Research article written by London Swaminathan
Date: 29 September 2016
Time uploaded in London: 15-43
Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.
Vedic literature has got lot of references to hair and hair style; the number of words used to describe the hairdos shows that they are from an advanced civilization and who were leading city life; otherwise they wouldn’t have so many terms. The foreign writers who studied these words couldn’t explain the meaning and as usual made wild guesses and showed themselves as laughing stocks! And those “so called scholars” described the Vedic Hindus as nomads. Here are some words and what foreigners ‘think’ about them!
Source:-Vedic Index of Names and Subjects by Keith and Macdonell
Opasa is a word of somewhat doubtful sense, occurring in the Rig Veda, the Atharva Veda and later literature. It probably means a plait as used in dressing the hair, especially of women, but apparently, in earlier times of men also.
The goddess Siiniiivaali is called SVAUPASA an epithet of doubtful sense, from which Zimmer conjectures that the wearing of false plaits of hair was not unknown in Vedic times what was the difference between the braids referred to in the epithets PRTHU STUKA= having broad braids and VISITA STUKA =having loosened braids and Opasa cannot be made out from the evidence available. Geldner thinks that the original sense was ‘horn’ and that when the word applies to Indra it means diadem.
The above passage has got lot of doubts. Like no two cloack agree, no two foreigners agreed on vedic words. Everywhere they express “DOUBTS”. If we agree with Zimmer that shows that the Vedic Hindus are not nomads because they used advance artificial hair accessories. If we don’t agree them and go with Geldner that shows it is crown/diadem in in men and and a stylistic hair do in women. I think that is correct because in Tamil MUDI means hair as well as crown.
Yazidis (Vedic Hindus of Iraqi Mountains)
Kaparda, braid (RV 10-114-3)
Kaparda means braid and Kapardin means wearing braids. These words describe the Vedic custom of wearing the hair in braids or plaits. Thus a maiden is said to have her in four plaits (catus-kapardaa), and the goddess SIINIVAALII is described as wearing fair braids (su-kapardaa).
Men also wore their hair in this style, for both Rudra and Puusan are said to have done so, while the Vasisthas were distinguished by wearing their hair in a plait on the right (dakshina- kaparda). The opposite to wear one’s hair plain (pulasti).
Opasa and Kaparda are used for goddess Sinivali; that shows these terms are different hairstyles or hairdos.
The terms Four Plaits, Right side plait are interesting; nampudiri Brahmins of Kerala, Dikshitars of Chidambaram and Choza country Brahmins (Soziyan) have different hair styles; Sangam Tamil Literature describes the women having five plaits (AIM PAAL0. Some commentators interpret them as five different hairdo. But I have posted the picture of Vedic Hindus of Iraq, known as Yazidis with four plaits and five plaits in my year 2015 post.
Atharva veda (6-138-3)mentions Kumba with Opasa and Kuriraas an ornament of woman’s hair. Geldner thinks that, like those two words, it originally meant horn, but this is very doubtful. Indian tradition, simply regards the term as denoting a female adornment connected with the dressing of the hair.
Again we have the word ‘doubtful’ in the commentary. Throughout the Vedas, foreigners use this word and words such as ‘meaning is obscur’e, ‘uncertain’, ‘not clear’, ‘may mean thi’s, ‘probably this, probably that’, we ‘guess’ etc. This is like a blind man trying to describe the sun.
Again this word shows that the women of Vedic society were advanced in civilization and they were using hairpins and other ornaments to fix their hair. Many cultures, even aborigines, would have used such things. But putting them in a religious book and preserving it for thousands of years differentiate them from other uncivilized people. One should pause a second to think why did they use so many words for a Goddess Sinivali’s hair style.
Kuriira, like Opasa and Kumba, denotes some sort of female head ornament in the description of the bride’s adornment in the wedding hymn of the Rig Veda (10-85-8) and the Atharva veda (6-138-3). According to the Yajur Veda samhitas, the Goddess SINIIVAALII is described by the epithets su kapardaa, su kuriira, sv-opasa as wearing a beautiful head dress.
According to Geldner, the word originally meant ‘horn’, but this is uncertain, as this sense is not required in any passage in which the term occurs.
Note the word ‘uncertain’ in the above commentary. Foreigners made the biggest confusion in the interpretation of the Rig Veda by wrongly interpreting Dasyus, noseless, sisnadeva: etc. they deliberately gave racial connotation for the words Arya and Dravida which is not found anywhere in Tamil or Sanskrit. They tried to confuse the Hindus and they succeeded in it with the help of Dravidian and Marxist politicians. By the wrong interpretation of the word ARYA they created a Hitler, who boasted that Germans were of the purest Aryan race and caused the death of millions of people.
North Indian women use crowns, Kreetas, Mukutas, head ornaments etc during wedding celebrations. South Indians don’t use that type of ead ornaments. Only South Indian Kings had those crowns, diadems, Kieetas and Mukutas. India is a vast country equal to 20 European cutries. So differences in style exist in different regions.
My Earlier article:
Vedic Hindus’ Hair Style, posted on 22 April 2015
Hindu Hair Style: Why do Hindus put Kumkum on parting of hair?, posted on 28th September 2016
–to be continued