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Story – Why Shiva Devotees Wear Matted Hair?

Shiva devotees (Aghoris, Tantrics, Naga Sadhus) have matted hair. There is story that happened during the reign of Daksha Prajapati which explains why Shiva devotees wear matted hair.

A great yajna was performed once by sages at Prayag, the confluence of three rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Shiva arrived at the yajna with Sati and all those assembled there stood up and paid obeisance to Mahadev and Mata Sati.  Shiva was seated with great honor.

Soon, Daksha Prajapati arrived at the yajna and everyone stood up and paid respects to him out of fear. Daksha was arrogant due to his superior status in Vedic society. Shiva remained in his seat and did not acknowledge Daksha.

Daksha Prajapati considered this as a mark of disrespect and angrily spoke in the yajna against Shiva. Daksha said that Shiva was uncultured and mannerless. He continued insulting Mahadev by stating that he did not expect anything more from his son-in-law whose attendants are goblins and ghosts and who lives in cremation grounds.

Nandi, Shiva’s beloved attendant, could not tolerate the arrogance of Daksha and rebuked him. Nandi reminded the arrogant prajapati that just one glance of Shiva was enough to reduce him and his entourage into ashes.

Daksha was furious with Nandi for rebuking him in public. He cursed that all Shiva attendants will be condemned as heretics and will have matted hairs.

From that day onwards all Shiva attendants started wearing matted hair.