What is the purpose of a choti?
It is a common practice for Hindus to keep a choti or shikha - a braid of long hair on top of the head. The end of the hair is tied in a simple knot. Although modern youth avoid this, traditionalists still insist upon it since it is an ancient practice.
The choti is symbolic of the restraint one places upon oneself, intended to remind us of our ideals and principles. It is supposed to help generate noble thoughts within the mind.
The head houses the brain and pituitary gland that control not only the whole body, but also our thoughts, feelings and emotions that guide us through life. It is believed that the roots of the hair forming the choti go down to the control centers in the brain. This is the seat of wisdom and thoughtfulness. Externally this place is marked with a choti.
In the Katyayansmriti, 1/4, it is said:
Without a choti yagya, charity, penance, fast and other auspicious acts are redundant.
Maharishi Vedavyas has said:
Without a choti even virtuous actions become demonical.