Friday, October 17, 2014

Gurudev, devotees who visit the Tirupati temple donate their hair as offering at the shrine. Also, in India there is a tradition of shaving off one’s head when a dear one passes away. Why is this so, and what does shaving off one’s head have to do with our mind and our actions?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
This is more of a conventional norm that has become a tradition over the years. It is not prescribed as mandatory by our scriptures anywhere.
There are two aspects to any ritual in India. One is that prescribed as a norm or a social convention, the other is that which is mentioned and prescribed elaborately in our scriptures, which becomes tradition and for which the scriptures also narrate the benefits of practicing that particular ritual or practice.
For example, many people wear collared T-shirts. Why is the collar there and what is its purpose? In winters, in the foreign countries, people fold the collar up and protect themselves from the cold, and in the summers, people loosen the collar so they feel a little cool.
The English began this, and slowly everyone else adopted the same style. So it is just a custom, that’s all. There is nothing more to it.

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