A person trimming hair, beard can’t claim to be Sehajdhari

AMRITSAR , DECEMBER 6. Glaring difference of opinion on the definition of “Sehajdhari Sikh”, prepared by the SGPC executive committee and panel of experts may put the Shiromani Committee in the spot.

The panel of Sikh experts have clearly con cluded , “A person cannot claim to be a Sehajdhari by trimming/cutting his/her beard or eyebrows in any manner”. The meeting of the panel, held here on December 4 was necessitated when objec tions were raised on the definition of Sehajdhari, passed in the executive committee meeting of the Shiromani Committee, held on December 3 at Chandigarh. However, some members of the   panel alleged the SGPC ) ignored the suggestions e made by them at the meeting held under the

presidentship of Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, SGPC gen eral secretary and neces sary amendments were not made in the resolution passed by the executive committee meeting on December 3,.

Bhaur, Kiranjot Kaur , G.S.Lamba , Prof Suba  Singh and Dr Jasbir Singh Sabar- all members of the expert panel of the SGPC said they stood by the definition pa sed by them on December 4.

To a question, Kiranjot Kaur , an SGPC member, said the resolution of the SGPC executive commit tee about the definition of Sehajdhari was contrary to the one passed by them (Sikh expert panel). Edi tor of Sikh monthly, Sant Sipahi, G.S.Lamba , one of the six members also expressed shock the executive body had ignored the recommenda tions , made by the experts.

The SGPC executive committee had reiterated the definition given in the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, according to which the Sehajdhari Sikhs are those who are born in non-Sikh families, but follow the tenets of Sikhism. A Seha jdhari Sikh is thus a non Sikh who performs cere monies according to Sikh rites; who does not use . tobacco, does not con sume halal meat in any form; who is not a “patit” and who recites the mulmantra of Guru Granth Sahib.


Picture of a Sehajdhari Sikh as given in ‘Mahan Kosh’ by Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha


In the resolution passed at a meeting held this evening, the SGPC point ed out the definition of Sehajdhari given in the Section 2 (lQ-A) of the Gurdwara Act states the word “sehajdhari” con sists of two words “sehaj” (slowly) and “dhari” (adopt a religious path) and hence these are those novices who slowly move on the path of Sikhism to aclopt its doctrine, ethics and tenets.

A Sehajdhari, therefore, is one who has entered the path of Sikhism and he will continue to be a Sehajdhari Sikh till he fully accepts the moral and spiritual vows of Sikhism, to be called a practising Sikh. The SGPC resolution also made it clear that when a Sehajdhari Sikh becomes a keshdhari Sikh, but he chooses to trim.his body hair, he will not be a Sehajdhari Sikh. Similar ly, if a person born into a Sikh family (and is a Sikh), but chooses to dis respect his keshdhari roop he will not turn into a Sehajdhari Sikh but become a “patit”.

However, Lamba and Kiranjot Kaur alleged such a definition passed by the SGPC executive body would have far reaching effects .

Sabar, another member of the expert panel said the definition of Sehajd hari, passed by the experts should be accept ed in toto.

News Courtesy : Varinder Walia, Tribune News Service


Resolution on the Definition of Sehajdhari passed by the SGPC appointed expert committee (Dec 3, 2008)


The Hon’ble High Court vide its order dated September 29, 2008 has directed the filing of an affidavit, based on a resolution passed by the S.G.P.C., Amritsar, as to whether or not a person who cuts/trims/shaves his/her hair, beard, plucks his/her eyebrows is a “Sahajdhari Sikh,” ifhe performs ceremonies according to Sikh rites, does not use tobacco or Kutha (Halal Meat) in any form, and can recite Mulmantra : Proem to Sri Guru Granth Sahib in terms of Section 2(IO-A) the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925. This order necessitated the consideration of this issue by the S.G.P.C. The issue was taken up in the General House Meeting of S.G.P.C. on November 22, 2008 in Teja Singh Samundari Hall, Amritsar, and it was resolved to form Committee of scholars, legal experts and S.G.P.C. representatives to give opinion, based on historical, theological and philosophic perspectives. The house authorized the newly elected President of S.G.P.C., lathedar Avtar Singh, to nominate the Committee and seek approval of the Executive Committee on the recommendations of the Committee on or before December 5, 2008. Accordingly, President S.G.P.C. nominated seven member committee to submit the Report on or before December 2,2008.

The meeting of the Committee Members was held at Kalgidhar Niwas, Chandigarh (S.G.P.c., Sub Office) on November 26, 2008 at 3 p.m. After careful consideration of all the facts, historical records. (The Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, Sikh Rehat Maryada, published by the S.G.P.c., Resolution passed by the S.G.P.c. on May 12, 1938., Notification fo Govt ofIndia, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, Dated October 8, 2003.). the Committee resolved the issues of Sikh, Sahajdhari and Patit (Apostate) in its Report dated November 26,2008.

The report of the Committee is accepted in toto, and after careful consideration of the same, the Executive Body of the S.G.P.C. in its meeting held on December 3, 2008, at Chandigarh Sub-Office passed the following Resolution in respect of Sahajdhari and Patit to be filed by way of an affidavit in Punjab and Haryana High Court on or before December 8, 2008.

(iv)             The definitions of various words and phrases, used in the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 are provided in Section 2 of the said Act. These definitions are relevant for the purpose of the interpretation of the substantive provisions of the Act.

(v)              As per Section 2 Cl O-A) a Sahajdhari Sikh is a person (i) who perform ceremonies according to Sikh rites; (ii) who does not use tobacco, Kutha (Halal Meat) in any form; (iii) who is not a Patit (Apostate), and (iv) who can recite Mulmantra : Proem to Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Hence a person cannot claim to be a Sahajdhari by trimming/cutting his/her hair, beard or eye-brows in any manner.


Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar. 









Definition of Sehajdhari given by ‘Dharmic Salahkaar Committee’ of SGPC in 1938


ਸਹਿਜਧਾਰੀ ਸਿੱਖ ਦੇ ਲੱਛਣ: ਸਹਿਜਧਾਰੀ ਸਿੱਖ ਦੇ ਗੁਣਾਂ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਮਾਮਲਾ ਪੇਸ਼ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਉਪਰੰਤ ਪ੍ਰਵਾਨ ਹੋਇਆ ਕਿ ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਸਲਾਹਕਾਰ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਦੀ ਰਾਏ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਰ ਇਕ ਸਹਿਜਧਾਰੀ ਸਿੱਖ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੇਠ ਲਿਖੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਣੇ ਜ਼ਰੂਰੀ ਹਨ-

(1) ਦਾੜੀ ਰਖੇ, (2) ਕੇਸਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਉਸਤਰਾ ਨਾ ਲਾਵੇ, (3) ਆਪਣੀ ਔਲਾਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਿਸੇ ਨਾ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਸਿੰਘ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਸਜਾਵੇ, (4) ਸਾਰੇ ਸੰਸਕਾਰ ਗੁਰਮਤ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੋਵੇ, (5) ਤੰਬਾਕੂ ਨਾ ਪੀਵੇ।

ਸਹੀ ਹਰਨਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ

12-5-1938 – ਆਫ਼ੀਸ਼ੇਏਟਿੰਗ ਸਕੱਤਰ,  ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਬੰਧਕ ਕਮੇਟੀ, ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ

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