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Madi

Madi in Kannada roughly is being in a pure state, bathed (with dripping hair :) ) and wearing madi clothes - silk or silkish. You will see most of the priests in Hindu temples in this madi. Well God expects us to be pure before we can perform any rituals. Or  so we believe.

Madi some times also refers to the pure cloth worn for such purpose. Saree or panche. Silk is madi. But when polyester clothes entered Indian households, they were thought to be madi, and more economical too.  

But madi is also followed by women on festival days. In the dawn, they bathe, wear silk saree and start cooking. Again these foods will be offered to God, hence madi.

30 years ago, in my native village, the practices were more severe. The women should wear madi everyday because every day, food is offered to God - called Naivedya, before eating. And as a convenience method, women could wear their daily clothes if they are not touched by the unclean. Unclean is everyone who is not wearing a madi. So women after bath, would wrap themselves  with wet clothes, go to the place where they had dried these madi clothes  and wear these clothes, before cooking. No one including children should not touch these women when in madi.

Infants and toddlers have to be carried, fed, as they do not grasp these holy concepts. So they are sent to their mothers without any clothes.

I am not sure whether these practices are still being practiced now or not.

And I almost forgot the reason for this blog post. I heard else where that we should cook as if we are cooking an offering to God. And then it flashed to me. The idea behind this madi.

A woman in her middle age who has grown up children, starts feeling more like a servant and less like a mother or a wife. And in this stage for her, all house hold chores including cooking become mechanical if not averted. So they show less and less enthusiasm and interest in cooking. What if she were to believe that her cooking is for God? Then she will show "bhaya and bhakti" (fear and devotion) and that improves the quality of food. Am I correct?

And as far as wearing wet clothes is concerned, this practice may have originated from some man with a perverted mind.

Folks, I am trying to make a joke here. Do not send me to Pakistan!

So every ritual had a meaning at some time. Now we are following rituals because our elders who "knew everything" had told us.



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