Importance of turban in life of Sikh females and males


As per a report that an advocate in Indore has filed a lawsuit challenging the turbans worn by Sikh females and objected on it. I wonder how could the court could accept this petition? The name of this advocate who is unfortunately a Sikh, completely ignorant of his faith is …INDERJIT SINGH BHATIA and his contact number is …….(M) no. 09009281348

This is a direct interference in Sikh religion.

Sikh religion believes in equality and the founder of Sikh religion openely expressed his views on women liberty and in due honor as….
ਮ ੧ ॥ ਭੰਡਿ ਜੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਨਿੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਮੰਗਣੁ ਵੀਆਹੁ ॥ ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਭੰਡਹੁ ਚਲੈ ਰਾਹੁ ॥ ਭੰਡੁ ਮੁਆ ਭੰਡੁ ਭਾਲੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਬੰਧਾਨੁ ॥ ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਮੰਦਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਜੰਮਹਿ ਰਾਜਾਨ ॥ ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੀ ਭੰਡੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਏਕੋ ਸਚਾ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਸਦਾ ਸਾਲਾਹੀਐ ਭਾਗਾ ਰਤੀ ਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲੇ ਤਿਤੁ ਸਚੈ ਦਰਬਾਰਿ !!2 !!

“We are conceived in woman. We are born to woman. It is to woman we get engaged, And then get married. Woman is our lifelong companion, And supporter of our survival. It is through woman That we establish social relationships. Why should we denounce her. When even kings and great men are born from her?” (Asa di war).

And women given an equal status and allowed to sit on tabya at Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji even during their manstrual periods (the five days which are condemned in Hindu religion), and given the initiation into Khalsa religion by taking Amrit, they were given rights to practice as Khalsa in real life. They were supposed to be wearing the mandatory five artifacets of Sikh religion and follow the orders of 10th master.


Now a foolish critic advocate filed a petition without having any knowledge of Sikh religion dared to challenge in a court just for fame and publicity and moreover accepted by a Court makes mockery of Sikh religion. How could Court decide it and what rights doe it have to discuss on religious matters?

Message of Guru to his Khalsa;
“ You are the immortal soldiers of true dharma and the messengers of God. This country’s honor and liberty is entrusted to you by Waheguru. Mix freely with the world, but remain of one soul, one ideal and one aim.”Women shall be equal of men in every walk of life and their names would bear the epithet ‘KAUR’ meaning princess. He who kills his daughter, the Khalsa will snap ties with him. By doing so guru ji also once again added respectability to the women folk. You will keep unshorn hair to look like ancient sages. You will love the weapons of war and become excellent horsemen, marksmen, sportsmen and wielders of swords and spears. Physical prowess will be as sacred to you as spiritual sensitiveness. You are friend of all but enemy to none except the oppression. You would serve the poor without distinction of Caste, Creed, religion or region and would protect them with Deg (community food) and The ( physical strength). You will call yourself as Singh i.e. lions and greet each other with the salutation Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh means …..Khalsa belongs to god Victory be to God.


So the liberty to look a like males to women is given by 10th master. there is no difference in males and females. Mai Bhago fought in battles and served 10th master as his body guard wearing turban.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court too established the definition of a Sikh as:

Gurleen Kaur v. State of Punjab , (P&H)(FB)
2009(3) R.C.R.(Civil) 324 : 2009(3) S.C.T. 165 : 2009(3) P.L.R. 324
Before :- J.S. Khehar, Jasbir Singh and Ajay Kumar Mittal, JJ.
C.W.P No. 14859 of 2008. D/d. 30.05.2009.
30.05. 2009
Gurleen Kaur and others – Petitioners
State of Punjab and others – Respondents

(2). Retaining hair unshorn is a fundamental tenet of the Sikh religion.
[Paras 140, 143, 146, 147 and 149]


And wearing turban to protect hairs was made mandatory by 10th master in his 52 commands as:
35)- Dastaar bina nahi rehnaa – Wear a turban at all times.

And this order was not issued to males but applied on both men and women.

The Turban is an article of faith that has been made mandatory by the founders of Sikhism, having immense spiritual as well as temporal significance, increasing a commitment to Sikhism, making a Sikh a more disciplined and virtuous person. It is a symbol of courage, self-respect, dedication, piety and sovereignty. It is intertwined with Sikh identity.

How does the turban work? The top of the head, the place where babies have their “soft spot,” is called the tenth gate. In yogic terms, it is also known as the crown chakra. Thousands of years ago, yogis and spiritual seekers discovered that the hair on the top of the head protects the tenth gate from sun and exposure. In addition, the hair acts as antennae, channeling the energy and life-force of the sun into the body and brain.

To amplify the effect, spiritual seekers would coil or knot their hair at the tenth gate – also called the solar center of the head. In men, the solar center is on top of the head at the front (anterior fontanel). Women have two solar centers: one is at the center of the crown chakra, the other is on top of the head towards the back (posterior fontanel). For men and women, coiling or knotting the hair at the solar centers focuses the energy and helps retain a spiritual vibration throughout the day.

This hair knot (known as the joora) is traditionally called the “rishi” knot. In ancient times, a rishi was someone who had the capacity to control the flow of energy and prana in the body. A “maharishi” was someone who could regulate the flow of energy in the body, meditatively and at will. The rishi knot assists in the channeling of energy in meditation (Naam Simran). If one cuts off the hair, there can be no rishi knot. By giving us the rishi knot and the turban, the Sikh Guru’s shared a very ancient technology for how an ordinary person can develop the capacity of a rishi.

The next step after tying a rishi knot is to put on a turban. The turban covers the coiled, uncut hair. The pressure of the multiple wraps keeps the 26 bones of the head in place and activates pressure points on the forehead that keep a person calm and relaxed. Turbans cover the temples, which is said to help protect a person from the mental or psychic negativity of other people. The pressure of the turban also changes the pattern of blood flow to the brain. When you tie up your hair and wrap the turban around it, all the parts of your skull are pulled together and supported. You feel clarity and readiness for the day and for what may come to you from the Unknown.

The Divine Energy that governs the Universe and guides our own life is mostly unknown to us. Living with an awareness of that Divine Energy within oneself and the entire creation allows us to live our highest potential. Wearing the turban helps us experience that Divine Energy and to remember there is something greater than what we know. It is a spiritual practice where we take the highest, most visible part of ourselves and show that it belongs to the Creator. Wearing the turban also helps cultivate a sense of surrender to the Divine.

The turban is the Guru’s gift to us. It is how we crown ourselves as people of Universal Consciousness who sit on the throne of commitment to our own higher Self. 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 represents complete commitment.

ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਕਾਇਆ ਕੋਟੁ ਹੈ ਦਸਵੈ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਰਖੀਜੈ ॥ no dharavaajae kaaeiaa kott hai dhasavai gupath rakheejai || The fortress of the body has nine gates; the tenth gate is kept hidden.

ਬਜਰ ਕਪਾਟ ਨ ਖੁਲਨੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਖੁਲੀਜੈ ॥bajar kapaatt n khulanee gur sabadh khuleejai || The rigid door is not open; only through the Word of the Guru’s Shabad can it be opened.

Raamkalee, Raag. Guru Angad Dev Ji. Ang 954 of, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Maharaj. Our Living Guru.


                                The Dastar (Turban) of the Sikhs

Historical Background
Turban is and has been an inseparable part of a Sikh’s life. Since Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, all Sikhs have been wearing turbans. Refer to Dr. Trilochan Singh’s “Biography of Guru Nanak Dev.” All Sikh Gurus wore turbans. The Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh Code of Conduct) specifically says that all Sikhs must wear a turban. According to the Rehatnama of Bhai Chaupa Singh, who was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the five Kakars of Sikhism were: Kachh (a special underwear), Karha (a steel bracelet), Kirpan (small sword), Kangha (comb) and Keski (a small turban).

Guru Gobind Singh says,
“Kangha dono vakt kar, paag chune kar bandhai.”

Means ===== “Comb your hair twice a day and tie your turban carefully, turn by turn.”

Bhai Chaupa Singh says,
“Kachh, karha, kirpan, kangha, keski, Eh panj kakar rehat dhare Sikh soi.”
Means ===== The five Kakars of Sikhism are special underwear, steel bracelet, sword, comb, and small turban. A person who wears all these Sikh symbols should be considered a Sikh.

Several ancient Sikh documents refer to the order of Guru Gobind Singh about wearing five Ks. Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu is one of the most famous ancient Sikh historians. He is the author of “Sri Gur Panth Parkash” which he wrote almost two centuries ago. He writes,
“Doi vele utth bandhyo dastare, pahar aatth rakhyo shastar sambhare |
Kesan ki kijo pritpal, nah(i) ustran se katyo vaal
means ===== “Tie your turban twice a day and carefully wear weapons 24
hours a day.

Take good care of your hair. Do not cut your hair.”
(“Sri Gur Granth Parkash” by Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu, page 78)

The following information describes the importance of turban !

Holiness and Spirituality

Turban is a symbol of spirituality and holiness in Sikhism. When Guru Ram Dass Ji left for heavenly abode, his elder son Pirthi Chand wore a turban, which is usually worn by an elder son when his father passes away. (In the same manner) Guru Arjan Dev was honored with the turban of Guruship.

Marne di pag Pirthiye badhi. Guriyaee pag Arjan Ladhi.

(“Partakh Hari,” Jiwni Guru Arjan Dev Ji, by Principal Satbir Singh)
Guru Angad Dev honored Guru Amardas ji with a turban (Siropa) when he was made the Guru.

Baptism ceremony is one of the most important ceremonies in a Sikhs’ life. That ceremony cannot be completed without wearing a turban.

The most revered Sikh symbol is hair. The turban is required of every Sikh in order to cover his/her hair. This is the primary reason the comb (kangha) is one of the five requirements in the Sikh way of life.

Guru Angad Dev ji honored Guru Amardas ji with a turban (Siropa) when he was made the Guru. Similarly, the Turban (Dastaar) has remained the key aspect in a Sikh’s honor. Those who have selflessly served the community are honored with Turbans.
Baptism ceremony is one of the most important ceremonies in a Sikhs’ life. That ceremony cannot be completed without wearing a turban. Indeed, a short-turban (called a keski) is one of the five requirements of baptized Sikhs. The most revered Sikh symbol is hair. The turban is required of every Sikh in order to cover his/her hair. This is also the primary reason the comb (kangha) is another one of the five requirements in the Sikh way of life.

All the Sikh Gurus wore turban. Throughout our short history, all Sikhs have been required to do so. The Turban has indeed become synonymous with Sikhism. Yet, other religions such as Hinduism, Islam and even Christianity have similar tenets as evidenced by the following:
Once they enter the gates of the inner Court, they are to wear linen vestments, They shall wear linen turbans, and linen drawers on their loins.
(Old Testament: Ezekiel 44:18-19)

Turban as a Robe of The highest honor that a Sikh religious organization can bestow upon any individual is a Siropa. It is a blessing of the Guru which is bestowed upon a person who has devoted a major portion of his/her life for the welfare of the Sikh or the humanity in general. Sometimes a Siropa is also bestowed upon the families of Sikhs martyrs.

Turban in Social Life

Muslim men and women in many countries still wear turban. It is said that the Egyptians removed their turban during mourning.

Even in Punjab removing a turban from a person’s head was considered a sign of mourning . Bhai Gurdas, a Sikh savant, who was contemporary of the several Sikh Gurus writes in his Vars:
Tthande khuhu naike pag visar(i) aya sir(i) nangai | Ghar vich
ranna(n) kamlia(n) dhussi liti dekh(i) kudhange |
(Vara(n) Bhai Gurdas, Var 32, pauri 19)
Means =====A person, after taking a bath at the well during winter time, forgot his turban at the well and came home bareheaded. When the women saw him at home without a turban, they thought someone had died and they started to cry.
There are many Punjabi idioms and proverbs that describe how important is a turban in one’s life.

Pag Vatauni (Exchange of Turban)

People in Punjab have been and still do exchange turbans with closest friends. Once they exchange turbans they become friends for life and forge a permanent relationship. They take a solemn pledge to share their joys and sorrows under all circumstances. Exchanging turban is a glue that can bind two individuals or families together for generations.

Turban as a Symbol of Responsibility

People who have lived in India would know the turban tying ceremony known as Rasam Pagri (Turban Tying Ceremony). This ceremony takes place once a man passed away and his oldest son takes over the family responsibilities by tying turban in front of a large gathering. It signifies that now he has shouldered the responsibility of his father and he is the head of the family.

Turban and Sikh Military Life

Turban is a symbol of honor and self-respect. The Sikh Army fought their last major battle against the British in 1845. All the Sikh soldiers and generals were wearing turbans at that time. Shah Muhammad, a great Punjabi poet and historian, who witnessed that war, writes:
Pishe baitth sardara(n) Gurmatta kita, Koi akal da karo ilaj yaro. Sherh burshia(n) di sade pesh ayee, Pag dahrhia(n) di rakho laaj yaro.

The Sikh chiefs took a unanimous and firm religious decision (Gurmatta), that they should have sense enough to judge the tenor of Maharani Jinda(n) Kaur and the crafty Britishers. They said that they were facing a very shrewd enemy and it was high time for them to save their honor because they were wearing turbans and beards (both symbols of self-respect).

The Sikh soldiers refused to wear helmets during World War I and World War II. They fought with turbans on their heads. A Sikh (Khalsa) is supposed to be fearless. Wearing a helmet is admitting fear of death. Many Sikhs received Victoria Cross which is one of the most prestigious gallantry awards in the British army.

Many Sikhs refused to remove turban even in jails. Bhai Randhir Singh, a widely respected Sikh preacher, scholar and a freedom fighter had to undergo a fast to win his right to wear turban in the prison.

High Moral Values

Sikh history is full of facts that men and women of other faiths such as Hindus and Muslims felt safe when there was a Sikh around them. They felt secure from invaders and other people when Khalsa was around. The woman or the oppressed would feel safe and sound under the protection of “khalsa”. It was a common saying in Punjab:
“Aye nihang, booha khol de nishang”
Translation: The Nihangs (Sikhs) are at the door. Dear woman! go ahead open the door without any fear whatsoever.

In the ancient times, the Sikhs men had to fight tough battles with the rulers. They moved from village to village at night. Sometimes they had to hide. Women folks had a very high degree of trust in the Nihangs (Sikhs) who can be clearly identified with a turban and beard. Women knew that the Nihangs (Sikhs) wore high moral character and never mistreated or molested women. So they fed them and helped them in whatever way they could.

Turban a Symbol of Missionary Zeal and There are many references in the Sikh history that describe how Guru Gobind Singh personally tied beautiful dumalas (turbans) on the heads of both his elder sons Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh and how he personally gave them arms, decorated them like bridegrooms, and sent them to the battlefield at Chamkaur Sahib where they both received martyrdom. When the Sikhs go to an agitation (morcha), they usually wear a saffron color turban which is a symbol of sacrifice and martyrdom.


“khoob teri pagri, meethae tere bol”
In the ancient Egyptian civilization turban was an ornamental head dress. They called it pjr from which is perhaps derived the word “pugree” commonly used in India and other Asian countries.

Kingly Turban
Sign of Sardari.
It was meant for only kings. Minorities were not allowed to wear turban and kirpan.
“och dumalra”

Most Bare head is not considered appropriate as per gurbani:
“ud ud ravaa jhaate paaye, vekhe log hasae ghar jaaye”


It provides Sikhs a unique identity. You will see only Sikhs wearing turban in western countries.

If a Sikhs likes to become one with his/her Guru, he/she must look like a Guru (wear a turban). Guru Gobind Singh has said,

“Khalsa mero roop hai khaas. Khalse me hau karo niwas.”
Khalsa (Sikh) is a true picture of mine. I live in a Khalsa.

humble servant of Khalsa panth:
Ajmer Singh Randhawa.


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  9. avneet kaur Says:

    Very nice. Can u further let me know the significance of keeping a pagri with daughter’s suit whenever a mother gifts it to her. Does this hold any faith or has some story behind it or is it just a faith?

    • asrandhawa Says:

      Thanks for your visit to my blog. As per Sikh tradition, a turban is mandatory to keep the hairs covered so if a woman ties a Keski or turban, she will be presented a turban with her suit by her mother or in any functin by her relatives whereever she is honored, and secondly an honor is given to her husband also so a turban is always presented for the son-in-law by mother of the girl, either separately or while giving a suit to daughter. I hope it’s clear now.

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