritdhari Sikhs are nasty or arent humble...although some people confuse the concept of being "direct and honest" with having an "ego problem")

However, if an individual who has taken Amrit and decides to follow such a path, then this task should be done to the best of their abilities, and with honesty to themselves. Others can make up their own minds (good or bad), about such an individual for this will have no bearing on the relationship between that individual and God. Our account is ultimately with the Almighty.

With regards to men who have taken Amrit, the trimming of their beard (or bum-fluff in the case of some) is considered highly taboo (...in this regard everyone is in agreement). The punishment for this varies according to what samparda, institution or maryada the individual adheres to. Even in this case, forgiveness is never out of the question.....

According to Sanatan Sikh rehit involving women, the rules vary to take into account reality....but thats for another thread.

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Thank you narsingha, nice post!

I guess I need to rephrase my question (because all the above posts have now made me think furthermore about what it is I should be doing as a sikh/to be called a sikh.)

Do we need to take amrit to be a sikh? Does this include charan-amrit? (apologies if thats incorrect)

Ive been reading a few books written by sants, and they all say amrit is what makes us sikh..sgpc of course have been saying this since day one..its kinda confusing..especially when i read sakhia of guru nanak dev ji (who didnt put emphasis on physical things, well to my understanding.)

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i agree with narsingha. that was a beautiful response. bless you.

sikh_fauge i have to say i admire your attitude. You arent in a hurry to do something just to fit in. You are slowly considering your way and all the while asking sensible questions. The word that comes to mind is 'sehaj'. I wish you the best of luck.

Sukhi wicked post. I came to this forum expecting AKJ style narrow mindeness and instead have found tolerance and considerate debate.

ps. Narsingha, i dont know why you call Guruji Nihang but i wish you wouldnt because it makes me feel left out. I used to admire Nihangs greatly and i have nothing against them. I just feel Guruji is all of ours, and no particular group should seem closer than others. Against, if im out of line, i respectfully apologise and retract my statement.

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narsingha u use history as backing....no problem with that except that history can be altered.....if you can show any proof from any of the granths that clearly defines sikh and khalsa and shows them with differences in what defines them....that would be handy....bt the way i see it, there were 10 nanaks, all as valid as each other and

like i sed, without guru, there is no sikh....

and when u ask if Guru Gobind Singh ji forced any1, ofcourse the answer is no,forcing never achieved anything, and that is what guruji stopped, mass forced conversions.....guruji left it up to the ppl and their karams to whether they were gna be sikhs, otherwise the forced conversions that muslims were instigating wouldnt really matter, because the path of islam leads to the same end point.....

A question arises from your question, that if amrit is not necessary, then why create it??Would Guruji do something that wasnt necessary??

Another point is that If other religions are all the same and lead to the same path, then the concept of amrit is not needed...if the gurus came to spread Dharam and not Sikhism as a religion, then why was amrit created, something that distinguishes us from every other path.....

Guru Gobind Singh ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji are the one and the same....to say that amrit is not required to be a sikh, is to say that Guru Gobind Singh Ji is less relevant than Guru Nanak Dev Ji.... ..

Sorry if i have offended anyone....and for my mistakes

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I dunno why no one has mentioned the word 'diversity', clones are sooooo not in this season (muahahaha). Naroo's post proves that Sikhi has always respected and nurtured diversity, or do we go around knocking on doors every sunday to preaaach..god I cant stand 'em. Khalaas..whats the fuss about? *flashes whip around*

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sexysingh, i don't know why you were expecting something like that... tha's not my style. cept when it comes to you and cheating. :P (sorry, i couldn't help myself.)

anywho. i'm not really going to add much to this thread in terms of whether it's right or wrong for a Sikh (whether he/she has taken amrit or not) to cut his or her hair. tha's something i'm still not sure about.

BUT

i would like to add something.

a lot of us make judgements on people who cut their hair or keep their hair. and i don't think that that's necessarily right.

when we make a judgement like that, we're basing it on ourselves and what we think. we're using our perspectives of the world to tell us whether it's good or bad, and whether the person is good or bad for doing whatever they're doing.

this is not to say that Sikhi doesn't have an answer to what is right or wrong. i'm specifically talking about people who look down on those who cut their hair or look up to those who don't.

and when we make these decisions on other people, we're really making statements about ourselves. in our eyes, someone who cuts their hair becomes less than us and we become superior in our own eyes. and that's not something that i believe Sikhi encourages us to do.

lastly, in the end, whatever happens in a person's path to God is their own personal adventure/journey/quest/what-have you. who are we to intrude on their learning process and tell them what they should be doing or not? i would think that it's up to the individual and Guru Sahib to decide whether what is happening is right or wrong and what should be done about it.

but at the same time, it's a completely different scenario if a person asks for help, guidance, advice or commentary.

who knows what experiences that person needs to live through to gain whatever knowledge is required for their life to be complete? i'm not gonna pretend that this makes much sense. but a lot of stuff doesnt. and we aren't exactly supremely enlightened souls to know what someone does or does not need to provoke some sort of growth.

so the next time you see a mona, think twice about what you're doing before you pass judgement. because you never know what kinda judgement your Guru's gonna pass on you for doing something like that.

and yes, i apologize for being totally off topic.

but now you guys can go on talking about whatever it is we're talking about.

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( gonna type for the 3rd time...dunno why i m logged off each time i try to post )

Regarding this statement that leans towards emotional blackmail in order to get people to take Amrit, one may ask several questions, one of which could be:

Did Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji force everyone (all Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, etc) to take Amrit? Yes/No?

In fact, Gurujee ASKED for those who were willing to sacrifice their heads. So yes, it is about choice and one should not pressurize anyone to take Amrit. My only purpose ( which was sadly preceived as "emotional blackmail" ) was to respond to those who think Amrit as "not necessary" rather than admitting their own situation/position. There is no harm or insult or loss of respect/dignity in admitting that "I am not ready for Amrit" or "I don't think I wanna take Amrit", rather than "Amrit isn't necessary".

A question arises from your question, that if amrit is not necessary, then why create it??Would Guruji do something that wasnt necessary??

Another point is that If other religions are all the same and lead to the same path, then the concept of amrit is not needed...if the gurus came to spread Dharam and not Sikhism as a religion, then why was amrit created, something that distinguishes us from every other path.....

Guru Gobind Singh ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji are the one and the same....to say that amrit is not required to be a sikh, is to say that Guru Gobind Singh Ji is less relevant than Guru Nanak Dev Ji.... ..

very well said by tableji...spot on...

Sukhi, as usual, very well said :)

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Without spending too long discussing this...

Are you now suggesting that when Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji 'asked' people to take Amrit at Anandpur Sahib that EVERYONE took Amrit? (ie, because according to you it was 'necessary'). By your analogy, those who did not take Amrit (eg, Bhai Kanhaiya, Sewa Das, Banda Bahadur, etc.) found the tenth Guru's wishes to be 'less relevant'.

In other words, according to your views, they must have considered the Guru's Amrit to be 'unneccesary' - because they did not take Amrit. Why would the Guru then entrust such non-Khalsa Sikhs (who apparently found the Guru 'less relevant') with sewa of propagating/protecting Dharam? In the example of Bhai Kanhaiya, he even went on to lay the foundations of the great Sewa Panthi order...despite the fact that he never took Amrit.

Amrit has a place in Sikhi, however, what is its purpose and role? Is it mandatory or optional?

According to mainstream 'Panthic' Sikhi and the Sikh Rehit Maryada it is mandatory, otherwise you are not a Sikh (of any kind). Ironically, the SGPC consider Udasis as Sikhs which appears to contradict the edicts of their own Rehit Maryada - the main reason for SGPC to consider Udhasis as Sikhs is so they can legally take over all Udhasi shrines. To give a balanced view, according to Sanatan Sikhi, Amrit is not mandatory, and whether one receives it depends on their perceptions, experience and ultimately their 'Karams' and 'Guru Kirpa'. If one does not receive Amrit, they are not seen as being any lesser (or greater for that matter) than those that are Amritdhari.

Btw, everyone has a right to a EXPRESS opinion (regardless of how great or crap it may be), but its only the Almighty who has the power to pass judgement (ie, hand out punishment or pass sentence). We are in no position to judge anyone when we are alive - and even the Almighty who is in a position to judge only does so after we are dead....

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Are you now suggesting that when Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji 'asked' people to take Amrit at Anandpur Sahib that EVERYONE took Amrit?
No, all didn't, thats what I have been emphasizing.

(ie, because according to you it was 'necessary').
Yes because I consider it a blessing from Gurujee and don't belittle it.

By your analogy, those who did not take Amrit (eg, Bhai Kanhaiya, Sewa Das, Banda Bahadur, etc.) found the tenth Guru's wishes to be 'less relevant'.
Bhai Kanhaiya and Banda Bahadur are believed to be Amritdharis by an equal number of those who feel they were non-Amritdharis...coz again thats one of the debatable issues among some of us. That way even Saaee Miya Mir, Pir Budhu Shah, Saee Bhikhan Shah were not Amritdhari, yet Gurujee loved them deeply. So is that an excuse to come up with "Amrit is not important!"

Why would the Guru then entrust such non-Khalsa Sikhs (who apparently found the Guru 'less relevant') with sewa of propagating/protecting Dharam?

In the example of Bhai Kanhaiya, he even went on to lay the foundations of the great Sewa Panthi order...despite the fact that he never took Amrit.

Why would Gurujee have Kareem Khan as one of His generals, or the sons of Pir Budhu Shah as warriors? Lets not try to conclude that Amrit isn't important thats why gave certain responsibilities to the Sikhs whom some believe to be non-Amritdhari. We all agree that Gurujee loves everyone regardless of anything. At the same time, trying to use that in order to belittle Gurujee's gift of Amrit is gonna lead this argument nowhere.

Please read my post once again. I have said more than once that those who don't want to take Amrit are free to do so. All I have done is try to speak out against views that belittle Amrit. As you rightly pointed out, its upto the Almighty to decide and judge. Amrit is a commitment to Gurujee and He never forced anyone to take it. Those who are not ready, Gurujee bless them. Those who feel they never will, may He bless them as well. You still haven't answered tableji's question that if it wasn't needed, why did Gurujee even bother about it? You say its not mandatory, fine, good for you, but atleast don't make it sound as if its not even required.

For more, listen to Amrit and Logic katha at www.proudtobesikh.com by Bhai Sarabjit Singh Jodhpuri. Pheena veer posted the mp3 files sometime back, dunno where.

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Mehtab Singh, the point you appear to have missed is that everyone has their own reasons for taking/not taking Amrit. It is human nature to justify one's actions (both good and bad) to appease their conscience (should they possess one). No one has the right to dictate terms to another based on their own perception - the Gurus never did so, and we are certainly in no position to do so either. A choice is offered, the decision is left to the individual.

A person can be committed to Sikhi (and for that matter Akal Purakh) without taking Amrit. No one has a monopoly on Akal Purakh...thats the ideology of fanatics, religious politicians and tyrants.

If you read the posts here, no one is undermining or 'belittling' Amrit...by stating that it is a CHOICE, that does not devalue the glory of Amrit.

Enjoy your Friday, and have a good weekend...

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