Wednesday, December 8, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Acharya Dismisses Ritual As 'Innocuous'

Acharya Dismisses Ritual As 'Innocuous'

TNN, Dec 9, 2010, 12.06am IST

MANGALORE: While endowment minister V S Acharya termed the practice of
`Made Snana' at Kukke Subrahmanya temple as "innocuous'', the temple
administrator will seek directions from the endowment commissioner on
the continuation of the practice -- which is neither endorsed by the
temple nor the state.

`Made Snana' is a practice of people rolling on plantain leaves used
by Brahmins for meals, under the belief that it will cure them of skin
ailments. The devout perform this on special occasions, like the
annual shashthi inside the temple premises (horangana). This year, the
three-day annual fair starts on Thursday.

Acharya told The Times of India that the practice was a matter of
belief. "Those who believe (in the practice) can take part in it and
those who don't can stay away. Nobody can question the belief part,"
he said. When compared to other beliefs to subjugate people of the
lower castes, Acharya retorted, "Even a sashtanga namaskara
(prostrating in reverence) may be objected to by some. No harm is
caused to anybody by 'Made Snana'. It's innocuous,'' he added.

Puttur assistant commissioner Harish Kumar says the age-old practice,
rooted in religious belief, has a lot of sentiment attached to it. "It
is a sensitive issue and cannot be dealt with by law all in a day.
Neither the temple nor the administration endorses this (practice).
There is no service charge for this seva, nor is it listed. People do
it out of their own belief. Educating the devout is the only way out,"
he said. Kumar said Dalit leaders had called him to start the process
of creating awareness so that the practice can be stopped in a few
years' time.

The AC will now write to endowment commissioner B G Nandakumar,
gathering people's opinion (both for and against) seeking directions
on how to go about it. Interestingly, the educated too offer this
`seva' without any qualms.

The reference to this practice is found even in Skanda Purana for
ridding ailments associated with `naga dosha' like leprosy and other
skin diseases believed to be the curse of the serpent god. The temple,
which is a favourite with scores of celebrities, shot to fame after
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar paid a visit in 2006 for his naga

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