Tuesday, 13 November 2012

When did the Indians start cutting hair & beard?

Sanatan Dharma is the oldest religion and so the earliest people in India were undoubtedly the ones whom we collectively know today as Hindus. At that point of time, when Lord Rama and Lord Krishna took birth on this earth for the betterment of mankind, most of the people in India were very spiritual. Almost every spiritual man/woman, saints, the Avtaars/Prophets had uncut hair and beard as a mark of utmost respect and devotion to God Almighty and they maintained themselves as God had created them.

It was the time when the worst humiliation and punishment for any person was to cut his/her hair. It was considered to be worst than a Death Sentence.

With the birth of Janamejaya and under his rule, many things changed on the Indian Landscape. Janamejaya was a Kuru King. He was the son of Parikshit and Madravati. He was the grandson of Abhimanyu and the great-grandson of Arjuna, the valiant warrior hero of the Mahabharata. His rule marked the end of the complete Spiritual way of Life in India and marked the beginning of Kalyug. He was perhaps the first king who was not spiritually awakened like his ancestors and was more towards the worldly thought process.

Janamejaya always expressed doubt that Lord Krishna was an Avtaar/Prophet. He went with the same doubt to Ved Vyas. The author of the great epic Mahabharata, Ved Vyas was the first and greatest Acharya of Sanatan Dharma. Ved Vyas acknowledged the fact that Lord Krishna was an Avtaar and he  had complete knowledge of Past, Present and Future. 


Janamejaya said that if He was an Avtaar, then why didnt He tell His beloved Pandavas not to play "Game of Dice" will eventually led to so many troubles for them and the war between them and the Kauravas? 


Ved Vyas said that as we sow, so shall we reap and because of past deeds of the Pandavas, they had to face such tough times and bear the consequences and so even if Lord Krishna had told them beforehand, Pandavas still would have played the Game of Dice. Janamejaya over-ruled this and said that even Ved Vyas is a hypocrite and  is making a fool of the people. He said that if Ved Vyas told him to refrain from doing something as it will do some harm, than why would he do the same.


Ved Vyas then told him that he will die of Leprosy, which was completely incurable at that time. Janamejaya said that as per holy books, only that person gets Leprosy who has cheated/ stolen at Holy Place or 
harmed the Holy People and till then, he had not done any such thing. So if he gets leprosy, that means Holy Books were wrong.

Ved Vyas said that Janamejaya would perform Ashwamegh Yagya in which a Royal Horse was left out and from which all neighbouring states/ erstwhile countries it passed, either the king of that state had to accept the rule of the King who sent that horse or if any king dares to stop that horse and hold it with him, he had to fight with the King to maintain freedom. Ved Vyas said that the king of Banaras would hold that horse and there will be a fight between Janamejaya and that king in which that king will be defeated and he will offer lot of wealth and get his daughter married to Janamejaya.


But Janamejaya would be attracted to the beautiful maid (Daasi) that will come along the Princess from Banaras and will marry that maid (Daasi). Janamejaya will have a son from that maid and he will name him Ajay Singh. This was the first time someone used "Singh" with the name and since Maid (Daasi) was known as "RAJI" and son was called "POOT", Ajay Singh and his generations were called RAJIPOOT (means- son of the maid/daasi) and this word later became "RAJPOOT/ RAJPUT" who till date use Singh after their name.

Ved Vyas said Janamejaya would organize a royal function and will invite the holy men to offer prayers and his Queen (the Daasi) would request that she also wants to be the part of the function. As soon as she would come out to gathering, suddenly with the wind will blow for few moments and her clothing (unstitched cloth wrapped around the waist that covers till knees or below) would get lifted up and her body would be exposed, seeing which the holy men would laugh. In anger you would kill 18 of them and order your army to kill/punish the rest in the gathering. Due to these sins, Janamejaya will have leprosy and will die because of it.

Janamejaya denied and said he has more than enough territory under his rule and he will never go for Ashwamegh Yagya and after that he went away. Ved Vyas had told him that when something is bound to happen, God will make your mind work in such a way that you will do that work - Vinaash Kaal, Vipreet Buddhi

5 years after having this conversation with Ved Vyas, Janamejaya performed Ashwamegh Yagya as suggested by his army chief. By then he had forgotten what Ved Vyas had told him and everything went on as told by Ved Vyas. Janamejaya killed 18 holymen himself and got many more killed by his army. Very few who were sitting in the far corners of the gathering and didnt even know what went wrong were also tied up with rope and he ordered his men to shave off their heads, which was considered to be the most shameful punishment by the Indian men at that time as they kept uncut hair and beard. Their heads were shaved and they were left to move out in public. When people asked them who they were, they told that they were Brahmins. People objected that how could Brahmins cut their hair and beard, they said its because their father/mother have expired and thats why they have shaved their beard and heads. 

From that time, the Indians who used to follow Sanatan Dharam, now known as Hindus started cutting hair and beard and the custom of getting even the head shaved incase of death of ones parent started.

Janamejaya saw leprosy marks on his face after some time of killing these holy men and then he remembered what Ved Vyas had said.  Then he agreed that Lord Krishna was the Prophet/Avtaar and what Ved Vyas told was right - we cant escape but have to eat the fruits of our sins and nobody can save us from what is destined to happen.

He finally died of leprosy which was completely incurable at that time.

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