Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hair = extension of the umbilical cord?

Little Biyadiya is one person I want to write about all the time, but I check myself. I am not comfortable about writing about someone that close. But I really could not keep myself from writing this one.

I have always felt a pang whenever he crossed one of his milestones. When he started solids, when I first left him at home and went out for a couple of hours, when he wanted to hold his cup of milk himself while drinking... The most recent one was cropping his hair.

His chaula was performed way back in April, when we had gotten a small amount of hair removed. I was postponing the real haircut, partly because I liked the look and the sweet smell of his dishevelled hair in the morning and partly because he would become a big boy after the haircut. But maintenance of his hair was becoming a big problem with him refusing to let us comb and tie them into a ponytail. So, his first haircut happpened yesterday.

Yesterday was an Independence day of a different sort for him. His head and face now look larger. And I confess that I preferred the old look better. And I want to confess that I might not oppose if he chose to have shoulder-length hair in future, as a youth, really!


Aram said...

"And I want to confess that I might not oppose if he chose to have shoulder-length hair in future, as a youth."

When we were teenagers, shoulder-length hair was looked down upon by our elders who used to call it the hippy style.

Some of today's youth in my office prefer the Yul Brynner/Fighter Shetty look. Less "head-weight" too!

Wonder what style will be in vogue 10-15 years hence.

Personally now, I like the Iskcon hairstyle.

mouna said...

personally speaking, i felt the same way when my niece started everything new. when she refused to wear diapers, when she started wearing shoes instead of booties, when she told that she can wash her face herself without any help.

sometimes, i too speculate before putting up a particular post. i don't know what made me shed the idea. but, when i do write something, and others' put in their bit, it all seems so fantastic. :)

parijata said...

Yeah, I know... Shoulder-length hair was looked down upon. But I personally feel that it looks good on some people. Little Biyadiya is one. And the Yul Brynner look is terrible, IMO. I don't think anybody looks good in that! What is the Iskcon hairstyle? The one with shikhe?

True, I understand.
I did not want to post that at all, actually. It was not at all well-written. I posted on an impulse. It is nice of you to share your experience too.

Aram said...

yes, the one with the shikhe?

I find their whole dress attractive?

Your question made me wonder just now about the absence of gopikastrees in ISKCON? Or are there? Must find out the next time I meet somebody. By the way, in case you were unaware, all the members of the ISKCON governing board here are all highly qualified engineers and many from REC, IIT.

parijata said...

I know that many of the followers of Iskcon are highly qualified engineers, Madhupanditadaasa being an MTech from an IIT (is he still in Bangalore?) Though I do not agree with some of their views, their love for Krishna is definitely wonderful.

I feel that a nice shikhe, panche and a shalya really suits Indian men. I loved it when my little one had the hair right above his forehead removed. It gave him a nice sampradaayastha look.

About gopikastrees, well, I am sure the Lord has a lot of female devotees also... And Iskcon is not like the Swaminarayan pantha, right?

Aram said...

"...I am sure the Lord has a lot of female devotees also... And Iskcon is not like the Swaminarayan pantha, right?"

yes, your words made me wonder which gender has more devotion unto Him/Her. I suppose, it is the women who have more bhakti than vain men. As mothers, they also manage to teach and imbibe this bhakti into tomorrow's men!

If today, I am able to recite Sriramaraksha and Vishnusahasranama, it is only because of the elder ladies who saw me through my early years.

I know very little about Swaminarayana sect. Even of ISKCON, i admire them more for their positives, rather superlatives like - highly educated and motivated Dasas, their astounding project execution capabilities, cleanliness (which is but next only to Godliness), Akshaya Patra scheme, the organic farming venture near Srirangapatna where they have some 120 acres project and helping about 800 farmers in the 3 southern States in organic farming.

Compared to the practice of Christianity, I have always felt that Hinduism is more a quest of an individual for his own moksha. The Christians, and maybe others too, have a better focus on community welfare and mass prayers, etc. I guess, ISKCON is addressing this issue by taking up community-benefitting projects. I don't know much about Madhupanditadasa being in Bangalore. Until you asked, I thought he must have been continuing in Bangalore.

Thanks for putting the idea of Indian dress shikhe, panche, shalya into the proper phrase, "sampradayastha look." Hope you make a post on the ideal Indian style.

Aram said...

Your blog'inspiration.

There is a young man in my office, a devotee of ISKCON who always talks spirituality with me, in spite of my telling him that the only spirits I like are not connected with spirituality.

I told him that the best way of spreading the K-con (sorry, Krishna consciousness) was to start wearing their distinctive dress to the office so that people will notice with aroused curiosity. ( Our office has no dress code, in fact a Canadian Sirdarji used to come to the office 300 days wearing the ethnic Punjabi dress. Some of the more religious men and women of the true faith come dressed in their ethnic dress. So, why shouldn't ISKCON men too?

I showed him your words, ""I feel that a nice shikhe, panche and a shalya really suits Indian men..... It gave him a nice sampradaayastha look."

He has agreed to consider. Let us see how powerful your influence is.

This also set me thinking just now. ISKCON could be (if they see the point) the right vehicle (i am reminded of Parthasarathy's ratha) to promote the "Kshaatra Teja" amongst us to counter the threat perception, or at least to prepare ourselves for this war on terror.

I have not read Bhagavad Gita, but I believe the Lord spoke something on the need for war.

Must have a talk with one of the Dasas, if not the great Madhu Pandita himself.

Nilagriva, I hope you read this.

neela said...

I liked the importance you have attached to B's milestones.
I too did.
How does B feel without his long tresses? Comfortable?
Mine had lovelycurly hair before the ceremonial tonsure.Now it is straight and it looks like a porcupine's quills!!

parijata said...

Did the young man in your office wear the ISKCON dress to work? Do let me know if he does. :)

R is toying with the idea of sporting a shikhe, but gave it up because his Dad (my FIL) is not very happy with the idea.

I think even our temples and mathas used to engage themselves in service to the society. Mathas used to be, and still are, the places for traditional learning. I think Shringeri shankara Matha has started a school jnaana-something in Shankarapuram. But of course, the influence exerted by ISKCON is tremendous.

Thanks for asking about little B. He is definitely enjoying his new hairstyle, because he does not need to comb.

Don't even the porcupine's quills look so pretty on the kids we love? :)

Aram said...

My esteemed friend, Mr. Nadamuni Ranganatham Sudhakar said he is already growing a shikhe, but has started saying that according to his guru's (Prabhupada)advice:

1) purity is force

2) utility is principle

3) Vedas are the basis

4) preaching is the essence

So, if one is not fully compliant with the above 4 aspects, then external paraphernalia are nothing but an elephant bath ( after a nice bath it goes in a slush and dirties itself). So, it will take some time for him to develop the proper inner outlook and only after that he can wear an outer outfit matching what he is preaching.

Do you have a convincing counterpoint on this? My original point to him was that if his objective was to campaign for Krishna consciousness, it would be more effective if he were in their garb.

He also wants to know the scientific explanation for growing a shikhe. (

I suppose I have provided you here a subject (Indian dress code for men)for your future posts.

neela said...

hettorige muLhandinoo mudde:you are right!!