Hindu culture is full of different traditions and customs that are followed right from the start of life to the end of it. One such important ceremony is called the Mundan ceremony or Mundan Sanskar. During this ceremony, the hair from a child’s head is shaved off. It is the first time that a baby’s hair is tonsured from the head after birth. This hair cutting ceremony is an ancient ritual that is still followed religiously. The Mundan Puja is performed for both boys and girls.
Importance and Significance of Mundan Puja
There is a popular belief behind this act. It is believed that by shaving the hair off, the residue of the past life is left in the past. In other words, if the child had any bad qualities in his previous birth, it does not still hang on the child in his present birth. Additionally, this is a chance for the child to begin his/her life anew. Another belief suggests that it is done in order to get better hair growth. Moreover, the baby’s head cannot be shaved off in any random year. It has to be done in an odd month, and in an odd year i.e. 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc. The Puja can be performed at home, in a temple, or on the banks of a sacred river.
Benefits of Mundan Puja
The Mundan Puja is believed to have the following benefits:-
- It removes the unpleasant qualities that the baby might have had in the past
- It ensures a long life
- It promises a good future for the child
- It shields the child from negativity.
- Lastly, it Improves hair growth
History and Stories
It is believed that a human is finally born in the current body after being born more than 80 times. In order to purify the body after experiencing birth through so many yoni’s the hair is shaved off. It is more like a cleansing ritual; to get rid of unpleasant qualities of past birth. Another story that is widely believed is that a person’s brain develops during this his infant days. By performing this ceremony, the intellectual area of the brain is triggered. Hence, an individual grows up to be intelligent.
Mundan Puja Vidhi (Procedure)
Mundan Puja samagri comprises of coconut, sandalwood, and turmeric.
- The priest starts with the Havan
- The baby has to be seated on the mother’s lap; in some cases a father can also initiate the Mundan ceremony procedure
- A part of the hair is shaved off by the Pandit as he chants.
- The rest is shaved by a barber
- Gangajal is used to wash the head which is later smeared with a paste of sandalwood and turmeric
- The hair is then offered to a deity or to the river Ganga
Mundan Puja Shubh Muhurat
People do the Mundan Puja based on the dates decided by the Pandit. These dates are chosen in accordance with the position of the Nakshatras. It is advisable to contact a Pandit to know the Muhurat for Mundan.