The Five K’s – Kesh: Uncut Hair


The following excerpt adapted from Living Reality by Bhai Sahiba Dr. Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa, Page 74-75.

Guru Gobind Singh gave us the knowledge of kesh, of long, uncut hair. If a person, from birth to the end, does not ruin the antenna of the body, the hair, then insanity cannot come near that person under any circumstance. He taught us to keep it intact. He taught that there is a function this hair serves sitting on the crown of the head. There is a reason in God’s scheme that our hair grows and grows. Even when we cut it, our hair will continue to grow. Each person’s hair grows to a particular length – which is the correct length for that person. It takes approximately three years after the last time our hair has been cut to form antennae at the tips of the hair, and these antennae serve to draw in greater quantities of vitamin D from the sun and other more subtle forms of cosmic energy into the being.

When you cut your hair you deprive yourself of your own rightful strength and vitality. The prophets in the Old Testament knew this when they retold the story of Samson. Little children know this when parents force them kicking and screaming to sit in the barber’s chair for their first haircut. Native Americans have always known it. And somehow the “flower children of the sixties” as they were called also knew it. Many of them today have become Khalsa, but they had already decided not to cut their hair, before they heard the Guru’s message.

Guru Gobind Singh simply taught us to revere our kesh – our hair – as sacred. To keep it clean and combed, covered with a cotton cloth and wrapped in a turban. We don’t cut the hair because when we go into the vastness of God, it comes into play.

When the hair of humans was cut for the first time, it was considered a punishment. In the tribal wars, when one tribe conquered the other tribe, those who were found alive yet seriously wounded were killed. Those who were found healthy were made slaves. They would cut the women’s hair and shave the men’s heads as the sign of slavery. It was considered so totally unfortunate in those days, that some women committed suicide rather than subjecting themselves to someone cutting their hair. The full length of the hair on the head and the intactness of all the locks were considered to constitute dignity and freedom.

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