Chaul (Mundan) Sanskar / First Hair Cut

8th of 16 sanskars - Mundan Sanskar is one of the most important and highly celebrated ceremony to mark child's first hair cut, shaving of the head. Scientific reason of hygiene with a ritual reason of freeing oneself from previous debts, it often symbolizes beginning of schooling.

Mundan Sanskar has been a very popular ritual in Hindu culture. And it is the eighth sacrament out of all sixteen Sanskars. This widely spread ritual is followed in the Hindu religion for many centuries, and it is still the most prevailing one. Mundan Sanskar or Chaulkriya is the occasion of the first haircut for the baby. Different ethnicities and communities include different ritual processes, and there are many auspicious beliefs related to this Sanskar.

 

As per the ancient authorities, it is said that shaving a baby’s head and removing all the birth hair denotes that you are cutting down his negative traits from the past life and allowing new and fresh traits to grow in his new life. Whereas, some communities believe that after the baby’s first haircut, he gets new, strong, and more healthy hair than before, which is believed to be a primary reason for Mundan Sanskar.

 

Depending upon the community and religious beliefs, the baby’s father, priest, or hired barber performs this ritual. In older times, leaving a Shikha (tuft) on the crown part of the head was an integral part of this ritual, and it is still the same in brahmin and some other communities. But it got altered slowly, and now it is not a necessary part of this ceremony anymore.

 

Regardless of the baby’s gender, the Mundan Sanskar ritual symbolizes strong Vedic beliefs about Hindu perspectives on life and transformation.

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