Kaadhu Kutthal or Kaadhu Kuthu Kalyanam is the local name for ear piercing ritual in south India. Karnavedha is the Sanskrit name for ear piercing.
Today, I happened to be the ear piercer-ceremonial priest -for a pretty teenage Indian girl who came from Newzeland, Mohini. It is a very happy and important day in Mohini\’s life. Instead of getting the ear piercing ritual at home, she came to me in Jubilee Hospital; her mother decided that it must be done in a clean aseptic hospital setting, so it was done. As I am very busy in my clinic I really don\’t get time to do these rituals, but on occasions I cannot refuse like in Mohini who came all the way from NewZeland. Any way after the ear piercing ceremony, I must say, Mohini looked much pretty.
In classical ritual, the head should be shaved and painted with Turmeric and Kunkumam first, but not in this case. Mohini is a modern girl. (The shaving of the head is seen as a special sacrifice to God).
The shape of the ear resembles the holy symbol ‘Aum’. It is believed that piercing the ear is just dotting the Aum. The ears are pierced in kids is to differentiate between Hindus and others and is considered an important ceremony in many Hindu traditions. The ear piecing ceremony is a ritual performed by all Hindus, irrespective of caste and gender. For girl child the first ear pierced is the left ear and for male child the first ear pierced is the right ear. It is usually performed during the sixth month or seventh month or third year or fifth year or 7th year after birth, the odd numbers.
The ear piercing in some regions is performed by the Goldsmith (thattaan) and he uses bronze needles to pierce the earlobe. These days after seeing many ear piercing get infected; they come to clinics where it is done” surgically”.
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About Ashta Samskara in Hindu Dharma
The Eight Rites of Passage or Ashta Samskara.
1.Namakarana-Name Giving Ceremony.
This is the Hindu name-giving ceremony, performed in the home or the temple 11 to 41 days after birth. The father whispers the auspicious new name in the infant’s right ear.
2.Anna Prasana – feeding of solid food
Beginning of Solid Food: The first feeding of solid food is a sacred event performed by the father in the temple or home. The choice of food offered to a child at this crucial time is said to help determine his or her destiny.
3. Karnavedha â€“ Ear Piercing.
The ear-piercing ceremony, given to both boys and girls, performed in the temple or the home, generally on the child’s first birthday. Health and wealth benefits derive from this ancient rite.
Head Shaving: The head is shaven and smeared with sandalwood paste in this rite performed in the temple or home before age four. It is a very happy day for the child. The shaven head denotes purity and egolessness.
5. Vidyarambha-beginning of education.
Beginning of Education: The formal beginning of primary education. In this rite, performed in the home or temple, the child scribes the first letter of the alphabet in a tray of unbroken, uncooked, saffron rice.
6. Upanayana-Sacred Thread
Sacred Thread Ceremony. The ceremonial investment of the “sacred thread” and initiation into Vedic study, performed in the home or temple, usually between the ages of 9 and 15, after which a youth is considered “twice born.”
The marriage ceremony, performed in a temple or wedding hall around the sacred homa fire. Lifetime vows, Vedic prayers and seven steps before God and Gods consecrate the union of husband and wife.
8. Antyeshti â€“ Funeral or Last Rites
The funeral rite includes preparation of the body, cremation, home-cleansing and dispersal of ashes. The purifying fire releases the soul from this world that it may journey unhindered to the next.
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