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Rastafari Beliefs


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Why Rasta folk do not cut their hair and drink wine/alchohol:

"Num.6

[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

[2] Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:

[3] He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.

[4] All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.

[5] All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no rasor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow."

"For many people it's because of that and it makes meditation more stronger, gives better connection to unity and to Jah. "

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Read: Numbers 6:1-27

The vow of the Nazarite was voluntarily made by those who desired “to separate themselves unto the LORD†(v.2) for a determined season. “All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD†(v.8). During the time of his separation, the Nazarite was bound by three absolute restrictions.

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First, he could “eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk†(v.4).

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Second, “there shall not razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled†(v.5).

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Third, during the days of his separation, “he shall come at no dead body†(v.6).

At the end of his separation, specific sacrifices must be made at which time “the hair of his separation is shaven†(v.19). At that time, the restrictions of the vow are removed.

The vow was offered voluntarily. Evidently, the Nazarite himself determined the length of the vow. Therefore, he decided how much he was willing to sacrifice. Yet, after the vow was made, its requirements were very strict. Consider the three restrictions placed on the Nazarite. As a whole, they illustrate the cost of discipleship for the believer today.

Sacrifice

First, the Nazarite could drink no wine or grape juice or eat anything that came from the vine. Wine and grape juice have a wide and varied use in typology. They picture many things. Yet, one Old Testament type remains fairly consistent. The fruit of the vine pictures joy – as in the joy of harvest.

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Psalm 4:7 – “Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.â€

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Psalm 128:3 – “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.â€

One who separates himself to the service of Christ must be willing to give up some of the joys of this life for the sake of the Saviour. Christ said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself†(Luke 9:23). To serve the Lord fully, you must be willing to deny yourself some of this earth’s pleasures. Sinful pleasures must certainly go. But God may ask you to sacrifice seemingly harmless pleasures for His service. If you really want to serve Him, you must be willing to sacrifice whatever He requires.

Shame

Second, the Nazarite could not cut his hair during the time of separation. If his vow was for a long time, his hair would grow long. But in the Bible, long hair on a man indicates shame (1 Corinthians 11:14). Someone who willingly takes upon himself that which causes shame has conquered his pride. The disciple must be willing to take upon himself that which causes the world to scorn and laugh at him.

“If any man will come after me, let him…take up his cross daily†(Luke 9:23). Paul speaks of “the offence of the cross†(Galatians 5:11). Peter teaches the believers who suffer for the cause of Christ to “rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). True discipleship requires us to be willing to suffer shame for His name’s sake.

Separation

Third, the Nazarite was prohibited from touching any dead body. He must totally separate from death. Once again consider the requirements of discipleship as found in Luke 9:23. (You may have noticed that the three restrictions on the Nazarite perfectly match the three requirements of the disciple as found in this verse.) “If any man will come after me, let him…follow me.â€

The entire world is dead in trespasses and sins. In order to serve the Lord with all our hearts, we must follow Christ entirely and turn our backs on the things of this world. Christ told the would-be disciple, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead†(Matthew 8:22). To follow Christ requires us to separate from the deadness of this world.

Paul taught this truth in Galatians 6:14 – “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.†Paul got to the point where the world had no attraction for him. It was dead (“crucifiedâ€) to him. We must separate ourselves from the death of this world if we would be true disciples.

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Some claim that rastafarians are ideally meant to be vegan, or at least vegetarian... Do a search on "ital food". They also do not consume pork, for the very reason that Muslims don't.

With the alcohol matter... As Bob Marley is quoted to have said:

"Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction"

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  • 2 years later...

Rastas say that Locks are supported by Leviticus 21:5 ("They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in the flesh.") and the Nazirite vow in Numbers 6:5 ("All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.").

Most Rastas agree Jesus Christ is an incarnation of God. They consider that Jesus gave Jah's teachings to humanity, but they were distorted by Babylon. Rastas believe Haile Selassie who was crowned King of Kings Nov. 2nd 1930 was the second coming of Jesus, and therefore Jah, onto the Earth. The lion is a symbol of Haile Selassie. Jesus Christ is described as "the lion of Judah" in the Bible.

The very earliest Christians may also have worn this hairstyle; particularly James the Just, "brother of Jesus" and first Bishop of Jerusalem, who wore them to his ankles. Also, according to the Bible, Samson was a Nazarite who had "seven locks". Rastas say these "seven locks" could only have been dreadlocks, as it is unlikely that seven strands of hair were meant. Keeping long hair has come to symbolize the Lion of Judah and rebellion against Babylon.

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I believe 7 locks refers to the length of the hair.

The actual tradition of dreadlocks and cannabis is not native to Africa or the Middle East, its an Indian tradition as seen in Sadhus/Udasis. Haile Selassie did not have locks, the aforementioned traditions were said to have stemmed from a Sadhu friend of Haile Selassies, who was possibly working on the East African infrastructure (railway lines etc) as many thousands of Indians were during that decade.

Everything Indian! ~GGM~

lol

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Also, a question for anyone that has studied this group of Abrahamic cults, the prophecy of Haile Selassie was that he would bring back the lost tribe of Israel from Babylon to Zion (Ethiopia). That prediction obviously didn't transpire, but what is stopping many of these black supremacists (Bobo Shantis etc)from buying a plane ticket and going back to the supposed heaven on Earth (which is currently fighting a US backed war against Islamic Somalia)....

With all due respect.

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Also, a question for anyone that has studied this group of Abrahamic cults, the prophecy of Haile Selassie was that he would bring back the lost tribe of Israel from Babylon to Zion (Ethiopia). That prediction obviously didn't transpire, but what is stopping many of these black supremacists (Bobo Shantis etc)from buying a plane ticket and going back to the supposed heaven on Earth (which is currently fighting a US backed war against Islamic Somalia)....

With all due respect.

Come on that was unneccesarily caustic! Since when have any of these "black supremacists" ever cause trouble to Sikhs. Man, I have seen some Rastas give the most respect to Singhs. Okay some haven't but there are other people that do cause harm to the panth, why be negative to these people when they have done nothing against us.

Plus, for the record, there are some Rastas in Israel who have created a community over there that we Sikhs could learn from. In a way, what they want is just what some Sikhs want (Khalistan) and if you look at the actions of our own Gurus, starting with Guru Nanak himself, they too created communes (Kartarpur), Towns (Anandpur) for us!

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I am not talking about individuals, I know some cool Rastas too (who aren't so fanatic, or religious) I have also met the fanatic (highly religious) variety.

My question is genuine, I don't see that anyone from a western country with capital, would be refused entry into Ethiopia, which is a largely Christian country and so perfect for them - Zion is there, why don't they move there?

Secondly, comparison between Rastas and Khalsa is silly, the words of their 'incarnation of God' didn't transpire - that makes them a cult, no different to JWs.

I am not being offensive, just stating facts. Bobo Shantis believe in Black Supremecy - and that Jesus and lost tribes of Israel were black.

Khalsa does not put any emphasis on race.

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Khalsa does not put any emphasis on race.

It shouldn't but plenty do go about their jaat as if they were a special superior race. You know its true.

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Yes its true, but the difference is that 'Jaat Supremecy' is not ordained in our faith, it is simply an imported disease.

That makes no difference if both sets of people are practising supremecism. In fact, you could argue, that it makes Sikhs even worse because they should know better.

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It makes all the difference, we discusing religious ideology here, not a culture.

Compare religious zealots of both groups - not apples and pears i.e. Rasta religious man Vs worst of Punjabi culture representing person who identifies himself as a Sikh even though he does not wish accept his Gurus gyaan.

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Fair enough but sometimes you have to judge a people by their majority actions not just the content of their professed belief system.

However you put it, both sides have elements that exercise supremecist actions. The problem is as Sikhs we should know a lot better because we are explicitly told not to be so, we have so many institutions that are aimed at attacking this type of thinking (langar, amrit sanskar, communal names etc.) yet it persists.

And your other point about claims of Jesus being black. Well, this is partially justified because one thing is for certain that he was not a blue eyed, blonde white man as is commonly portrayed. The truth is he was probably quite dark compared to western Europeans who have now remade his image into their own. Plus there may be some truth with the link between Israelites and blacks. I have met whiteish Jews with afro hair, there is a tribe of black Jews in Africa who claim to have decended from Israel and have some substance to their claim.

If you even partially understood the unheaval and cultural destruction black people in the West Indies went through under slavery you might be a bit more sensitive to their movements. Yes there is a reactionist trend against white supremacism inherent in there but if we look at our own old rahits that have survived from the 1700s we can see lots of anti-Muslim dominantion features in there too.

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when i used to go work at this one place there was always a Rasta chillin on the stairs & every time i walked past wearing my suit, thinking i was a corporate bigshot mixed with the pride of thinkin i was a bigtime KhalsaSinghToTheMax.com every time he would put up his right arm with a fist and say "Li-On !!"

i'd be like "huh?" & walk past with no response

certainly made a difference to walkin past some singhs where i've heard shouts of "Li-Ar !!"

in a lot of ways many of these folks remind me of the way Singhs should be - open, loving all, confident, chardhi kalaa even when you're in the gutter, & always being an example expressing your beliefs & pyaar like Bob Marley with a Dastaar instead of a Rasta Cap lol

Im gonna be iron like a lion in zion - yeh man !

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Just to clarify, A black man with a Jamaican accent, dreadlocks, beard and red, green and yellow wooly hat or dhummalla does not equal Rastafarian.

Rastas have a word for teh majority of people who dress this way 'fashion locks'. similar to many strict Singhs attitudes towards Punjabis who wear a pagri but don't practice any aspect of Sikhi or who have their own ideas of Sikhi i.e. its ok to have a drink blah blah - or even Nihang Singhs outlook towards people who dress like Nihangs but don't act as them - i.e. Nangs.

Unless we have spoken to a man, we should not assume we know his tribe or ideology.

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Isn't it interesting how pop culture in various countries is eventually transformed into a 'religion' borrowing heavily from antecedents while maligning the very sources it plagiarises and representing itself as the original gospel truth and not some new pop invention?

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Isn't it interesting how pop culture in various countries is eventually transformed into a 'religion' borrowing heavily from antecedents while maligning the very sources it plagiarises and representing itself as the original gospel truth and not some new pop invention?

Do you mind elaborating on that, because you lost me there brother.

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Isn't it interesting how pop culture in various countries is eventually transformed into a 'religion' borrowing heavily from antecedents while maligning the very sources it plagiarises and representing itself as the original gospel truth and not some new pop invention?

I may be 'popular' now, but that is not how it started.

The original rastafari were persecuted for their beliefs and their interpretation of the bible.

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I accept that people can have beliefs and be persecuted because of them, but have trouble finding those hallmarks of a religion in 'Rastafari'. It resembles pop culture more than religion - as far as I can see some fans assert that it is a 'religion' in the doubtful belief that such classification will lead to social improvement.

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Funny, I've heard comments that Sikhism is some peasant based cult by ignorant people. Weedol, insulting a culture, that hasn't even done anything to your own people is just plain rubbish. Don't do it!

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