Monday, August 29, 2005

THE LONGING FOR KESH

5 years ago I stopped cutting my hair and kept my Kesh.
What made me keep my hair?
What made me feel the yearning to accept my Guru's image?
What made me want to become close with my Guru?

As a child I was encouraged to read stories and sing shabads at the Gurdwara.
As a child I was introduced to sewa and was made to distribute langar and parshaad with my brothers.
As a child I was made to sit in the Sadh Sangat and listen to Keertan and Katha despite not always understanding.

Going back home from the Gurdwara, my parents or family members would ask "what did you learn today?"
We would discuss what Giani ji talked about
We would discuss the meaning of the shabad sung.
We would discuss the meaning of things we do in Sikhi.



"baabaanneeaa kahaanneeaa put saput karen"
- Telling the stories of one's ancestors make the children good children.
(Ang 951, SGGS)


I would look around the Gurdwara and Nagar Keertans at all the Singhs and Singhnian.
I would look at the beautiful Dastaars (turbans) and Keskis of my Sikh brothers and sisters.
I would look around and see little children with Kesh.

They looked like Guru Gobind Singh Ji & Mata Sahib Kaur Ji.
They reminded me of the Singhs and Singhnian of the past, in the stories I was told about.
They looked like true princes and princesses who were crowned with their royal turbans.Why don't I look like my Father - Guru Gobind Singh Ji?

Why don't I look like my Brothers - the Four Sahibzaade (Princes)?
Why don't I look the Saint-Soldiers which I read about?

At school my English friends would ask:"What religion are you?"
'I am a 'Sikh!'' I would reply.'But where is your hair and turban' they would say.
Should I say that only our Granthis keep Kes?
Should I say that only really religious Sikhs keep Kes?
Should I say that only backward Sikhs keep Kes?

I felt ashamed.
I would feel proud of being a Sikh!
But the pride did not go beyond the boundaries of my heart!

Muslim classmates would ask 'are you a Hindu?'
'No! I am a Sikh!' I would say.
'But Sikhs all drink', 'All Sikhs cut their hair'
And 'unlike us Muslims, Sikhs are not true to their religion!'

What reply should I give?
Why don't they see the Saint-Soldier in a Sikh?
Why don't they see the love of Guru Nanak Ji and the royalty of Guru Gobind Singh Jee when they look at Sikhs?
Why don't they see the compassion, humility and righteous character of a Sikh?

I planned to go to Panjab in the summer holidays in 2000.
I wanted to keep my Kesh, so I didn't have a hair cut for a long time.
Before I went on holiday I was told, 'have a hair cut, you look scruffy!'
But I didn't want to, because I wanted to fulfil my dream of accepting my true identity.

In Panjab I was asked:"Do you want to get a haircut from the village Barber?""No!" I replied, "Not on the land where Guru Gobind Singh Jee sacrificed his four sons, and family for us!...
Not on the land where Bhai Taru Singh refused to have his hair cut and instead accepted his scalp to be scraped off!...
Not on the land where Singhs and Singhnian who gave their heads but not their Sikhi!"
How could I cut my hair on that ground which was stained with blood of the Gurus and Shaheeds (martyrs) who died for our Sikhi?

I thought what would my family would think of my keeping Kesh.
I thought what would the relatives, who have a negative image of Singhs think of me keeping Kesh.
I thought what would people at my school say or do if I kept Kesh.

I decided not to cut my hair and started to tie a turban in the Christmas holidays during Year 11.
My dad told me that by becoming a Singh I would possibly face numerous problems and that am I willing and prepared to face those challenges.
"Singh's find it difficult to get married!"
"Singh's struggle to get good jobs because of racism!"
"In a town where there aren't any turbaned Sikh children, you will be face with racism!"

I replied, "The Guru's whose path I have chosen will look after me".
I would find good and beautiful wife with the Guru's grace.
I would rather work in a factory and be proud son of a Father, rather than work in a high flying job but with no self-respect.
I would rather people swear at me than turn my back on my Beloved Guru.

"charan sharan gur eik paindaa jaae chal. satgur koht paindaa aage hoe let hai."
- Take one step to the Guru, and the Guru will take millions of steps forward to welcome you.
(Bhai Gurdas Ji)


My Kesh is the wires of electricity which link me to my Dear Father - Guru Gobind Singh Ji!
My Kesh is my Nishaan Saahib, my flag and the stamp of my Sikhi!
My Dastaar (turban) is my crown; my Dastaar is my honour; my Dastaar is the image of my Beloved Father - Guru Gobind Singh Ji!

With Vaheguru's grace, I received support from my family, respect from my school and love of my Guru.


"khaalsa mero roop hai khaas. khalse mai hau karo nivaas."
- Khalsa is
my Special Form; In the Khalsa, I reside.' (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)

May Vaheguru bless you!

6 comments:

JKaur said...

Waheguroooooo
May Akal Purakh keep you in Chardikala and bless you with good health so that you may be inspired and keep inspiring humans all around the world.

Satguru Rakha
JKaur

Manpreet Singh Chandoak said...

Hello Manvir,

I appreciate your writing on the Sacrifice and the current situation, but the point is whatever we try to convince, its very rare to find people who once give away their religion (the Kesh) to get them back on the sikhism track.

I keep on convincing the fact of the Guru's sacrifice and the actual saroop which is only caused by the Kesh and the turban, but people rarely realize that. I even tried to do so, to convince your real brother to start wearing a turban now to spread the awareness in the British Army too.

Now the time is when God has given Sikhs a second chance to get to the Top, by doing nothing special or extra, because Sikhs are already so much blessed, they just need follow their Guru's preachings.

With Manmohan Singh becoming the Prime Minister, the time has come when people (non-sikhs) are again realizing the true values of being a sikh, they are full of appreciation, now is the time when each sikh should start checking thier sons and daughters, try to bring them back on to the Sikhism track.

So I appeal to everyone to check up their relatives and friends, any person who has "Singh" written in his first name, must wear a turban, its a matter of pride for us and we are known due to the turban and not just Khandas in our necklaces (the latest fashion I see).

anonymous said...

awwwwwwwwwww :D:D:D:D:D:D
thats such a sweet story :D

it makes me feel really guilty, as i never cut my hair when i was a child, but when i started secondary school i cut my long kesh, now i absolutely regret it as things will neva be the same again :'(

long story short, my hair is not growing now, i feel really guilty, and my mums not helpin :@ lol
she keeps sayin "main tenu kiyaa si tu meri ik nahi mani"

i really hate it and feel really guilty:(

anyways rab rakha
Fateh jiyo!!!!

anonymous said...

awwwwwwwwwww :D:D:D:D:D:D
thats such a sweet story :D

it makes me feel really guilty, as i never cut my hair when i was a child, but when i started secondary school i cut my long kesh, now i absolutely regret it as things will neva be the same again :'(

long story short, my hair is not growing now, i feel really guilty, and my mums not helpin :@ lol
she keeps sayin "main tenu kiyaa si tu meri ik nahi mani"

i really hate it and feel really guilty:(

anyways rab rakha
Fateh jiyo!!!!

Satnam said...

Very inspiring story brother. keep up the good work u are doing, and continue to inspire to lost souls who otherwise thinks that they would look good after killing their kesh.
Today u have saved a soul from getting his hair cut.

Waheguru

KJSingh said...

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
Waheguru ji ki Fateh ji

It is great that you made a start :)

But there are many promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep.

Wish you all the best and Guru kirpa kare at every step.