Scientific and Spiritual reasons and Procedure of having a SIKHA (small lock of hairs) on the shaved head by the devotees!
Actual Question from a devotee:
“hare Krishna prabhuji…it hav been created many question by other on y do we keep Shikha? And wat is reason of removing hair after any body death in family???….pls inform me in d shashtra and scientific both ways…thank you sir….Hare Krishna…..”
Many have sikha even without knowing the reasons. It is the estalished rule that ANY BRAHMANA WHO RECITE VEDIC MANTHRAS SHOULD NOT HAVE HAIRS ON FACE AND HEAD.
So, those who need to perform vedic rituals are advised to remove hairs.
However, there are many reasons for having SIKHA. Let us summerise them here:
SPIRITUAL REASONS OF HAVING SIKHA
(1) When Devotee leaves the body, Krishna pulls the soul from the top most Chakra which is on the head under the sikha.
(2) The living entity at the time of death, leaves body through different openings such as mouth, nose, anus, eyes and genitals. But a devotee who leaves this body from that “chakra” (Sikha) attains high planets of Spiritual world.
(3) A small group of hairs is required to protect that chakra. Hence the sikha. However, women do not cut their hair, they have sufficient hairs at the point of the topmost chakra.
(4) When we tend to fall into the hands of maya, our gurus and Lord will pull us by holding the sikha. Thus, sikha acts as a permanent connection between us and God like a spiritual antenna on the top of the head pulling the mercy of Lord.
(6) Sikha indicates to the Lord that we are always depending on His mercy.
(7) It is a symbol of renunciation. If you see a materialists, they are extremely fond of hair. Decorating hair etc pulls us into bodily consciousness. This is not good for practicing spirituality.
(8) It is a symbol of duality of souls and supreme Lord. Sikha indicates the Lord and the small hairs indicate the living entities that are so small compared to the sikha.
SCIENTIFIC REASONS FOR HAVING SIKHA
(1) A person who keeps SIKHA will not suffer from hair loss and Sikha also attract cosmic energy which imparts enlightment.
(2) The small portion of hair that hangs from behind our head applies little pressure on our brains that helps one to improve concentration and mind control and improve our memory.
REASON FOR SHAVING HAIRS WHEN SOMEONE DIE IN THE FAMILY
(1) After the death of a parent, his/ her sons will have to perform certain vedic rituals for about 13 or 14 days. On these days, they have to avoid materialistic activities and sense gratification activities. So, they shave their head to show others that they are following vedic rituals in this period.
(2) Because, Vedic rules state that one should not have any hairs on his face and head to qualify to recite certain vedic slokas that are recited during the rituals after the death of a member of family.
So, we remove hairs after death of parents. This removal is necessary for parents if son/ daughter died, or to sons if father or mother died. No need for others in general as they are not involving in rituals.
HOW TO WEAR & MAINTAIN SIKHA?
(1) “Pancharatra Pradipa” says:
One must have a sikha to perform any kind of yajna. Therefore in Indian tradition all the brahmanas, Vaisnava or otherwise, keep a sikha. Although there seem to be no sastric injunctions regarding the size of the sikha, Gaudiya Vaisnavas traditionally keep the sikha about the size of a calf’s hoofprint, approximately 1.5 inches (5 – 6 cm.) in diameter.
(2) Srila Prabhupada in a conversation in Hawaii (6.5.1972):
“ Gaudiya Vaisnava sikha is an inch and a half across — no bigger. Bigger sikha means another sampradaya…. And they have to be knotted”
(3) Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta says:
The sikha may be any length, but it should be kept tightly knotted and only untied when you are washing.
You may tie it in a simple manner for bathing, retying it more carefully after the bath, cleaning, or oiling it. Also, when going to sleep, attending funeral rites, or observing a period of mourning, you should keep the sikha untied. Since an untied sikha is a sign of a death in the family, it is inauspicious to go about one’s daily duties with an untied sikha. It is also said that if one keeps the sikha untied, the body may become weak.
While tying your sikha after bathing, chant the Hare Krishna mantra, or, if initiated with Gayatri mantras, silently chant the Brahma-gayatri (first line of Gayatri). The sikha should not be braided (traditionally only women braid their hair), nor should it be kept long and disheveled. Naturally, if the sikha is too short to be tied, it is all right to leave it open, but it should not be disheveled.
Hope you are clear.