Following overwhelming response of “Why you shouldn’t cut nails during New Moon day (Amavasya)?” – We are continuously getting more request for writing new articles on various lifestyle practices. In those lines, let us explore an activity that is very important for newborn and for adult – tonsure (or cut hair).
Tonsuring is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair on the scalp. This is done from infants to adults. Tonsuring is practiced in, all most all, religions. It is always connected with events of life style. It is so very important that it became one of the sixteen samsara known as chudakarana. There are plenty of meaning why our ancestors had given importance to this practice and their associated religious stories – you either ask your granny or Google it to know more.
Let us explore from a spiritual and common sense. From our research that is, searching data outside and deep self introspection through meditations, it became very clear and obvious to us that this is more from an medical meaning to it. At the time of birth, if we examine carefully, we will know the skull of an infant is not a single bone, but a collection of 6 bones creating a gap over the skull. Only because of the flexibility of these bones, the baby’s head passes through the birth canal easily during the time of birth. Had it been a single bone, C section would be the only answer. It is really amazing to see nature’s best work!
According to Embryology, these collection of bones create two gaps called as fontanellel. One at the top of the skull and other at the centre of the skull. Now, you might realise why baby’s head top is very soft and usually no one touches it. This gap on the top, called as, Anterior fontanelle, takes around two and half years to close. The other gap, called as posterior fontanelle, takes around 6-8 weeks to close. Over a period of time, these gaps fill and new bone tissues are created over it to form a fully developed skull.
To seal the gap efficiently, and nourish the growth of these bones, we need vitamin D. Best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Hair over the head blocks the sun rays. So if we tonsure, the head is nicely exposed to sunlight allowing to generate enough vitamin D. Probably, that is why in some religion they leave a small portion of hair during tonsure over the gaps to make sure those gaps are not touched in by mistake.
This is one of the reason we always push our parents (in our Holistic Parenting Whatsapp group) to practice at least weekly oil bath. Apart from skull development, tonsure helps in stimulating a healthy blood flow, growth of hair, enhances brain development, nervous systems, free from lice, relief from headaches and pains caused during teething.
To conclude, now, we know why our ancestors insisted to tonsure at regular intervals. Usually the 9th month, 3 years and 5th years. Over a period of time, the real meaning was forgotten and it was done as per convenience or for the sake of respect or wishes from parents or grandparents.
Do share us your belief on tonsure, this will be useful for all other parents.