The long hair on the head and the body. The defenders of human beings, irrevocable scientific reasons. Do deserve proper respect!
If you think that the hair are dispensable, disposable and unnecessary appendages of the human body, then you are sadly mistaken. The human hair determines vitality, virility, strength and immunity of the person concerned. The loss of hair denotes aging, decreased strength and impoverished immune system. The persons undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other immunosuppressant therapy always have loss of hair. These drugs impair fast growing cells of reproduction, vascular and bone marrow.
The Sikhs are the only one in the world, who are required to keep uncut body hair. It is a form of commitment and allegiance to the faith. The moment you lose this essential requirement, you cease to be a Sikh. The Sikhs had sacrificed their lives, when asked to lose the hair or the life; they preferred the hair than living without hair. This is inseparable part of a Sikh’s body. In case of some urgent life saving emergency situations where hair are required to be cut, mostly accidents or surgery then these are cut and the Sikh has to present himself before the board of 5 beloved Sikhs and explain why he has allowed this thing to happen to him. The Sikh is always forgiven and asked to undergo some kind of penance. I think this should be counted as a blessing by all the true Sikhs, if it was not forbidden then no body would have been there on this earth with hair as Sikhs do.
Why hair at all? The defenders!
The human body is perfect, designed and preplanned for the functions, the parts had to undertake later on. The woman’s body has less hair and she is designed to rear the baby and at least for 9 months and during that time she cannot perform so many outdoor functions which a man has to do all the days in the year. And, of course, this is the woman who has to deliver the milk as an essential ingredient which a man though equally related cannot help. And the woman must remain with the child in growing tender years. This explains the less hair on the body. So the woman by virtue of her duty is less exposed to outside hostile environment and so less protection is needed by lesser growth of hair.
See the beauty of nature, the palmer and plantar side of the hands and feet have no hair; the sensory receptors for heat are less sensitive or are less in number on these surfaces. The skin is thick on these places as one has to work with hard, rough surfaces and uncomfortable temperatures.
Why hair on the eyebrows, eyelashes, nose and ear don’t keep growing and longer and longer? Of course, the hair keep growing in all these places but rate of growth is very slow.
If one has to shave hair of eyebrows for surgery, you can always find the slow growth. If there were no eyelashes then eyes would have been more vulnerable to injury by the suspended particles in the air which are harmful. The eyes keep blinking after every few seconds and eye lashes provide vision and protection from foreign bodies during partial closure of the eyes. The new born child blinks his eyes less often, so eye blinking is related to the brain development. Can you do without eyelashes! This small bunch of hair performs vital functions for your vision. Why don’t we shave these eyelashes also?
The science has not understood the total human physiology as yet. Have we promoted or made stem cells? These cells were there from the very inception of first human being on earth, it is only now we could find the already existing potential of these cells
.On the other hand, one has to shave the face daily and get their hair cut of the head at least once a week. It does imply that there is more requirement of hair in these areas. So God has very kindly helped the hair to keep growing in these places in spite of the fact that the man does not understand the importance of the hair which are of immense value in keeping him healthy. God is our father that is why He does it as frequently as the man indulges in unnatural practices.
Similarly, the longer hair in armpits and groins have some important functions. The upper layers of the skin are being constantly replaced by the new skin from underneath. The armpits and the groins are not exposed to the clothes or the environment. The shed off skin gets collected in these areas. These areas are not well ventilated, so skin moisture is added along with the proteins of shed off skin. And this combination along with more heat in these areas form the best play ground for the fungi and bacteria to grow and multiply. The hair work as cleansing agents or natural scavengers. The collections of dead skin and secretions are removed by the hair and are carried on the shaft of the hair away from the skin. This way, the hair help in keeping the skin well protected. As a physician, I know we get many cases of fungus infection and repeated boils in these areas especially in hot and humid weather. If hair are removed, then certainly we are killing our friends for the sake of so called beauty.
The hair on our entire body are sensitive to cold, heat and emotions. In case of fear, the hair stand erect and may be helping the body to cope with the threatening situations. In cold weather the peripheral circulation supplying blood to skin is reduced and it helps in conserving body heat. And the hair on the surface of the skin get erected to perform some unknown functions and closing skin pores to reduce loss of heat. Similarly, in hot weather the erector muscle of the hair in skin are relaxed and help the body in producing less heat and there by promote the heat loss through open skin pores by perspiration.
The hair around external genitalia perform very vital function in cooling or heating the heat sensitive genitalia. If testes don’t descend to the scrotum then excessive heat of inside the body destroys the germinal cells.
So, please don’t kill your defenders and be wise. God has not done anything in vain. Let us respect the nature and should not do anything against it.
Some other benefits of long hair
The brain is required by all of us; so far the science did not find any alternative to take up its functions if needed. Unfortunately, the brain cannot be transplanted from any body else. The brain of our immediate ancestor, the monkey could be made available for experiments that should make us to jump all the inhibitions.
The wise people had made arrangements to protect the head, in case of car accidents by giving us air bags in the steering wheel, or using helmets for driving two wheelers. It is really praiseworthy.
The pedestrians do need some protection also against accidents, no body has thought of any measure. You have to protect your brain in extremes of weather conditions in Siberia, Polar Regions and hot places like Dubai.
The most devastating effects of harmful radiations from the sun also need some urgent protection. It has become all the more important and relevant, owing to increasingly decreasing cover of ozone layer in the atmosphere. As we know there is big hole in the ozone layer and harmful ultraviolet radiations come un obstructed to the earth.
The hair on the head caters to all the above mentioned needs for us. God had given us the final and beautiful protection to the brain by giving us long hair on our heads and faces also. The hair on the face does protect some important receptors in the neck also. It makes the man the most handsome creature on the earth. The hair is God’s gift for us. It protects us against weather conditions by keeping warm in winter and cool in summer. The harmful radiations are taken care of and in addition it protects us against any accidents.
Do we need to cut, the useful part of our body and which is found so essential for our lives? The modern man had ignored this vital aspect. In India, all our forefathers used to have the long hair on their heads and those people who had attained perfection had long hair on their heads, like Christ, Mohammed, Ram, Bhudha and Krishan. The hair are connected with salvation and perfection in some unknown ways.
Sikhism is the most modern religion; Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth master of Sikhs in 1699 AD had very kindly made it mandatory to have long hair on our heads and not to murder the hair on our body in any way. It is a sin to cut hair, if a Sikh cuts hair he is forsaken from the faith. It is not important that there are many so called Sikhs who do not keep hair. It is their sweet will and no body should mind that. But surely, they are not Sikhs. We remember our heroes who lived the life of the perfect Sikhs and sacrificed everything. The Sikhs had kept long hair in spite of severe punishment, like removing the scalp from head along with long hair. The Sikhs were given the option to remove the Sikh symbols and the hair, these heroes preferred death than giving up the hair and Sikh identity. The true Sikhs would prefer death than giving up the hair.
How to care for the hair?
If you agree with me that the hair are important gift given to the entire mankind without any distinction of the area, religion or group by our God father, then we should decide as how to respect our defenders and friends.
Guru Gobind Singh had thought of this need, and delineated the procedure for his followers or for that reason any body who wants to support long hair on the head and the body. The hair need to be kept tidy and should be combed daily and keep the hair rolled up as a knot on the head. And to keep the hair clean and healthy, Sikhs had been advised to tie a head gear or a turban over the head daily.
The head gear is required by all the people in extremes of weather. But if you wear turban all the time on the head, then there is great protection to the brain in case of accidents or by direct hit by any flying object or a stick or a sharp cutting object. The momentum gets decreased when the 6 to 7 layers of cloth of the turban bears the brunt of the impact and the turban gets dismantled and the direction of the hitting object gets changed. And certainly, it does give a great protection not only to the most vital brain but saves the life also.
Now days there is noise pollution by the heavy vehicles on the roads and sound of DJ’s in social gatherings and dance parties, the turban protects the brain and the ears against very loud sounds which go much higher than the safe limit of 60 decibels.
The turban gives added protection to the brain against harmful radiations from the sun.
The extreme cold weather and chilly winds cannot do anything to the wearer of the turban. Luckily, I had lived three winters in south east of Canada and had faced the minimum temperature of - 25 degree C and strong chilly winds. I used to walk for one hour daily under these weather conditions. No time, I felt insecure and I used to enjoy the weather. The only problem was the black ice for which I learnt the trick of walking on this sort of surface. I had devised to walk on toes and not to put the heel first on the ice. By putting the toe first, the centre of gravity shifts to the middle of the body and the person is more secure. If some body is walking with heels first then the centre of gravity is behind the person and the heel slips. If you happen to view the foot prints of those who had slipped, you would find the heels had dragged for some distance before the person fell on the ground.
How does the turban protects us from chilly winds and snow storms? One can observe snow storms and chilly winds would hit from the front, sides or from the back depending upon direction of your walk in relation to the wind. The snow coat had head part or hood also but in comparison to the turban it stands no where. The turban has 6 to 7 layers of cloth all around your head; the way it insulates is superb. No need of putting the hood on the turban, one is very comfortable. Once you come back to your home, you would find the snow had got deposited on the moustaches and the beard.
If you are exposed to this type of weather, then the sensitive parts of the body are tip of the nose, pinna and lobule of the ear. These parts get blue and are frozen. The turban protects the ear and the hair on face blocks the chilly winds to enter the nose straightway and certainly the hair may be helping in warming the outside air entering the nose through hot exhaled air.
The burning hot temperatures can cause sun burns on exposed skin and heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The brain regulates the temperature of the body. The turban acts as a screen to the direct effect of sun rays. It keeps the brain cool, by absorbing the sweat on the head on one hand and insulates the head from external temperature. The head is kept cool in spite of the fact that the outside temperature is nearly scolding hot. How many people can walk bare headed in extreme hot weather? Not many and all have to cover their heads by some sort of cap or hat. The cap or hat can fall down in case you wish to work outside in hot weather. Everybody cannot sit in air conditioned room and so many had to work outside. So turban is the answer for them.
The turban has some aesthetic value. The person looks taller and handsome. The choice of colours is vast and that can match your casual wear of shirts or tie. One looks a like a king. Perhaps all the dignitaries in the past used to wear different head gears. Believe me, once you tie a turban on the head you feel energized and more active, than sitting without it during holidays.
The other persons who are not Sikhs would find I am promoting Sikhism, but I have tried to put the facts before everyone, if it helps Sikhism I feel happy and proud. I think the Sikhs who have lost their identity for the sake of some gains it is high time they should feel sorry for that. A Sikh is an ideal human being. The Sikhs don’t smoke, don’t keep extra marital contacts and are well armed to keep the oppressed, protected and are confident of their inheritance. The Sikh has to respect all religions and would keep on following his faith strictly. The Sikh has malice for none and love for all. The Sikhs pray for the betterment of the total humanity including their opponents.
Dr Balwant Singh