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
Occasion to do a Mundan Puja
Namkaran Puja is performed upon the birth of a child in the family to bestow both Sanskaars and blessings of everyone upon him. The sanskaars are said to bestow both happiness and longevity to life.
Mundan Puja Vidhi
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
Mantras to Chant During Namkaran Puja
Specific Mantras are chanted by the priest while drawing a child’s horoscope and naming him.
"|| Om Medhate Devaha ||"
O beloved son, May god bless you with sharp acumen and intellect to study the Vedas and prosper in life.