Men should not keep long hair, says Sanatan Sanstha, a Goa-based religious outfit whose members are accused of killing Communist leader Govind Pansare in February this year.
“Women prefer keeping their hair short to look modern while men tie ponytails and call themselves trendy. This change in concept has actually taken mankind further down to negativity without realization,” the organization says in an article published on its website in July. There are two articles on the subject, both taken from “Hair Care,” which it describes as “Sanatan’s Holy Text”.
While it is common for right-wing ideologues to proclaim how women should conduct themselves, it is rare for them to make personal grooming suggestions for men.
An unusual blame game has broken out over former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's revelation that his government had written to the Centre to ban the Sanstha. Members of the Sanstha were also accused (later acquitted) of a bomb blast near a church in Goa.
Men, Women, Sikhs And Ascetics
The Sanstha goes on to explain why women should keep their hair long and men should keep their hair short “from a spiritual aspect”.
The article says, “…long hair symbolizes fickleness, there is emission of Raja-Tama waves, thus polluting the environment. This denotes distress due to negative energies… Due to contact with Raja-predominant waves emitting from hair, the suryanadi (Sun channel) remains constantly active; this produces heat in the body which keeps spreading in the body, resulting in reduction in the sperm count.”
Why, then, should women keep long hair? The Sanatan Sanstha explains, “Since a woman is the bestower of Shakti, it becomes possible for her to make use of Tejtattva predominant energy generated in her body by the movement of her long hair… As a symbol of this Shaktitattva (Divine Energy Principle)-oriented mission, which is complementary to the activity of the Raja component in the body, a woman should keep long hair…. Due to this awakened state in the form of Shakti tattva, a woman with long hair looks more humble and polite than a woman with short hair."
Long hair doesn’t merely emit Shakti from women to the world, it also protects women from energies coming from hell. The Sanstha writes, “When the spiritual level of a woman is less than 50%, she is protected to some extent from waves emitting from Patal (Hell region) due to Raja-predominant waves emitting from her long hair; similarly, even negative energies get distressed due to Tej-bestowing waves."
Surely, men keeping long hair can’t be un-Hindu, considering Hindu ascetics and even gods used to keep long hair. The Sanstha has thought of this, and has an answer ready. Among ascetics, “long hair symbolizes detachment, they emit radiant waves, the effect thus being formation of spherical sheath of radiant waves in the environment, which denotes their reduction in body awareness. Due to emission of waves related to Tejtattva (Absolute Fire Principle) from the hair, there is a formation of a protective sheath around the body…”
So does the Sanatan Sanstha disapprove of Sikhs keeping long hair? Not at all. Describing Sikhism as a sect of Hinduism, created to protect Hindus, the article says, “The umbilical cord of the Sikh community is connected with Kshatratej (Radiance of a warrior). The hair with Raja component help in creation of kshatravrutti (Combating attitude); hence the tradition of growing hair seems to have become prevalent amongst the Sikhs… When the tradition is abided by (on the basis of faith), we get its appropriate fruit… however, it will be spiritually beneficial for the Sikhs who do not abide by Dharma to cut their hair.”
Applying Oil To Your Hair Can Improve Your Eyesight
In another article from “Hair Care,” the Sanatan Sanstha describes the various ways of caring for your hair, such as applying oil, and their benefits. One of the benefits is improvement in eyesight. They even have testimonies of people who have had such “spiritual experiences”.
Take the example of one Mr Balwant Pathak from Raigad, Maharashtra: “In the last 15 years, I have never applied oil to the hair. I read the Marathi Holy text ‘Hair care’. There after, I began to wash the hair and apply oil daily. Before applying oil, I mix Vibhuti (Holy ash) in it and pray unto the Holy feet of Shrikrushna, ‘Let the centres of negative energies present at the root of the hair be destroyed’. In this manner, I have been applying oil regularly for the past 2 months. After application of oil, the head remains cool. During this period, I checked the number of my glasses. I found that it had reduced by 0.5. My parents were also surprised when they learnt that I had applied oil regularly. H.H. Dr. Athavale only helped me abide by Dharma. I express my gratitude at His Holy feet.”
There are other benefits of oil, according to the Sanstha’s Holy Text Hair Care. There is a section called “Subtle-experiments conducted after applying different oils to the hair.” In Goa, one Mrs Rajani used to experience “heat being expelled from my eyes”. So she held a bottle of tulsi (“Holy basil plant”) in her hand.
“When I held the bottle of tulsi oil in my hands, I began to belch. The vessels of my head became taut and I felt as if they were being pulled out of the body. When I opened the bottle of oil, I had a vision of Shri Vishnu inside it,” she is quoted as saying.
When she applied the oil to her hair, she “experienced that the body from within is being pulled and the extent of manifestation of the mantrik reduced” and “perceived that blue colour was spreading at the respective places and saw formation of a blue protective sheath on the head”.
The end result: “I felt that the cells of the head are gratified, and I felt contented. Later, my chanting commenced. While combing the hair, I perceivedblue light spreading down along with the movement of the comb’.”
The same Mrs Rajani tried putting her finger in a bottle of hibiscus-infused coconut oil, and “perceived Shri Ganapati Principle in the form of red color.”
By applying this oil to her head, she “imbibed Chaitanya through the Sahasrar-chakra (Notional opening situated at the crown of the head, which leads to realization of Brahman and Shiv) and felt coolness there.” And then she could “experience my own existence".
Applying oil to the body can also result in good sleep as it reduces “spiritual distress". For example, “One lady-seeker with severe spiritual distress applied oil to the hair of another lady-seeker suffering from severe spiritual distress. The next day, the lady-seeker to whom the oil was applied said, “Yesterday I slept very well. I do not sleep well even after taking a sleeping tablet”.