Hair plucking ceremony - An extreme practise

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Hair Plucking -An extreme practice

-Sudheer Nedlumane, Bangalore

The Jain Sadhus and Sadhvis after receiving the Diksha (initiation), pluck their hair after every four months in a year. They pluck their hair or they get the hair plucked by others. The hair on face and scalp are plucked. This is called Kesh-lochan or Loch. It is also considered as one kind of austerity where one bears the pain of plucking hair calmly.
This is done mostly in front of the lay-community. First they rub ashes on their head, then they pluck out the hair in bunches. In case a muni is too old or too weak for this, he asks somebody to pull out his hair. Nowadays these tasks are performed by the temple administrators with great pomp. The hair is collected in cups and is auctioned to devotees for high sums.
Why Keshlochan? Jain saints pluck their hair as a mark of renunciation of worldly pleasures during their Keshlochan ritual. Saints perform this ritual to motivate their followers to take the path of renunciation. Jains believe that plucking hair teaches them to endure pain. The saints, who perform the ritual, say, they want to motivate people to renounce worldly things. It can be done in private room, but it is done in public with the idea of motivating the people to take the path of renunciation.