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Page 7

(f) No Shaving Of Head, Please

Human hair is very strong. If a rope is made with the hairs of a normal adult person, it could support a suspended weight of a Maruti car. Hair grows 3/8" to 3/4" a month; faster in summer than in winter, faster during day than night.

Hair is formed in follicles - little tubes folded into the skin, connected with blood vessels, so that cells can form and grow. The new cells push the old ones up the follicle, and these old cells undergo a process called karatinization, which terms then into hair (karatin is a chemical formed in finger nails and horns of a cow). Since hair is no longer composed of living cells, it is said to be 'dead', so cutting it does not hurt us.

Attached to the hair are miniature muscles, which, by contracting, can 'erect' the hairs. In the cold, these hairs are erected to create extra insulation, while anxiety leads to stimulation of muscles by the sympathetic nervous system. This is described as goose pimple effect.

The yogic scientists perhaps knew more about the hair than us. They have assigned the human hair a better functioning. Remember what was said about the static electricity that our body will be producing. Static electricity is so called because it remains stationary on the surface of an object as opposed to the familiar current electricity that flows in a wire. At the heart of both is the negatively charged electron. The shock one gets after walking across a wool rug on cool, dry days comes from a static electricity charge, a charge composed of electrons rubbed from the rug onto the shoe soles. The rug's atoms with their electron deficiency become positively charged, while those in the shoe and hence one's body are negatively charged. A spark made up of these excess electrons will jump from the fingers to a grounded object such as a human being. Any object charged this way tends to attract another object with an opposite charge and repel one with a similar charge.

Consider an example: a person is standing on a wooden stool and is thus suitably insulated. When he touches the globe of a powerful static electricity generator and is being charged with a million volts, all that he gets is a tingle and a goose flesh effect - a fuzzy hairdo!  Since the hair have the same powerful electrical charge, they repel one another to produce the hair-raising effect.

High voltage of current generated in the body during the course of japah, and more so in tapah, is to be discharged some times under peculiar circumstances (refer 'aasana' and 'mudra') and hair act as channels of dissipation. In case the head is shaven constantly, this system is disturbed and the flow is held in check by the inside of the scalp. This may prove unsafe and damaging.

Sebum secreted by the millions of glands located near the roots of hair is suppressed from oozing out. Sebum forms a protective mixture with sweat to keep the scalp moist and pliable.

Sex glands and hairs are connected. When the head is clean shaved of hair, they will cause extensive excitation in the muscles and nerves served by them. They reflexly cloud the centers located in the hypothalamus, and hypothalamus, in turn, will be causing excitation of pituitary and adrenal glands. They will be secreting harmones which excite sexual organs.

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