Why Buddhists shave their heads?

Buddha shaving his head, bas-relief panel at Borobudur, Java, Indonesia
Photo by Gunkarta

In the upper picture we see Buddha, then prince Siddharta Gautama, shaving his head, while people around him are holding his crown, sword and princely jewelery, and his horse Kanthaka is standing on his right side. This gesture is seen as a sign of declining his kshatriya warrior class status and becoming an ascetic hermit.

Unlike most people who spend lots of time and money on their hair, Buddhist monks and nuns shave their heads. They are not concerned with outward beauty anymore, since they are dedicated to walking on spiritual path. This tradition is a reminder that the monks and nuns have renounced the worldly life and are now a part of Sangha.

1 Responses to “Why Buddhists shave their heads?”

  1. flylikeacrow Says:

    It also served a practical purpose. No hair = no lice, no combs or oils. Less things the lay community would have to supply them with, and less material things to impeed their journey.

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