[Advaita-l] General questions

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Sep 16 12:14:29 CDT 2005

On Fri, 16 Sep 2005, nipun wrote:

> Dear Sir,
> Could you please tell me the name of the book/ Granth where the 
> information is available on shikha(choti).

The earliest reference I have been able to find is in 
Katyayanashrautasutra which is the vedanga dealing with rituals for the 
Shuklayajurveda.  In discussing the darshapaurnamasa ishtis (sacrifices on 
new and full moons) one rule says "optionally the sacrificer should shave 
his head except for the shikha."  The matter of fact way in which it is 
mentioned shows that already by that time the practice was so commonplace 
as to not require comment.

> I also want to know ,how many 
> knots a brahmin has to put in his shikha.

I put one.  According to a dharmashastra called Sanskarabhaskara, if a 
Brahmana can't keep shikha (i.e. because he is bald) he does 
shikhabandhanam by tying a knot in a darbha.  This also suggests one knot. 
However there may be differing local traditions and if you have inherited 
one of those you should follow that.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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