Chudakarana Sanskara (Mundan Ceremony): The First Hair Cut

Mundan (the first hair cut): This sanskara is performed typically during the first or third year of age when the child’s original, first hair growth is shaved, frequently leaving only the shikha on the top back of the head. According to the sages, the hair from birth is associated with undesirable traits from past lives. Thus, at the time of the mundan, the child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into their new life. It is also said that the shaving of the hair stimulates proper growth of the brain and nerves.

The chudakarana sanskara is also said to bring long life to the recipient and it is performed as a special ceremony in most homes, particularly for young boys.

On the banks of Mother Ganga in Rishikesh, we have a special chadakarana sanskara/mundan ceremony. In this ceremony, the special Vedic mantras and prayers are chanted by trained priests, acharyas and rishikumars. The young child is shaven clean and the hair is symbolically offered to Mother Ganga. The child and his/her family then perform a sacred yagna ceremony and the divine Ganga Aarti.