Glossary

Pañca-muṣṭi
Type of termDefinition
TermPañca-muṣṭi
Alternative TermsPañcamuṣṭi, Pañca muṣṭi, Five handfuls
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Short Description-
Long Description

The Sanskrit term for 'five handfuls' refers to the traditional gesture of the initiation ritual – dīkṣā – in which the future mendicant pulls out his or her own hair in 'five handfuls'. Nowadays, new monks and nuns symbolically pull out a single hair while the rest of their hair is shaved off. The shaven heads of Jain ascetics indicate their status.

Term Language-
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