The Third Year First Haircut (Chol Sanskar)

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The Third Year - First Haircut (Chol Sanskar)

This is another of the Sixteen Sanskars to be performed. In Chappaiya there is a lake known as Narayan Lake and it was here that many relatives and Brahmins had gathered for this ceremony. Ghanshyam Maharaj was sitting on Bhaktimata's lap ready to have his hair shaved. A barber called Zamairaat was asked to carry out the ceremony. About to proceed, Ghanshyam Maharaj suddenly disappeared from Zamairaat's sight. However, Ghanshyam Maharaj was still visible to everyone else. He alarmingly said, "How am I supposed to shave Him if I can't see Him!" "You must let Him shave you," Bhaktimata whispered to Ghanshyam Maharaj. Ghanshyam Maharaj obeyed His mother's wish and reappeared before Zamairaat's eyes. The ceremony could now begin. Meanwhile, Shiva Bhagwan and Parvati Devi came from Devlok to have darshan and watch the ceremony. When the ceremony concluded, Ghanshyam Maharaj took a bath in Narayan Lake. Relatives, Brahmins and friends then sat down for a meal to conclude the ceremony. Later that afternoon, with permission of Dharmadev and Bhaktimata, Ghanshyam Maharaj's friends took Him to play on the other side of the lake. It is here that the story of Kalidatta begins!!

As Ghanshyam Maharaj and his friends played by the nearby trees, Kalidatta, an evil demon who wanted to kill Ghanshyam Maharaj, took the form of a child in an attempt to capture Ghanshyam Maharaj. Kalidatta however soon realised that Ghanshyam Maharaj had seen through His devious disguise, so he retreated from the group. Kalidatta then brewed up a tremendous storm in a second attempt to capture Ghanshyam Maharaj. The wind raged, rain fell so heavily that one could hardly see a short distance ahead, tree's were ripped out by a fierce whirlwind and thunder and lightning pierced the dark sky. The children became very frightened and ran for shelter. Because of the poor visibility, they could not see where others had run to. Ghanshyam Maharaj sheltered from the storm under the protection of a tree. Kalidatta appeared on a tree in an attempt to break a branch so that it would fall on Ghanshyam Maharaj. The branch however failed to hit Ghanshyam Maharaj and it landed in such a way that it protected Ghanshyam Maharaj from the vicious storm even more. Kalidatta became even more incensed upon seeing this failure and made another attempt on Ghanshyam Maharaj's life. Face to face, Ghanshyam Maharaj looked at Kalidatta with His divine gaze. Kalidatta became frightened, reacting like a mad dog, running here, there and everywhere but could not get anywhere. He finally died, crushed by a tree felled by his own doing.

The storm now ceased, and Ghanshyam Maharaj and His friends returned home.

Janoi Yagnopavit
Ghanshyam is now eight years old and it is time to give Him a 'Janoi' (sacred thread) or Yagnopavit. Dharmadev calls a learned Brahmin to find an auspicious day (Muhurat) and Monday Fahgan Sud 10 1845 is chosen. Dharmadev begins preparations for this ceremony. This is very important day in the life of a Brahmin as He will become a Dwij (a Brahmin - twice born). Invitations are sent to all Brahmins in Ayodhya, their relations, friends and sadhus. The street is decorated and a mandap is set up with beautiful fragrant flowers.

On the 10th day, Brahmins recited stotras (shloks), ladies sang religious songs and Havan was performed. Ghanshyam's head was shaved and He then took a bath. He wore a Peetamber (yellow silk dhoti) and then stood under the mandap with His parents for the ceremony to begin. While the ceremony was being performed, the demi-gods including Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva came to have darshan. Dharmadev blessed Ghanshyam by placing his right hand on Ghanshyam's head and gave him a Guru Mantra, 'Shree Krishna Saranam Mama' (O Lord Shree Krishna, take me under your protection) Dharmadev said, "my Guru Ramanand Swami gave this mantra to me at Prayag, I now give it to you." Ghanshyam was pleased and bowed to his father with respect. Ghanshyam then put on the clothes of a celibate, a waistband, and held a moonj grass in his hand. He also held a stick made from the 'Palash' tree and a begging bowl. Bhaktimata was the first person to give Ghanshyam 'alms' and then others followed. After the ceremony, Dharmadev gave gifts to the Brahmins and fed all those who were present.

It has become a custom and part of the ceremony that the young dwij will try to run to their Guru and their mama's will run after them in order to bring them back. Following this custom, Ghanshyam set off on his ceremonial run chased by his Vishram mama, but He had no intention of coming back, or even to see His guru. He wanted to head to the Himalayas where He would begin his goal of spreading Dharma. There was no chance of Vishram mama catching Ghanshyam who could have got to the Himalayas in an instant. However, Ghanshyam felt that by running away, He would greatly upset his parents. He therefore slowed down to allow His exhausted mama to catch him. They both returned home with Ghanshyam sitting on his mama's shoulders, and the janoi ceremony was completed.

Ghanshyam then stayed home to serve His parents, He also started studies of Vedas and He learnt them very quickly. Whatever Ghanshyam learnt, He used to write it down in a small book, which He lovingly preserved. During this period, He continually thought of His reason for taking birth on the earth - to eradicate the burden of evil and sin, and spread true Dharma on Earth.

Salvation of Dharmadev and Bhaktimata
Ghanshyam served His parents till their last breath. Bhaktimata had become seriously ill. Ghanshyam gave Bhaktimata the spiritual knowledge of salvation and the sermon He gave to His mother is known as Hari Gita. On listening to Hari Gita, Bhaktimata fell into Samadhi (trance) and it was here that Ghanshyam revealed Himself as Shri Hari residing in Akshardham. Upon awakening she saw Ghanshyam standing before her, and she immediately recognized that Shri Hari had taken birth as her own son. Ghanshyam placed His hand on Bhaktimata's forehead; she closed her eyes, and Ghanshyam sent her to Akshardham. Bhaktimata left the human body on Kartik Sud 10 Samvat 1848.

Seven months after Bhaktimata passed away, Dharmadev also fell ill. Ghanshyam also gave his father the true knowledge and revealed himself in His divine form. Dharmadev now believed his son Ghanshyam is god in human form. Dharmadev called Rampratap and Ichharam and told them that the Shri Krishna we pray to is none other than your brother Ghanshyam. Ghanshyam is 'Supreme God' and that they were to pray and worship Ghanshyam, who is the only one to give you salvation. He also instructed Rampratap to look after Ghanshyam. Rampratap promised to obey his father's requests.

On Dharmadev's request, the Bhagwat Gita was recited for the seven days. Whilst engrossed in the recitals, Dharmadev's health greatly improved, but after hearing the recitals and having had darshan of god supreme, Dharmadev felt fulfilled and left this world on Jet Vad 4 Samvat 1848 to reside in Akshardham.

Bhaktimata and Dharmadev were now released from the curse of Durwasa Rushi.

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