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Shikha is a lock of hair on the crown on a shaven head. In the modern times, it is mostly worn by priests.

It is believed that traditionally all Hindu men kept Shikha, but later this was restricted to priests.

However, Maharishi Vashishtha is described to have long hair which is tied to a bun.

I want to know whether Maharishis were exempted from this requirement, or was the Shikha not as widespread in ancient times as believed?

  • Yes the jatA or bun etc is a type of shikha Only. Vashistha etc were staunch vedics – Rakesh Joshi Mar 30 '18 at 13:52
  • @Rakesh Joshi But doesn't Shikha require the entire head to be shaved, except the hair on the sahasrara part? – MathGod Mar 30 '18 at 13:57
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    No sir. Its not needed. In fact there is a samskara called chuDAkarana samskara. Its not actually mundana but rearranging the tuft for making shikha. Also complete tonsure is against the Vedic principles. – Rakesh Joshi Mar 30 '18 at 14:10
  • Ohk thanks. No need to call me sir haha, I'm just a student. Btw, is there any rule for having no hair on face while reciting Vedic Mantras? – MathGod Mar 30 '18 at 14:19
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Shikha is most important particularly to maharshis and seers because of their long term meditations/tapasya practices as their crowns or Sahasrara chakra are mostly open and thus vulnerable to common weather conditions and are susceptible to colds and heat and also to shield away entities.

It is a common phenomenon among long term meditators to have frequent “spiritual flu” if they don’t cover their crowns. Likewise, if you observe closely, most spiritual gurus in history or living do wear headscarfs of one form or the other.

And whearas the Kudumi or rat tail worn by most sadhakas is to remind them for the purpose of contemplation or visualisation of the exact location of “Bindu Visarga” one of the energy center forming part of Chakradhyana.

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