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 Masters 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.