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fateh jio,

it was in my mail box frm long time back. i hav saved this as its

really interesting. hope it will help ur question.

Q!Are all the 5Ks compulsory and equal in importance?

SS - ( Absolutely YES )

AS - yes, all the 5Ks are compulsory and equally important. not just for

amritdharies, but for ALL sikhs.

Q2. Wearing of 3Ks (Kirpan,khenga and khera) in miniature form in a

necklace, is it correct andpermitted?

SS - ( For an Amritdhari Sikh this is not acceptable, although some ignorant

persons may stick to this undesirable practice.More over this is a mockery

of the stipulated Rehat. However for Kirpan, it could be of any reasonable

size in a standard sheath).

AS - No it is not correct, and not accepted practice, to wear the kakkaars

in miniature form around the neck as a piece of jewellery. they make up the

external uniform of a sikh that confers responsibility on a sikh to strive

for 'khalsa ji kay bol baalay' and 'sarbat dha bhalaa'. as a saint-soldier,

a sikh's uniform must be visible to others, and he/she must wear it

with pride.

Q3. Generally the sikh community tend to give paramount importance to

only one of the Ks that is uncut hair and neglect the other 4 Ks. So much so

if one does not have this paramount K (uncut hair) he/she would be branded

as an outcaste, belittled, cursed and ostracised and many good samaritans

(withor without the 5Ks) would offer advise to him/her to repent. However,

when one has only the paramount K (uncut hair) and not the other 4 Ks

everybody seems not bothered and offer no advise and he/she is not cursed,

belittled, ostracised and most surprisingly this category of persons can even

qualify to hold important positions in Sikh Associations and perform

sewa/kirtan and give lectures in Gurdwaras. Why?

SS - ( This is true for a non-Amritdhari Sikh, but not for a Khalsa).

AS - the 'anomaly' that you mention above is not because Kesh is

considered a 'paramount' kakaar compared to the other four. it is because

'removal of kesh' is one of the 4 Taboos. a sikh who disrespects her/his kesh is a

'patit', ie fallen from grace. hence the general concern of 'good samaritans' to rehabilitate him/her.

Q4. To be exemplery to others, since the 5Ks can be seen physically,

would it be proper that only sikhs with 5Ks be allowed to perform sewa /kirtan /lecture and hold important positions in Sikhs Associations and

Gurdawaras and for samelans all participants/officals/facilitators be

required to have the 5Ks?

SS - (According to general practice in the above situations, a person as

Keshdhari Gursikh but non-Amritdhari is acceptable, provided there is no

stipulation to be an Amritdhari).

AS - the sikh reht maryada stipulates who can do what seva in the

gurdwara. as far as sikh associations are concerned, their constitutions provide

guidance. personally, it would be good if all sikhs wear the 5Ks. however,

since not all sikhs do, i would abide by the SRM. where this is silent, i

would err on the side of inclusion instead of exclusion. i have worked,

and still do, with many sikhs who do not have some of the 5Ks. they are

sikhs as per the defination of the SRM, and i am happy to have them as


on the projects that i am involved in over the years. without me saying a

word, many of them have progressed spiritually not only to wear the 5Ks, but to

recieve the khande-dhi-pahul on their own initiative. and they have become

very good role models.

Q5. Is it correct to categorise sikhs into two groups ie with 5Ks (Poora)

and with 4Ks and below (Adhura)

and a Poora may not necessarily be a poora if he/she does not practise,

perform good deeds and other

requirements and a Adhura will always remain a Adhura even if he/she

performs all the requirements?

SS - (This is a very important question. There is no "Poora" or "Adhura"

Sikh in the absence of principles laid down in Sikhi - Kirt Karni, Wand

Chhakna & Naam Japna with practicing the same . In short names of Panj

Piaras stand as pillars of Sikhi towards principles - eg. DAYA, DHARM,

MOHKAM, SAHIB & HIMAT. Without good deeds &

principles even AmritdhariKhalsa can be called a 'pakhandi')

AS - Let us not create new categories to divide the community.

bhull chukk maaf karni.


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Of course there are also people out there, like me, who beleive that keski is a kakaar, and not kes. I think they should state their reasons as to why they think so too, so that the sangat can see their side as well.

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Yep Im a keski man myself.........

My reason is simply that hte earliest and most reliable account says BLUE KESKI as the 5th kakkar. Not just one account, but 2.

These accounts are the Vahees of Bhatt. They were found by Pyare Singh Padam. They are certified to have been written at the beginning of the 1700s. They conform with rahitnamas by Bhai Chaupa Singh (who says it is keski) and also is implied by Bhai Daya Singh, one of the original Panj. He says that women should wear a keski, and even Bhai Prahlad Singh says in his rehitnama that one must NEVER be baheheaded, and keep a keski on always.

Plus, when your in the bath, shower, and your washing your body, how do u keep your kirpan on without a keski? You put a keski on your head, and tie kirpan in gatra round it. Then when you wanna wash your hair, tie keski round waist, put keski in it, and then wash your hair. Theres no other viable way to keep your kakkars on....keski is the solution! Guru Gobind Singh came to Bhai Randhir Singh and Bhai Rama Singh and said it was keski aswell.

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here is why i think keskee is a kakaar:

- Keshas is the first fundamental requirement for a Sikh. Shaving or trimming of hair is the first of the four Cardinal Sins -Kurahits (Big Don'ts) - the commitment of any one of which makes one an apostate and results in one's automatic excommunication from the fold of the Khalsa Brotherhood

- Keshas form part of the human body and are not obtained and worn like other Kakaars.

- Keshas are considered so sacred that for their cleanliness, care, and protection, two additional Kakaars, i.e. Kangha and Keski, have been prescribed in the Sikh Code of Conduct.

This is a brief summarized account of the historical background in this regard. In the following pages, an effort has been made to elaborate a bit on the above points by presenting certain facts:

Rahit Naama of Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji contains the following couplet regarding 'rahits':

Kachh, Kada, Kirpan, Kangha, Keski.

Eh Panj Kakaari Rahit Dhaarey Sikh Soyee.

To be a Sikh, one must observe five rahits of wearing five Sikh symbols beginning with 'K': Kachh, Kada, Kirpan, Kangha, and Keski. (Those Sikhs not believing in keski have wrongfully broken the word Keski in this couplet into two words, Kes and Ki, indicating it to mean "the rahit of keshas.")

The renowned scholar of the Panth, Bhai Sahib Kahan Singh Ji of Nabha, compiled the Encyclopedia of Sikh Literature and Terminology (Gur Shabad Ratnagar MAHAN KOSH) in 1926. The term 'Keski' has been explained therein on page 254, Col. 3 of its Second Edition published by the Punjab Government in 1960, as:

Keski: Noun - small turban worn to protect hair.


ll known 19th Century English Historian, J. D. Cunningham (1812-1851) who was an eye witness to the First Anglo-Sikh War, in his History of the Sikhs - 1848 refers to Sikh women of that time as follows:

"The Sikh women are distinguished from Hindus of their sex by some variety of dress, chiefly by a higher topknot of hair."22

Higher topknot of hair on Sikh women's heads automatically implies their coverage by some sort of turban, as Cunningham has connected it with "some variety of dress."

According to the Sikh history, Sahib Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji, impressed and pleased by the untiring and devoted labor of love and selfless service of Baba (later Guru) Amardas Ji' bestowed upon him Siropas in the form of Dastaars a number of times. Even now this tradition of bestowing Dastaar as a Siropa continues at Sri Akal Takht Sahib and other Takhts and Gurdwaras.

Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji's hymn on page 1084 clearly states:

Naapaak Paak Kar Hadoor Hadeesa

Sabat Surat Dastaar Sira.

Make unpure (mind) pure. It is the true adherence to the Muslim Law (Hadees).

(One can obtain this objective) by keeping one's body unviolated and by always wearing a turban on head.

The above instruction to keep the body in its original complete form and to wear turban is meant for all, irrespective of sex.

The tradition of "double dastaar" prevalent amongst Khalsa men was also the result of the practice of keeping Keski under the big turban so that they may never remain bareheaded. Keeping this very tradition in view, the British rulers of India prescribed wearing of double dastaar, i.e., one small (also referred to as an under turban) and the other outer big one, as part of the official uniform for Sikh members of the armed forces. They were, and perhaps are even now, officially provided with two turbans, one big and one small, as part of their uniforms.

At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the present

one, as a result of the Sikh renaissance movement, a number of Khalsa schools for girls were established in Punjab. Small dastaar (Keski) was prescribed as an obligatory head dress for students as well as teachers in such schools at Jaspalon, Ferozepur and Sidhwan in Punjab.

In a number of Rahitnaamas, the importance of keeping hair always covered with Dastaar has been emphasized very clearly. A few quotations are given below:

"Each candidate for Baptism be made to wear kachhehra, tie hair in a topknot and cover the same with dastaar; wear Sri Sahib (i.e. Kirpan) in Gaatra (shoulder belt). Then he/she should stand with folded hands. (Rahitnama Bhai Daya Singh Ji)

"...Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa should keep his hair unshorn, have flowing beard and have simple dastaar which saves him from impiety. Then the Sikhs asked what would happen to those Amrltdharis who start cutting their hair or do not keep their hair covered. The Guru replied that they would be stupid and will lose their sensibility It is a blemish to remain bareheaded...Always keep two turbans. When the bigger turban is removed, the smaller be kept. The smaller turban should not be removed." (Bijai Mukat Dharam Shastra - Sakhi-8)

"(A Sikh) who eats food with turban removed from the head (i.e., bareheaded) is destined for 'Kumbhi' hell." (Rahit Rama Bhai Prahlad Singh Ji)

"One who combs hair twice a day, ties turban fold by fold and cleans teeth everyday will not come to grief." (Tankhah Naama Bhai Nandlal Ji)

"Whosoever roams about bareheaded, takes food bareheaded and distributes the 'prasad' bareheaded is considered punishable." (Uttar-prashan Bhai Nandlal Ji)

"Women should tie their hair in topknot and should not keep them loose." (Rahitnama Bhai Daya Singh Ji)

"Keshas be washed. Turban or dastaar should not be placed on floor but should always be kept with due respect. Food should not be eaten bareheaded." (Bijai Mu

kt Dharam Shastra, Sakhi 70)


Well-known Sikh historian Bhai Sahib Bhai Santokh Singh has given a somewhat detailed description concerning Mai Bhag Kaur (commonly known as Mai Bhago) of Forty Muktas fame in his well known historical work GUR PARTAP SURYA. He mentions that Mai Bhag Kaur had reached the highest stage of enlightenment and had almost lost her body consciousness...so much so that when her clothes became worn to shreds, she did not care to replace them. Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji called her in His Holy presence and instructed her to always stick to the Gursikh dress as prescribed in the Code of Conduct. In particular, she was ordered to wear Kachhehra and chhoti dastaar. In fact, according to some chroniclers, the dastaar was tied on her head by the Satguru himself. If this dastaar was not a Rahit, where was the need to include this item in the instructions given to a lady who had reached almost the Brahmgyan stage? It apparently shows that the Satguru gave as much importance to Dastaar as to other Rahits like Kachhehra.

In the Museum of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's fort at Lahore and Victoria Museum at Calcutta, the pictures of Sikh women of old time can be seen even now, depicting them with small dastaars or keskis.

Bhai Sahib Vir Singh, in his well known poetical work, RANA SURAT SINGH, depicts Rani Raj Kaur as a Saint Soldier or Rajyogi of the highest order. Her very impressive picture given in the book depicts her with a well-tied Keski, on which is also affixed a khanda-chakkar, the emblem of Sikhism.

The Sikh women belonging to the Jatha of Bhai Sahib (Sant) Teja Singh Ji of Mastuana, have been seen doing Kirtan in congregations wearing dastaars. He was instrumental in establishing Akal Academy - a Higher Secondary School at Baru in Himachal Pradesh wherin all students - boys as well as girls - are required to wear turbans as a prescribed school uniform.

The Central Majha Diwan and Panch Khalsa Diw

an, Bhasaur - the two organizations which played a remarkable role in the Sikh renaissance movement in the first decade of the twentieth century laid special stress on the wearing of Keski by women.

The author had the privilege of meeting the late Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji Khalsa of the Bhindranwala Jatha along with his whole family, including his wife, two sons and their wives. They were all wearing Keskis just as the members of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha do.

It is a historical fact that there was a time when a price was put on the head of a male Sikh. Greedy and unprincipled people, both Hindus and Muslims, availed of this opportunity to make money. When they could no longer find male Sikhs in the villages and towns, they started beheading Khalsa women and presenting their heads as the heads of young unbearded teenager Sikh lads. As such, many Sikh women, out of fear of persecution, stopped wearing Keski and converted topknot of hair into fashionable styles like women of other faiths. This practice, which originated in a helpless state of affairs, became a fashion in due course of time. By the way, it was perhaps under these very abnormal circumstances that Sikh women also started wearing ear and nose ornaments to avoid the disclosure of their Sikh identity.

S. Shamsher Singh Ashok who has been an active member of the Singh Sabha movement and an erstwhile Research Scholar of the S.G.P.C., while discussing the prevalence of the use of 'keski', states:

"...and, consequently in the Amrit-Parchaar at the Akal Takht Sahib, this was a precondition even for ladies before they could be baptized there. Any woman who was not prepared to wear Keski was not baptized. This practice continued even after the end of the Gurdwara movement. Relaxation was made only when Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir became the Jathedar of the Akal Takht."23

A recent discovery from old literature puts a final seal on the Keski having been prescribed as a Rahit by the Tenth Guru himself. While goi

ng through the old Vahis of the Bhatts, lying with their successors in Karnal District in Haryana State, Prof. Piara Singh Padam of Punjabi University Patiala came across a paragraph explaining the first baptism of the double-edged sword bestowed by Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji on the First Five Beloved Ones on the Baisakhi of 1699 A.D. and the Code of Conduct imparted to them on that auspicious occasion. Based upon the language and style, this manuscript has been assessed to have been written in about the end of the eighteenth century. As this finding is of special significance in this respect, the English translation of the whole paragraph is reproduced below:

"Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Tenth Guru, son of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, in the year Seventeen Hundred Fifty Two, on Tuesday - the Vaisakhi day - gave Khande-Ki-Pahul to Five Sikhs and surnamed them as Singhs. First Daya Ram Sopti, Khatri resident of Lahore stood up. Then Mohkam Chand Calico Printer of Dawarka; Sahib Chand Barber of Zafrabad city; Dharam Chand Jawanda Jat of Hastnapur; Himmat Chand Water Carrier of Jagannath stood up one after the other. All were dressed in blue and he himself also dressed the same way. Huqqah, Halaal, Hajaamat, Haraam, Tikka, Janeyu, Dhoti, were prohibited. Socialization with the descendants of Prithi chand (Meenay), followers of Dhirmal and Ram Rai, clean shaven people and Masands was prohibited. All were given Kangha, Karad, KESGI, Kada and Kachhehra. All were made Keshadhari. Everyone's place of birth was told to be Patna, of residence as Anandpur. Rest, Guru's deeds are known only to the Satguru. Say Guru! Guru! Guru! Guru will help everywhere."24

This discovery is a landmark in this respect: Kesgi or Keski has not only been clearly mentioned as one of the five K's, but also the specific and seperate mention of making all Sikhs Keshadharies, makes it clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that Keshas are not included in the Five Symbols (i.e., Five K's): in other words, ke

eping them intact is a separate and specific injunction for all Sikhs. (By the way, regarding eating meat, both Halaal and Haraam- the Muslim description of any meat other than Halaal - were also forbidden. It means that eating meat was totally prohibited.)



Now let us consider why Keski and not Keshas is one of the Sikh symbols. By considering Keski as a symbol, the importance of Keshas IS NOT UNDERMINED IN ANY WAY. In fact, the Keshas are the basic and fundamental edifice of Sikhism without which no one can become a Sikh. The following points are put forth for a rational and unbiased consideration in this respect:

Keshas are the natural blessing of the Creator. They grow from within the body and develop gradually with age as other parts of the body. As against it, all other symbols or kakaars are external and are put on the body from outside. Even a very devout Sikh may, at times, be forced to remain without any one of the four symbols under circumstances beyond his control. This cannot happen with Keshas, which do not fall in line with the other four symbols and are in a class by themselves.

Kangha, which is one of the symbols, is kept for the upkeep of the Keshas (which is also generally considered a symbol). No other symbol is meant for the protection of any other symbol, these being for the protection of the body or some part of it. Evidently, therefore, Keshas cannot be considered as an outer symbol but a part of the body for the protection of which Kangha and Keski are required to be kept as symbols.

The RAHITS, including the wearing of the external Five Symbols (Keski, Kachhehra, Kangha, Kada and Kirpan) fall in the category of DO's, while Kurahits (Cardinal Sins or Taboos), including cutting of the hair, are placed in the category of DON'TS. The vested interests try to intermingle them. In this way, they unconsciously belittle the value of Keshas. They should realize that t

he value of all outer symbols is alike.

Then there is an evident anomaly in the commonly accepted Code of Conduct with regard to Keshas. These are included in the category of four cardinal sins which are so basically important that commitment of any one of these by a Sikh makes him an apostate. These are, then, also included in the category of Rahits, the infringement of which makes a Sikh merely a Tankhaeeya or punishable. Evidently there is definite incongruity in it which defies logical or rational explanation. The only logical explanation, therefore, is that the Keshas are not included in Rahits but are one of the four major Kurahits (Taboos or Cardinal Sins): A Sikh must not cut hair.

The wearing of Keski enables Sikh women to show their distinctiveness of being Sikh or Khalsa like men. The importance of this Khalsa distinctiveness has been clearly emphasized by the Tenth Guru for the Khalsa as a community, both men and women, and not for men only.

At the time of the baptismal ceremony, the same Amrit (Khande-Ki-Pahul) is administered to all without any distinction, including that of sex. The title of Khalsa is bestowed on all of them. The same way of life and Code of Conduct is enjoined upon all of them. All of them are forbidden to roam about, take food, etc. bareheaded. How, then, have women become exempt from any of these injunctions? Keski is the only answer to this contradiction.

[text taken from akj.org, gurmat rehat maryada - bhai manmohan singh jee]

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I just dont wanna follow anyone except my bhramgyani and sggs. He got salvation reading and following sggs with the ragmala and considering kesh as kakkar...

Here is the picture of him without the keski then akj would consider this puran-bhramgyani as non-khalsa right since in this he doesnt have a keski on..

Baba Ishar singh ji rara sahib


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was this how baba ishar singh jee all the time? or this pic is taken after he did kesy ishnaan?

Isnt in the rehatmaryada says that 5ks has to be with the body all the time???

so does that matter if its keshi ishan time or all the time??

what i wanna know ur opnion by lookin at the picture???

From an akj point of view. does he or does he not violates their discplines?? therefore just because maharaj ji doesnt have the keski on .. akj will think of him as non-khalsa?? wouldnt they??

please answer my questions.


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i think u understood me differently. let me try to do a better explanation:

- by looking at the pic i thought that baba jee had keskee with him (the white cloth to cover his head). because u said "Here is the picture of him without the keski " and i was like he is wearing a keskee

- i don't know much about baba jee's life but do have lot of respect for him

- also i don't know anything about what akj's stand on this as i don't speak for them. how do u assume that i am akj or anything like that. i am just guru jee da sikh and try to follow what he says

- in my opinion keskee is a kakaar. but because its still an unresolved issue from akal takhat sahib(even though it was declared a kakkaar in past), sikhs not wearing keskee can not be declared non-khalsa or anything like that (as u mentioned) as long as they do other things required for someone to be khalsaa.


Isnt in the rehatmaryada says that 5ks has to be with the body all the time???

what kind of question is this? yes, according to rehatmaryada 5k's has to be with the body all the time. i dont what else u mean by asking this question.

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lets not turn this into a debate, there were many great sikhs that beleived that kes is a kakaar, as well as many that beleieved that keski was a kakaar. The latter includes Bhai Daya Singh Ji, one of the Panj piyaarey, whom I am inclined to follow, since he mentions the keski as a kakaar in his rehitnama.

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Karam singh veer ji,

he is just covering his head that does not mean he is wearing keski does that?

and also if you intend to follow akal takht sahib then why not follow their rehatnama when they are allowed jhatka??

you said if someone doesnt consider keski as kakkar they wouldnt be call non-khalsa??

then why do i get this feeling in my local gurdwara where people try to somehow force you into beleive in it??? like to prove that they are better because they follow sikhi fully. This is the reason i stop goin in my local gurdwara .Because i dont feel welcomed.

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