(A rare picture of Bhai Sahib wearing a Gol Dastaar)
The Story Behind this Unique Picture of Bhai Jagtar Singh jee
This incident is from the late 1990s. Singhs were sitting in a room of Weston Road Gurdwara Sahib and discussing Gurmat related topics. Couple of Singhs who were over-zealot about wearing only gol (round) Dastara started pestering Bhai Sahib to start wearing a gol Dastaar since there was more Gurmat in doing so.
When they continued cajoling Bhai Sahib, he asked them what would be the benefit of doing so. They replied by saying that all Gurmukhs who have reached the Jyot-Vigaasi Avastha used to wear a gol Dastara. At this Bhai Sahib asked them if they did not consider Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee a Jyot-Vigaasi Gurmukh. They replied that they did consider Bhai Sahib to be a Pooran Gursikh. Then Bhai Sahib replied that Bhai Sahib and most of his companions used to wear a Sidha-Gurmukhi Dastara with Khanda and Chakra adorned on it. If only Gol-Dastara would have been Gurmat, then would Gurmukhs like Bhai Sahib not wear it?
The idea is that so long as the basic conditions e.g. acceptable colour, not sewing the Dastar in the middle, not leaving a laR anywhere on the Dastar etc. are fulfilled, it does not matter whether the Dastara is gol or Sidha Gurmukhi Dastara.
Many years later, in 2004, the question of Bhai Sahib’s Sidha Gurmukhi Dastara was raised again in India, by a whole group of Gursikhs who always wear Gol Dastara. They all started insisting Bhai Sahib to wear a Gol Dastara. Now Bhai Sahib would have had no objection to their request but Bhai Sahib all his life had tried his best to follow the footsteps of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee including his Baana and Dastara style and he wanted to continue doing so. So when this group of Singhs of India insisted, Bhai Sahib could not say no to them but accepted their request on a condition that if wearing a Gol Dastara brings increased Naam related Anand to him, he would adopt the Gol Dastara forever; otherwise, he would revert back to wearing the Sidha Gurmukhi Dastara.
The above picture is from that time when he wore a Gol Dastara at the request of Gursikhs of India. He did not wait but immediately wore a Gol Dastaar. When I saw Bhai Sahib in this form, I thought that he looked a bit dangerous or say a bit tough person. We joked about it with Bhai Sahib. It is a great memory. Then we took this picture of Bhai Sahib and captured this memory for the future.
In any case, Bhai Sahib as promised continued wearing a Gol Dastara for few days and then informed us that since wearing a Gol Dastara did not enhance his Naam related Anand; therefore, he was going to revert back to wearing the Dastara he felt comfortable with. We were really glad with his decision because we loved him the way he was. Bhai Jeevan Singh, Bhai Jagtar Singh, Bhai Atma Singh and all other Gurmukhs of Jatha wore similar kind of Dastara and this is what we like our Bhai Sahib to wear.
The moral of the story is that as long as one wears a Dastaar fulfilling the Gurmat related conditions, it does not matter what shape one is wearing. The question about shape of a Dastaar never arose within the companions of Bhai Sahib and still it can be seen that Bhai Sahib’s companions wear both Gol and Sidhi Gurmukhi Dastaar, interchangeably. The main thing is Naam, Gurbani and Rehit.
Another thing we can learn from this Saakhi is that when Gursikhs ask us to do something, we should not outright reject it and with clean mind try to adopt their advice, even if we don't like it. Bhai Sahib wore Gol Dastara despite his preference for a Sidha Gurmukhi Dastara and this way did not say no to Singhs. This way he kept their Maan and also did not give up his preference of wearing the kind of Dastara that Bhai Sahib's favourite Gurmukh used to wear.
More memories to come; stay tuned…