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Navedha or the piercing the lobes of the ears and

KarN
Its application to the rite of the planting of trees
Shingo Einoo
The University of Tokyo

1. karNavedha of a boy or a girl


1.1 Texts which describe the karNavedha
KausGS 1.20.1-8 (Gopal 1959, Gonda 1980).
BodhGZS 1.12 (Kane 1974, Gonda 1980, Meulenbeld 1999).
suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.1-48 (especially 16.3: ) (Pandey 1969, Meulenbeld 1999).
viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.75cd-83 (quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [262,15-263,2]).
saMskaaraprakaaza in viiramitrodaya [258,5-263,15] (Pandey).
*kaatyaayana suutra in the paaraskaragRhyasuutrapariziSTa (Pandey 1969, Kane 1974,
Meulenbeld 1999).

1.2 References to it
Ram Gopal, 1959, India of Vedic KalpasUtras, pp. 277-278.
Rajbali Pandey, 1969, Hindu SaMskAra, pp. 102-105.
P.V. Kane, 1974, History of Dharmazaastra, II,I, Second Edition, pp. 196, 254-255.
J. Gonda, 1980, Vedic Ritual, pp. 354, 377.
G.J. Meulenbeld, 1999, A History of Indian Medical Literature, IA, pp. 211-212;
IB, pp. 326-327, especially note 175.

1.3 Its outline and prescription


KausGS 1.20.1-8
Contents: 1-5 the time of the performance, 6a homas of trimadhura, 6b the both ears are pierced,
7 a red kankaNa or a red suutra is inserted into the pierced holes, 8 braahmaNas are served
with trimadhura, pronounce svastis and are saluted by the boy.
Text: saptame 'STame vaa maasi karNavedham /1/ yathaa kuladharmaM vaa /2/
tiSyapunarvasvoH zravaNadhaniSThayor vaa /3/ puurvottareSu vaa /4/ sarveSaaM
yathaanukuulaM vaa /5/ abhi tvaa deva savitaH iti (RV 1.24.3) tisRbhis trimadhurasya
hutvaa hiraNmayyetarayaa vaa suucyaa aazrutkarNa iti (RV 1.10.9) dakSiNaM karNaM
viddhvaa uta tvaabadhiraM vayam iti (RV 8.45.17) savyam /6/ raktakankaNaM raktasuutraM
vaa chidrayoH pratinidadhyaat raakaam aham ity (RV 2.32.4) etayaa /7/ atha braahmaNaan
trimadhureNa svastiir vaacya tato 'bhivaadayiita /8/

BodhGZS 1.12.1-17ab
Contents: 1 the time of the performance, 2. braahmaNabhojana, svastivaacana,

1
2b-4 ritual procedure beginning with the preparation of the ritual ground, pakvahoma,
aajyaahutis, sviSTakRt up to dhenuvarapradaana, 5 hutazeSa is placed on veNuparNas
put to the east of the fire, 6 aaziirvaada by the braahmaNa, the right ear and the left ear are pierced,
7 two ears are bound up with a red suutra or a veNusuutra, 8 the suutra is taken off in the next morning,
9 the pierced holes are filled with a suutra or a veNukaaNDa, <10-17ab it has nothing to do with
the karNavedha; some remarks on the saMskaaras from the birth to the marriage?>.
Text: saptame 'STame vaa maasi karNavedhaH /1/ braahmaNaan annena pariviSya puNyaahaM
svasti Rddhim iti vaacayitvaatha devayajanollekhanaprabhRty aagnimukhaat kRtvaa pakvaaj
juhoti zrotreNa bhadram iti (RV 1.89.8) puronuvaakyaam anuucya yena praacyai iti
(TB 2.5.1.3) yaajyayaa juhoti /2/ athaajyaahutiir upajuhoti praaNo rakSati vizvam etat ity (TB 2.5.1.1)
etenaanuvaakena pratyRcam /3/ sviSTakRtprabhRti siddham aa dhenuvarapradaanaat /4/
athaagreNaagniM veNuparNeSu hutazeSaM nidadhaati samudraaya vayunaaya sindhuunaaM
pataye namaH iti (TS 4.6.2.6) /5/ athaaziSo vaacayitvaa lohitasuucyaa vaa kaNThakena vaa
dakSiNaM karNam aatRnatti gaayatrii triSTub iti / dvipadaa ity uttaram /6/ atha lohitasuutreNa
vaa veNusuutreNa vaa karNau badhnaati varuNasya skambhanam asi iti (TS 1.2.8.2) /7/ zvobhuute
visraMsayati varuNasya skambhasarjanam asi iti (TS 1.2.8.2) /8/ suutreNa vaa veNukaaNDena
vaa vardhayati /9/

suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.1-3


Contents: 1-2 introducing remarks, 3a for the protection and decoration, 3b the time of the performance,
3c the boy is sat on the lap of a dhaatrii or a kumaaradhara and soothed, 3d a bhiSaj pierced the ear at the
predestined (daivakRta) spot which is seen by holding the earlobe to the sun, a cotton string (picuvarti)
is filled into the holes.
Texts: athaataH karNavyadhabandhavidhim adhyaayaM vyaakhyaasyaamaH /1/ athovaaca bhagavaan
dhanvantariH /2/ rakSaabhuuSaNanimittaM baalasya karNau vidhyete / tau SaSThe maasi saptame
vaa zuklapakSe prazasteSu tithikaraNamuhuurtanakSatreSu kRtamangalasvastivaacanaM dhaatryanke
kumaaradharaanke vaa kumaaram upavezya baalakriiDanakaiH pralobhyaabhisaantvayan bhiSag
vaamahastenaakRSya karNaM daivakRte chidre aadityakaraavabhaasite zanaiH zanair dakSiNahastena
Rju vidhyet / pratanukaM suucyaa bahalam aarayaa puurvaM dakSiNaM kumaarasya vaamaM
kumaaryaaH / tataH picuvartiM pravezayet /3/

viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.75cd-83


Contents: 75cd-76ab the time of the performance: in the first hemanta or zizira, 76cd all weekdays
are recommended, 77ab caturthii, navamii and caturdazii tithis are to be avoided, 77cd-78ab
hasta, zravaNa, citraa, punarvasu, revatii, azvinii and mRgaziirSa are nakSatras recommended, 78cd-80a
viSNu, ziva, brahmaa, candra, suurya, dikpaalas/digiizas, the azvins/naasatyas, sarasvatii, braahmaNas,
cows and gurus are worshipped, 80-81ab a dhaatrii is sat on a seat put in the maNDala and the boy
is placed on her lap, 81cd-82ab the spot on the ear is predestined (daivakRta) which is marked

2
by lac and pierced, 82cd the right ear of the boy and the left ear of the girl are pierced first,
82ef the pierced holes are filled with an oiled suucyansyuuta? or a thread, 83ab an earring is attached(??),
83c-f a feast is held.
Text: jaatasya raama baalasya hemante prathame 'tha vaa /75/ zizire vaapi kartavyaM karNavedhaM
tathaa zRNu / grahaaNaaM tatra sarveSaaM dinavaaraH prazasyate /76/ tithiM caturthiiM navamiiM
varjayitvaa caturdaziim / saavitraM vaiSNavaM tvaaSTram aadityaM pauSNam aazvinaM /77/
karNavedhe prazasyante somadevaM tathaiva ca / puurvaahNe puujanaM kRtvaa kezavasya
harasya ca /78/ brahmaNaz candrasuuryaabhyaaM digiizaanaaM tathaiva ca naasatyayoH sarasvatyaa
braahmaNaanaaM gavaaM tathaa /79/ guruuNaaM maNDalaM kRtvaa tatra dattvaa sukhaasanam /
dattvopavezayet tatra dhaatriiM zuklaambaraaM tathaa /80/ svalaMkRtaaM tadutsange baalaM kRtvaa tu
saantvitam / dhRtasya nizcalaM samyaggale kukarasaankite(>samyagalaktakarasaankite??
(viSNudharmottara quoted by in saMskaaraprakaaza in viiramitrodaya [262,22]) /81/ vidhyed daivakRte
chidre sakRd eva tu laaghavaat / praag dakSiNaM kumaarasya bhiSag vaamaM tu yoSitaH / snehaaktaM
suucyanusyuutaM suutraM vaanunidhaapayet /82/ tailaabhyakte tataH karNe kaaryam aabharaNaM
bhavet / karNavedhadine vipraM saaMvatsaracikitsakau / puujyaaz caavidhavaa naaryaH suhRdaz
ca tathaa dvijaaH /83/

saMskaaraprakaaza in viiramitrodaya [258,5-263,15]


Contents: [258,5-8] the karNavedha is performed before the annapraazana, [258,11-13] bRhaspati's
opinion on the time of the performance, [258,14-17] muhuurtasaMgraha's opinion on the time of the
performance, [258,18-20] garga's opinion on the time of the performance, [258,21-24] raajamaartaNDa's
opinion on the time of the performance, [259,1-3] vyaasa's opinion on the time of the performance,
[259,4-8] vyavahaaroccaya's opinion on the time of the performance, [259,8-12] vyaasa's opinion on the
janmamaasa, [259,13-19] diipikaa's opinion on the janmamaasa, [259,19-21] vyaasa's opinion for the
zuklapakSa, [259,22-24] raajamaartaNDa for the zuklapakSa, [259,25-260,3] bRhaspati's opinion on the
tithis, [260,4-8] nRsiMha's opinion on the tithis to be avoided, [260,9-14] bRhaspati's opinion on
the weekdays, [260,15-18] bRhaspati's opinion on the nakSatras, [260,19-25] kaazyapa's opinion on the
nakSatras, weekdays, and karaNas, [261,1-5] naarada's opinion on raazis, [261,6-13] bRhaspati's opinion
on the grahas in a particular bhaava, [261,14-17] (muhuurta)saMgraha's opinion on auspicious occasions,
[261,21-25] zriipati's opinion on the performer, [262,1-3] bRhaspati's opinion on the needle, [262,4-5]
smRtimahaarNava's opinion on the needle, [262,6-13] an opinion on the needle, [262,13-263,2] quotation
of the viSNudharmottara puraaNa.

1.4 Analysis
1.4.1 The time of the performance
In the seventh or eighth month: KausGS 1.20.1, BodhGZS 1.12.1.
In the sixth or seventh month: suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.31.

1 In the sixth or seventh or eighth month or in a year, garga quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [258,19-20] gargo 'pi18
3
In the first hemanta or zizira: viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.75cd-76ab2.
According to the kuladharma: KausGS 1.20.2.
Kane 1974: 254: In modern times this is generally done on the 12th day after birth3.
All weekdays are recommended. viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.76cd4.
tithis such as caturthii, navamii and caturdazii are to be avoided: viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.77ab5.
tiSya, punarvasu, zravaNa, dhaniSTha, the nakSatras which have puurva and uttara, or all nakSatras which
are suitable for the boy: KausGS 1.20.3-5.
hasta, zravaNa, citraa, punarvasu, revatii, azvinii and mRgaziirSa are nakSatras recommended:
viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.77cd-78ab6.
In the zuklapakSa: suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.3.
Auspicious tithis, karaNas, muhuurtas and nakSatras are recommended generally: suzruta saMhitaa,
suutrasthaana 16.37.

1.4.2 The performer


A bhiSaj or a surgeon: suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.38.

1.4.3 Ritual acts before the operation


braahmaNabhojana and svastivaacana. BodhGZS 1.12.2a braahmaNaan annena pariviSya

maase SaSThe saptame vaa aSTame maasi vatsare /19 karNavedhaM prazaMsanti puSTyaayuHzriivivRddhaye // iti
/20
2 DalhaNa's commentary; in the month of kaarttika or pauSa or phaalguna or caitra, vyaasa quoted in

saMskaaraprakaaza [259,2] vyaasaH259,1 kaarttike pauSamaase vaa caitre vaa phaalgune 'pi vaa /2 karNavedhaM
prazaMsanti zuklapakSe zubhe dine // iti /3
3 On the tenth or twelfth or sixteenth day: bRhaspati quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [258,12] tasya kaalam aaha

bRhaspatiH11 janmato dazame vaa 'hni dvaadaze vaa 'tha SoDaze /12 and muhuurtasaMgraha quoted in
saMskaaraprakaaza [258,15] muhuurtasaMgrahe 'pi14 dazame dvaadaze vaahni SoDaze karNavedhanam /15.
4 Monday, Thursday and Friday are recommended, kaazyapa quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [260,21] kaazyapo

'pi19 ... candre 'nukuule guruzukravaare karNau tu vedhyaav amarejyalagne // iti /21; Tuesday, Saturday and
Sunday are to be avoided, bRhaspati quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [260,9-11] vaaraan aaha8 bRhaspatiH9
bhuumijaarkaatmajaarkaaNaaM divasaan parivarjayet /10 jiivendujenduzukraaNaaM divasaaH puujitaa mataaH //
iti /11.
5 The riktaa tithis (4th, 9th and 14th) are to be avoided, vyavahaaroccaya quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [259,6a]

tithau na rikte <na ca viSTiduSTe karNasya vedhaM munayo vadanti //6 iti vyavahaaroccaye caitrapauSaniSedhaH
sa miinadhanurviSayaH /7>.
6 The nakSatras such as mRgaziirSa, aardraa, puSya, punarvasu, uttaraas, hasta, citraa, azvinii, zarvaNa,

dhaniSThaa and revatii are recommended, bRhaspati quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [260,15-18] nakSatraaNy aaha
bRhaspatiH15 saumyaardraaryaadityuttaraahastacitraazviviSNubham /16 dhaniSThaa revatii caiva zubhaaH syuH
karNavedhane // iti /17 aaryaH puSyaH /18; the nakSatras such as hasta, azvinii, svaati, punarvasu, citraa,
mRGaziirSa, tiSya, zravaNa and revatii are recommended, kaazyapa quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [260,20]
kaazyapo 'pi19 hastaazviniisvaatipunarvasau ca citrendutiSye zravaNe ca pauSNe /20 candre 'nukuule
guruzukravaare karNau tu vedhyaav amarejyalagne // iti /21.
7 The saMskaaraprakaaza hands down the opinions on the time of the performance which cincern the raazis and

related topics; naarada's opinion on raazis [261,1-5], bRhaspati's opinion on the grahas in a particular bhaava
[261,6-13], and (muhuurta)saMgraha's opinion on auspicious occasions [261,14-17].
8 A saucika or a tailor, zriipati quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [261,21-25] atha kartRnirNayaH / tatra21 zriipatiH22

zizor ajaatadantasya maatur utsangasarpiNaH /23 sauciko vedhayet karNau suucyaa dviguNasuutrayaa // iti
/24lauhyaa ity api paaThaH / zalyety api paaThaH /.
4
puNyaahaM svasti Rddhim iti vaacayitvaa ... //
mangala and svastivaacana. suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.3 ... kRtamangalasvastivaacanaM ... /
homas with trimadhura9. KausGS 1.20.6a abhi tvaa deva savitaH iti (RV 1.24.3) tisRbhis trimadhurasya
hutvaa ... //
Ritual procedure beginning with the preparation of the ritual ground, pakvahoma, aajyaahutis, sviSTakRt up
to dhenuvarapradaana. BodhGZS 1.12.2b-4 ... atha devayajanollekhanaprabhRty aagnimukhaat kRtvaa
pakvaaj juhoti zrotreNa bhadram iti (RV 1.89.8) puronuvaakyaam anuucya yena praacyai iti (TB 2.5.1.3)
yaajyayaa juhoti /2/ athaajyaahutiir upajuhoti praaNo rakSati vizvam etat ity (TB 2.5.1.1)
etenaanuvaakena pratyRcam /3/ sviSTakRtprabhRti siddham aa dhenuvarapradaanaat /4/
The hutazeSa or the rest of the offerings is placed on the veNuparNas put to the east of the fire10. BodhGZS
1.12.5 athaagreNaagniM veNuparNeSu hutazeSaM nidadhaati samudraaya vayunaaya sindhuunaaM
pataye namaH iti (TS 4.6.2.6) /5/
The aaziirvaada by the braahmaNa. BodhGZS 1.12.6a athaaziSo vaacayitvaa ... //
The deities such as kezava, hara, brahmaa, candra, suurya, digiizas, the naasatyas, and sarasvatii, and
Brahmins, cows and gurus are worshipped. viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.78cd-80a puurvaahNe
puujanaM kRtvaa kezavasya harasya ca /78/ brahmaNaz candrasuuryaabhyaaM digiizaanaaM tathaiva ca
naasatyayoH sarasvatyaa braahmaNaanaaM gavaaM tathaa /79/ guruuNaaM ... //

1.4.4 The process of piercing the ears


The boy is sat on the lap of a dhaatrii or a kumaaradhara and soothed. suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.3 ...
dhaatryanke kumaaradharaanke vaa kumaaram upavezya baalakriiDanakaiH pralobhyaabhisaantvayan .
A dhaatrii is sat on a seat put in the maNDala and the boy is placed on her lap and soothed.
viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.80-81ab ... maNDalaM kRtvaa tatra dattvaa sukhaasanam /
dattvopavezayet tatra dhaatriiM zuklaambaraaM tathaa /80/ svalaMkRtaaM tadutsange baalaM kRtvaa tu
saantvitam /

The spot on the ear is predestined/daivakRta which can be see by holding the earlobe to the sun. suzruta
saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.3 ... bhiSag vaamahastenaakRSya karNaM daivakRte chidre
aadityakaraavabhaasite zanaiH zanair dakSiNahastena Rju vidhyet / ... /
The spot on the ear is daivakRta which is marked by lac and pierced. viSNudharmottara puraaNa
2.52.81cd-82ab dhRtasya nizcalaM samyaggale kukarasaankite(>samyagalaktakarasaankite??
(viSNudharmottara quoted by in saMskaaraprakaaza in viiramitrodaya [262,22]) /81/ vidhyed daivakRte
chidre sakRd eva tu laaghavaat /11

9 For the trimadhura, see S. Einoo and J. Takashima, eds., From Mateial to Deity, p. 45, n. 93.
10 An ritual acts seemingly peculiar to the bodhaayana gRhyasuutra and its pariziSTa; see e.g. on the arkaparNas
BodhGS 2.7.23 and AgnGS 2.5.8 [87,17-19] (zuulagava); on the darbhastamba(s) BodhGS 3.5.18 (vaastuzamana),
AgnGS 2.4.6 [66.14-15] (zataabhiSeka), and AgnGS 2.5.4 [82,20-22] (apamRtyuMjayakalpa); on the
duurvaastambas BodhGS 3.7.25 (aayuSyacaru), BodhGZS 1.24.6 (zataabhiSeka), BodhGZS 3.11.4
(mRtyuMjayakalpa), BodhGZS 4.1.3 (mithyaasatyabali), and BodhGZS 5.8.4 (ugrarathazaanti); on the
palaazaparNas BodhGS 2.5.33 (upanayana); on the zamiiparNas BodhGS 3.6.5 (adbhutazaanti).
5
The right and the left ears are pierced with a golden needle or a needle of other material. KausGS 1.20.6b ...
hiraNmayyetarayaa vaa suucyaa aazrutkarNa iti (RV 1.10.9) dakSiNaM karNaM vidhvaa uta
tvaabadhiraM vayam iti (RV 8.45.17) savyam /6/
The right and the left ears are pierced with a copper needle or a kaNThaka. BodhGZS 1.12.6b ...
lohitasuucyaa vaa kaNThakena vaa dakSiNaM karNam aatRnatti gaayatrii triSTub iti / dvipadaa ity
uttaram /6/
The right ear of a boy or the left ear of a girl is pierced first by a suucii for a tiny ear and by using an aaraa
for a large ear. suzruta saMhitaa, suutrasthaana 16.3 ... bhiSag ... zanaiH zanair dakSiNahastena Rju
vidhyet / pratanukaM suucyaa bahalam aarayaa puurvaM dakSiNaM kumaarasya vaamaM
kumaaryaaH12.
The right ear of the boy and the left ear of the girl are pierced first. viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.82cd
praag dakSiNaM kumaarasya bhiSag vaamaM tu yoSitaH /

Two ears are tied with a red suutra or a veNusuutra and the suutra is taken off in the next morning. BodhGZS
1.12.7-8 atha lohitasuutreNa vaa veNusuutreNa vaa karNau badhnaati varuNasya skambhanam asi iti
(TS 1.2.8.2) /7/ zvobhuute visraMsayati varuNasya skambhasarjanam asi iti (TS 1.2.8.2) /8/
A red kankaNa or a red suutra is inserted into the pierced holes of the ears. KausGS 1.20.7 raktakankaNaM
raktasuutraM vaa chidrayoH pratinidadhyaat raakaam aham ity (RV 2.32.4) etayaa /7/
The pierced holes are filled with a suutra or a veNukaaNDa. BodhGZS 1.12.9 suutreNa vaa veNukaaNDena
vaa vardhayati /9/
The pierced holes are filled with an oiled suucyansyuuta? or a thread. viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.82ef
snehaaktaM suucyanusyuutaM suutraM vaanunidhaapayet /82/
An earring is attached(??). viSNudharmottara puraaNa 2.52.83ab tailaabhyakte tataH karNe kaaryam
aabharaNaM bhavet /

1.4.5 Concluding acts


Brahmins are served with trimadhura, they pronounce svastis and are saluted by the boy. KausGS 1.20.8 atha
braahmaNaan trimadhureNa svastiir vaacya tato 'bhivaadayiita /8/

11 From these two statements it seems that the suzruta saMhitaa and the viSNudharmottara puraaNa have a close

relationship.
12 A needle having two cords (suucii dviguNasuutraa) is used, zriipati quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [261,21-25]

atha kartRnirNayaH / tatra21 zriipatiH22 zizor ajaatadantasya maatur utsangasarpiNaH /23 sauciko vedhayet
karNau suucyaa dviguNasuutrayaa // iti /24lauhyaa ity api paaThaH / zalyety api paaThaH /; a gold needle or a
silver needle or an iron needle is used, bRhaspati quoted in saMskaaraprakaaza [261,25-3] atha suuciinirNayaH /
tatra25 bRhaspatiH 262,1 zaatakumbhamayii suucii vedhane zobhanapradaa /2 raajatii vaayasii vaapi
yathaavibhavataH zubhaa //3; a copper needle having two white cords is used, smRtimahaarNava quoted in
saMskaaraprakaaza [262,4-5] smRtimahaarNave taamriity apy uktaM4 zuklasuutrasamaayuktaataamrasuucyaatha
vedhayet / iti /5; a golden needle is for the raajaputra, a silver needle is for the braahmaNa and vaizya,
saMskaaraprakaaza [262,6-9] atha varNavizeSeNa suuciivyavasthaa /6 tatra sa eva7 sauvarNiiM raajaputrasya
raajatii vipravaizyayoH /8 zuudrasya caayasii suucii madhyamaaSTaangulaatmikaa // iti /9; the length is eight
anguSTha, saMskaaraprakaaza [262,9] atha varNavizeSeNa suuciivyavasthaa /6 tatra sa eva7 sauvarNiiM
raajaputrasya raajatii vipravaizyayoH /8 zuudrasya caayasii suucii madhyamaaSTaangulaatmikaa // iti /9
6
The Brahmin, astrologer and surgeon are worshipped and a feast is held. viSNudharmottara puraaNa
2.52.83c-f karNavedhadine vipraM saaMvatsaracikitsakau / puujyaaz caavidhavaa naaryaH suhRdaz ca
tathaa dvijaaH /83/

2. The karNavedha of trees in the rite of tree planting


2-1. Texts which describe the rite of tree planting13
ZankhGS 5.3.1-5 (aaraamaadipratiSThaa*)14 x15
AzvGPZ 4.10 [180,2-10] (aaraamaadipratiSThaa*) (athaaraameSv apy evam /) (karNavedha) x
HirGZS 1.7.4 [98,26-100,3] (azvatthapratiSThaa*) (saMskaara)?
agni puraaNa 70.1-8: (Kane 2: 896) (partly corresponding to matsya puraaNa 59.1-20 and padma puraaNa
1.28.1-22ab) (karNavedha) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.1.10.1-29 (aaraamaadipratiSThaa) (biijavapana) (saMskaara) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.1.10.30-34 (tulasiipratiSThaa*) (30a tulasyaa biijam aadaaya) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.1.1-36ab16 (aaraamaadipratiSThaa: aaraamaadau vizeSo yo vakSyate) (karNavedha) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.2.69+-74 (aaraamaadipratiSThaa) (only the concluding part) (karNavedha) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.3.1-7 (kSudraaraamapratiSThaa) =/ bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.6.1-7 (karNavedha) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.3.8-10 (ekaadivRkSaaNaaM vidhi) (some beginning parts are lacking) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.5.7-33 (aaraamapratiSThaa) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.7.1-5 (ekaadivRkSaaNaaM vidhi) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.8.1-13 (azvatthapratiSThaa) (2.3.8.1-9ac corresponds to bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.4.1-9ab
(taDaagaadividhi)) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.9.1-4 (vaTasthaana)

13 There are other texts which relate only the purposes or effects of the tree planting, see e.g. HirGZS 1.7.3
[96,22-98,25], mbh 13.99.22cd-33 (cf. padma puraaNa 6.27.13-18), padma puraaNa 1.58.1-42ab,
viSNudharmottara puraaNa 3.297.1-31.
14 The title with asterisk is given by me.
15 The letter x indicates that the text does not give the effect of the tree planting that the planted trees become sons

of the planter.
16 Contents of bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.1-20: 2.3.1.1-36ab aaraamaadipratiSThaa, 2.3.1.36cd-50 setubandhana,

2.3.2.1-15ab gopracaarapratiSThaa, 2.3.2.15cd-18 directions of the siimaa of various construcions, 2.3.2.19 bad
results when one digs or ploughs a gopracaara, 2.3.2.20-21 merits of the gocarmadaana, 2.3.2.22 without giving the
dakSiNaa the performance of a mahaayaaga is fruitless, 22-26 gocarmadaana at the vRSotsarga, 2.3.2.27-48ab
maNDapapratiSThaa, 2.3.2.46-48ab prapaapratiSThaa, 2.3.2.48cd-69 kuupapratiSThaa, 2.3.2.69+-74
aaraamapratiSThaa, 2.3.3.1-7 kSudraaraamapratiSThaavidhi, 2.3.3.8-10 ekaadivRkSaaNaaM vidhi, 2.3.4.1-36
taDaagaadividhi, 2.3.5.1-6 taDaagaadividhi, 2.3.5.7-33 aaraamaadipratiSThaa, 2.3.6.1-7 kSudraaraama pratiSThaa,
2.3.7.1-5 ekaadivRkSaaNaaM vidhi, 2.3.8.1-13 azvatthapratiSThaa, 2.3.9.1-4 vaTapratiSThaa, 2.3.10.1-11
bilvapratiSThaa, 2.3.10.12-20 raatripratiSThaa, 2.3.11.1-4 vaastupratiSThaa, 2.3.12.1-12ab maNDapapratiSThaa,
2.3.12.12cd-14ab pratiSThaa of a tRNavezman, 2.3.12.14cd-15 prapaapratiSThaa, 2.3.13.1-17 kuupapratiSThaa,
2.3.14.1-6 puSpaaraamapratiSThaa, 2.3.15.1-18 tulasiipratiSThaa, 2.3.16.1-20ab setubandhana, 2.3.16.20cd-23
kSudrasetubandhana, 2.3.17.1-18 gopracaarapratiSThaa, 2.3.18.1-10 ekaahasaadhyapratiSThaa, 2.3.19.1-29
kaalyaadidevataapratiSThaavidhi (1-8 pratiSThaavidhi of kaalii/durgaa, 9-14ab zivalingapratiSThaa, 14cd-18
zaalagraamapratiSThaa, 19-22ab suuryapratiSThaa, 22cd-24 pratiSThaa of vaaraahii and tripuraa, 25-29 pratiSThaa
of bhuvanezvarii, mahaamaayaa, ambikaa, kaamaakSii, indraakSii and aparaajitaa), 2.3.20.1-179
durnimittajanitaariSTazaantiprakaaravarNana.
7
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.10.1-11 (bilvapratiSThaa) (karNavedha)
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.14.1-6 (puSpaaraamapratiSThaa) (karNavedha) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.15.1-18 (tulasiipratiSThaa) (karNavedha?) x
bhaviSya puraaNa 4.128.1-45 (vRkSaaropaNamaahaatmya and udyaapanavidhi) (saMskaara with
karNavedha) p

2.2 Synopsis of the texts which describe the karNavedha of the tree17
AzvGPZ 4.10 [180,2-10] (aaraamapratiSThaa*)
[180,2] introductory remarks (athaaraameSv apy evam /)
[180,2-3] preliminary acts (as in the taDaagaadividhi)
[180,3-4] vRkSas and lokapaalas are worshipped on the padmamaNDala
[180,4-5] golden and silver fruits are bound to the trees and aanjana is anointed to their eyes
[180,5] karNavedha18
[180,5-7] caru offering to soma and offerings of other oblations
[180,7-8] abhiSeka of the yajamaana
[180,8] dakSiNaa
[180,9] a cow is released from the aaraama and is given to the aacaarya
[180,9-10] concluding remarks (feast for four days according to the
pratiSThaavidhi (AzvGPZ 4.8 [178,27-179,3]))

agni puraaNa 70.1-8: (Kane 2: 896) (partly corresponding to matsya puraaNa 59.1-20 and padma puraaNa
1.28.1-22ab)
1ab introduction (pratiSThaaM paadapaanaam), effect
1cd-2ab decoration of the trees
2cd karNavedha19
3a aanjana
3b phalasaptaka on the vedi
3cd adhivaasana of ghaTas
3d bali offerings
4a adhivaasa of indra and other deities
4b homa to vanaspati
4c a cow is released
4d-6ab abhiSeka of trees and the yajamaana
6b-8a dakSiNaa
7 a feast for four days with bhojana and homas

17 In this synopsis Sanskrit sentences describing the karNavedha are given in the footnote.
18 AzvGPZ 4.10 [180,5] suvarNasuucyaa karNavedhaM kRtvaa.
19 agni puraaNa 70.1cd-2 sarvauSadhyudakair liptaan piSTaatakavibhuuSitaan /1/ vRkSaan maalyair alaMkRtya

vaasobhir abhiveSTayet / suucyaa sauvarNayaa kaaryaM sarveSaaM karNavedhanam /2/.


8
8cd effects of this rite
matsya puraaNa 59.1-20
1-2 introduction (questions by the RSis, title: paadapodyaapana (1d))
3-4ab it follows the taDaagavidhi
4cd dakSiNaa before the main rite
5 decoration of the trees
6ab karNavedha20
6cd aanjana
7-8ab seven or eight golden fruits are offered to the trees
8cd-9 a decorated kumbha is placed at every planted tree
9d-10ab bali offerings to the lokapaalas
10cd vanaspati is worshipped by offering homas
11 a cow is released
12 snapana of the planter by a braahmaNa
13-16 dakSiNaa, feast, homas
17-19 effects of the tree planting
20 phalazruti of the listening to and the reciting the vidhi of the vRkSaaropaNa
padma puraaNa 1.28.1-31
1-2ab introduction (questions by bhiiSma, title: paadapaaropaNa (1d))
2cd-3 it follows the taDaagavidhi
4ab dakSiNaa before the main rite
4cd-5ab decoration of the trees
5cd karNavedha21
6ab anjana
6cd-7 seven or eight golden fruits are offered to the trees
8-9a a decorated kumbha is placed at every planted tree
9bcd bali offerings to the lokapaalas
10ab adhivaasa of vanaspati
10cd-11 utsarjana of a cow
12-13ab snapana of the planter by a braahmaNa
13cd-18ab dakSiNaa, feast, homas
18cd-21ab effects of the tree planting
21cd-22ab phalazruti of the listening to and the reciting the vidhi of the vRkSaaropaNa
22cd-24ab other effects
24cd-31 various trees which bring good results

20 matsya puraaNa 59.5-6ab sarvauSadhyudakaiH siktaan piSTaatakavibhuuSitaan / vRkSaan maalyair alaMkRtya

vaasobhir aaveSTayet /5/ suucyaa sauvarNayaa kaaryaM sarveSaaM karNavedhanam /


21 padma puraaNa 1.28.4cd-5 sarvauSadhyudakaiH siktaan dadhyakSatavibhuuSitaan /4/ vRkSaan maalyair

alaMkRtya vaasobhir abhiveSTayet / suucyaa sauvarNayaa kaaryaM sarveSaaM karNavedhanaM /5/


9
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.1.1-36ab (aaraamaadipratiSThaa)
2.3.1.1ab aaraamaadau vizeSo yo vakSyate 'tra mayaadhunaa /
2.3.1.1cd-15 various deities are worshipped in a maNDala
2.3.1.16-24ab aahutis to various deities
2.3.1.24cd-25 japa of certain mantras
2.3.1.26ab snapana of the yajamaana
2.3.1.26cd-27ab a yuupa is erected in a garbha, dhvajas are erected at the edges
2.3.1.27cd-28ab karNavedha of trees22
2.3.1.28cd-29ab navagrahapuujaa and feeding of children
2.3.1.29cd-31 dohaka is given to the trees
2.3.1.32-33 dakSiNaas for various priests
2.3.1.34-35 watering: snaana, puurNaahuti, prokSaNa, saMveSTana
2.3.1.36ab return to the house and gRhaarcana

bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.3.1-7 (kSudraaraamapratiSThaa) =/ bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.6.1-7


1ab introduction (kSudraaraamapratiSThaaM ca vakSye vai dvijasattamaaH /)
1cd-2ab viSNu and soma are worshipped in the kalazas
2c only an aacaarya is chosen
2d-3ab decoration of the trees
3cd dohada is given and they are planted
4ab braahmaNabhojana
4cd karNavedha and utsarjana23
5a a yuupa is erected
5b a kadalii is planted, 5c rambhaas are planted in the four directions
5d-6 homas of sthaaliipaaka and ghRta
7a dakSiNaa, 7b puurNaahuti

bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.10.1-11 (bilvapratiSThaa)


1a introduction (vakSye bilvapratiSThaaM)
1b-2 adhivaasana
3ab rudra, durgaa and dhanezvara are worshipped
3cd-4ab braahmaNabhojana
4cd-5 a round vedikaa is prepared, a lotus havins eight leaves is drawn
6-7ab a bilva tree to be planted is placed there and wound with raktasuutras and rice grains are spread
7cd-9ab various deities are worshipped

22 bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.1.27cd-28ab ko 'daad iti (VS 7.48) paThitvaa ca vRkSaaNaaM karNavedhanam /27/

suucyaa sutiikSNayaa kaaryaM dvipaatre vaamadakSiNe /


23 bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.3.4 bhojayet panca vipraan hi puratas taM vizeSayet / karNavedhaM tataH kRtvaa

utsRjed vaakyapuurvakam /4/


10
9c homa, 9d-10ac bali offering
11c a yuupa is erected
11c karNavedha24
11d suuryaarghya

bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.14.1-6 (puSpaaraamapratiSThaa)


1ab introduction (puSpaaraamapratiSThaa), 1cd a ghaTa is placed on the vedi
2ac braahmaNabhojana
2c-3a various deities are worshipped in the ghaTa
3b homa
3c a yuupa is erected
3d godhuumas are spread on the guru
4a veSTana with raktasuutras
4b dakSiNaa
4cd watering
5ab a yuupa is erected
5c karNavedha25
5d watering, 6ab dakSiNaa, 6cd watering

bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.15.1-18 (tulasiipratiSThaa)


1ab title: tulasyaas pratiSThaa
1 the time of the performance
2-6ab various deities are worshipped in the previous night
6cd the plant is wound with piitasuutras
7ab watering
7cd-8 a ghaTa is placed in the next morning
9ab the maatRpuujaa and the aabhyudayikazraaddha are performed
9cd-10ab an aacaarya and a brahman/sadasyaka are chosen
10cd-12ab various deities are worshipped in the maNDala
12cd-13ab homas
13cd the tulasii is released for the sake of naaraayaNa
14a a yuupa is erected
14b bali offering
14cd kadaliis and dhvajas are planted in the four directions
15ac dakSiNaa

24 bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.10.11c dakSiNaam /10/ kaancanaM kaaMsyapaatraM ca taambuulaM taamrapaatrakam /


yuupaaropaM karNavedhaM savitre 'rghyaM nivedayet /11/
25 bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.14.5c aizaanyaaM yuupam aaropya vidhivad dvijasattamaaH / karNavedhaM samaaropya

snaapayet kuzavaariNaa /5/


11
15d watering
16-17 trees the pratiSTha of which is not to be performed
18 trees the karNavedha of which is not to be performed26

bhaviSya puraaNa 4.128.1-45 (vRkSaaropaNamaahaatmya and udyaapanavidhi)


1 request by yudhiSThira to tell vRkSaaropaNamaahaatmya and udyaapanavidhi
2-15 utilities of the tree and prazaMsaa of the tree planting
16 introduction to the ritual acts
17 paarvatii planted an azoka tree as her son
18 saMskaaras beginning with the jaatakarmas are to be performed
19 good qualities of a young tree to be planted
20-21ab the place of the performance
22cd-28ab adhivaasana of the tree to be planted (22cd-24ab decoration of the tree
24cd-25 decorated puurNakalazas are placed in the four directions
26-27ab trees surrounding the tree to be planted are decorated
27cd-28ab five or ten golden fruits are offered in a copper vessel)
28cd-29ab bali offerings to the lokapaalas and bhuutas
29cd-30ab zaantikarma according to the grahayajna
30cd-31ab dakSiNaa and braahmaNas are worshipped with gold and clothes
31cd homa with tilaajya
32ab maatRpuujaa
32cd-35 when caru is cooked, saMskaaras beginning with the jaatakarma up to the
upanayana are performed27
36-39ab the planter, having bathed, putting on white clothes, recites two mantras to
worship the planted tree
39cd-40 the planter looks his face in a ghRtapaatra and utters his wish
41 dakSiNaa
41d-44 utsava
45 the planted trees become sons of the planter

2.3 Other saMskaaras performed for the sake of the planted tree28

26 bhaviSya puraaNa 2.3.15.18 bhadrakasya zamiikoNacaNDaatakabakasya ca / khadirasyaiva kartavyaM

karNavedhaM na kaarayet /18/


27 bhaviSya puraaNa 4.128.34cd zrapayitvaa caruM samyak paayasaadyapariplutam /32/ homaadau jaatakarmaadi

godaanaM yaavad eva tu / paadapaM snaapayitvaa tu samantrais tiirthavaaribhiH /33/ jaatakaM naamakaraNam
annapraazanam eva ca / suvarNasuucyaa kurviita karNavedhaM vidhaanavit /34/ jaataruupakSureNaatra cuuDaa
kaaryaa yathaakramam / badhniiyaan mekhalaam maunjiiM vaasaz ca paridhaapayet /35/
28 Compare the saMskaaras to be performed for the newly produced fire. This agnisaMskaara may be discussed or

referred to by someone in today's conference.


12
The saMskaaras beginning with the jaatakarma up to the godaana are performed before the
pippalodyaapana/azvatthapratiSThaa. HirGZS 1.7.4 [99,3-4] naandiizraaddhaM prakartavyaM
pippalodyaapanaavidhau /99,1 navagrahamakhaM caadau vidadhiita yathaavasu //2
sahasraparNasaMpattau satyaaM bodhitaror dhruvam /3 jaatakarmaadikaM kuryaad godaanaavadhikaM
tataH //4 kaaryam udyaapanaM nuunaM vivaahavidhivan naraiH /5
The saMskaara by which the planted tree becomes the son of the planter
bhaviSya puraaNa 2.1.10.29 tato biijaM suzodhayet / aanayed dhaarayet pazcaad raudrataapena taapayet
/24/ dinadvayaantare caiva mantraiz ca parimantrayet / garbhaadhaanaM tataH kuryaad viSNumantraM
japaMs tridhaa /25/ evam asyeti mantreNa tridhaa japtvaa vimaarjayet / dehi meti ca mantreNa
saMprokSya dazavaariNaa /26/ ity agRhiitamanunaa(?) pancadhaa parimantritam / tryambakeneti
mantreNa biijam aaropayet tataH /27/ bhaaryaam RtumatiiM snaatvaa pancame 'hani sattamaaH / utsange
sthaapayitvaa ca cumbayen mantrayet tataH /28/ evaM vRkSasya saMskaaramadhye 'pi tv anugacchati /
tena putratvam aapnoti naatra kaaryaa vicaaraNaa /29/

2.4 An effect of the tree planting: the planted trees become sons of the planter
Even one tree planted will do the duty as the son. viSNudharmottara puraaNa 3.297.13ab eko 'pi ropito
vRkSaH putrakaaryakaro bhavet / (phalazruti)29
The planted trees become sons. mbh 13.99.27ab tasya putraa bhavanty ete paadapaa naatra saMzayaH /
(Kane 2: 895, n. 2084) (phalazruti)
The planted trees become sons and grandsons of the planter. padma puraaNa 6.27.14cd putrapautraa
bhavanty ete paadapaa naatra saMzayaH /14/ (phalazruti)
The trees rescue the planter. mbh 13.99.30cd vRkSadaM putravad vRkSaas taarayanti paratra ca /30/
(phalazruti)
The planted trees become sons of the planter in the yonder world. viSNu smRti 91.4 vRkSaaropayitur
vRkSaaH paraloke putraa bhavanti /4/ (Kane 2: 895, n. 2084) (phalazruti)
The planted trees become sons of the planter. padma puraaNa 6.27.17cd-18ab puSpitaaH phalavantaz ca
tarpayantiiha maanavaan /17/ iha loke pare caiva putraas te dharmataH smRtaaH / (phalazruti)
The planted trees are to be cherished liks sons, because they are sons. mbh 13.99.31d tasmaat taDaage
vRkSaa vai ropyaaH zreyo'rthinaa sadaa / putravat paripaalyaaz ca putraas te dharmataH smRtaaH /31/
(phalazruti)
The planted trees act as sons for a person who has no sons. bhaviSya puraaNa 2.1.10.37-38ab aputrasya hi
putratvaM paadapaa iha kurvate / yatnenaapi ca viprendraa azvatthaaropaNaM kuru /37/ zataiH
putrasahasraaNaam eka eva viziSyate / (phalazruti after vidhi)
The planted trees act as sons for a person who has no sons. padma puraaNa 1.28.22cd-24ab aputrasya ca
putritvaM paadapaa eva kurvate /22/ tiirtheSu piNDadaanaadiin ropakaaNaaM dadanti te / yatnenaapi ca
raajendra azvatthaa ropaNaM kuru /23/ sa te putrasahasrasya kRtyam ekaH kariSyati / (phalazruti after

29 The word phalazruti indicates that the sentence here quoted originates from the text which describes only the
purposes or effects of the tree planting and praises its performance.
13
vidhi)
The planted trees are to be treated as the sons. bhaviSya puraaNa 4.128.45 putrair vinaa zubhagatir na bhaven
naraaNaam duSputrakair iti tathobhayalokanaazaH / etad vicaarya sudhiyaa paripaalya vRkSaan putraaH
puraaNavidhinaa parikalpaniiyaaH /45/ (phalazruti after vidhi)
The planted trees become sons of the planter and they serve him after his death. viSNudharmottara puraaNa
3.297.31 putraaH pradiSTaaH puruSasya vRkSaaH svayaM kRtaas teSu nareNa bhaavyam / snehena
nityaM puruSaM mRtaM te kaamais tu divyaiH paritarpayanti /31/ (phalazruti)

The planted trees become sons of the planter, in a mantra recited to worship the tree. bhaviSya puraaNa
4.128.38 etair dvijair vidhivaraprahuto hutaazaH pazyaty asaav ahimadiidhitir ambarasthaH / tvaM
vRkSa putraparikalpanayaa vRto 'si kaaryaM sadaiva bhavataa mama putrakaaryam /38/ (vidhi)
The planted trees become sons of the planter, in a mantra recited otherwise in the jaatakarma. bhaviSya
puraaNa 4.128.40 ity evam uktvaa taM vRkSaM laalayitvaa punaH punaH / ghRtapaatre svavadanaM
dRSTvaaziSam udiirayet /39/ angaad angaat saMbhavasi hRdayaad abhijaayase / aatmaa vai
putranaamaasi sa jiiva zaradaH zatam30 /40/ (vidhi)
paarvatii planted an azoka tree as her son. bhaviSya puraaNa 4.128.17 aputrayaa puraa paartha paarvatyaa
mandaraacale / azokaH zokazamanaH putratve parikalpitaH /17/ (story of origin of the rite)
Trees served by one like one's ancestors become sons in one's other lives. padma puraaNa 1.58.36cd-37 ye ca
vRkSaa mahaasatvaas sarve te devaruupiNaH /36/ tadarcaa pitRvat kaaryaa zuzruuSaaM jalapiNDakam /
martyaloke ca te putraas tasya janmani janmani /37/ (phalazruti)

Sanskrit Texts
agni puraaNa: ZrImaddvaipAyanamuNipraNItam AgnipurANam, Ananda Ashrama Sanskrit Series, 41, Poona 1957
AzvGPZ: AzvalAyanIya GRhyapariziSTam, ed. by V.G. Apte, Ananda Ashrama Sanskrit Seires 105, pp. 141-183,
Varanasi, 1936
KausGS: The KauSItaka GRhyasUtras, with the Commentary of BhavatrAta, edited by T.R. Chintamani, New Delhi:
Panini, 1982.
padma puraaNa: The PadmamahApurANam, 4 vols., Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1984, 1985
bhaviSya puraaNa: The BhaviSyamahApurANam, 3 vols., Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1984, 1985
BodhGZS: BodhAyana GRhyaZeSasUtra. BodhAyana GRhyasUtram of BodhAyana MaharSi, edited by L. Srinivasachar
and R. Sharma Sastri, Oriental Research Institute Series No. 141, Mysore: University of Mysore, Oriental
Research Institute, 1983, pp. 1-127.
matsya puraaNa: The MatsyamahApurANam, Text in Devanagari, Translation & Notes in English, 2 Parts, arranged
by Nag Sharan Singh, Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1983
mbh: MahAbhArata in the critical edition.

30 For the texts see Vedic Concordance, s.v. angaad angaat saMbhavasi.
14
viSNudharmottara puraaNa: The ViSNudharmottarapurANam, 1985, Delhi: Nag Pubishers.
saMskaaraprakaaza in viiramitrodaya: VIramitrodaya. paribhASA, prakAza by Mitra Mizra, edited by Parvatiya
Nityananda SarmA, Benares: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Book-depot, 1906 (Chokhamba Sanskrit Series, nos.
103 & 108).
suzruta saMhitaa: DalhaNAcAryakRtanibandhasaMgrahAkhyaTIkayA, NRpendranAthasenaguptena BalAicandrasena-
guptena ca saMpAditA saMzodhitA prakAzitA ca, Part 1, 1937/1938, Calcutta: C.K. Sen and Company
Limited.

Bibliography
Gonda 1980 Gonda, Jan, 1980, Vedic Ritual: The Non-solemn Rites, Leiden-Kln: E. J. Brill.
Gopal 1959 Ram Gopal, 1959, India of Vedic KalpasUtras, Delhi: National Publishing House.
Kane 1974 P.V. Kane, 1974, History of DharmazAstra (Ancient and Mediaeval Religious and Civil Law),
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Meulenbeld 1999 G.J. Meulenbeld, 1999, a History of Indian Medical Literature, Gronigen: Egbert Forsten.
Pandey 1969 Rajbali Pandey, 1969, Hindu SaMskAra: Socio-Religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments, Delhi:
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