The Mundan ceremony or Mundan Sanskar is a Hindu ritual that involves the tonsuring of the baby’s head. This ritual of doing away of the hair retained from birth is performed by Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims too. This tonsuring is done after the baby completes his first year and anytime between three years of age. One particular point that is required to be strictly observed, the ritual should take place in an odd year and an odd month. Usually the Mundan is done on the 7th, 9th and or the 11th month.
The Procedure of The Mundan Sanskar
Some parents want to perform the Mundan on the banks of the holy river Ganga, but these days due to pressing time and other issues, the ritual is carried out at home too. A Brahmin or a priest is called over and he organises a ‘Havan’ or a ‘Homa’. A barber who actually specialises in this ritual of Mundan is called over or the baby is taken to the nearby temple, where he or she gets his or her head shaved.
The hair that is shaved off cannot be thrown off just like that. Every single strand of hair is carefully collected and kept to be offered to the God or immersed in the holy waters of the Ganga or any of its tributaries.
The Mundan is different for the boys and girls. The head of eth girls are completely shaved off while, for the boys, a Chuda or a tuft is kept on the crown of his head. This is also known as Shika and it actually signifies the Gotra that the boy belongs to.
After the Mundan is over a paste of turmeric and sandalwood is applied on the head of the baby. This is not only a ritual that is done as a part of the purifying act, but it also ensures that the antiseptic properties of the Haldi (turmeric) and sandalwood prevent the possible occurrence or any sort of irritation or infection. It is also advisable not to apply any soap or shampoo on the head of baby for the same cause. The sandalwood gives a cooling sensation and the turmeric is well known for its antiseptic properties.
Precautions for Doing Mundan
Let us have a look at the precautions that should be followed while doing Mundan of a baby.
- You need to be sure that the barber you have called for the Mundan is actually a specialist in the act.
- Make sure that the barber uses sterilised equipment and the blade is a new one that is used in the razor.
- Get your appointment in the local temple or salon so that you can get the Mundan done by someone who can be trusted.
- Make sure that the baby is rested well enough so that he does not get cranky during the Mundan. It might be very difficult to get it done well if the baby is fidgety or crying.
- Finally, note that there is no mirror in front of the baby. The point is the baby should not get to see the process as it is possible that it scares him.
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