Certain Technical Terms Related to Smarthavicharam

Azhivuchollal— term used to denote re-integration into the community if it is established beyond doubt in the Smartha-trial that the accusation of sexual promiscuity levelled against the accused is baseless.

Azhivupanam—amount received by Smarthan and Koyimma for their participation in Smartha-trial.

Akakoil-Akakoimma— government official entrusted with the power to assist Smarthan during Smartha-trial.

Antharvicharam—questioning of the accused (referred to as ‘Sadhanam’)

UdakavichedamPadikadathipindam—ritual act by which family members sever familial ties with the ostracized person. Family members are not obliged to observe the customary purity rituals when the expelled member dies.

Kazhakavicharam—a stage in Smartha-trial.

Kalavicharam—questioning by priests out of suspicion during Smartha-trial.

KaikottukaKaikottipurathakkuka — clapping rite by which the member proclaimed as outcast is ostracized from the community.

Koyimma—the royal member who gives assistance to Smarthan during Smartha-trial.

Koyimmakricham— Alms given to Koyimma made at the temple after Smartha-trial (done after family members sever familial ties with the ostracized person)

Njathikricham— offering put on the wooden pedestal at the temple; done after both Smartha-trial and the ritual of severing of familial ties with the ostracized person.

Dasivichara—testimony from lady’s maid during a particular stage of Smartha-trial.

Padikadathipindam—Padiadachupindam— ritual done in secrecy by the family members after observing ten days of pollution if the person under Smartha-trial dies before the rite of severing familial ties.

Padikadathuka— severing of familial ties with the ostracized person

Panthibhojanam— feast by Brahmins in the house of the ostracized person, after Smartha-trial and the rite of severing familial ties. An endorsement act that affirms that the family members have become pure again.

Pambu—approval letter given by Smarthan if the person proclaimed as outcaste is claiming innocence and wishes to go to Sucheendram temple to undergo the hand-immersing-on-hot-ghee test.

PurakoilPurakoimma—administrative official who assists Smarthan in the trial.


SATHEESH K.V. Assistant Professor of English, Government College, Tripunithura

REENA NAIR. Assistant Professor of English, Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam

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Satheesh K.V & Reena Nair

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