The Right Earring
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The Right Earring

The Natraj, in his right ear, wears Makara Kundala. Makar means crocodile and kundala means ear hangings. This golden earring is made into the shape of a crocodile. It is worn by the male members within the society. This denotes Shiva’s clear sighted aura of being a supreme guru in his appearance as Dakahinamurti.

In the earliest of times, the pundits or the sages were bestowed with certain ornaments. These ornaments created a distinction between sages and made it easy for everyone to acknowledge these sages by some order. During those times the Gurukuls or what we today know as the universities, awarded their students with Kashmiri shawls, bracelets, anklets, etc. To their pupils to acknowledge their status depending upon their level of knowledge. Say, for example, a pupil at the beginners' levels received a green shawl whereas someone at a higher level received a red one. Gold or silver embroidered shawls were awarded to the pundits of highest rankings. Sinhatalas were the golden  bracelets with a ferocious lion’s head crafted on it. While there were anklets that were called Ganda pendera which were allotted to the highest-learned scholars. This was more-or-less the status symbols of the scholars.

The face to a person is the apex of the mind. The earnings are the adscript of that minds’  intelligence quotient. These earrings were distinguished by studded diamond, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones. They indicated the educational degrees conferred to the sages once they graduated. The ear hanging, in his right ear is a symbol of absolute knowledge.

While clearing up the attributes of guru-ism of Shiva, the scripts render to him as Dakshinamurthy. If we examine the pictures and scriptures of Shiva being an instructor, we find a youthful Shiva sitting under a huge banyan tree. His pupils, however, are golden agers. This is no one but the wisdom hungry saints and sages. The picture sheds light in the fact that knowledge and wisdom  are forever young. Shiva is a perfect personification of knowledge. Just like Shiva, the intellect is also timeless and ageless. Furthermore, it also implies that age plays-an insignificant role when it comes to acquiring wisdom. There is know age to learn something new and sharpen your intellect. Wisdom does not come with age and can be received from a youth as well. This supreme wisdom is symbolized in the Makar kundala or the earring that Shiva wears in his right ear.

Apart from wisdom, the Makar kundala is also perceived as an adornment of men. Hence it brings forward the idea of his male dominance in his earthenware avatar, which is his male half feminine avatar. It plays a significant aspect that his right side is male dominated, and his left side is she dominated.