Mangalore, December 9: Terming the practice of “Made Snana” as “innocuous,” Endowment Minister V. S. Acharya said that the temple administration will seek the directions of the endowment commissioner on whether it should be continued or not. Interestingly, neither the state nor the temple endorses this practice.
Made Snana is a form of urulu seve, during which devotees roll on the floor on plantain leaves used by Brahmins for meals, believing that it will cure them of skin ailments. It is performed on auspicious days such as the annual shashthi, held in the premises of Kukke Subrahmanya Temple. This year, the annual shasti is to commence on Dec 9, Thursday. The practice can be traced back to the Skanda Purana, in which it is mentioned that this is a way to deal with skin ailments such as leprosy, which are caused by “naga dosha.”
Dr. V. S. Acharya informed TOI that Made Snana is a matter of belief and that those who believe in it take part in it and those who do not believe in it stay away from it. Since it is a matter of personal belief, nobody can question it, he added. When reporters pointed out to him that there are many such “beliefs” that subjugate people in the lower rungs of the Hindu caste ladder, he said that some people might even object to a sashtanga namaskar (the practice of prostrating before someone) and repeated that Made Sanana is “innocuous,” a practice that causes no harm to anybody.
Harish Kumar, the assistant commissioner of Puttur, said that this is a century-old practice and that people are sentimental toward it, which makes it a sensitive issue that cannot be dealt with at short notice. Confirming that neither the temple nor the state government endorses this practice, he said that Made Snana is neither listed nor is it charged. People do it willingly, out of their own interest. Creating awareness among the devotees and educating them is the only way to end it, he said, adding that the Dalit leaders have urged him to launch awareness campaigns against the practice so that it can be ended in a few years. He said that he will write to B. G. Nandakumar, the endowment commissioner, to collect people’s opinion on this practice and how to deal with it. Interestingly, even educated people perform Made Snana.
Kukke Subrahmanya Temple enjoys great popularity among celebrities, especially after Sanchin Tendulkar visited it seeking solutions to his “naga dosha” a few years back.