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Gurmukhi Baana (Khalsa Attire)

We all are at different levels of spirituality. When we talk about Khalsa, we talk about the ultimate human. Khalsa is the Soldier of Akal Purakh. Of course it has a uniform. There is a uniform at spiritual level and a uniform at physical level.

At physical level, Khalsa uniform is as follows:

1) Doohra Dastaara (two turbans) - The keski or the small turban should be at least so long that it can go around our head three times. The Dastaara should be at least 5 yards long. The dastaara ideally should be Blue and Keski should be yellow. Other allowable colours are Yellow, White and Black.

2) Dastaara should be adorned with Shasters like Khanda, chakkar. These Sarblohi ornaments of Baba Deep Singh Ji, meant to be worn on the Dastara are still available today at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji used to wear Khanda, Chakra on his dastaar.

3) Gurmat Baana: Ideally Khalsa should wear Chola and Kachherra but historically we see that prominent Sikh figures and personalities also wore Gurmat style Kurta Pajama, Achkan etc. Akali Kaur Singh Ji Nihung, who was considered the jathedar of all Nihungs used to wear Achkan most of the times. He led Nihung Dals at the time of Holla Mahalla.

4) Punj Kakaars - These kakaars have been blessed by Sri Guru Ji and must stay on Khalsa 24/7.

At spiritual level, a Khalsa should be armed with Sat (truthfulness), Santok (contentment), Sanjam (patience, carefulness), Nimrata (humility), and above all Naam and Gurbani.

On the face of Khalsa should reside the divine happiness and Anand that comes from Naam Abhyaas. Khalsa should be free of worries. Worry and Khalsa can't stay together. Worry is inversely related to faith in Guru Sahib. Higher the faith, lower the worry or chinta.

Daahra (beard) should be straight and un-tied. A person tying his daahra can never be classified as Khalsa. A person ties his daahra out of fear of the world or other such worries. Khalsa can have no worry and has no fear. How can a Khalsa tie his beard for such reasons? Impossible! However, in circumstances where the daahra is in a danger or getting damaged, it's okay to be careful and take precautions including covering it or tying it loosely but to wear fixo and use other such chemicals or wear that string around the beard does not seem to be right.

What can one say in praise of Khalsa? Sri Guru Dasmesh Ji has written volumes in praise of Khalsa and has gone as far as calling Khalsa - "Mera Satgur Poora". Such "Satgur Poora" is dressed up in pooran Khalsa attire.

Some people claim that the only thing that a Khalsa must wear is 5 Kakaars and that there is no restriction on attire that Khalsa can wear. With respect to this, please ponder upon the following points:

1) Can we imagine the Punj Pyare wearing knickers and tee shirts? How about suits and ties? The fact that Punj Pyare from all organizations and sects within Sikh faith, wear the same attire proves that there is a required attire for Khalsa.

2) Sikh women too are part of Khalsa Panth. If we go with the argument that only 5 Kakaars are mandatory for Khalsa, then one could argue that keeping up with modern times, it should be okay for Sikh Khalsa woman to wear very little clothes or no clothes other than Kachherra. Can we imagine our Khalsa sisters and daughters wearing revealing Western clothes? This proves that there is a restriction to the kind of clothing one can wear once one becomes part of the Panth.

3) Gurbani makes it clear that if one wears wrong clothing it would bring bad time on one. baabaa hor painan khusee khuaar || jith paidhhai than peerreeai man mehi chalehi vikaar ||1|| rehaao || Gurbani clearly says that wearing such clothing that makes one's mind (and others' minds) polluted should be avoided.

It is imperative that Khalsa wears baana as much as possible. Ideally one should wear it all the time but if some Gursikhs have a problem wearing it at work or other such places, they should at least resolve to wear it at all times where possible. When going to store for shopping or when going to other such places, there is no reason to not wear Gurmukhi baana. If all Gursikhs start wearing baana, it would make life easy for all because it would make Gurmukhi baana acceptable in the eyes of others. Guru Sahib Kirpa karan.

Kulbir Singh

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