By Honey Kaur
The dastar is closely associated with Sikhi and is an important and unique part of the Sikh culture. Among Sikhs, the dastar is an article of faith that represents honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality and piety. The Sikh warriors and Khalsa wear the dastar as per the wishes of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. But some people think the dastar is only for men, and women are not required to wear it. This article will explain why I, a Sikh woman, wear the dastar.
In Sikhi, the Guru Granth Sahib clearly states that Sikh women are regarded equal to men. She is considered to have same soul as man and thus, has the equal right to grow spiritually. Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, “I will give my Sikhs a distinct and unique appearance, which will be recognized while standing in millions.”
Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not say that he would give uniqueness only to men. When Guru Ji said “Khalsa,” he meant men and women both. Guru Ji gave the same code of discipline, the same rights, the same uniqueness, and the same dress to all Sikhs. So, how is it that some believe women would be excluded from wearing dastar? Guru Gobind Singh Ji made no distinction and referred to initiated Sikh men and women as the Khalsa and instructed them to wear a dastar. Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not make two different Sikhs or two different Khaslas.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, “Khalsa mero roop hai khas,” which in my view means, “The Khalsa is a true picture of me.”
I believe that now-a-days, the dastar is very important for Kaurs. To a Kaur, the dastar means more to her than a crown does to a queen. Through this dastar, Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave a unique identity to Kaurs, which can easily distinguish Kaurs from other women. Furthermore, wearing a head covering enables me to command my sixth center. The dastar is our Guru’s unique gift to me. It conveys royalty, grace and uniqueness. Dastar for Kaur is a signal to others that we are princesses of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and we are equal to the men. When a Kaur choose to stand out by tying dastar, she stands fearlessly as one single person standing out from billion people. It is a most outstanding act.
For me, I wanted to come close to the image of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. I wanted to keep the same “roop.” Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, “Jab lab khalsa rahe niyara. Tab lag diyoon mai saara,” which in my opinion means, “As long as Khalsa preserve its uniqueness and follows the path of true Guru, I will bless them with all of my powers.”
When I look into the mirror, I want to see the reflection of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The dastar helps me connect to my Sikh roots.
If I have said something wrong, it is my humble request, please forgive me.
Akal Sahaie jio….
The above photo is by Anuraj Singh.