Tonsuring & Ear piercing
Tonsuring is one of the compulsory ceremony in Hinduism. Not only in Hinduism, in earlier days, Catholics and Jews had the practice of tonsuring. Even today tonsuring is an inevitable practice in Buddhism and Jainism.
Why is tonsuring done:
According to the vedhas, tonsuring (Chudakarana) should be performed at the first or third year of the infant. It is a wide belief that, by doing tonsuring to the new born baby, its past sins will be removed along with the hair. This hair is donated to Lord or left in the sacred pond.
Some people of India call it as Mundan, and they revere this ceremony greatly. On a very auspicious day, this ceremony takes place. The priest chant mantra for the wellbeing of the child and then the barber shaves the first hair of the baby. A tuft of the hair is offered to the God and the remaining is washed in the sacred river. The bare head of the child is cover with sandal and turmeric paste, which helps to heal the nicks and cuts, it also keep the body cool.
Grown up men take vow to do tonsuring, in order to please the God and make their wish come true. By doing tonsuring devotees are sacrificing their beauty to the God and they are releasing themselves from vanity. So tonsuring is considered to be the most sacred offering.
Scientifically by doing tonsuring regularly our split hairs and dandruff are cured. It also helps in the growth of healthy hair and makes the scalp receive good sunlight. Tonsuring can also be therapeutic in curing many diseases such as pediculosis and plica polonica.
Places to do Tonsuring:
Tirupathy, Varanasi, Palani, Rameshwaram, and Thiruchendoor are famous for tonsuring. People also do tonsuring to their family deity (Ayyanar) temple.
Ear piercing is a compulsory ritual done by every Hindus, irrespective of caste and creed to their new born babies. Usually ear piercing is done at the age of one or three or five. It is a custom that, during ear piercing the age of the child should be in odd numbers.
Even today ear piercing is celebrated in a grand manner among Indians. Some consider it to be the first function of the child and celebrate it in equal to marriage. Ear piercing has to be done only in an auspicious day, selected by the priest. On this day, all the relatives and neighbors gather at the child’s house or temple and bless the child to have a great future. First the priest chant mantras, which is believed to open up the inner ear of the child and make it more intelligent and wise. It is also believed that the mantras will wash away all the sins done by the child in its previous birth. After praying, the child is placed in the lap of its maternal uncle and the goldsmith pierce the ears of the child. If it’s a girl child, left ear is pierced first and if it’s a boy vice versa. After piercing, the grandmother or the maternal uncle presents the child a gold earrings. Only gold earrings is suggested to the babies, as it the only metal that never rusts and creates allergy.
Scientific reason behind ear piercing:
Ear piercing (Karnavedha Samskara) is a custom followed by Indians, many hundred years ago. Indians do every rituals in the name of religion, but actually every custom is bounded with scientific reasons and facts. They are all nothing but primitive science. The reason behind ear piercing is, the point at which the ear is pierced is an acupuncture point of vision and the constant pressing of the nerve near it will control our body pressure and helps for the better circulation of the blood. Especially for women, ear piercing helps in many biological factors, to maintain their mensural cycle and to control hysteria. That’s why all Indian women pierce their ears and wear big jumkas. Nose piercing is also for the same reason.
Places to perform ear piercing:
Usually people of Tamilnadu do ear piercing in their family deity’s temple (Ayyanar temple). People also do ear piercing in some famous temples of Lord Shiva, Muruga and Vinayaka. You can choose any temple of your interest.