The Turban Historically
Serjinder Singh Sahota
In India and central Asia, the turban, or Dastar, as it is called in Persian, carries a totally different connotation from that of a hat in Europe. The turban represents respectability, and was a sign of nobility. An aristocrat, whether a Mughal noble man or a Hindu Rajput, could be distinguished by his turban.
A Persian saying at that time was "a person's status could be judged from three things: Raftar, Dastar, and Guftar. Raftar meant his mannerisms and body language. Dastar literally meant, his attire, including of course, his turban. Guftar meant his manner of speaking." Those who were downtrodden did not have the means to aspire to display aristocratic attire, nor were they allowed to, even if they had the means. The Hindu Rajputs were the only Hindus allowed to wear ornate turbans, carry weapons and have their mustache and beard.
Also at this time, only the Rajputs could have Singh as their second name. Even the Gurus did not have Singh as part of their name, until the Tenth Guru. It was in this background that Guru Gobind Singh, decided to turn the tables on the ruling aristocracy by making every Sikh carry a sword, take up the name Singh, and have his kesh (hair) and turban displayed boldly, without any fear, and thereby feel at par with the rulers. In historical documents of the time, Guruji urges the Sikhs to come to him with at least five weapons displayed on his person, and bring horses, which are things that would be expected of an aristocratic warrior, not the common peasants and the low caste humble population.
With this background, the turban is seen as the celebration of that psychological and historical upliftment of humble human beings who fearlessly offered their mind and soul to Waheguru, the Eternal Being, and paraded themselves as His nobility.
The Turban Physiologically
S. Gurutej Singh Khalsa
Physiologically, the majority of the body's energy escapes through the head. The top center of the head, which is the crown chakra, is a focal point of energy. When we are in the presence of Guru, Guru is giving us energy. That energy is sacred and when we retain it, Guru energy lives in us and that gives us the living experience of Guru. To help retain that energy we cover our heads. That is also why we don't cut our hair. Hair draws energy from the sun and acts as antenna to the environment, giving us greater sensitivity and intuitiveness. When we tie our hair on top of our head, and cover it with a turban, that energy becomes focused, giving us the power of penetrating projection.
The Turban Spiritually
Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan
Each layer you put around your head, you totally wind in your own consciousness, your own commitment, and your own identity. A person just gives you one glance and with that one glance the person knows that you are something which he has to deal with.
Tying a turban and having hair on your head does not make you a Sikh. A turban crowns you with your own capacity to understand. You are deathless in the face of a direct confrontation with death.
Wearing a head covering enables you to command your sixth center, the Agia Chakra. Covering the head stabilizes the cerebral matter and the 26 parts of the brain, which are interlocked with the neurological system and electromagnetic field. Covering the head creates a focus of the functional circuit of the hemispheres of the brain, and tunes the neurological system. The whole head is to be covered, not just the crown chakra. The benefit of wearing a turban is that when you wrap the 5 to 7 layers of cloth, you cover the temples, which prevents any variance or movement in the different parts of the skull. A turban automatically gives you a cranial self-adjustment. You can pay for a cranial adjustment, or you can tie a turban for free!