Dastar

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A Dastaar is an item of headgear associated with Sikhism and is an important part of the Sikh culture. Wearing a Sikh turban is mandatory for all Amritdhari (baptized) Sikh men.

Among the Sikhs, the Dastaar is an article of faith that represents honour, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. The Khalsa Sikh men and women, who keep the Five Ks, wear the turban partly to cover their long, uncut hair (kesh). The Khalsa Sikhs regard the Dastaar as an important part of the unique Sikh identity.

The Dastaar has been an important part of the Sikh religion since the time of the First Guru. Guru Angad Dev honoured Guru Amar Das with a special Dastaar when he was declared the next Guru. At the time when Guru Ram Das passed on, Guru Arjan Dev was honoured with the Dastaar of Guruship.

Guru Gobind Singh, the last human Sikh Guru, wrote:

Kangha dono vaqt kar, paag chune kar bandhai.

Comb your hair twice a day and tie your turban carefully, turn by turn.

Significance

The Dastaar is a symbol of spirituality and holiness in Sikhism.

The Dastaar is also a symbol of honour and self-respect. In the Punjabi culture, those who have selflessly served the community are traditionally honoured with turbans.

Piety and moral values

The Dastaar also signifies piety and purity of mind. In the Punjabi society, the Khalsa Sikhs are considered as protectors of the weak, even among the non-Sikhs. In the older times, the Khalsa warriors moved from village to village at night, during the battles. When they needed a place to hide from the enemy, the womenfolk, who had a very high degree of trust in them used to let them inside their houses. It was a common saying in Punjab: Aye nihang, booha khol de nishang The nihangs are at the door. Dear woman! go ahead open the door without any fear whatsoever.

 Sign of Sikhism

Sikh men are easily recognized by their distinctive turbans

The Dastaar is considered an important part of the unique Sikh identity. The bare head is not considered appropriate as per gurbani. If a Sikh wants to become one with his/her Guru, he/she must look like a guru (wear a Dastaar). Guru Gobind Singh stated:

Khalsa mero roop hai khaas. Khalse me hau karo niwas.

Khalsa is a true picture of mine. I live in Khalsa.

Maintaining long hair and tying Dastaar is seen as a token of love and obedience of the wishes of Sikh gurus.

The Dastaar is our Guru’s gift to us. It is how we crown ourselves as the Singhs and Kaurs who sit on the throne of commitment to our own higher consciousness. For men and women alike, this projective identity conveys royalty, grace, and uniqueness. It is a signal to others that we live in the image of Infinity and are dedicated to serving all. The turban doesn’t represent anything except complete commitment. When you choose to stand out by tying your Dastaar, you stand fearlessly as one single person standing out from six billion people. It is a most outstanding act.

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