Choula-Hair removing of an Indian boy
One of the 16 ceremonies
In India, Hindus, Jains, and such native religion followers believe that Sixteen Samskaras or, betterment processes should take place in everybody's life. Those samskaras include-birth ceremony, naming, choula or removing hair for the first time, upanayana or preaching the meditative hymns,marriage, etc.
Except Sikhs, other Indian religions follow this tradition.
Time of choula
Traditionally,it should be performed before the completion of the first year of the child. If not, it should be performed in the third year of the child,Or, it should be done in the 5th year.
It should be compulsorily be done to male children. But in some communities, it is done for female children also. In such cases, it is done only once in their life time.
Steps in choula
In all samskara ceremonies in Indian native religious followers, 'mama'(brother of the mother) occupies the role of the performer, whether or not he pays the expenses. It is his right to be the main performer.In his leadership, hair removing ceremony takes place in the following manner:-
1. It takes place either in the temple of family god/goddess or in the home premises , in front of the idol of the family god.
2 Child will be seated on a small wooden plank around which designs might have been drawn. Such designs can be drawn as line drawings using the rice powder and color powders. It is called 'Rangoli'.Every Indian woman knows to draw it. .A' kalash' will be kept ready. some milk will be kept in a small vessel . To that, some ghee is mixed.The priest( archak/purohith) goes on telling relevant mantras(sacred chants) . Mama sits behind or by the side of the child.He may keep the child on his lap also, if the child is only a few months old.
3 In font of the child, on a banana leaf, some items are placed,like- beetle leaves, areca nut,flowers etc.
4 After initial worships(this includes pouring of some ghee milk on the head of the child) ,priest ties five tufts of hairs on the head of the child.Them he permits mama to cut those hair tufts on by one with scissors. He will do so.Then, pooja materials kept in front of the boy are taken off and now barber starts shaving the head of the child.
5 After the completion of the shaving process, the cut hairs are kept on the banana leaf kept in front, kept separately with care, and the child is taken for bathing (for the second time.First usual bath would have been over prior to sitting for the ceremony).
6 Here also, it is mama's right to pour the water first bowl of water on the child. Mother and others help in bathing.then, new clothes are put on the child and once again, the child is brought before the god, and the purohit applies some sandal paste on the shaven head of the child.It also decreases the irritation on the head.
7 Suitable gifts are given to priest and the mama.Barber also will get something more than his usual charge with all respects.
8 Later, the cut hairs are floated in a river, or pool, or, tank.
Thus ends tha first hair removing ceremony of the child. Usually, It is the first occassion in which child participates with some knowledge.
The procedure is almost same in almost all Indian religions. However, some minor differences are there.
Pictures attached to this article are the photoes taken during the choula ceremony of Akshara Prasad, son of the present hub writer.
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