Writer demands ban on the ritual in all temples

Over 20 people participated in ‘made snana' ritual held near the Subrahmanya shrine on the Sri Krishna Math/Temple premises here on Wednesday.

‘Made snana' is a ritual in which people roll on plantain leaves having leftovers of meal served to Brahmins.

Nearly 100 people had their meal near the Subrahmanya shrine in the afternoon. After receiving flowers, ‘tirtha' and ‘prasada' from Lakshmivara Tirtha Swami of Shiroor Math, over 20 devotees participated in ‘made snana'.

Dewan of the Shiroor Math P. Latavya Acharya said devotees roll over the leaves as part of a ‘harake' (offering) in return for fulfilment of a wish.

“The practice has been going on here since the last 500 years. Those who cannot go to Kukke Subrahmanya come here (to perform the ritual),” he said.

Asked about the controversy over ‘made snana' at the Kukke Subrahmanya temple, Lakshmivara Tirtha told presspersons that people had belief in the ritual since a long time. “If we don't allow the conduct of the ritual, it will amount to betrayal of the trust of the devotees,” he said.

Gururaj Bhat of Pernankila village in Udupi district, who participated in the ritual, said he had been participating in it for the last eight years.

“Good things have happened to me due to ‘made snana',” Mr. Bhat claimed.

The ritual is held in Subrahmanya and Vasuki temples in the region on Subrahmanya Shashti day.

Ban sought

Writer and social critic G. Rajashekhar said the Government should ban the ritual in all temples of the State.

“The Government has set a precedent by banning social evils such as ‘bettale seve' (worship in the nude) at Chandragutti, ‘ajalu paddhati' in the coastal districts and animal sacrifice in temples. There is no weight in the argument that ‘made snana' involves the belief of people and hence is sacrosanct. There is humiliation of the lower castes involved in the ritual,” he said.