guru gobind singh ji khalsaOur Namdhari brothers argue that only white is the acceptable colour for the Khalsa.  They claim that Sri Guru Gobind Singh only wore blue when leaving the jungle of Macchiwara and then burnt those clothes.  They claim that blue is a colour for Muslims and go so far as to say that it results in impaired cognition “bhrisht buddhi”.  Our Namdhari friends often quote the following tuk in order to support their case that blue is not an appropriate colour: “ਮਲੁ ਜੂਈ ਭਰਿਆ ਨੀਲਾ ਕਾਲਾ ਖਿਧੋਲੜਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਵੇਮੁਖਿ ਵੇਮੁਖੈ ਨੋ ਪਾਇਆ ॥”

Although we don’t oppose the wearing of white, but are we to assume white is forbidden when Sri Guru jee says, “ਚਿਟੇ ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਕਪੜੇ ਮੈਲੇ ਚਿਤ ਕਠੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਊਪਜੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਵਿਆਪੇ ਚੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਸੇ ਪਸੂਆ ਸੇ ਢੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥

No of course not.

Truth is however, that blue is the traditional and original colour of the Khalsa.  This is supported even by the bani of Uggardanti which oddly enough is recited regularly by the Namdhari Samparda.

Here are some other quotes from old historical documents describing the wearing of blue by the Khalsa:

Evidence 1: ਕੱਛ ਸ਼ਸਤਰ ਬੰਧਵਾਇ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਾਮ ਧਰਨੇ ਮਹਾਂ ਕਾਲ ਦਾ ਬਾਣਾ ਨੀਲਾ ਪਹਿਰਾਵਣਾ | (Bansavalee Naama)
Evidence 2: ਸੀਸ ਕੇਸ ਨੀਲਅੰਬਰੀ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੰਗਿਆ ਤੇਜ ਨਿਵਾਸ | (Mehma Prakash),
Evidence 3: ਜਗੇ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੋਧੇ ਧਰੇ ਨੀਲ ਭੇਸਾ | (Ugradhanthee),
Evidence 4: ਯੋਂ ਉਪਜੇ ਸਿੰਘ ਭੁਜੰਗੀਏ ਨੀਲੰਬਰ ਧਾਰਾ । (Bhai Gurdas Singh Jee)
PanjpyareEvidence 5: the Bhatt Vehi “Multani Sindhi Pargana Thanaysar” is written by the Bhattas who accompanied Sri Guru Gobind Singh and is an eye witness account.  It is described by Piara Singh Padam as the oldest account of  Vaisakhi 1699:

“Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, tenth Guru, son of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, in the year 1752 on Tuesday-the Vaisakhi day-gave Khande ki pahul to five Sikhs and surnamed them as Singhs. First Daya Ram Sopti, Khatri resident of Lahore stood up. Then Mohkam Chand Calico printer of Dawarka; Sahib Chand barber of Zafrabad city; Dharam Chand Jawanda Jat of Hastinapur; Himmat Chand water carrier of Jagannath stop up one after the other.  All were dressed in blue and he himself also dressed the same way. Hookah, halaal, hajaamat, haraam, tikka, janeu, dhoti were prohibited. Socialisation with the descendants of Prithi Chand, followers of Dhirmal and Ram Rai, clean shaven people and Masands was prohibited. All were given Kangha, Karad, Kesgee, Karhaa, and Kacheraa. All were made Keshdhaaree. Everyone’s place of birth was told to be Patna, of residence as Anandpur. Rest, Guru’s deeds are known only to the Guru. Repeat Guru Guru, the Guru will help everywhere

Evidence 6: Furthermore, Puratan Rehitnamas also tell us that blue is a Khalsa colour. Bhai Daya Singh’s Rehatnama tells us that a Khalsa colour is “SURMAIEE” or dark blue (verse 23). He goes on further to say , “So Akali rooop hai neel bastar dhare” or “An Akali is known by the blue garments he wears”.

Evidence 7: The likes of Rattan Singh Bhangu in Pracheen Panth Parkash wrote about the differences that lead to the split between Baba Banda Singh and the Tat-Khalsa. In regards to the clothing issue, he writes that Baba Banda Singh wanted his soldiers to wear red, which was unacceptable to the traditionally blue wearing Khalsa: “ ਨੀਲ ਪਹਿਰਨ ਤੇ ਦੂਰ ਕਰਾਯੋ॥ ਸਮਰਾ ਸੂਹਾ ਸੀਸ ਬੰਧਾਯੋ॥ ” meaning, “he tried to wean them away from blue. He made them tie red on their heads” The Khalsa would not give up blue and could not wear red, so a split occurred.

Evidence 8:  Here is further evidence from Twarikh Sikhan written in Farsi by Munshi Khushwaqt Rai in 1811. The following is related to the formation of the Khalsa and Guru Gobind Singh Jee’s transformation :
“ਅਜ਼ਾਂ ਰੋਜ਼ ਜ਼ੁਨਾਰ ਬ ਸ਼ਿਕਸਤ, ਵ ਲਿਬਾਸ ਨੀਲਗੂੰ ਅਖ਼ਤਯਾਰ ਕਰਦ, ਵ ਜ਼ੈਵਰ ਆਹਨੀ ਗੁਜੀਦ, ਵ ਵਜਾੱ ਗ਼ੈਰ ਮੁਕੱਰਰ ਨਮੂਦ,ਨ ਦੋ ਸ਼ਮਸ਼ੈਰ ਬਰ ਕਮਰ ਬਸਤ, ਖ ਕਾਰਦ ਵ ਚੱਕ੍ਰ ਵ ਤਪੰਚਾ ਵ ਕਮਾਣ ਵਗੈਰਾ ਹਰਬਾ ਹਾਇ ਆਹਨੀ ਬਰਖ਼ੁਦ ਆਵੇਖ਼ਤ | ਵਦਸਤਾਰ ਬ-ਕਦਰ ਯਕ ਦਸਤ ਦਰਾਜ਼ ਬਸਤਨ ਆੱਦਤ ਕਰਦ | ”

“From that day the Janeoo was broken. The Blue dress was adorned. Sarbloh ornaments were adorned. A distinct appearance was made. Two gallant Gatra were put on. Karad(Kirpan), Chakar, a Pistol, kaman and other Sarbloh weapons and ornaments were adorned. The wearing of an Ucha Dumalla was introduced.”

Evidence 9: Below is a passage from Gurbilas Patshai 10 written by Koer Singh in 1751. Its describes Guru Sahib wearing a blue chola ਜੂਝਤ ਭਯੋ ਡਰ ਡਾਰ ਤਬੈ, ਜਬ ਯਾ ਬਿਧਿ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੈਨ ਨਿਹਾਰੇ | ਨੀਲਨਿ ਚੋਲ ਬਿਰਾਜਤ ਹੈ, ਅਰੁ ਬਾਜ ਸੁਹੇਲ ਜਿਗਾਕਲ ਧਾਰੇ | ਨੀਲ ਜਿਗਾ ਮਨਿ ਨੀਲ ਲਸੈ ਪਟ, ਨੀਲ ਮਨੀ ਮਨ ਭੂਖਨ ਭਾਰੇ |

Evidence 10: Here too is a quote from Singh Sagar Granth written by Vir Singh Bal in 1827 mentioning the blue bana of the Khalsa
ਆਲਸੁ ਨਾ ਜਾਂਨੈ ਕਹਿਯੋ ਔਰ ਕਾਨਿ ਮਾਂਨੈ ਐਸੋ | ਖਾਲਸਾ ਮਹਾਂਨੈ ਰਚਿਯੋ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਅਪਾਰ ਜੂ | ਨੀਲ ਪਟਧਾਰ ਸਭ ਆਯੁਸ ਸੰਭਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ, ਉਠੈ ਭਬਕਾਰ ਕਾਂਪੈ ਕਾਬਲੁ ਘੰਧਾਰ ਜੂ |”

While white is also completely acceptable, from the above evidence it is clear that blue was the original colour of the Khalsa.

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