Friday, September 29, 2017

A reflection on the concept of Jhoot (ਜੂਠ) and Gurmat...

The Sikh Rehat Maryada states:

ਠ) ਤਨਖਾਹੀਏ ਇਹ ਹਨ:-
  1. ਮੀਣੇ, ਮਸੰਦ, ਧੀਰਮੱਲੀਏ, ਰਾਮਰਾਈਏ, ਆਦਿਕ ਪੰਥ ਵਿਰੋਧੀਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਜਾਂ ਨੜੀ ਮਾਰ, ਕੁੜੀ ਮਾਰ, ਸਿਰਗੁੰਮ ਨਾਲ ਵਰਤਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਤਨਖਾਹੀਆ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ |
  2. ਬੇ-ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੀਏ ਜਾਂ ਪਤਿਤ ਦਾ ਜੂਠਾ ਖਾਣ ਵਾਲਾ |
  3. ਦਾਹੜਾ ਰੰਗਣ ਵਾਲਾ |
  4. ਪੁੱਤਰ ਜਾਂ ਧੀ ਦਾ ਸਾਕ ਮੁੱਲ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਜਾਂ ਦੇ ਕੇ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ |
  5. ਕੋਈ ਨਸ਼ਾ(ਭੰਗ,ਅਫੀਮ,ਸ਼ਰਾਬ,ਪੋਸਤ,ਕੁਕੀਨ ਆਦਿ) ਵਰਤਣ ਵਾਲਾ |
  6. ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਤੋਂ ਵਿਰੁੱਧ ਕੋਈ ਸੰਸਕਾਰ ਕਰਨ ਕਰਾਉਣ ਵਾਲਾ |
  7. ਰਹਿਤ ਵਿਚ ਕੋਈ ਭੁੱਲ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ |
q. The following are Tankhaahias (individuals liable for religious disciplinary action involving automatic social boycott): 
  1. Anyone maintaining relations or communion with Meene, Masand, followers of Dheermal or Ram-Rai, or any other anti-Panthic individuals or groups, Narhee-maar (users of tobacco), Kurhee-maar (those who kill or abort their daughter), and Sirgum (one who cuts their hair). 
  2. One who eats the jootth of (i.e. food contaminated by) a non-Amritdhari or Patit (fallen Sikh)
  3. One who dyes their beard
  4. One who marries their son or daughter in exchange for financial gain 
  5. Users of intoxicants (hemp, opium, liquor, narcotics, bhang (marijuana), etc.) 
  6. One holds any ceremonies against Gurmat
  7. One who [knowingly] makes any mistake in Rehat. 


ਜੂਠ (jooth) refers to something that is contaminated or lost its purity (i.e. polluted) through contact. Gurbani defines jooth comes from when one turns their face away from God, i.e. doesn’t follow the instructions of God: 
ਸਲੋਕ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ || ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਰਾਗੀਂ ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਵੇਦੀਂ || 
ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਚੰਦ ਸੂਰਜ ਕੀ ਭੇਦੀ || ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਅੰਨੀ ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਨਾਈ ||
ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਮੀਹੁ ਵਰ੍ਹਿਐ ਸਭ ਥਾਈ || ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਧਰਤੀ ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਪਾਣੀ || 
ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਪਉਣੈ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ || ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਗੁਰਿਆ ਗੁਣੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ || 
ਮੁਹਿ ਫੇਰਿਐ ਮੁਹੁ ਜੂਠਾ ਹੋਇ ||੧||
“Impurity (jooth) does not come from music; impurity does not come from the Vedas. Impurity does not come from the phases of the sun and the moon. Impurity does not come from food; impurity does not come from ritual cleansing baths. Impurity does not come from the rain, which falls everywhere. Impurity does not come from the earth; impurity does not come from the water. Impurity does not come from the air which is diffused everywhere. O Nanak, the one who has no Guru, has no redeeming virtues at all. Impurity comes from turning one's face away from God. ||1||” 
(Saarang M:1, 1240) 

According to Gurbani, the only way to become purified from jooth is receive the Shabad from the Guru, i.e. become initiated on to the path of Naam

ਮਨਿ ਜੂਠੈ ਤਨਿ ਜੂਠਿ ਹੈ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਜੂਠੀ ਹੋਇ || 
ਮੁਖਿ ਝੂਠੈ ਝੂਠੁ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਸੂਚਾ ਹੋਇ ||
ਬਿਨੁ ਅਭ ਸਬਦ ਨ ਮਾਂਜੀਐ ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਸਚੁ ਹੋਇ ||੧||
“If the mind is polluted, then the body is polluted, and the tongue is polluted as well. With false mouths, people speak falsehood. How can they be made pure? Without the Holy Water of the Shabad (i.e. Amrit), they are not cleansed. From the True One alone comes Truth. ||1||” 
(Siree Raag M:1, 55) 

For the above reasons, in Amrit Sanchaars, the Panj Piaare say: ‘ਖਾਲਸੇ ਦੀ ਰੋਟੀ ਬੇਟੀ ਦੀ ਸਾਂਝ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਨਾਲ ਹੈ |’ “The Khalsa keeps the relation of food and marriage within the Khalsa,” which has been passed down in oral Rehat. The company we keep and our diet has a direct effect on our mind. It is common saying that “ਜੈਸੀ ਸੰਗਤ, ਤੈਸੀ ਰੰਗਤ” (“a company one keeps, rubs off on on”) and “ਜੈਸਾ ਅੰਨ, ਤੈਸਾ ਮੰਨ” (“You are what you eat”). It is noteworthy that although a Gursikh does not eat any cooked or prepared foods from someone who doesn't practice Rehat, this does not apply to raw ingredients that can be washed and eaten. The core idea is to have food prepared by practitioners of Naam dedicated to the Guru's Code of Conduct that has been infused with Gurbani and Naam. The purity of the ingredients is something we should strive for, but there will never be perfection. 

A Gursikh strives to live in spiritual purity and become spiritually pure. Spiritual purity only comes from obeying the Guru and joining with Naam. Therefore, to aid one in their spiritual progress, a Gursikh avoids contact via food or marriage with someone who has not obeyed the Guru by taking Amrit and follow the Khalsa way of life. This wisdom or ability to recognise what is good and bad for one’s spirituality, is called ‘Bibek’. Whilst mixing with the world on a practical level and sharing love and compassion for all, Guru Ji wants his Khalsa to remain distinct and unique. 

Gurbani says: 
ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਰਲਾਇਆ ਨਾ ਰਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ||੨|| 
“Those humble beings who are filled with keen understanding and meditative contemplation-even though they intermingle with others, they remain distinct. ||2||” 
(Siree Raag M:3, 28)

Monday, September 25, 2017

ਨਿੰਦਾ ਚੁਗਲੀ ਬਾਰੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ। Reflections on slander and gossip...

ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਚੁਗਲੀ ਕਰਨ ਦਾ ਕੀ ਫਲ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ, ਨਿੰਦਿਆ ਦਾ ਮੂਲ ਕੀ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਇਸਤੋਂ ਛੁਟਕਾਰਾ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ? ਇਹਨਾਂ ਸਵਾਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਜਵਾਬ ਅਸੀਂ ਇਸ ਵੀਡੀਓ ਵਿਚ ਦੇ ਰਹੇ ਹਾਂ। ਆਪ ਜੀ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਦੇਖੋ ਅਤੇ ਹੋਰਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਦਿਖਾਓ ਤਾਂ ਕੇ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਰੋਗਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਛੁਟਕਾਰਾ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਸਕੇ। 

What are the spiritual harms of indulging in slander and how can one eschew this bad habit. This is a very important video that will enhance your spirituality; therefore, please share it liberally so others too can benefit from it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Greenwood (Indiana) Summer Gurmat Camp 2017...

From 17th July to 23rd July, Gurdwara Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib Greenwood (Indiana, USA), held its annual summer Gurmat Camp. Bhai Baljit Singh and the local Sangat organized the camp. Speakers were invited from across the USA and Canada. Approximately 300 people participated in the week-long camp. With Guru Sahib's Grace, the camp was a great success. Both parents and children showed great enthusiasm to learn and progress in their Sikhi.

Some photos from the camp:

 
Morning Nitnem of Panj Banian being recited by campers

Morning Hukamnama being taken by a camper.

Bapu Sadhu Singh Ji (Fresno) explaining the fundamentals of Gurmat to the elder group

 
Youngest group playing a game

 
 Elder group learning Santhiya

Campers learning the difference in living between a Gurmukh and Manmukh

Children designing posters on Gurmat and Manmat

 
Bapu Sadhu Singh Ji taken the parents class on the importance of Amrit and Gursikhi Jeevan

Langar time 

 
 On hearing about the death of Bhai Jagraj Singh (Basics of Sikhi), Bhai Harman Singh leads Chaupai Sahib Jaap and share's some reflections on Veer Ji's life and achievements

 Sangat paying their respects to Bhai Jagraj Singh after hearing of his death

Young campers busy at work

Bhenji prepared and presented a fantastic presentation on inspiring Sikh women

Campers present to their group their presentation. 

Campers present to their group their presentation. 

Future parchaariks using presentaton skills to deliver a talk on Sikh women

 
Campers taking notes from the talks being presented by other campers

 Veer Keertan Singh. A very confident Naujawan, talking about inspiring Sikh women in history

 Bhenji is a promising future Sikh parchaarik. She showed great enthusiasm, confidence and study in her topic that she presented.

 Campers having opportunities to ride ponies

 Never seen a pony that small!

 Another great speaker and future parchaarik. It was so uplifting to hear these Naujawan speak and share with the Sangat what they have researched.

 Campers listening to the presentations

 Campers presenting their presentations

I was pleasantly surprised to see how confident and enthusiastic our fellow young sisters were in sharing Sikhi with others. 

End of camp test. The test was on the life of important Sikh women during the Guru period.

 Assembly at the end of the day

Campers doing Guru Ji's seva

 On the last day of camp, campers and parents had a day out in a nature park

 Sangat in the park

Daas and Bhai Harman Singh seeing who can reach the highest on the swings!

 Bhai Harman Singh sharing some Saakhis near the lake

 On the last day of my stay, the children of the Gursikh family I stayed with were given a task of finding out why taking Amrit is important. The children watched a video made by Gurmat Bibek on YouTube and made notes.

 After researching about Amrit, the children made a short video on why it is important to take Amrit.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sikh Rehat Maryada: Janam & Naam Sanskaar

Below is the birth and naming ceremony in accordance to the Sikh Rehat Maryada document with additional notes and commentary:

a.    In a Sikh’s household, as soon as after the birth of a child, as the mother becomes capable of moving about and taking a bath (irrespective of the number of days that takes), the family and relatives should go to a gurdwara with Karhah Prashaad or get Karhah Prashaad made in the gurdwara and in the holy presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji recite shabads expressive of joy and thankfulness, such as:
ਪਰਮੇਸਰਿ ਦਿਤਾ ਬੰਨਾ ||
“The Divine-Lord has given me His support.”
(Sorath M:5, 627-628)

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਾਚੈ ਦੀਆ ਭੇਜਿ ||
“The True Guru has truly given a child.”
(Aasa M:5, 396)
Thereafter, if a reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji had been taken up, that should be concluded. Then the holy Hukam should be taken. A name starting with the first letter of the Shabad (sacred hymn) of the Hukam should be suggested by the Granthi.(1) After a name has been decided and has been accepted by the Sangat, the name should be announced by the Granthi. The boy’s name must have the suffix ‘Singh’ and the girl’s, the suffix ‘Kaur’.(2) After that, Anand Sahib (short version comprising six Pauris) should be recited, followed by offering of an Ardaas to express the joy of the naming ceremony and then distribution of Karhah Prashaad.(3)

b.    The superstition of ritual pollution of food and water as a consequence of giving birth must not be followed(4) as Gurbani says:
ਜੰਮਣੁ ਮਰਣਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ||
ਖਾਣਾ ਪੀਣਾ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਹੈ ਦਿਤੋਨੁ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹਿ ||
“The birth and death are by His ordinance; coming and going is by His will. All food and water are, in principle, clean, for these life-sustaining substances are provided by Him.”
(Aasa M:1, 472)

c.    Using Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Rumaala to make and wear as dress or clothing for someone is Manmat.



Notes:
  1. ਨਾਉ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਅਵਾਜ਼ ਲੈਕਰਿ ਰਖਾਏ |
    “Name a child through taking an ‘Avaaz’ (i.e. Hukamnama) from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.”
    (Rehatnama Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji, p. 84)  


  2. ਬੱਚੇ ਬੱਚੀ ਕਾ ਨਾਮ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਵਾਕ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਅੱਖਰ ਸੇ ਰਾਖੇਂ, ਅਗਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਨਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਪੋਥੀ ਸੇ ਰਾਖਾ ਜਾਏ | ਬੱਚੇ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ਨਾਲ 'ਸਿੰਘ' ਤੇ ਬੱਚੀ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ 'ਕੌਰ' ਸ਼ਬਦ ਲਾਇਆ ਜਾਏ |
    “Both a boy’s and girl’s name should be chosen by taking a ‘Vaak’ from Sri (Guru) Granth (Sahib) Ji, using the first letter. If Sri (Guru) Granth (Sahib) Ji is not available, then it can be kept from a ‘Pothi’ (small volume of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji). A boy’s name should have ‘Singh’ with it, and a girl’s name should have ‘Kaur’ with it.”
    (Guru Kian Sakhian, Bhai Sarup Singh Kaushish, p. 127)

  3. Enacting any other sort of ceremony to mark the birth is not allowed in Gurmat; for example, lucky charms or strings tied on the child’s wrist or neck. To break all superstitions a sarbloh Karha is to be placed on the child’s right-hand wrist. Drinking alcohol and eating meat whilst celebrating the birth of a child is a grave sin.

  4. There is a wide-spread belief among certain sections of Indian people that a birth in a household causes ritual pollution (sootak) which is removed by the thorough bathing of the mother, the baby and persons attending on her as also by a thorough cleaning of the house, the utensils and the clothes, after prescribed periods of ten, twenty-one and forty days.

  5. The original Sikh Rehat Maryada document published in 1936 had a section explaining the tradition of Gurhtee, which was later removed. Gurhtee should not be confused with Khande-Di-Pahul (the Amrit prepared by the Panj Piaare). There is no comparison to it. ‘Gurhtee’ refers to the first food served to a new-born baby. In other religious traditions and cultures, honey or brown sugar is served to a new-born child.

    The original document published in 1936 stated the following:
    “a) When with Vahiguru’s Grace a child is born in the home of Sikh, then in the place of giving Gurhtee (making a new born taste something sweet after birth), place Pataase (sugar wafers) into water and recite Mool Mantar. With the tip of a Kirpaan pour one or two drops into the child’s mouth. The rest of the water should be given to the mother to drink. Then an Ardaas should be performed for thanking Vahiguru and praying for the mother’s good health.”

    Photo of ‘Gurhtee’ ceremony practiced by some Sikhs
    Many Amritdhari couples would attend an Amrit Sanchaar as soon as the mother and child are well enough to travel. They would present the baby before the Panj Piaare to receive a blessing. 

    One explanation for the Gurhtee tradition is that in the past, it was more common for children to die young, and not get an opportunity to go an Amrit Sanchaar to receive blessings of the Panj Piaare. In response to this, Sikhs would give babies Gurbani blessed water as soon as the child was born.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Shabad - Sorath Raag, M:4, Ang 648

ਪਉੜੀ ॥
Pauree:


ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਖਾਧਾ ਪੈਧਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਸਭੁ ਪਵਿਤੁ ਹੈ
ਜੋ ਨਾਮਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਤੇ ॥      

 ਮਨੁੱਖ ਹਰੀ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਚ ਰੰਗੇ ਹੋਏ ਹਨ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਨੂੰ ਵਰਤਣਾ, ਖਾਣਾ ਪਹਿਨਣਾ ਸਭ ਕੁਝ ਪਵਿੱਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ;        
The food and clothes, and all the worldly possessions of those who are attuned to the Lord's Name are sacred. 

ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਘਰ ਮੰਦਰ ਮਹਲ ਸਰਾਈ ਸਭਿ ਪਵਿਤੁ ਹਹਿ
ਜਿਨੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਕ ਸਿਖ ਅਭਿਆਗਤ ਜਾਇ ਵਰਸਾਤੇ ॥      

 ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਘਰ, ਮੰਦਰ, ਮਹਿਲ ਤੇ ਸਰਾਵਾਂ ਸਭ ਪਵਿੱਤ੍ਰ ਹਨ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਕ ਸਿੱਖ ਤੇ ਅਭਿਆਗਤ ਜਾ ਕੇ ਸੁਖ ਲੈਂਦੇ ਹਨ ।     
All the homes, temples, palaces and way-stations are sacred, where the Gurmukhs, the selfless servants, the Sikhs and the renouncers of the world, go and take their rest.  

ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਤੁਰੇ ਜੀਨ ਖੁਰਗੀਰ ਸਭਿ ਪਵਿਤੁ ਹਹਿ
ਜਿਨੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਿਖ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਤ ਚੜਿ ਜਾਤੇ ॥      
ਦੇ ਘੋੜੇ, ਜ਼ੀਨਾਂ, ਤਾਹਰੂ ਸਭ ਪਵਿੱਤ੍ਰ ਹਨ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਉਤੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਿੱਖ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਤ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੇ ਹਨ;       
All the horses, saddles and horse blankets are sacred, upon which the Gurmukhs, the Sikhs, the Holy and the Saints, mount and ride.  

ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਕਾਰਜ ਸਭਿ ਪਵਿਤੁ ਹਹਿ
ਜੋ ਬੋਲਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਸਾਤੇ ॥      

 ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਕੰਮ-ਕਾਜ ਸਭ ਪਵਿੱਤ੍ਰ ਹਨ, ਜੋ ਹਰ ਵੇਲੇ ਹਰੀ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਉਚਾਰਦੇ ਹਨ ।     
All their actions, religious practices and work are sacred, for those who forever utter the Name of the Lord

ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਪੋਤੈ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਹੈ
ਸੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਿਖ ਗੁਰੂ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਤੇ ॥੧੬॥      

 ਪਹਿਲੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਕੰਮਾਂ ਦੇ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ) ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਪੱਲੇ (ਭਲੇ ਸੰਸਕਾਰ-ਰੂਪ) ਪੁੰਨ ਹੈ, ਉਹ ਗੁਰਮੁਖ ਸਿੱਖ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਰਨ ਆਉਂਦੇ ਹਨ      
Those Gurmukhs, those Sikhs, who have purity as their treasure, go to their Guru. ||16||

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Sikh Rehat Maryada on women wearing a Dastaar...


(ਣ) ਸਿੱਖ ਲਈ ਕਛਹਿਰੇ ਤੇ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਤੋਂ ਛੁਟ ਪੁਸ਼ਾਕ ਸੰਬੰਧੀ ਬਾਕੀ ਕੋਈ ਪਾਬੰਦੀ ਨਹੀਂ | ਸਿੱਖ ਇਸਤਰੀ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਜਾਏ ਜਾਂ ਨਾ ਸਜਾਏ, ਦੋਵੇਂ ਠੀਕ ਹਨ |
"t. For a Sikh, apart from wearing a Dastaar (turban) and Kachhera (special shorts) there are no restrictions to dress.18 A Sikh woman may or may not tie a Dastaar." 
(Sikh Rehat Maryada document, Gurmat Rehni section)

Within the Panth there are those that for whatever reason believe it is optional for Sikh women to wear a Dastaar (turban), and those who believe it is equally mandatory for both men and women to wear a Dastaar. The Panth at the time acknowledged both are within the Panth. Therefore, if an individual, group, or organization holds that wearing a Dastaar is a necessity for both genders and insists it is compulsory for women recieving Amrit to wear a Dastaar, it is not an infringement of the Sikh Rehat Maryada document.

Picture of Rani Raj Kaur (18th century) taken from Bhai Vir Singh's book 'Rana Surat Singh'.
Earliest European depiction of Sri Darbaar Sahib complex by August Schoefft in December 1836. Sikh women are shown with top-knots and Dastaars.

Historically both Sikh men and women wore at least the short Dastaar (Keski). Although history notoriously excludes facts about women, there are historical references to not only to Mata Bhag Kaur, but also many other Sikh women wearing Dastaars. Mata Sahib Kaur (‘mother of the Khalsa’ and wife of Guru Gobind Singh ji) wore a Dastaar. Many Gurmukhs who have had darshan of Mata Sahib Kaur, including Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, confirm this. Being the mother of the Khalsa, Mata Ji would certainly have followed the Khalsa Rehat and therefore would have followed Rehatnamas instructing the wearing of a Dastaar. Rani Raj Kaur (18th century) is also pictured with wearing a Dastaar. Up until 1930, when Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir was appointed Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib (12th March 1930 – 5th March 1931), it was compulsory for all women to wear at least a Keski (short-turban) for qualifying to receiving Amrit.
"Up to the early 1930s Sikh women wore the turban for the Amrit (baptism) ceremony. It was Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, the Jathedar (chief priest) of the Akal Takhat in Amritsar (one of the five seats of religious authority for the Sikhs), who began to baptize women without the turban. People protested strongly, but gradually fashion took over, and it has become customary."
(Tara Singh Bains, Hugh J. M. Johnston (1995): The Four Quarters of the Night: The Life-journey of an Emigrant Sikh, p. 230-31)

When the S.G.P.C. formulated and codified the Sikh Rehat Maryada in 1936 and wrote that it was optional for Sikh women to tie a Dastaar, it had become notably less common. However, this does not invalidate the original requirement or the prevalence of the practice dating back 300 years. Additionally, even the S.G.P.C. refers to the Dastaar as a requirement for all Sikhs without exception when it is politically expedient to do so. "Every practising Sikh is enjoined upon to have unshorn hair and have it covered by the turban. It is mandatory for every Sikh and no one has an exemption or option to this basic Sikh tenet and tradition." — Gurcharan Singh Torah writing as President of the S.G.P.C. to the President of France.

Right up to the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Sikh women had been steadfast in following the edicts of the Guru which included wearing the Dastaar. This was also witnessed by English observers in the Punjab during this time. Well known 19th Century English Historian, J. D. Cunningham (1812-1851) who was an eye witness to the First Anglo-Sikh War, in his History of the Sikhs – 1848 refers to Sikh women of that time as follows: "The Sikh women are distinguished from Hindus of their sex by some variety of dress, chiefly by a higher topknot of hair."

Higher topknot of hair on Sikh women’s heads automatically implies their coverage by some sort of Dastaar, as Cunningham has connected it with "some variety of dress."
Even after the Punjab came under the British rule, Sikh women were evidently seen wearing the Dastaar, along with Sikh men, up to the Gurdwara Reform Movement and the establishment of the S.G.P.C. in 1920. Until then, no man or woman was allowed to take Amrit (i.e. become initiated into Sikhi) at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib without a Dastaar. It was only afterwards that laxity was introduced in this respect and the wearing of Dastaar was made optional for women. With the introduction of this laxity, the other anti-Sikh practice of wearing piercing ornaments in the nose and ears also became prevalent in Sikh women.

The Rehat prescribed for Amrit candidates by Bhai Dya Singh Ji, the first of the Panj Piaare, clearly states that all candidates for Amrit should tie their hair up on top and wear a Dastaar:
ਪਹਿਲੇ ਕਛ ਪਹਰੲਨਚਿ, ਕੇਸ ਇਕ੍ਨਠੇ ਕਰ ਜੂੜਾ,
ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਜਵਾਨੀ, ਗਾਤ੍ਰੇ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸਾਹਬਿ ਹਾਥ ਜੋੜਿ ਖੜਾ ਰਹੈ ||
"Each candidate for Amrit is to be made to wear Kachhera, tie their hair in a topknot and don a Dastaar; wear Sri Sahib (Kirpan) in Gatra (shoulder belt). Then he/she should stand with folded hands."
(Rehatnama: Bhai Dya Singh Ji - p. 68)
 

It is important for Amritdhari women to wear a Dastaar as:
  1. The Guru’s Hukam (order) is equally given to both men and women, for example both men and women are equally told to recite Nitnem, wear the Panj Kakkaar, or do Simran, so they should equally wear a Dastaar.
  2. Brings about physical equality: Singhs have a cohesive physical identity, so Kaurs should too.
  3. Psychologically it connects a Khalsa woman to the Panth.
  4. Keeps a Khalsa woman committed to her Sikh values.
  5. Allows both Sikhs and non-Sikhs to recognise a woman as a Khalsa.
  6. Illustrates a Khalsa woman’s commitment to Sikhi and others can ideally look to her as a beacon of truthful living.
  7. Creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie with her Panth and her Guru.
  8. Encourages a sense of pride in Sikh life and values.
  9. Facilitates leadership: The lack of a female physical identity excuses our females from taking leadership roles.
  10. It is the most practical way of keeping the head covered for doing Simran (meditation of Vahiguru) throughout the day, with each breath. 
There is a multitude of evidence to support the requirement of the Dastaar for all Sikhs, both men and women. The authority on Sikhi is in Gurbani and what has come direct from the mouth of the Guru, not human interpretation and commentary. Invalidating the long and rich history of Dastaar wearing women with the belief that only in recent history women have donned the Dastaar is misguided.

The Sikh loss of Sikh identity amongst Sikh women without the Dastaar has emerged as a consequence of societal pressure to conform to look like the  majority and lack of understanding of Sikh traditions and history. There is something deeply at work on the psychology and status of women and it plays out as an ongoing battle over the image of women in society.

ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ ॥੧੨॥
"Purify what is impure (within), and let the Lord's Presence be your religious tradition. Remain in complete form (with uncut hair) and a turban on your head. ||12||
(Maaroo M:5, 1084)

Sikhi’s principle tenets asks all Sikhs to realise one’s divinity by wearing a Dastaar and keeping our Kes (hair) and at the same time recognise that it is our choice to avail ourselves of that opportunity. With more access to Gurbani and knowledge of Sikh history, more and more young Sikh women are choosing to wear the Dastaar and recognising that it is an essential part of their Sikh identity and faith.

ਮੈ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਉਚ ਦੁਮਾਲੜਾ ॥
"Meeting the Guru, I wear a tall double-turban."
(Siree Raag M:5. 74)