Why Jain Saints Perform Kesh Lonch
Actions of Nirgranth Saints are quite strange, opposite, unfamiliar and unusual in comparison to ordinary people. As is stated in "Pursarth Siddhu Paye" by Amrit Chand.
The method of living and actions of those munis who are completely unattracted & unattached to the world, body, worldly chatams, enjoyments, love and Parigrah (collections) are uncommon. For example, Jain Saints live naked while ordinary people adorn cloths due to attachment and love of their body. Ordinary people collect wealth etc. while they leave it, ordinary people cat testy foods of several type many times a day in utensils comfortably sitting while Digamber Jain saints drink water etc. and take simple tasteless food standing in their palms only once in day time in twenty four hours.
In the same manners Digamber Jain Muni pull out their hairs of head, beard and pair of moustaches with their own hands without any sort of appliance voluntaricly, and without any feeling of pain once every three months and even observe fast on that day. This process is called Kesh Lonch. As they have no feeling or love of any attachment and saturated with the beauty of soul, while ordinary people get their hairs cut and trimmed fashionable due to their love for hairs and to increase the beauty of their body.
He attains humble lessons, freedom from internal and external Parigrah and attachments etc. and achieves tolerance of pain and any other temporary trouble of practicing kesh lonch.
By practicing kesh lonch humble lessness renunciation of the world braveness and purity in vote appears. Digambar Muni is absolutely free from money and wealth as he leaves cloths too, if he does not pull out hairs with his own hands then he will have to employ barber or use scissors etc. and for that he will need money which he does not possess so he will have to stretch his hands before others and thus his nature of not begging will be destroyed, not only this but one day he will become very degraded person, humble like an ordinary begger. A great Nirgranth Muni can not beg humbly from others. The great poet saints Kabir Das said.
Begging is equal to dieing, no body should beg. Guru advises it is better to die then to beg, Shadhu cannot have scissors or money because Jain saints consider that collection of physical articles is a great sin, so they leave these by taking a life long vow, so collection of such discorded articles through a vow is greatest sin. As post Tulsi Das has said.
"Those saints who callect luxuries of the world after leaving these by vow are to be can demand again and again." So saints to protect their self respects, independence, loneliness, test of internal strength and confirmation of unconcern not attachment pull out their hairs in two, three or four months. If hairs are allowed to grow for more time then these may got infested with lice etc., these may go to other parts of the body also bite, calls pain and may disturb the concentration of thought. Distrubance of thought causes hurdles in medilation study and taming the body, not only this, this lower life may get killed by scratching etc, Jain Saints feel very much hurt even if microscopic creatures having only one sense of touch are killed or hurt. To observe complete Ahinsa protecting all the creatures of the univers according to their best of ability is there first and formost duty, then how they can cause the trouble or death to these small insects by allowing there hairs to grow. It has been seen that those saints who grow long hairs have their hairs generally infested with lice etc. which even fall down and the often scrub and scratch these heads and parts of the body. So kind hearted and allert Jain saints to avoid cruelty to these creatures pull out their hair before these creatures take birth.
On the day of Kesh Lonch saints keep fast and pull out their hairs either with their own hands alone or some times with the help of others, during that process the apply pure wood ash so that hairs do not slip out of the hands, They do not use any chemical with the view of avoiding any pain. Before starting kesh lonch they pray to Siddha (librated souls) and do yoga (saints) worship in their meditation. During Kesh Lonch they think as if they are pulling out Karma, trouble and evil thoughts there may be possibility of slightest error so they perform penance after wards. Kesh lonch is one of the twenty eight special virtues of Nirgranth saints without kesh lonch he can not keep his saintly order so compulsorily they perform kesh lonch. Some times their disciples request them to see it, to increase the confidence in religion, to perform it in presence of public. As they do perform it in routine so keeping their feelings in view they do it in presence of public. People think that these hairs which we care and fashion so much, Muni Raj are pulling out as a farmer pulls out weeds from his fields, and at the same time they also wise may we also when their will be such a good time we will also be able to pull out are malice from our heart along with our hairs and adopt Nirgranth state.
If hairs are eated then one needs comb soap. etc. By washing these with soap there are more chance of Hinsa (vrelenee and enjoyed) time is also wasted In fashioning the hairs, it causes sexy emotions and thus it damages the image of celebacy. None performance of kesh lonch gives birth to Hinsa, Parigrah, A brahmcharya, begging, humbleness, disobeying the tents of religion, damage the vow and so many others evils. while performance of kesh lonch gives rise to encouragement bravely, fearlessness, unattachment, Ahinsa, Aprigrah Brahmcharya, practice to tolerate pains etc. and Several other positive virtues. Consideiing all the above good and bad points Jain saints perform it either by their own hands or by the help of others, Similiarly nuns(argika) also perform it. Chullak and Aillak (two previous stages of Digamber muni) also practice it. If saint has to employ barber for hair cut he is to follow the orders of barber to turn his head to this side or the other by this he will lose his independence of body and soul for the time being, so they cannot employ the barber.
In this above stanza poet has tried to depict the image of Nirgranth muni and his daily routine. He says.
They maintain equanimity and worship Jinandra Bhagwan Daily to perform study of holy scriptures, and self repentance and leave their love of body. They do not take their bath or brush their teeth and their clothes are only space. They sleep only once on the ground for some time with one posture after mid night.They eat very little standing in their own hands in day time only once in twenty four hours. They pull out their hairs and do not fear the pain and keep themselves busy in meditation. They always maintain normalacy, calm end forgiveness in presence of enemy or friend, palace or cremation ground. Golden glass, accusement or praise, worship or attack or any contradictory situation.