Mundan Ceremony, Procedure Of Hindu Head Tonsure Ceremony

Posted 9 months ago by Renee Verma in

Mundan ceremony or chudakarana sanskara is the hindu head tonsure ceremony that is performed during first or third year of the child.

Mundan Ceremony, Procedure Of Hindu Head Tonsure Ceremony

The ritual of the head tonsure ceremony is performed to the child, because hindu's believe that the birth hair contains some undesirable remnants from the past lives and the mundan frees one's body of these remnants and gives freedom to start the new life. According to the Grhya Sutras, the mundan samskara should take place at the end of first year or before the expiry of the third year, but the later authorities extend the age to the seventh year. The child's hair is shorn, frequently leaving only the shikha , a tuft at the crown of the head.[1]

Here are the complete details of the mundan ceremony, that you should definitely read before conducting this samskara for your little one.


Importance of the Mundan ceremony for hindus

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad describes 400 yajnas that must be performed , out of which 16 rituals (samskaras) called as Naimittika Karmas are compulsory and need to be  be performed on special occasions for a Grihastha. These Naimittika karmas include Garbhadana, Pumsavana, Simantonnaya, Jatakarma, Namakaranam, Niskramana, Karna Vedana, Annaprasana, Chaula, Vidyarambha, Upanayan,  Vedarambha, Keshantha, Samvartana ,Vivaha and Anthyeshti.

Chaula or Chudakarana sanskara is the tonsure ceremony which is one of these 16 samskara's which is performed within first year, second year or third year of the birth of the child, depending on the region of the country and the culture, be it a girl or boy.

People, often visit popular hindu pilgrimage places to get the tonsure ceremony done, popular destinations for the same include Tirumala venkateshwara temple, maa vaishno devi temple among others. According to popular belief, Nandbaba and Mata Yashoda had shaved skin of Lord Shri Krishna here at Maa amba dham temple, which is located 18 km from Ahmedabad.

Scientific reasons behind Tonsure ceremony

There are some amazing benefits of performing tonsure ceremony, some of the benefits of the tonsure ceremony include

1. Stronger Hair Growth: The shaving of head, quite often results in stronger growth of the new hair and hair growth is denser because of the increased circulatory stimulation on the scalp.

2. Cleansing of hair scalp and hair follicles : Clean shaved head will help clean the scalp properly, when the head is washed, resulting in thorough cleaning of the scalp and hair follicles

3. Improving blood flow: Tonsure will help improve blood flow through the head of the child, resulting in improved circulation of the blood through the brain.

Mundan Ceremony, Procedure Of Hindu Head Tonsure Ceremony

Image: Wikipedia

Preparations that need to be done for the Tonsure ceremony

Preparations that need to be done for the mundan ceremony include procuring the following items required for the ceremony

Procedure for the tonsure ceremony

A Muhurat, Date and time is decided with the advice from the family pandit and a venue is decided based on the preference of the parents and family.

Procedure for the tonsure ceremony is as follows. Grihya fire is lit and vessels containing the grains, i.e, barley, rice, sesame seeds and masa beans and kept to the north of the grihya fire and samil leaves and cow dung is kept to the west of the fire , While the baby is made to sit on the mother's lap also on the west of the fire. Father is made to sit right side of the mother, holding 21 bunches of kusa grass. Bunches of kusa frass, mirror, hot water and barber is made to sit on the south of the grihya fire and a mix of sesame seeds,  cooked rice and  cow dung is placed on the north of the grihya fire. 

Havan is then performed with the prescribed mantras, after that the father adds curd to some water and moistens the hair of the child. the hair is then cut by the father, initially and then by the barber.

After the shaving is done the hair is collected on to dung along with the sami leaves. This ritual is done while chanting appropriate mantras and while others showering their blessings. The cut locks of hair along with the dung are thrown in water tank or vicinity of water. The child's head is immediately massaged gently with the mix of turmeric, curd and sandalwood for immediate relief and soothing from the tonsure of the head and quicken the healing.

Precautions that need to be taken for the tonsure ceremony

Some of the precautions that you need to take for the mundan ceremony are :

How to prepare your child for the Mundan 

  1. Give your child a good head bath on the day of the tonsure ceremony
  2. Feed the child before the ceremony, so that he/she is not hungry during the ceremony
  3. Put the baby in clothes, he/she is comfortable in, don't go for fancy clothes, which may put your baby in discomfort.Your baby usually needs one additional layer of clothing over you, unless the weather is hot. 
  4. If the venue of the tonsure ceremony is far from your home, make sure you reach the place ahead of time, so that it gives baby ample time to adjust to the new place and environment.
  5. The pooja and havan might make your baby fussy, make sure you are equipped to handle that situation

Things you need to do after the tonsure ceremony

  1. Immediately after the mundan, massage your child's head, gently with a mix of turmeric, curd and sandalwood
  2. If there are minor cuts or bruises, apply a good antiseptic lotion
  3. Apply a good baby moisturising lotion on baby's head, daily.
  4. Avoid any direct sun exposure for your baby, 

Here is a list of popular places that people visit to conduct mundan ceremony for their child

Mundan Ceremony, Procedure Of Hindu Head Tonsure Ceremony

Image: Wikipedia

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