Karnavedha is the Practice of the Piercing of the EarsKarnavedha is the practice of the piercing of the ears and it is one of the important Hindu Samskaras or spiritual ceremony performed for a child. Karnavedha generally takes place after three to five years after the children are born. But sometimes the piercing of the ears also takes even before the child attains one year of birth or even at a much later stage.Karnavedha is a Vedic rite of passage. Ear piercing is not specific to a particular gender but it quite common among both the male and females in India. Usually for a girl child the first ear pierced is the left ear whereas for a boy child the first ear pierced is the right. The people believe that by means of doing this it helps in opening of the inner ears of the child so as to receive the sacred sounds. The ear piercing ritual has more of spiritual fascination and emblematic significance. The people believe that by hearing these sacred sounds or the mantras which helps in flushing our sin and caring and protecting our spirit.
Ear Piercing Ceremony is done on auspicious day-The ear piercing ceremony is done on auspicious day and time during which special prayer ceremony and pujas are done to God under sunlight. Only after the performance of all this earring is offered to the child. According to the Brahmins ear piercing is supposed to be one of the sixteen major Samskaras like pregnancy, childbirth, education, marriage, death, etc which an individual must undergo in his period of life. Ancient writings and Vedas mention about the sixteen major Samskaras or rites. The Brahmin community of the Hindus strictly adhere to the Dharma sindhu which states that a child has to get his or her ear pierced on the 10th, 12th or 16th day after birth of the child which is however too early for the new born child. If not on any one of these days it must be done on 6th or 7th month after birth. If the piercing fails even now then it should be done before the age of three years and it must be preferably on odd years and not on even years of the child. But among Brahmins ear piercing should be done before upanayana because once the Upanayana or the thread ceremony is done the child is not supposed to remove the ear ring.
Doctors Recommend the Ears to be Pierced After the First Vaccination -
But still nowadays doctors recommend the ears to be pierced after the first or the booster dose of the DPT vaccinations which is when the baby is between three and six months old for the vaccination will protect the child from infections like tetanus. Parents always want the piercing to be done at a much early stage for the skin is very soft during the early months and also it will cause far less pain for the babies. There are legends which symbolize the shape of the ear to the holy symbol of the Hindus Aum and thus the piercing involves dotting of the Aum. There are mentions about the ear piercing and ear rings in olden Prakrit and Sanskrit literature which depicts that the women used to wear fresh flowers on their ears instead of earrings which only after many centuries got transformed into jewelry. Karnphul is a special kind of flower and the wearing of it is considered very auspicious. The scientific theory behind the piercing of the ears is that the ear lobes helps in keeping active that part of the brain responsible for memory. The ear is supposed to be pierced at the bottom of the ear lobe.
Acupressure Therapy tells that the Earlier a Childs Ear is Pierced the better-The wearing of ornaments in the ear is considered among the married Indian women to be very sacred and auspicious for earrings signified the status and the wealth of the person. By appending ornaments to almost every part of the ear, the women also ensured a continuous state of mental and physical well being. It is also believed that the longer the ear lobes of women the more is their beauty and wealth. According to the Acupressure therapy the earlier a child's ear is pierced it is good for the meridians connecting the brain pass though this area and thus helps in the quick development of the brain. They also state that the point of vision is situated in the center of the lobe. There are other latest studies which relate the ear as a microcosm of the entire body. Thus apart from religious and spiritual significance the piercing of ears also has lot of therapeutic values.
There are lot of other benefits related to the piercing of ears for in girls it is said to maintain regularity in the menstrual cycle and also aids in freeing oneself from hysteria and other notable diseases. The earrings are believed to help in maintaining the flow of electric current in a human body. Piercing of ears helps in enhancing the mind and to throw away bad humors. In most of the Hindu communities ear piercing is always accompanied by the shaving of the child's hair.
Traditionally Family Jewellers Do the Piercing of the Ears-The practice of Karnavedha has now become more of religious attire done under factors of a must obligation and in some places it is even considered as a major sin if the ear is not pierced. There is an ancient script which states the following, All the accumulated merits disappear at the sight of a Brahmana through whose ear holes do not pass the rays of the sun. No gift should be given to him in the Sraddha ceremonies. If one gives, he becomes an `asura` or demon." But still there are people who pierce the ears more based on aesthetic reasons. Traditionally people go to the family jewellers who do the piercing of the ears with trained staff and proper and hygienic equipment. But however in recent days people prefer going to a doctor or a beautician for the ear piercing. It is good to select a pure gold wire or a tiny ear stud for the piercing for other metals like nickel may cause infection and irritation. Before the piercing of ear lot of precautions has to be followed and it is always advisable to use the specially designed needle for this purpose. If a gun is used then we should double check if the gun is properly sterilized. Piercing has to be done done exactly in the middle of the ear lobe for thats the place where not much of nerves and cartilage pass through.
An Experienced Ear Piercer or Practitioner Will Be Able to Locate this Spot Easily
An experienced ear piercer or practitioner will be able to locate this spot easily. Also we should make sure antiseptic solution is used for this procedure both for the baby and the person who is going to pierce the child's ear or the goldsmith. Traditionally, a neem twig is inserted in the pierced hole as it is believed to have healing and disinfectant properties. The recent trend is that these days according to different culture even men and boys opt for earrings for it is more of a fashion statement. But there are also certain custom and tradition in different parts of the country where the men folk pierce their ear and wear ear studs or earrings. It is believed that long ear lobes like Buddha are a sign of spiritual development and superior status. Young yogis even now follow the practice of stretching the piercing to stimulate the psychic nerves connected to the ears.