The World is Sound

by Sat Darshan Singh Khalsa - http://blog.withoutdefinition.com

OK, going to talk about something that may be a little controversial, but what are blogs for, eh? I’ve had or witnessed a couple of independent conversations that dealt with opposite sides of the same issue. Both of them made me feel kind of sad and angry as well. I have one very close friend who is relatively new to Sikhism, and her family has mixed feelings about it. They are all very open minded and universal, but they perceive Sikhism as being somewhat limited and ritualistic. My friend has said, and I agree with her, that Sikhism seems kind of insular from an outside perspective. And they also don’t understand why she would want to devote so much energy into Sikh music. It is hard for her because she’s stuck between 2 worlds that don’t really relate to each other.

I spent some of my weekend with Snatam and Guru Ganesha because they wanted me to record the intense Raag training that they had scheduled. It came up during one of the sessions that at a number of different Gurdwaras that they visited while on tour, the Granthis or heads of the Gurdwara wouldn’t let them play if they were going to include their non-sikh tabla player.

What has happened to Sikhism that these kind of things happen? Don’t get me wrong, I love being a Sikh, and nothing makes me feel more empowered than wearing my 5 Kakars and full bana, or when I do Panj Baniaa. But to me, Sikhism was founded on a few very basic principles. A sense of Seva, or selfless service, and very strong concept of all inclusion. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is full of hymns written by a number of Hindu and Muslim saints, some that lived before Guru Nanak’s time. Members of all faiths were always welcome in Gurduara and the Lungar kitchen, and Guru Nanak’s own chela and Rhebab player was a devout Hindu. Sikhism has never preached that it wasn’t necessarily better than other religions or that other faiths aren’t valid. The reason Guru Nanak Ji offered a new path was much of Hinduism and Islam at the time was so corrupt and the people weren’t living their faith, not because the faith and philosophy itself wasn’t also a valid path to God.

Above all though, Sikhism was founded on the Pillar of the Shabd Guru. The whole Universe as we know is just vibrations at different frequencies, different manifestations of God if you will. And it is when these vibrations vibrate at higher and more pure frequencies that we perceive them as sound. The Guru’s of the Sikh faith understood this phenomena and gave us the tools to fully utilize it in the form of the Shabd Guru, the perfect sound current. As Sikhs we only bow our head to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and the logic behind this is that only the perfect sound current, or Naad embodied in our Guru can truly help one vibrate with and become one with God. This isn’t to say that you can only find Naad in our Guru, but I would be hard pressed to find so much, so centralized anywhere else.

But to have a friend who says she almost felt guilty wanting to devote her life to the Shabd Guru because of how her family perceives Sikhism and what they may have told her, or to hear that members of other faiths are not allowed to help lead our Sangat in experiencing the Shabd through music, even though they have the talent and devotion to do so, it makes me a little sad

I should be optimistic though. All this is just a very small part of the Global Sikh picture. The Golden Temple in Amritsar is a place that members of all faiths feel comfortable to visit, not just Sikhs. At least half, if not more than half of the people that come through every day to bow their head have short hair and are clean shaven. And there are people like Snatam who have devoted their lives to sharing the Shabd Guru with as many people as possible. And on that positive note, here’s a beautiful picture from Winter Solstice taken by Sita Kaur and a track I put together a while ago that I feel is appropriate to the topic. I was taking an Audio Production class and our teacher gave a lecture on the concept of silence and an amazing man by the name of John Cage ( John Cage’s 4’33″). It really resonated with me, because I’ve been taught as a Yogi and a Sikh that the universe is always vibrating God’s name, so there is never “true silence.” The Unstruck Sound Current, God frequency, is always vibrating in everything. It was a great opportunity to experiment with this concept, and so I did. I think I could do a better job today, but I’ll let this stand alone.

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I’ll post more beautiful examples of the Shabd Guru being sung soon.

39 Responses to “The World is Sound”

  1. Inderpreet Singh says:

    WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH,

    Its so relaxing that one gets moved to another world.

    May God bless you so that you can create more of this wonderfull stuff.

    regards

    Inderpreet Singh

  2. naveen says:

    Let’s use this example to remind ourselves of the Oneness. The divinity of Waheguru is present in everybody. It’s our ego that makes us think we are better than someone or someone is lesser than us.

  3. Sarbjit Singh says:

    Wahe Gur Ji Khalsa Wahegur ji ki Fateh,

    Khalsa ji problem of today is sikh nation forgotton the message of the guru, as a sikh we do respesct others regardless of their relligon and looks , we are nobody to judge others , today we are running behind fake guru’s and rituals, when i read this in news papers, i feel sad because gurji told us that we dont need brokers, we could go straight to gurudwara ourselevs and ask for blessing of Guruji, these brokers are sending wrong massges bout sikhism, we need to stop them, there is has to be standard test or education of some years bout sikhism who wants to become president or memeber of any sikh organization and there has to requirements whoever wants GURU GRANTH SHIAB IN thers homes or Gurudwaras.

    satnam.

  4. Gurwant Kaur says:

    Dear Gurmustukji,

    I’ve read the above article and regret to say that there are some Sikhs who are limited in their thoughts and way of life. Let me tell you these people cannot be a happy lot because there is no sense of acceptance for people with different background.

    I’m living in Brisbane and the politics we have among the sangat at the Gurdwara is unbeliveable. There is no love for Guru, here, only oneself and bickering about dos and dont’s at the Gurdwara among the older community members. Thus youngsters want to have noting to do with the Gurdwara.

    As for your friend, I feel if her convictions for Sikhi and love for Guru is there noting should shake her. I remember in Japji Sahib a verse about “those who have conquered their mind, has conquered the world”

  5. Mya says:

    You know it all comes down ignorance. These so called heads of the gurdhwara should practice what they preach. Whenever I go to the gurdhwara you hear the granthi saying “sikhism is about equality and love for your fellow man” When it comes down to actually acting on that, they resort to saying things like what you mentioned in your blog; Not allowing someone who isn’t sikh to play tabla. It may seem that I harbor some resentment towards that comment and your right. I have a friend who is western sikh. We both learned Kirtan for 12 years; When we went to take part in a pure raag compitition the granthi would not let us enter because she was white. Its not fair.
    (By the way we ended up taking part and came in 2nd!)

  6. Portia Gardner says:

    Just wanted to say that some classical composers were fairly close to Naad in their works, particularly Bach and Mozart; the Brandenburg Concertos have moved me on many occasions. Indian raag is unfamiliar to the western ear, but consider that many of Bach’s works were for the church. I really believe that he especially understood the power of the vibration of musical sound. If that makes any sense.

  7. I imagine your friend who is relatively new to Sikhi and immersing herself in Shabd is having an incredible experience thereby of Guru, which is very difficult to relate to someone (her family) who hasn’t also had at least a tiny bit of the same. But perhaps she can try to frame her responses to their concerns in that way – having the experience of God through the vibration. Might help? or not. But it lets her focus on what’s real for her about it, maybe.

  8. Prabhu Singh says:

    If your friend’s family were really “open minded” and “universal,” they would have done a basic google search on Sikhism and found that there’s nothing “limiting” about it and that it strictly forbids meaningless “ritual”!
    We should reconsider what open minded is. To me open minded is somebody who’s okay with others, whether they understand anything about their beliefs or not.
    I couldn’t think of a more opposite viewpoint for the Sikh Dharma than your friend’s parents. They are totally ignorant and close minded. (Yes I would say that to their face! Especially using words like limiting and ritualistic to describe Sikh Dharma. Though I’d probably be more diplomatic about it.) Some Sikhs may be insular, but when are people going to separate the actions of a few and the beliefs of many? Clearly not all Muslims are terrorists, so why can’t we see that faithful Sikhs are pretty amazing?
    Taking the actions of all people aside, except our beloved Gurus, Sikh Dharma is perfection. It is totally universal, accepting, pracitical, uplifting, righteous. It is not dogmatic, exclusive, limiting, or unrighteous.
    That’s the only open minded approach. To look objectively at the beleifs of a people (in this case Sikhs) and evaluate from there. Not to look at individuals or communities.
    How’s this for open minded… Most people that I have met in my life that call themselves ‘religious’ have insulted me, and some have threatened and attacked me. Still I accept that they have the right to practice their religion freely, and I even appreciate many of the beautiful aspects of their religions.
    Maybe your friends parents aren’t ignorant and they do know a few of the basic beliefs of Sikhs. Maybe they’re just scared of the turban, like so many others, and don’t want to admit it. Limiting and ritualistic are the most opposite terms for Sikhs.

    A couple of other notes about the article. Mardana was the rabab player for Guru Nanak and he was a Muslim. Also there are different reasons for discriminating at a Gurdwara, I’m not trying to say what’s right or wrong, I just mean sometimes things appear differently. No Gurdwara would allow somebody that is intoxicated to come inside, that is fair discrimination for the respect of the Guru and the sangat. Some Gurdwaray, whether right or wrong, use the ‘Sikh’ descrimination to ensure that those that have some kind of leadership role in the Gurdwara will lead with integrity and honor the rehit. It’s not a perfect system, since some ‘Sikhs’ with the full roop may not be of good character and some without the roop may be great leaders with great integrity and respect for and knowledge of the rehit. Even though it’s not a perfect system, it may come from good intentions.

    Thanks for sharing the music, Sat Darshan. Is this the first recording we’ve got of you?

  9. i think that in my opinion, most sikhs today are instead to busy with rehats and follower other peoples paths, rather than searching for god themselves. Sadly, it does not help that we have come so accustomed to one main culture and one way of doing things.

    One part of being open minded is doing things in a different way, and letting others search in sikhi for themselves. There are so many groups out there that are misleading poeple, and in sikhi, its not different.

    Ultimately, its the individual that must search, not someone else.

  10. Gurjeet Singh says:

    Sat Sri Akaal, the beloved Guru Sangat

    I agree with Ms.Dracy, that people are misleading other people and thats the reason why Guru Gobind Singh has ordered to the Sikh Sangat to strictly follow Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their own Guru and not the person, one who misleads. But the thing to understand here is if at all a human is inclined towards the Divine he/she cannot be mislead. Guru Himself gives the enligntenment to do so and to choose a correct path one should follow the true Guru and Guru is God Himself no one else. Rehat is a life-style that Guru has gifted to His followers.

  11. gupt khalistani says:

    Rehat Pyaree Mujh Kau Sikh Pyara Nahin
    It is the rehat that is dear to me, not the sikh
    -Sahib Sri Guroo Gobind Singh Ji Mahraj

  12. Lal Singh says:

    Hey Sikh religion is good since I belong to it. But we must not ignore other religions. Since they were here before we came about. Jesus Christ and Christianity was here before us. We are a new religion. So we need to pay attention to all the rules. Hey if airport has rules to have no guns,drugs,knives,etc. This does not mean a Sikh man can go ahead and carry drugs or knives across. So we need to obey rules. If we dont we become considered as stupid beings. So
    Sikhs obey all rules otherwise we will get lots of problems.

  13. Lal Singh says:

    I also have comments for sikh gals or ladies. Hey ladies you were told not to shave your body by our religion. So I ask you how the heck are you going to compete with the basketball team, the tennis team, the swimming team when you can not shave your legs? Hey our laws were established over 500 years ago. Are they still true? I dont think they apply to us today. I like to hear others give opinion. I even have relatives who dont wear the turbin,nor keep hair, or carry knife or sword. Their reason is that they are the future Sikhs. New Sikhs dont need the sword,the hair,conga,etc. Hey if you believe in the ten Gurus then you a Sikh. So times have changed. Plus who had razors when Guru Nanak was alive. So change with times. Otherwise times will change you.

  14. Lal Singh says:

    I have heard that Jesus Christ has been mentioned in our Granth Sahib. Is this true. I like to receive comments regarding this mentioning.

  15. g says:

    Mr Lal

    You have contradicted yourself in your multiple postings… One hand you are saying sikh dharma is about 500yrs old and we don’t need to follow those rules because times have changed, yet you are asking to pay attention to other religions which are few thousand years old…….. If you think that so, then keep on reading your post over and over again and finally you will find out.

    If you think other religion ideaologies fits you better then simply follow those religions and learn to respect others!

    Secondly, If you don’t want to keep hair that is your choice or you can even skin yourself as you wish, but you don’t need to make fun of others. And yet it shows maturity on your behalf.

    you need to realize that Sikhism is a game of LOVE and those rules bring us closer to our beloved…

    Everyone has a choice in this life what ever they want, and Sikhism is not for everyone and if you think that sikh dharma is old then follow what ever your mind desires. It is important to realize that if we don’t want something in life then we don’t need throw mud at others to make our beliefs sound better.

    How can a person says that I love you when our actions don’t even show that?????? our actions are our thoughts, and our thoughts eventually comes out as our actions.

    For your info: Jesus ji is not mentioned in SGGS, You will find about Jesus ji in the Bible

  16. Ravinder Singh says:

    Dear Sat Darshan Singh Khalsa,

    I would agree that there are things that have become cultural and there has been an missing link in the true understanding of Sikhi but the tide is changing. The more the youth whom understand the clear message of Sikhi love and are living examples of Sikhi’s fundamentals the more things will change. Of course things don’t change overnight but we can change things.. and they will change. Look at how Sikhnet and other youths are changing the Sikhism to understand Sikhi as we know it..

    Dear Lal Singh,

    There are definately basic fundamental’s in Sikhi and it is great that you understand it. Have you understood the fundamental’s and put them in perspective of what each of the Guru’s taught (including the clear messages in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib)..

    There is always the challenge in western society of what is wrong and what is right.. that is for you alone to come to a conclusion after understanding Sikhi. It is up to you to decide what you like, i cannot judge you for how you think but it seems like you do not accept everyone which is a basic fundamentals of Sikhi, instead you choose to judge others men / women in regards to many issues.. May you one day love all..

    If you do want to find out if Jesus Christ in the Guru Granth Sahib (i notice you left out the word Guru too) then you should search it yourself rather than look for an easy way out by asking others so that way you make others question their own beliefs. If you are truly interested in finding out about whether Jesus Christ is in the Guru Granth Sahib here is a link http://www.sikhitothemax.com/ which is also available as a link on the Sikhnet website on the Sri Guru Granth Sahib link.

    You have two options in life:
    1) Ask others and come to your conclusion, of course this is subject to interpretation.
    2) Research, find out and experience for yourself and ask others for input then come to your conclusion.

    It also sounds like you have ego in which your opening line is ‘Hey Sikh religion is good since I belong to it’, wow what a statement! I don’t know if many if any would agree with it but i am glad that you are proud to be Sikh, perhaps i read it incorrectly..

    In regards to Sikh’s wearing the Kirpan at the airports most if not all Sikh’s pack their Kirpan in their suitcase. Of course some people might not but security should pick up the cases where people don’t or have forgotten to do so and then allow them to pack it in their suitcase. And on what planet are you from saying that Sikh’s would carry drugs on the planes??? haha. You make me laugh..

    In regards to there not being razor’s in the time of Guru Nanak, did you know that one of the Panj Piare that Guru Gobind Singh baptised was a barber before he became a Sikh and started wearing the Panj Kakkar’s.. My dear friend research and understand.

    My dear friend it seems you have lots of questions. Be open minded and understand the basics of Sikhi before trying to understand the remaining aspects. I used to question lots too but i started researching and asking questions i then began to understand. It is all about love and truth.. I am sure one day you will understand it. There are also lots of downloadable mp3 lectures from Sri Singh Sahib on this website, go to the audio / video link and download the audio and listen to it when your on the go on your mp3 player if you have one.

    Well irrespective of whether we see eye to eye i accept your questions but do research there is lots of info available on Sikhnet and this site.

    May you find love, peace and devotion..
    Ravinder Singh

  17. rkaur says:

    Lal Singh, wow you’ve definitely opened up a can of worms regarding the kesh on a females body. It is equally important for her to keep all the hair on her body as it is for a man. Hair has so much spiritual and biological properties that make it so valuable. A good friend once told me, if everyone around you were cutting their hands, would you do it too? Likely not, since you understand the value of your hands and how much life would become difficult if you did not have them. Similarily, without the hair that our body grows, we lose particular spiritual uses, such as our awareness of the Almighty within us and in all around us.

    Now, your perspective is slightly understandable as our times have changed. Instead of the human battlefield with horses and swords, we fight the political and social battlefield of scrutiny and discrimination, but the essence of a student of God (Sikh), that is so fundamental. It is in itself so simple and practical, the 5 k’s for example, all with real meaning, and our rehit, so spiritually appropriate.

    One of the main things that attracts me to Sikhism on a personal note, is its absolute yet personal touch. It doesn’t matter what other students (sikhs) are doing. The idea of you doing what is right between yourself and your Gurusahib on a personal level, is what helps each of us, individually, get across the ocean of maya. There is no one right way of leading this life. Sikhism isn’t a religion with rules and do’s and dont’s; it’s more an understanding of the energies around us, and using them or at least trying to use them in our daily lives, making them practical.. and thereby coming to peace with them.

    But of course, individual strengh does come from collective development (sangath, specifically saadth sangat). Someone once was saying at a retreat that our bodies make up 75-80% of water. Looking chemically at water, or H2O, its known that this medium is the best absorber. So our bodies, on a chemical level, are constantly absorbing from our surroundings. So the idea of sadth sangat (congretation of God-concientious people) is crucial to our independent growth.

    forgive me if anything said is wrong or unclear. just my 2 cents.
    Vaaahaii guurruuu…

  18. rkaur says:

    oh btw, about the idea of no razors in Gurusahib’s times (when our Guru was in the human form).. there were swords, and daggers and blades and what not. they were used instead to cut mens beards. what makes you think women didn’t ‘shave’ their legs or arms back then if they had access to blades? but that doesn’t make it right or wrong still, again it comes down to what you think is the right thing to do. your relationship with your Guru is too personal to be told how to live within it. if you are ready to give up your head to your Guru, then do it. no one else should be ‘convincing’ you to do it or not. our Gurus gave us a language of love (Gurbani), not a language of fear and guilt.

    Vaa haii Guuu Ruuu…

  19. Prabhu Singh says:

    Lal Singh, your ignorance is astounding. Who knows better you or the Guru?
    Sikhs are the most modern religion. We are the future. Guru Gobind Singh said that as long as we remain distinct he will give us all his strength and support.
    Why should somebody have to shave their legs to play basketball? Why should anybody fight the nature of the human body? Millions of men wake up in the morning and scrape razors across their face, and God puts a beard back on their face by 5:00 PM. The darkness of their consciousness allows them to fight the will of God in a daily, senseless act. God gave hair to us for a reason. Why do people spend time cutting, removing, altering, piercing, painting their bodies? Service of the Ego is generally the reason. Sikhs are modern, we serve God and reject the harmful practices of body altercation for personal glorification.
    Sikhs don’t carry regular knives and swords. Sikhs wear the kirpan, which is the bringer of grace and honor. Should we simply bend over and take it, when somebody tries to stick it to us? How about when you see somebody in need, should you run and hide, or will you see your kirpan and remember that it is the duty of every Sikh to defend the weak and live righteously.
    You said change with the times or the times will change you. Our Gurus gave us a perfect Dharma to remain immortal! Khalsa Akal Purakh Ki Fauj! Why should I accept the weakness and failings of modern society when my beloved Gurus sacrificed every single thing to give me and the whole world perfection?

  20. Satwinder Singh says:

    Prabhu Veer jee,

    i am so delighted to read your response, May guru jee bless all of us with understanding that life of khalsa is 100% perfect, and if there is any imperfection that only lies in our understanding of it. We often start questioning the relevance of khalsa's life style whenever we try to blend into modern society. rather than taking proud in our identity, we start developing inferiority compflex of various sorts, which is sad.

    we should remeber our dasmesh pita jee de bachan, and should practice khalsa jeveen with pride.

    Satwinder Singh

    Ireland.

  21. Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!!

    Thank you all for your feedback and Thanks especially to Gurumustuk Singh for reposting my entree on his blog. It’s so great to be connected to the Global Sikh community at large and to be able to have this open dialog. I had meant to participate in this conversation more actively, but I’ve been so busy all weekend. So many issues have been touched upon and I’d like to comment on a few of them.

    I agree whole heartedly with Ravinder Singh that we as Sikhs are headed in the right direction, and even though there is a lot of injustice and exclusion going on, I think there are enough of us that understand the true spirit of Khalsa that positive change is inevitable.

    Perfections is the ideal and it means almost the same thing as Khalsa or (purity). And I don’t think think it just applies to Sikhism. I beleive that it is attainable through any faith if practised as it was intended with love, devotion and acceptance, although Sikhism makes it so easy since we have the Siri Guru. We as as humans, whether as indiduals or as an institution have the capacity for inperfection and even coruption and I agree in the importance for the individual to find the truth withing themselves using the tools and wisdom given to us by Guru Ji and the support of the Sadh Sangat. rkaur really put it quite eloquently.

    I think my friend’s family’s warriness of organized religion stems from how much corruption, injustice, and violence that has happened in the past in the name of Religion. Sikhism of course can not be blamed for other faiths giving religion in general a bad name, but I still feel it is our resposibility to create more awareness as to how all inclusive and universal the Sikh teachings really are and to also stem the relatively small amount of corruption that has managed to work it’s way into some Gurduaras. The Shabd and the Naad is our Guru and whatever we can do to serve and spread this powerful technology is great. I definitely agree that Naad can be foud out side of the Siri Guru Granth. Motzart especially is known for it’s power in enhancing one’s learing ability. One thing that the Sikh teachings has the western music doesn’t is the power of the spoken word and how, buy reciting Guru’s Bani, the toungue actually moves across the roof of the mouth in the perfect combinations to actually help reprogram our minds to positively change our projection and state of mind.

    In refernce to the issue regarding Kesh, I have heard that many profesional swimmers (even men) will shave their whole bodies to reduce resistence, but really I think it just makes them feel slicker and is purely pshychological. Long hair can get in they way while smimming of course, but it can be easily contoled with a swim cap or even just having it tied up or back tightly. The technology and value of uncut hair is very powerful for those who choose to take advantage of it. It conducts energy, it helps balance out our sun and moon centers, and I’ve even heard that shaving leg hair somehow depletese your spinal fluid.

    We have such an amazing technology in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib on how to live a ritous and meaning full life in God’s Name and by Guru’s Grace. We just need to always remember to keep the Name in our minds and hearts and to recite it everyday.

    I thank you all again for your feedback and insight and I incourage you to continue to visit my blog and I’ll try to keep in touch with all of yours as well. I normally just post recordings of Gurubain and other inspiring music and limit what I say to discriptions of the music. I really feel that’s where’s it at. The Shabd Guru speaks for itself and if one can learn to meditate on the Naam and reach Ang Sang Wahe Gure then all will be clear and words will be unnessary.

    Sat Nam
    Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.

  22. Jasmit Kaur says:

    waheguru ji ki khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh

    mr lal i think ur very ignorant.
    u need 2 open ur mind a bit. hair is a gift 4rom god. if it wasnt supposed 2 b on our bodies it wudnt b there. Now wat would we women achieve from cuttin our hair, shving our legs a waxing our arms? NOTHING! our minds are constantly roaming and we end up sitting in pools of kam krod lob moh ahankarr. part of our duty is to keep our kesh, and keep it healthy. if u cnt c the importance of kesh in sikhi then u need to go n take a loooooooooooooong read of the guru granth sahib jee. As a sighny i feel that this issues is a very hott potato. so in the future think about what u say before u do.

    waheguru ji ki khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh

  23. GS says:

    I have some elementry knowledge of scriptures of other religions and their basic concepts. As a Guru Ka Sikh I have full respect for their beliefs although I dont agree with them.
    But Sikhism is truly unique. Guru Granth Sahib, its compositions and its message of equality and brotherhood of mankind is absolutely amazing. I have given translation of Ashtpadi 8 in Sukhmani Sahib about the defination of Brahmgyani or “GOD CONSCIOUS PERSON” to my non-Sikh friends and they have been highly impressed. The Gurus have demonstrated those ideals in a practical way by including hymn of Hindu and Muslim saints in Guru Granth Sahib and by an other unique Sikh institution of Langar where every one irrespective of caste, creed, race, religion and nationality is welcomed with open arms.

    NYT’s art critic recently wrote ” Sikhism was designed as an open door universalist religion” and he is wonder stuck by Guru Granth sahib’s spirtually exalted poetry.

    If some Sikhs do not follow the Guru’s message or get in to rituals, or otherwise are corrupted and are phony….it is not the fault of the religion and its beautiful principals but that of the hypocracy of that individuals

    Finally I am highly impressed by Prabhu Singh who seems to have truly understood the message of the Gurus.

  24. s singh says:

    Wahe Guru ji ki Khalsa Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh,

    This is the first time I have read this blog/ writing to it. I am thankful to all the Sikhs who have put in their valuable time in making it a success.

    I am a Sikh- very Proud to be one, unfortunatenly I am not a full khalsa- though I would like to be one. I do not profess to know a lot about my religion, however I am writing in response to the two mail, what I think & presume to be correct. I may be totally wrong- please correct me.
    First the mail by Bhai Sahib Sat Darshan Singh Khalsa ji:-
    The Sikh religon ( Probably the only one) does not discriminate on Race, Religion, Gender or Crede.
    Any one who is physically clean (that is why we have sarovers to bathe in at almost all the Gurudara), who is knoledgeable about the Guru Granth Sahib ( be able to read it correctly ) & is normal (not under intoxions)is permitted to do sewa of reciting the Guru Granth Sahib Jee. The sewa of shabd kirtan is much lower in the ladder, hence no granthi is/ can say no to a non sikh. Khalasa Ji was created by the Tenth Lord, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Jee, before that all were only sikhs many Hindoos or Muslims. More over the foundation stone of the Darbar sahib ( The Holiest of the Holy Sikh Gurudawars) was laid by a Muslim Saint. Of all the religions only the Sikh religion is designed to have Four doors in our gurudwaras, one in each direction & are never to be locked, any one can come to pray any time of the day & night.
    Lastly , The Tenth Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Jee did away with the custom of costodians (MAHANTS) of the gurudwaras who wanted to run the place according to their own rules and not as per Sikh rehat.He allowed ordinary people to carry out the SEWA.
    Lastly quite a few places where Shri Guru Granth Sahib is enthrowned may not be a Gurudwara Sahib but a private place- they will follow their own customs. For a place to be called a Gurudawa Sahib, there has to be the Nishan Sahib, The Symbol of Sikh Religion-The Sikh Flag. Once the Nishan Sahib is installed the place is designated as a Sikh Gurudawar Sahib & is open to all public- not to sikhs alone. Ofcourse one has to follow certain rules & restrictions- no Tabaco, no drugs etc.

    Secondly to Mr / Ms Lal Singh. Since he Lal Singh is more concerned about shaved legs I am no sure IF to to address him/ her as it is a fasion amongst Rajput Girls of Indian orign to write Singh after their name. Some Sikh Ladies have also mistakenly started writing this as their last name since their husbands wrote Singh as their last name. This is more of a western style where we have first name , middle name & last name.
    Lal Singh jee writes:-
    1. “Hey ladies you were told not to shave your body by our religion. So I ask you how the heck are you going to compete with the basketball team, the tennis team, the swimming team when you can not shave your legs?” I did not know that there was any mandatory rule / regulation that only women with shaved legs are permitted to participate. -hairy legs are not very attractive so shave them. My mother is also not attractive lady so I adopt a film heroine as my mother. Why are we ashmed of what we are, or how we look.
    2. “THey our laws were established over 500 years ago”. The American constitution is pretty old. Should we change it. Lal jee some of the Indian Land Revenue Laws were writen by Sher Shah Suri in 14th Century & are still in practice. Even the British could not find any better laws to replace them.
    CAN YOU FIND BETTER LAWS TO REPLACE THE SIKH LAWS ? Please enlighten us all!

    SS

  25. Kirpal says:

    Mr Lal ( How can I call you Singh?- according you may it is not relavant today)

    I am really offeneded by your comment- How women are going to compete in Basketball, swimming, and tennis if they shave their legs ( Which good book has this rule in it that says women perform better in basketball, swimming, and tennis if they shave their legs). You need strength, determination, and didication to excell in sports ( not shaved legs). I wonder if this rule ( the one you mentioned) also applies to men?
    What is your definition of “belief” in Gurus. Probably twisting rehat to fit your whims.
    Khalsa is pure and immortal- so there is no reason for me to beleive times will change us. I will suggest that you take time everyday to understand Gurubani. Only than you can understand the why Khalsa is pure.

  26. ria says:

    I am sad that like most other faiths, some sikhs are becoming narrow minded when it comes to explaining reasons for having uncut hair. Biologically hair is one of the skin appendages just like our nails. If one can cut nails then why not hair. We want to convince others it is wrong to cut hair by giving misleading explanations.
    Surely it was an identity given to sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This was a historical event and preserved by sikhs.Sikhism is a way of life. It is based on nothing other than logic. Once we try to explain things illogically we expose ourselves to weakneses and undermines the real message of Gurus and their teachings. Remember Guru Nanak said there is god in each one of us.We have same flesh, blood and feelings. That is why we are prepared to accept someone else`s blood and organs regardless of that person being Christian,Hindu Muslim when our lives are at risk.
    We are all humans and worshipping humanity above one`s religion is greatest as we are all created by the Almighty.

  27. Jaspreet Singh says:

    WJKK WJKF,

    The comments here on the blog regarding KESH are no different from what rages on in the real world of Sikhs today.

    I have come across people who have even commented that they are Guru Nanak’s Sikh and do not believe in the philosophy of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. They believe in the teachings of SGGS Ji. Every time I hear this rather than feeling angry, a feeling of sympathy towards such people grows within me and I smile back at them. I feel sympathetic as they havent received “GURPARSAD”, ie the GURU’s grace yet, and I hope and pray they receive it in this lifetime.

    The level of ignorance is so high that they expose the duality within themselves though their own comments. Firstly by considering Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s and Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s philosophies different they are ignoring the concept of EK JOT that changed physical bodies from Guru Nanak Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji and now resides in the SGGS Ji. Secondly though they don’t believe in Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s philosophy they still add “Singh” and “Kaur” to their names. They also claim they believe in the teaching of SGGS Ji, ignoring the fact the it was Guru Gobind Singh Ji who gave a Command – “HUKAM” saying “GURU MANYO GRANTH”. This is how the duality of what they say and practice is exposed.

    For those who believe nails and hair are the same thing. I would like to put forward my understanding (mind you with no hope of changing the world or any one individual for that matter, coz only the GURU can do that). My understanding is that the Gurus never instructed us to keep relationship with something that was dead, meaning don’t go and bow and cemeteries or give water to the sun so that it reaches the dead and many other such activities prevelant at that time. You need to respect what is alive. If you don’t respect your parents while they are alive and then do many Akhand Paths and Langars after they are gone its plainly useless. So basically respect living things.

    The same applies to hair and nail. The part of the nails that we cut is that part which is dead (dead cell), I don’t know if someone prefers removing entire nails everytime they sit down to cut it. who would do it? it would hurt apart from bleeding. Why not experiment doing this? after all don’t people do the same with hair when they go clean-shave or Bald?

    Just like we don’t remove entire nails and only the dead part Guru Ji applied the same philosophy to hair and so among the 5K’s if he gave us KESH, he also gave us a KANGA with the instruction of combing our KESH twice daily.

    Now on one hand Guru Ji instructed us not to remove KESH but he also instructed us to comb twice, and we are all aware each time you comb some hair gets removed. SO did Guru Ji contradict himself? Simply not. The KANGA was given to care for KESH and just as with nails (where the dead part is removed) the KANGA would remove the dead hair on combing.

    So if nails and hair are same why not next time try going clean-shaven with nails also?, ie remove them entirely. Some people say why not chop your arms if you want to do that with your hair, I wouldn’t say that coz arms can’t grow back but nails can, so why not try removing nails completely?

    Bhul Chuk Maaf,
    Jaspreet

  28. Ravinder Singh says:

    I think we are missing the main point but it appears to be hidden in the emails. There is no pressure to wear the 5 k’s, an individual will come to an understanding about the 5 k’s and each might find their own benefit of wearing the 5 k’s but all points are well worth considering and sharing. At the end of the day we are all part of human kind and the more we share with each other what benefits it brings to us the more we can appreciate each other and love each other, as Sikh’s we should unite in our love and accept our small differences and they are very small differences in all honesty.

    I of course believe wearing the 5 k’s gives you an identity as a Sikh and a responsibility in itself along with repecting the Guru’s as they are the one’s who taught us this amazing truth. If it was not for them we would probably still be wondering around aimlessly in what we call life..

    So love and accept all. Having kesh gives us an identity and responsibility, once you have accepted both aspects you will respect and understand each other, so there is no point in infighting.

    Be at peace with yourself and others, love all and find devotion in compassion and love for all humankind..

  29. parminder says:

    I respectively disagree with the article and think the Gurudwaras for once are doing the right thing. The Rehit Maryda clearly prohibits non-Sikhs sitting or preaching from a Gurudwara stage. Sikhi is at a stage were there are many that want to destroy or degrade its message if we begin to allow non-sikhs speaking from stages what’s to stop those who in Punjab are today trying to merge sikhi with other faiths such as Hinduism.

    The question then arises that we should not let these people on the stage but those who do not try to damage Sikhi should be allowed onto the stages. But the because Sikhi clearly accepts all faiths are paths to the same one God and all men are equal how could be possible exclude some people from speaking from the stage but allowing others that would clearly be against the doctrines of Sikhi.

    Therefore the rehit maryda bans all non Sikhs from Gurudwara stages. Its sought of like the anand karag issue. The rehit and sikhi prohibit the anand karag ceremony for interfaith marriages. ONLY two Sikhs can get married in the anand karaj ceremony, even though sikhi accepts all men as equal, because the anand karaj is the fusing of two souls and two souls following different paths are clearly incompatible. I think a good point of discussion therefore arises is what is and what should be in the rehit because clearly as long as it is in place every Gurudwara must follow it. I look forward to your views – respectfully UK

  30. g says:

    Parminder,

    I strongly disagree with all of your comments:

    1) Actually, sikh themselves have and are damaging sikh religion more than people belonging to other religions. See the history and facts. Second, point the people who wanted to take the advantage of sikhi dharma grow their beards and begin wearing turbans and become secetaries of sikh temples. I think the problem lies with our community more than other communities.

    2) “You said that only sikhs should be allowed for anand karaj” Then the marriages of our Guruji’s starting from Guru Nanak dev ji upto tenth Guruji should be considered invalid ACCORDING to your views, Because none of their wives at those times were full rehyat khalsa yet!

    Anyone who is a sikh has his or her personal relationship with Guru ji and God, no other person can dictate another person to make choices or how to live life. If someone has taken Amrit and have become Khalsa then their thinking should be at that particular level which Guru Gobind Singh ji demands, Not what our mind thinks is right for others.

    For instance: Sikhism has many levels just like school Grade one to Grade 12. People in grade one should work towards higher levels without making judgments on people who belong to higher grade. And People who have taken Amrit should try to make path easier for others who are still traveling towards to their destiny of becoming khalsa. So, lets stop Judging each other on, how to do this or that.

    Again, Every person has a personal relationship with Guruji and let Guru himself decide who is at higher level, NOT US

    Sorry, dear friend. Sikhism stands on different foundation and we are misinterpeting and distroying the essence of sikhism.

    I think people like me and others who have distorted the vision of Guru Gobind singh are responsible for damaging our own dharma.

  31. Sifar says:

    For Lal jee and likes Satguru tell us one thing… “Murkhe Nal Na Lughiyee…”

  32. parminder says:

    Dear g,

    Thank you for your views you really made me think

    However the issue regarding Anand Karag, is not looking at the validity of external marriages. It is true that if someone who is not a Sikh later converts to the faith they DO NOT have to go through the Anand Karag as their marriage is seen as valid. The biography of Professor Sahib Singh (who coincidently coming from a Hindu background wrote the BEST translation of SGGS Ji) is probably the clearest example. The issue of Anand Karaj is the joining of two souls which he Panth feels is impossible between two people following 2 separate distinct paths. (coincidently the best story I have ever read and the one that helped me understand most the power of gurbani and how it relates to the world was the how the marriage ceremony of Guru Nanak actually happened, I recommend everybody reads it)

    Anyway I would like to just go off the point and following your view of opening (as I understand it, sorry if its wrong) if we were to open the Anand Karaj ceremony and relating back to the topic as a whole looking at the equality of all men where would you say Sikhi stands on the issue of conducting the Anand Karaj ceremony between a homosexual couple. How far is equality to go? (this is the next big issue as I see it especially in UK and we have been discussing it in Gurmat classes for quiet a while not without coming to any real consensus)

  33. g says:

    Parminder,

    You have brought up very sensitive issue; according to the norms set by society or dictated by other religions. Where does this hate comes from definitely not from God but from people themselves.

    However, this issue can be resolved if we understand the depths of Sikhism. The answers lie in the history as well as the philosophy of Sikhism according to Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    We need to understand that at the times of Guru Nanak dev ji society had its norms set by the priests or according to their religions. Guruji always rejected purposeless rituals both in hindu and muslim religions, because these two religions were predominate in that region during those times. Important thing to realize is that Guru ji never rejected human beings but only to their rituals, which were done to impress the society and families nothing beyond it. True love was missing towards God and people had failed to see the same light of God in other people ( same problem exists today). The entire history of all Guru ji it clearly shows that they have put all the weight on love and service. The astonishing point of love that Guru Gobind singh ji showed when Six members of his family were murdered along with countless khalsa. Six members of his family would be Ninth Guruji, Four sons, and his mother at the end himself. Even after losing all six family members when Guru ji was approached by son of Aurangzeb for help Guru ji only show his prayers and request, and guess what Guru Gobind Singh ji marched along with his son in the battle….

    The point in the above paragraph is that we need to Truly realize that God’s light exists in every human being regardless of their religion, caste, class, color or bonding.

    Second, point to realize is that the Guru Granth Sahib is written from a female’s perspective. Where God is considered husband of our soul, also a friend, beloved, father and mother. We need to accept and understand deeply this point. ( why in female perspective, well that’s another essay)

    Therefore, we need to realize that our soul has no gender as well as God has no gender. Soul can be considered as a light form. That’s why our soul can emerge with God at the end, but only by his grace. If our soul has no gender then when we love someone (heterosexual relationships) actually we are in love with that genderless soul. Its true that our soul is put into different shells. Sikhism is not about individual shells but its all about soul. That’s why we need to see same light in all.

    But our understanding is just limited to the shell or what the norms were created by other religions centuries ago. That’s why our understanding has been polluted and we rush to a judgment on every occasion. We are more driven by our emotions and norms than the understandings.

    If every human being regardless of their outer shell has same genderless soul then does it makes a difference if a Man loves a shell of a Female or the other way. We just see the shell and run to judgment of disgust.

    Now, people are going to claim that its not natural. Loving someone is not natural? We need to respect other people’s choices as long as they are law abiding.

    What gives us the right to deny these people that they cannot be accepted in the court of God? Why we keep on judging others all of our life time and spend no time judging ourselves and how can we serve every human being respectfully and leave this judgment to God.

    I think the main problem in this world is not drugs but judging other people and then try to force our individual choices on them. The way to live, the way dress , the way to love, the way to be married etc…..

    My understanding is that only Sikhism will embrace people from different paths regardless of their backgrounds, and will show a clear path how to Love God in the same congregation of the Khalsa……

    my brief thoughts……….

  34. Jaskooner Singh says:

    The Guru Granth Sahib and the Khalsa are for everyone and its is sad that one particular ethnic group is mistakingly trying to associate itself exclusively with the Sikh message. The only thing comparable to it is the idea that the Muslim Ummah is beyond caste and nation but once one converts they then find that they also have to become an Arab now to also be a muslim. It is pertinent to note that in Islam 80% of muslims are not Arab. In our case the majority of Sikhs are of Punjabi origin and most likely of the jat tribe. ( I am a jat)

    In my local Gurudwara one is not allowed to have a marriage ceremony if one is marrying someone of european origin even if they profess the sikh faith. It is very insular.

    I would advise that the number of ignorant people is vast and you must not get mired down in them or they will defeat your noble purpose by sheer entropy. Just run faster and you can easily leave them behind. What I mean is that you must make the sikh message your own.

  35. uttam singh says:

    Thank you G for your comments. I love the way you explain the ganderless soul. It is sad some humans do discriminate and justify their discrimination with rationality. In our Gurudwara, in Edmonton, interfaith marriages have taken place. I love my faith and I am blessed to be a sikh.

  36. Dr Sandeep Singh says:

    Hair – A Divine Gift

    The essential five external Sikh-Symbols (5 Ks) are a unique gift to a Sikh from the Great Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and a baptised Amrit-Dhari Sikh should, under no circumstances, willingly part company with any of them. Among four prohibitions (Kureht) removal of Kesh (hair) is the most significant. To keep hair intact is the first and the foremost duty of a Sikh. The Guru gave paramount importance to Kesh as is apparent from the fact that in the sweet memory of First Sikh Amrit (Baptism) Ceremony of Five Beloved Ones, the relevant place at Anandpur Sahib was named Kesh-Garh.
    The Sikh Panth are proud of one of their great sons, Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh Jee, who lived a life of a true Gursikh and suffered every hardship in the true sense of a determined and completely dedicated Sikh of modern times in treading the path shown by the Gurus. He sang Akhand Kirtan and loved Gurbani from the inner depths of his heart. His viewpoint on the basic and fundamental question of Kesh (uncut hair) is best described in the dialogue between him (Bhai Sahib) and the prison Superintendent at Nagpur Prison, where he spent 7 ½ years out of his life-imprisonment because he had taken active part in the National Freedom Movement during the first quarter of the 20th century. The dialogue makes an interesting reading strictly from religious point of view. It reveals the deep faith Bhai Sahib held and sustained in the supreme Will of the Karta Purkh (God, the Creator) and the acceptance of God’s gift of Kesh, without meddling with it in any form. Bhai Sahib\’s writing on the subject from his book entitled \”Letters from Prison\”, our younger Sikhs will, by reading through this, further strengthen their faith in one of the most prominent symbols of Sikh Dharma.

    Part One
    Is it necessary to keep a full-length hair intact?
    (A Dialogue between Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji and the Prison-Superintendent Mr. Gupta at Nagpur prison.)

    One day, it so happened that the Prison Officer bought a poor quality and a cheap brand of hair-oil for our use while in prison. I refused to accept it, and asked him to get a better quality hair-oil in replacement. I had already washed my hair with a strong soap, which had made my hair very rough and dry. I was to comb my hair only after it had been softened with hair-oil in order to avoid damage to it. Without combing hair, I was not going to take my meals. The Prison Officer, jailer and other staff with the exception of the new Prison-Superintendent, knew well about my problem.
    I had washed my hair early morning, mid-day came and passed and it was now late afternoon; nobody bothered to supply me requisite hair-oil. As a result of their negligence, I had to go without lunch and supper as well. Next morning it was Sunday and the Prison-Officer did not turn up on duty and the Prison- Superintendent usually stayed away on Sundays. On the third day, the Superintendent kept himself busy inspecting another section of the jail and nobody bothered to enquire about me. Everybody, perhaps, took it as a trifling matter and nobody brought me good quality hair-oil. The Prison-Superintendent knew nothing about it at all.
    On the fourth day, when the Superintendent was on a round to our ward, the Prison-Officer and others joined hands to complain against me telling him that, under protest, I had been on hunger strike for the last four days. The helpless yet kind Superintendent came to see me and the succeeding dialogue commenced between us.
    Prison Superintendent: Well, Randhir Singh! Ever since I have taken over here in this prison, this is the first time that someone has bothered and harassed me with a protest in the form of a hunger-strike. Why haven’t you taken anything for so many days and why have you made me carry the burden of it all?
    Myself: Good Sir, I haven’t done anything to make you feel the burden of my not eating anything for the last four days, nor have I harassed you in any manner. It just happened that I had washed my hair four days ago and I could not obtain proper hair-oil for my use. Had I known that I was not likely to get proper hair-oil, I would not have washed my hair with caustic soap on that day. After washing hair with caustic soap, hair becomes rough, dry and entangled, and unless hair-oil is applied, combing of hair becomes rather impossible. Hair-oil softens the hair and they do not suffer from dropping off or breaking off during combing process. We, the Sikhs, have a strict religious order to comb our hair twice a day and we are forbidden to eat with our hair uncombed. So I could not eat anything out of respect for my religious commandments. It is not correct to say that I resorted to this as protest to your authority.
    On hearing this, the kind-hearted Superintendent got very much displeased with his prison-staff and Asked them why he was not informed of this problem earlier. He immediately ordered for a good quality hair-oil. Within half an hour good quality oil was brought and the Superintendent himself came and while handing it over to me he said very humbly, \”Please forgive me, you had to suffer this trouble undeservedly because of my unawareness and absence. I should have respected your religious sentiments. I am sorry for what has happened this time. I promise it won\’t happen again.\”
    Myself: Thank you very much. The fact is that both in the prison department and in other government departments, sense of responsibi1ity and integrity have vanished and the employees in general have become selfish and dishonest. The prison store-men buy the cheapest items for prisoners and charge the highest price from the government. Nobody bothers to investigate, especially in a prison. The poor prisoners cannot dare make complaint, and even if they do, no one listens to them. I have had bitter experience during my prison sentence. There is a lot of mean-ness going on. There are only eight political and criminal Sikh prisoners in this prison. They would need hardly one large bottle of coconut oil for their use throughout the month, but these people depict such mean-ness that they bring the poorest quality oil and in this way, they cheat the government and exploit the poor prisoners.
    The prison Superintendent listened to this all and accepted the criticism of the misdeeds of prison management. He assured me that he’d be taking steps to remedy these shortcomings. Then, all of a sudden, he raised a question and asked me, \’IS IT NECESSARY TO KEEP LONG HAIR?’
    Myself: Is it necessary to keep the head on the human body?
    Supdt: The body cannot survive without the head.
    Myself: If, however, it could survive, would you be willing to get rid of it? (If the body could survive without the head, would you remove the head?)
    Supdt: The head is more important and is an integral part of the body. With the head the body becomes complete and without the head, body cannot survive at all.
    Myself: Have you placed the head on your body yourself?
    Supdt: No, God has placed it there.
    Myself: Undoubtedly God has placed the head on your body. If, however, it were placed by you, perhaps, you could afford to remove it as an unwanted burden.
    Supdt: Of course. But how can we remove or afford to get rid of something given to us by God?
    Myself: Well, suppose, if someone removes that God-given head from the body, what would you call that person?
    Supdt: Undoubtedly, he would be called a tyrant, oppressor, murderer and an assassin.
    Myself: If someone asks you questions as to why you have kept a head on your body, what will you think of him?
    Supdt: It would be a sheer stupidity on the part of the questioner.
    Myself: Just the way, our heads are placed on our bodies by the Creator Himself, the same way, the hair on my head and yours as well, have been grown by the same God – the Creator. Therefore, your question regarding keeping of long hair is irrelevant in itself, because it is not I who has grown it there, but the hair is God\’s gift. Just as the head on the body is God\’s special gift, so is the hair given by Him. It is our first and foremost duty to look after the hair (God\’s gift) as we would like to look after and protect our head. Those who do not maintain God-given gift on the head, (cut off or completely shave off their hair), are, in my well-considered view, ungrateful and disloyal to the supreme will of God. I consider them murderers.
    Supdt: No, they cannot be called so, you can give them some other name, because in cutting hair no blood is spilt.
    Myself: You mean if blood is spilt, then alone it can be called a murder or assassination. What if someone is strangled to death? Would you still not declare it a murder, because in strangling a person, no blood is spilt, though death does occur? It is no use indulging in verbal arguments. You know very well that in certain methods of murder, not even a drop of blood is allowed to spill. Would you not call perpetrators of these crimes as murderers? If not, what else will you call them?
    Part Two
    Supdt: Excuse me, the head when once chopped off renders the body dead and the head does not grow again. But on the other hand the hair completely shorn off or hair cut short start growing again. There is a world of difference between the two instances.
    Myself: Do you believe in re-incarnation or transmigration of the soul?
    Supdt: Yes, I do.
    Myself: Nobody dies even after death, because the soul migrates. Those who kill others cannot kill their souls. The soul cannot die and it continues to take new births. The attempt to kill a soul goes in vain. There can be no success in doing this. In the same way, the effort of those who cut or shave their hair time and again, goes futile because the shaven or cut hair continue to grow again and again, the same way as the soul of a killed or dead person takes birth again and again. The difference, however, is only this that the soul moves on from one life to another and the killer or the murderer does not realise it, but the hair continue to grow until death of the person.
    Persistent growth of hair acts as a rebuff to the efforts of the shaver. The way in which the life-spark of a soul exists in the total life-spark of God, the same way, the life-spark in the hair continues to exist in the life-spark of the human body until its (body\’s) complete destruction. It is very important that each hair on human head and on the entire body should be kept intact, because these are created there by God – our Creator. The hair on our head and body grow to such length as is needed by the physiology and biology of each individual body according to God\’s plan. The hair grows to certain length and then stops growing further naturally. Any attempt to undo the Creator\’s work by either trying to artificially make hair grow thicker and longer or get rid of it is our folly and also against the Law of God. Women do not have hair on the face. Any human attempt to grow it there would not succeed. Similarly, to cut hair from the head is also sheer folly. God – the Creator, has given beards to men but they shave them every day and try to look like women. But Nature does not let them do so. They shave but Nature administers a snub to them every morning by letting it grow again. The shavers receive double blow, one from the shaving blade and the other from Nature when every morning new beard comes out in defiance of their intentions. But they do not wake up to the ultimate Reality. Women as well suffer humility when they try to cut their hair and look like men by imitating them in this mad pursuit. Both male and female have gained absolutely nothing from this pursuit.
    The question should have been \”Why Nature\’s gift (Hair) should not be left intact on the head and elsewhere and why should it be cropped?\” But, surprisingly, questions are asked the other way. The stark reality is that there is an overwhelming majority of people who defy the Divine because of this habit inherited from others through centuries and have mistaken the shaven face and shorn hair as a natural form. The reason is that, in the world, there are so few and so rare people who stick to and are consistent with the Eternal Law of Nature. When any person from big nations of the world chances to have a glance at a Sikh in natural form, he wonders at the latter\’s completely natural face and asks the question: \”Is it necessary to keep hair intact?\” In his ignorance he forgets that hair like other limbs of the body is part and parcel of the human body. A Sikh would never allow a single hair to be removed from his body because he bows to God\’s Law, he understands that hair growth has a purpose behind it and believes it a sin to do otherwise; just as a doctor would not advise to close a pore on the body.
    This is a very complex question you have raised. Volumes can be written on this topic. We do not have enough time at our disposal to do full justice to the discussion on the sanctity of our hair. Those who raise such objections are usually Arya Samajists. Are you not prejudiced like them?
    Supdt: (Smiling) No, I am not that much of an Arya Samajist, though, to some extent I am inclined towards Arya Samaj beliefs and practices. But I have asked this question to you just spontaneously. Even though you have used some very blunt epithets but I have, all the same, liked the line of your argument. A lot of my misconceptions and suspicions have vanished now.
    When you leave jail, I wish you would write a detailed book on the philosophy of hair and propagate it throughout the world in all languages. Your argument that in cropping hair or shaving beards people just follow suit, like the movement of an individual sheep in a flock, has impressed me. All of our rishies, sages and prophets in the ancient times, were kesbadharis (with natural hair), which means they kept their hair intact. There is evidence that up to Maha Bharat times all Khatries, Brahmins and religious leaders used to have long hair intact. In old Hindu books and scriptures it is written down how ignoble it was to cut hair and it was, in fact one of the seven punishments under the then state law. Lord Krishna, our Avtar, substituted cutting off hair of Rukmani\’s brother Rukman for death sentence in pursuance of her appeal to save his life. Rukman was so angry with this. He was so much grieved that he called his sister his enemy, because it was she who had recommended the cutting off his hair. Rukman himself thought that this punishment was worse than the death sentence. I value your viewpoint, you are really a Singh with high ideals, Sardar Randhir Singh! No other Singh has ever convinced me like this. A grain of cogent argument is more than sufficient for a seeker after truth.
    Well, time has passed so quickly. Let us leave it there. Namaste. We will see to the rest later on.
    Myself: Sat Sri Akal. \’Later on\’, surely does not so easily.
    To be honest, occasion to continue that dialogue \’later on’ never arrived again, but that prison Superintendent struck me as a very kind and a thoughtful person.

  37. Dr Sandeep Singh says:

    There is a beautiful line in Guru Granth-
    “GURMUKH ROM ROM HAR DHIAVEY”
    One who is gurmukh every hair vibrates with divine name of lord.

    what do you say about this “G”?There is a higher spiritual stage where you enjoy the every hair becoming Tongue- vibrating with divine name.

  38. Jakob says:

    This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title The World is Sound. Thanks for informative article