NATH — CULTURE OF INDIA
Indian women wish to look more beautiful in the traditional fashion. Nose is the most prominent feature of a face and it set the character of the whole face. Any beautiful nose is bound to inspire. Beautiful nose enhanced by the nose ring or pin is bound to fascinate anyone blessed with eyes. This tiny ornament has captured the heart of poets and painters. Painters and sculptors while they depicted Indian women and goddesses adorned them with nose ornaments. Poets went on their viewless wings of poesy and sang in praise of their beloved's nose and the ornaments that glorified their beauty. Nose piercing is becoming more socially acceptable, and many international celebrities have their noses pierced— bollywood stars like Aishwarya, Madhuri dixit, Sonali bandra and Indian tennis players like Sania Mirza, among of who have raised the trend on wearing nose pin/ring to a higher echelon. Nose ornament which worn through a hole pierced in the nose, shringar of Indian women is never complete without the wearing of a sparkling nose ornament. A simple house wife, smart looking professional working girls, famous tennis player Sania Mirza and the most charming actress Ms. World Aishwarya … all look great by wearing Nath.
HISTORY OF NOSE PIERCNG
Nose rings are very common in India. But they actually originated in the Middle East. It can be safely assumed that the Mughals brought this nose-ring to India, Looking back at the historical remains of Ancient architecture of Indian civilization, never depicts a female form with this, and neither does ancient Indian literature make mention of the jewel. No evidence has recorded any of its existence either in the stone and clay sculptures of Indus Valley Civilization, or sculptures and wall paintings carved in the temples of at Ajanta, Eldora, Badami Bhuvaneshwar, Gaya, Mathura, and ‘Udaygiri’ etc. Neither is any evidence of the use of nose rings found from the plaques, seals or coins excavated from Harappa and Mohenjadaro and during the reign of the Kushan and Gupta dynasties. One will find amongst the female figures on ‘Khajurao temple’ or on ‘Konarak-temple’. There is also no mention of nose ornaments in Vedic literature or other sacred texts. Sangam Tamil literature and Sanskrit literature remains silent to such ornaments. Neither is it mentioned in ‘Amarkosh’, the ancient lexicography nor in Bharata’s ‘Natyashastra’, which lists several ornaments. It started appearing from about 15/16 century onwards in ‘Rajput paintings’. However, according to the majority of experts in the field of historic jewelry, Muslim ladies used to wear ‘Nath’ and first made their appearance when the Mughals ruled India. Nose ring came from Islamic cultures. It was a cultural exchange between Indians and Arabs. ‘Nath’ is mandatory for every Muslim bride in ancient time. Thus, nose ornaments began to attract the Indian women and by the 17th century they gained popularity all over India.
NATH -- ANCIENT VEDIC HINDU RELIGION
However, some scholars do consider that the nose ring does have some association with the Hindu religion itself. Lord "SHANKARACHARYA" who spread Vedic Hindu religion all over India wrote ‘Devi Stotra’, ‘Devi chritra’, ‘Bhawani Stotra’ etc. in Sanskrit, has mentioned that ‘Shree Devi’ (Goddess) is wearing a ‘NATH’. ‘Shankaracharya’ also appealed to dear goddess in his "Tripura Sundari Stotra" to honor her devotees by accepting a ‘NATH’ from them. He also mentioned that all the devotees of ‘Shree Devi’ should offer her ‘NATH’ for ‘kamnapurti’ of their wish. We will find all the Hindu deities are wearing this ornament adoringly. The most famous examples are--- The goddess of wealth or ‘Mahalaxmi’ of Kolhapur is wearing an expensive ‘NATH’ made of gold and rubies. The Goddesses ‘Parvathi’ with her son ‘Kartikeya’ on her lap painted in “Kaangra Arts” styled miniature paintings looks very charming with the gold round ‘NATH’ studded with three pearls. ‘Radhikaa’ and her friends with ‘Lord Krishna’ (painted in ‘Pichhwai’ Arts styled paintings) are wearing big gold ‘NATH’ studded with diamond and two or three pearls and gemstones. The goddess of war 'Tulajaa-Maata' or ‘Ugra-Rupa Shree Bhawani’ of ‘Tulajapur’, though out on a war is wearing a ‘Nath’ in the shape of crescent moon studded with invaluable diamonds and emeralds. According to the ‘Kama Sutra’ ‘Nath’ is one of the classic Indian adornments worn by Indian brides and mentioned in.
NATH – A HINDU SACRAMENT (Sanakaara)
Nowadays ‘Nath’ seem to be associated with Hindu religion it self. The piercing of the ears and nose ‘karnavedha’ is a prescribed sacrament ‘sanskaara’ for all Hindus. Furthermore, for females the piercing of the nose and ears as soon as puberty, or before marriage is also stipulated in Hindu Scriptures such as ‘Sushruta-Samhita’. Maiden took before the SAATH PHERAS around the holy fire during her marriage, propitiated the Goddess Parvathi to seek long life, prosperity and good health for her husband. In the course of the PUJA, her nose was pierced and the ‘AUSPICIOUS NATH’ worn by her would be worn through out her life. ‘Nath’ is main ornament of married women and most often girls wore ‘Nath’ at the time of marriage. The nose ring is considered as a symbol of marriage.
NATH – MEANING OF WORD NATH
In fact, the word ‘Nath’ is derived from Hindu “Naath”, meaning husband or master. As per old tradition the wedding night the groom removes the ‘Nath’ to show a sign of the ending of virginity ‘Nath-Utarna’. In the past, it was said that a single, unmarried girls or widowed woman could not wear the Nath. But nowadays at any cultural function, wedding ceremony or religious festival, women of all ages can be seen with these nose dazzlers with out regard of her marital status. Today in India many young girls wear the piercings as a fashion statement, and these nose rings do not have any religious or traditional significance. Nobody even questions of its social significance because, the cultural significance of a nose ornament is over-shadowed by considerations of aesthetics and style. Jewellery box of Indian girls cannot be completed without some nose pins. Nose ornaments are regarded as much an expression of “being Indian”. Most of the girls wear Nose Ring for the purpose of glamour. The Indian women usually have their noses pierced at the age of sixteen, which is what is considered to be the age to marry. In some customs and traditions, it is necessary for a girl to get her nose pierced. In some Hindu communities, the ‘Nath’ is not removed and it is a symbol of married women like ‘Sindoor’ and ‘Mangal-Sutra’ and is an essential part of ‘Shodash-Shringar’ - the sixteen-beautification processes of a bride. The Nath has become an essential part of trousseau of married women. If the nose ornament fell or was lost it was considered a bad omen. It was considered that only husband can offer the gift of Nose ornamental jewellery to a woman; taking a gift of ‘Nath’ from any outsider is considered to be an act of indiscipline. Such persons who receives gift of nose ring and nose studs from the strangers were, the one who served the Lord as Devadasis! (The women sect of a particular community who devoted their entire life to the Lords and Temples of their choice)