Turbans go way back in history as part of a spiritual practice. The top of your head is the tenth gate or the crown chakra. It is normally covered by hair that acts as antennae to protect the top of the head from sun and exposure, as well as to channel sun and vitamin D energy. Yogis or Sikhs do not cut their hair, they coil or knot it on top of head on their solar center. In men the solar center is on top of the head at the front (anterior fontanel). Women have two solar centers: one is at the center of the crown chakra, the other is on top of the head towards the back (posterior fontanel). For all, coiling or knotting the hair at the solar centers channels one’s radiant energy and helps retain a spiritual focus.
This hair knot is traditionally called the “rishi” knot. In ancient times, a rishi was someone who had the capacity to control the flow of energy and prana in the body. A “maharishi” was someone who could regulate the flow of energy in the body, meditatively and at will. The rishi knot assists in the channeling of energy in meditation (Naam Simran). If one cuts off the hair, there can be no rishi knot. By giving us the rishi knot and the turban the Guru gave us the blessing to have the capacity of a rishi.
The 10th Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh, taught his Sikhs to take the next step: Put a turban on the head covering the coiled, uncut hair. The pressure of the multiple wraps keeps the 26 bones of the skull in place. There are pressure points on the forehead that keep you calm and relaxed. Turbans cover the temples, which protects you from mental or psychic negativity of other people. The pressure of the turban also changes the pattern of blood flow to the brain. (These are all reasons that women should also wear turbans.) When you tie up your hair and wrap the turban around it, all the parts of your skull are pulled together and supported. You feel clarity and readiness for the day and for what may come to you from the Unknown.
God is the Unknown. He is mastery as well as mystery. Living with an awareness of your God within you and the God outside of you (God in all) is an attitude. Covering your head is an action with the attitude that there is something greater than you know. Your willingness to stand under that greatness of God is expressed by taking the highest, most visible part of you and declaring it as a place that belongs to the Creator. Covering your head is also a declaration of humility, of your surrender to God.
For many, hair is also sexually attractive. By covering our hair we can keep from stimulating the lower nature of others who are not our spouses. It is up to each of us to maintain our purity and integrity.
Wrapping a turban everyday is our declaration that this head, this mind is dedicated to our Creator. The turban becomes a flag of our consciousness as well as our crown of spiritual royalty. Wearing a turban over uncut hair is a technology of consciousness that can give you the experience of God. This experience is for all Khalsa, men and women both.