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2019-03-16 13:28:04 -0600 answered a question Confused about whether I must keep my hair

I am not exactly privy as to why Guru Gobind Singhji commanded sikhs to adhere to the 5 ks. It may be so that the geo-political situations of the time necessitated sporting a beard and turban to distinctly identify sikhs as a community or for sikhs to wear drawers or carry combs for the sake of hygeine in case of the nihangs involved in guerilla warfare. The only symbolic element among the 5 is the karha, which duely reminds one of the perpetuality of life. Besides this the 5 ks have only further institutionilzed our religion. Sikhism was not supposed to be a religion. It was a philosphy, a way of life, a collection of poems and hyms in the praise of God and principles on leading a good, honourable and magnanimous life. Never did Guru Nannak Ji envisage the establishment of a religion. One that is so replete with ceremonies, symbols, and stringent customs. What the great and noble Guru Gobind Singhji proclaimed vis a vis the 5 ks has unmistakably lost significance and the pragmatic need in this age. I am sure our guru did not vouch for long hair with the intent of demarcating our folks. He was well above such material desires. Howbeit the turban has existed for good and can be embraced for the sake of attaining a sense of belongingness among our people. Nevertheless, the idea of having a haircut being forbidden is unsound. I infer that having wearing hair signifies detachment from the material; quite the contrary to that, it sounds like sporting a turban is a mark of vanity in itself and prohibition on removal of hair is draconian.

My message to modern sikhs is to be cosmopolitans. Don't see sikhism exclusively as your religion, whereas, learn from all the religions around you(even from the ones which aren't doing so well publicly). The purpose of religion is spiritualism : an extremely unitary and individual experience. Don't be dragged into the rules and customs of social religion. Such customs are only material. Rather focus on the symbolism, deep meanings and principles enunciated in sikhism inter alia.

Be good, do harm to none, speak ill of none, think badly of none, don't trespass into other's privacy, dont envy others, love everyone around you, love the creator and his creations(which are both the same), help the needy, be humble, lead a life of honesty and sincerity, be true to yourself, never seek indulgence, thank nature, God, the universe at all times and never forget to apologise if you are in the wrong. God bless. Sat naam-Waheguru.