Bhai Nand Lal quotes Guru Gobind Singh:
My Sikh shall not use the razor. For him the use of razor or shaving the chin shall be as sinful as incest. . . For the Khalsa such a symbol is prescribed so that a Sikh cannot remain undistinguishable from among a hundred thousand Hindus or Muslims; because how can he hide himself with hair and turban on his head and with a flowing beard?
Bhai Desa Singh, in his Rahitnama imparts a theological edge to his statement:
God created the whole universe and then he fashioned the human body. He gave men beard, moustaches and hair on the head. He who submits to His Will stead- fastly adheres to them. They who deny His Will how will they find God in this world?
Trimming or shaving is forbidden for the Sikhs and constitutes for them the direst apostasy. The truest wish of a true Sikh is to be able “to preserve the hair on his head to his last breath.” This was the earnest prayer arising out of Sikh hearts in the days of cruel persecution in the eighteenth century when to be a Sikh meant to be under the penalty of death. The example is cited from those dark days of Bhai Taru Singh, the martyr, who disdainfully spurned all tempting offers of the Mughal persecutor if only he would convert to Islam: “How do I fear for my life? Why must I become a Musalman? Don’t Musalmans die? Why should I abandon my faith? May my faith endure until my last hair until my last breath,” said Taru Singh.
Benefits of Kesh:
Hair performs a variety of functions. Some are listed below:
Form an insulating coat on the body. Trap a layer of still air just outside the skin, and thereby reduce loss of heat by radiation. Absorb harmful radiations from the sun. Keep out coarse dust particles, as in eyelashes, hair in the nasal chambers and ear canals. Eyebrows prevent water or perspiration from falling into eyes, due to their particular direction. Axillary and pubic hair lessen friction between limbs and body, and between limbs during locomotion. Axillary hair provide large surface area for evaporation of sweat. Beautify the body (otherwise why people do not shave off their hair from the head completely; bald men are desperate and would pay any price to get back hair on their heads). Beard and moustaches are for differentiation of sex. Mostly males are decorated in nature, e.g. lion, peacock and other birds, deer, etc. Protect from sun and rain. Prevent water from entering into skin. Impart colour to body. Vibrissae are sensory hair, tactile in nature and useful in dark burrows. Defend the body in danger, by standing on their ends, thereby making the body look bigger. Help to disguise by blending with the colour of the surroundings, to escape the watchful eyes of natural enemies. A Biological Necessity By Dr. Birendra Kaur