Why Do People Wear Turbans?
The question comes up many times of why some people wear a turban. The turban actually goes back towards the times of the Guru. It is part of Indian heritage and history. Certainly, by the time of Guru Hargobind Ji, the turban became part of who the Indian people are. During that time, if you remember your history, India was occupied by the Mughal Empire, so they were actually the rulers. The people of the north, the Punjabis, were an occupied territory. Only the rulers were allowed to wear turbans, so when Guru Hargobind wore a turban and two swords, he actually took the stand of making the declaration that we are our own rulers. So, by wearing our turban even today, that’s our statement: that we are our own rulers we’re sovereign in our in our own being.
During the time of Guru Gobind Singh, the turban also played a big role. The turban was the exclusive recognizable path, and Guru Gobind Singh said, “If you walk this recognizable path, I will give you all of my energy; all of my strength.” So, the turban is the most recognizable path, as you are in a crowd of people they may not even know who you are, but they know what you are because of your turban.
The turban also plays an important role in protecting the kesh; the long, uncut hair. Guru Gobind Singh said that of all the Five Kakaars, the kesh was the one he loved the most, and this is because the kesh is a conductor of spiritual energy, bringing strength and energy into everything that we do. So, the turban protects the long, uncut hair that we wear coiled in a knot on our head. It protects the most sensitive area, our dasam duar—our crown chakra—which is the top of our head and is a very important spiritual center of our body.
A Sikh man must wear a turban when they have their hair So, obviously it’s important, it’s the rehat to keep the kes and dastaar for the Singh. But when it comes to women, the Sikh Rehat Maryada which is agreed with the Akaal Takhat says that it is optional for women. Now some people believe that it isn’t optional, you should standout, and I can understand that sentiment because Guru Ji’s given us this robe in order for us to stand out. Now if you don’t wear a turban, Sikh women in the old days used to have their hair up. They never used to have it open, they used to have it tied up and have it covered with some kind of patka. So, in either case a Sikh should keep their head covered if they can, and a Sikh should try and keep their hair up rather than flopping around where someone could just come and grab it, but these kinds of things, they’re kind of like people are nitpicking sometimes.
Actually, the essence is even if someone’s got a turban on or not, are they doing Naam. Now a lot of people I’ve known who have come from families that are very strict, who made them keep their turban when they were young, especially the girls, have grown up and they’ve cut it or they’ve taken it off. And some people have kept it from families that haven’t kept theirs. So, what we should do is not worry about this too much we should try and focus upon the Naam part.
Get our kids to understand why Sikh was made. Get our kids to understand why Guru Sahib came upon the earth, why were they sent by Vaheguru upon this earth? What was their mission? Once they understand that, then they can think about whether they want to represent the Khalsa image and stand out because it is a responsibility when you’re standing out the whole time and if we can take that responsibility on, then we should because Maharaj wants people to stand out.
They want them to walk around and say “I am a Khalsa, if you need help ask me”, So the reason for the Khalsa standing out is that, obviously the chunni idea is that women should have a dastaar and a woman wears a chunni then it’s a bit more feminine maybe it’s distinguishing between the men and the women and there is nothing wrong with that. The big thing is that we should be covering our head and in fact, the Rehat Maryada is very clear that no Sikh should sit in Gurdwara with their head uncovered.
Also with the turban, if you are among those who wear turban, you will already know what I’m talking about, those of you who don’t , should try it and see it creates a pressure point on your head which makes you feel contained, makes you feel connected, makes you feel very much in control of your energy, and not scattered or subject to the energies of others. So, the turban does these beautiful saves for us, it gives us our connection to the Guru, it identifies us on the NYADA, it protects our case and it contained their energies. So, why wouldn’t we want to wear a turban and as a woman I’d like to encourage you to try wearing a turban. If you haven’t yet, you don’t need to do it all at once, you can wear it at home, see if you feel the difference and you will feel the difference and when that happens, it will give you the personal understanding to go and try it in public for yourself. So, with that, I’d like to give you your encouragement and to stand tall with the strength of Guru Gobind saying proudly in your turban. Check out why do people believe in religion.