You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1999

Re: Earrings

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Jan 18 1999 - 06:13:15 PST

Dear Mr.Arora:

At 11:10 AM 1/16/99 -0600, you wrote:
>Namatse Vaishnavjans:
>Can some kind devotee shed some light on the tradition of wearing earrings
among boys of age 5 & up in south India.  I have heard that it's to control
the sex desire, but I don't have any scriptural or some other kind of proof
to back me on this.  i'll greatly appreciate your input on this.
>Thanks in advance
>Humbly yours

To the best of my knowledge , piercing the ears 
is done quite early for boys .This pracise is not as 
prevalent today as it used to be . In Tamil , it is
called Kaathu Kutthuthal .

Typically , this was done for enjoying the beauty of 
the child in the spirit of treating boys as litle Krishnans
( baby Krishnans ). Typically , not wearing anything 
in the ear was considered inauspicious in olden times.
The recent Western custom of wearing one ear ring or stud 
is unaesthetic in my humble opinion , because of 
asymmetry and blurred messages about ---. In South India ,
a ruby stud was used mostly .My father reached the lotus
feet of the Lord at 82. He was wearing the red ruby stud 
all his life .

 As one got older , diamond studs serve as the replacements . 
for the ruby ear rings . In the case of the orthodox( priestly or 
perceptor class among Sri vaishNavites ) , ear rings
in the form of Sriman Narayanaas' disc ( sudarsanam )
and Conch ( Paanjajanyam ) are worn. Other orthodox
people  continue to have the ruby studs . These were called 
Kadukkans . Without these , the Sri VaishNavan will
feel "naked ", just as he would without the distinct
marks on his forehead to identify him as a Sri vaishnavA .