South Indian Tradition Of Rolling Over In Leftover Food To Cure Ailments And Bad Karma In Temples Is On Its Way Out

When it comes to the govt. of India, practically no one ever has anything good to say about it. Sure people can complain and crib about the useless work that the govt. is doing, how crime is increasing and how issues are not being resolved, but most seem to pass by the more positive news.

Not saying that the govt. doesn’t need to focus on the above-mentioned problems, but in our focus is so steadily set on the bad side of everything that we often neglect to see the good things that the govt. is doing.

One of them that no one seems to be talking about is how the Centre has asked the Supreme Court of India to review and ultimately abolish the 500-year-old ritual that is seen in the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu of Dalits rolling around in leftover food by Brahmins all just to solve various problems like diseases, infertility, and even marriage problems.

rolling over in leftover food

But first, let us understand what the ritual actually is and its revised version too.

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What Is This Ritual?

The ritual is seen during the annual festival of Kukke Subrahmanya, a three-day event in the South Canara district of Karnataka in the months of November and December.

While for the state of Tamil Nadu, the ritual is a part of the Nerur Sadasiva Bharmendrai Temple’s annual event called Aradhana in the Karur district.

The ritual as per certain sources is called ‘made snana’ which essentially means taking a bath in the leftovers from a meal.

In this ritual, according to sources, Brahmins consume a typical South Indian meal on plantain leaves and afterward, devotees will roll around in the leftover food, followed by taking a dip in the Kumaradhara River. The basis of this 500-year-old ritual is to relieve stress and rid oneself of bad Karma and other ailments and problems.

But due to various criticism and protests from social and backward classes groups the state government of Karnataka tried to ban the ritual, however, it was reinstated the very next year in 2011 due to pressure from the devotees and people who practiced this ritual along with the fact that the local tribe of Malekudiya who have an important part in the festivities had refused to do their duty for the event until the ban was lifted.

rolling over in leftover food

The Revised Version Of Made Snana

The govt. still, could not deny the fact that there were indeed some caste issues and discrimination that the ritual brought with it.

So in 2012, Ede Snana was introduced, which was a revised version of the original made Snana.

The main difference was the fact that in Ede Snana, instead of rolling in the leftover foods consumed by a Brahmin, aka a human, the devotees could instead roll or ‘bathe’ in the prasada or the food that is offered to the deity.

Meaning it is not consumed by any person thus removing the issue of hygiene and human dignity being affected.  They also added the point that the ritual be open to people from all castes and be voluntary instead of just Dalit or other lower castes having to do it.

As reported by Scroll, GK Karanath from the Institute for Social and Economic Change commented on how the ‘made snana’ was actually a ritual through which the upper-caste people washed off their sins and evil which then the lower caste people were forced to take on themselves. But with this revision, it has become but an imitation of its original version where even Brahmins are participating in the ritual.

Hopefully, the decision by the Supreme Court will be such that it takes the ritual to a more fulfilling and respectful place instead of encouraging blind beliefs and superstition.

Image Credits: Google Images


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