Hinduism

Cuda-karana or Mundan Samsakara: The First Hair-cut of the Child

We have being to haircut many times till now. Do you ever wonder when you had your first hair cut? Well that is also an occasion to celebrate, isn’t it? Hindus celebrate this event of hair cut as

Mundan or Cuda-karan samsakara.

Let us know more about the ceremony in this article.

Significance of Cuda-karana Samsakara

The main aim of this ritual is shave off the hair present at birth. The child comes out from the womb of the mother with some hair on the scalp. That hair is considered as inauspicious and if present then the child may have unwanted traits of the past life. In order to rip off all such undesirable qualities in the child the head is shaved off to make a fresh start this life. Some believe that this ceremony ensures long life of the child. Thus this is samsakara or refining of the child’s consciousness.

This samsakara is also explained medically. It is said that by shaving off the hair present at the time of birth, new cells are produced which improves blood circulation to the brain. But this should be done when the child’s scalp is strong enough to bear the shaving blades of the barber.

The Rituals of Cuda-karana Samsakara

The ritual is performed when the child is either in first year or third year, sometimes even when the child is in fifth year. Most of the Hindu families take up this ritual in a holy place or Ista Devata temple. All rituals are performed in a designated place of the temple. If the ceremony is done at home then a priest is called for to conduct rituals and sacrifice. In some families the child’s maternal uncle cuts the hair of the child.

On the destined day the child is given holy bath. The priest recites holy hymns and the uncle shaves the part of the head. Then entire head is shaven by a barber. Sometimes a clump of hair at the back is left unshaven. The hair is collected and offered in holy rivers or ponds. To cure the nicks and cuts while cutting, the scalp of the child is rinsed with turmeric paste with few designs made with vermilion. The child looks very different with shaven head. All elders and family members bless the child by touching his head. After this ceremony the child can have haircut anytime, or even never, in his life.

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