Thursday, April 28, 2011

'echchcil' ...

Now I have to talk about a concept that has no parallel and therefore I don't find a term for it in English. The nearest term is 'defile'.
It is called uchchishtam in samskrit and echchil in Tamil.
Though echchcil means saliva in English the whole concept of echchil is not there. Also some people explain it saying this is just good hygiene, but it is not entirely true!
When you sip a glass of water as your mouth comes in contact with the cup the water in it becomes echchil. It is then unfit for others to drink.... mmmm … actually for you too! (That is because in the previous post we saw that “what remains when food is put in waster should not come back to the plate” - this is something like that.) This cup needs to be washed before it can be reused.
You are eating and wanting a food item from a vessel reach out for it on the table and serve yourself.... well that vessel just now became echchil. Others cant not consume it. In row of people eating you get up and leave and all the food items in that row in every plate... it just became echchil.
Till one goes and washes his hands, legs upto knee and fore limbs up-to elbow; then does acamana he is not pure. He is …. yes, you guessed it right, echchil. Till then anyone who touches him also becomes echchil; they will have to wash themselves and do acamana.

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