Udupi Sri Krishna Temple/Mutt – Udupi Sri Krishna Matha temple is dedicated to god Krishna located in the city of Udupi in Karnataka . Udupi is first among the seven places of pilgrimages. Thousands of pious devotees throng the Krishna temple all round the year to catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna. The unique feature of Shree Krishna temple Udupi is that the Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki. The window is exquisitely carved and silver – plated. It has been a tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this window. Surrounding the Sri Krishna Matha are several temples namely the Udupi Anantheshwara Temple which is over a 1,000 years old .
The matha area resembles a living ashram, a holy place for daily devotion and living. Surrounding the Sri Krishna Matha are several temples, the most ancient being made of basic wood and stone of 1,500 years origin.
Udupi 60 Kms north of Mangalore is the seat of Lord Krishna, considered to be one of the holiest places for pilgrimage in southern India. Here there is a holy temple of Sri Krishna and this is the birthplace of Sri Madhwacharya, founder of Dwaita Philosophy and one of the three great Acharyas, he is reputed to have discovered the idol of Shri Krishna from a ship, which he saved miraculously from the clutches of fatal storm breeding on the sea at Malpe. One day when he was performing his morning prayers on the Malpe shore, he found that a ship sailing in the sea, was in danger owing to rough weather, Sri Madhwacharya with his divine power was able to control the rough weather.
Legeds of Krishna Mutt Udupi – Popular belief is that King RamaBhoja, an ardent follower of Parashurama installed the statue of Anantheshwara. Chandreshwara temple was built in the spot where Chandra (the moon) performed a penance, to get rid of the curse of Daksha Prajapathi. The place where Chandra meditated got to be called as Udupi. (Udu = a star and pa = follower) The usual practice in Udupi is to visit Chandreswara, Anantheshwara temples and then visit Sri Krishna temple. There is many interesting stories behind the installation of statue of Sri Krishna at Udupi.
One of the popular story goes like this. The main statue of Sri Krishna at Dwaraka got completely covered by gopichandanam ( holy sandlewood). A sailor from Dwaraka loaded this heavy lump in his boat as ballast, in one of his trips along the west coast. The ship was caught in a terrible storm while sailing in the western coast of Malpe. When the meditating Sri Madhvacharya sensed this by his ‘aparoksha’ or divine jnana (knowledge), he got the ship safely to the shore by waving the end of his saffron robe and quietening the storm. The pleased captain of the ship offered Sri Madhvacharya anything in the ship in return. Sri Madhvacharya asked for the sandlewood peice containing the statue of Sri Krishna. Later as the story goes, Sri Madhvacharya took it to the lake, purified it and installed it in the matt.
According to the respected mathadeesha, Sri Raghuvarya thirtha the story behind the installation of statue of Sri Krishna goes on like this. Because of the storm, the ship crashed to a rock and sank, the statue also sank along with the other cargo. After a few days when Sri Madhvacharya came to Udupi for spreading his philosophy among the masses, all of a sudden he woke from his meditation one day and traveled to Malpe with his disciples.
As if he had discovered a new light, he took out the statue from the ocean, took it to Udupi and put it into the pond near the matt. Later, on Sankranthi, he removed it from the pond, installed it in the main sanctum of the matt and arranged for the daily worship of the statue. The pond where the statue was bathed came to be known as the famous Madhva sarovar and the sanctum where the statue was installed became famous as the Krishna temple. There are sources telling Sri Madhvacharya installed the statue in the later part of 13th century.
According to the respected mathadeesha, Sri Raghuvarya thirtha the story behind the installation of statue of Sri Krishna goes on like this. Because of the storm, the ship crashed to a rock and sank, the statue also sank along with the other cargo. After a few days when Sri Madhvacharya came to Udupi for spreading his philosophy among the masses, all of a sudden he woke from his meditation one day and traveled to Malpe with his disciples. As if he had discovered a new light, he took out the statue from the ocean, took it to Udupi and put it into the pond near the matt. Later, on Sankranthi, he removed it from the pond, installed it in the main sanctum of the matt and arranged for the daily worship of the statue. The pond where the statue was bathed came to be known as the famous Madhva sarovar and the sanctum where the statue was installed became famous as the Krishna temple. There are sources telling Sri Madhvacharya installed the statue in the later part of 13th century.
In the 16th century, during Sri Vaadiraja ‘s rule, Kanakadasa, an ardent believer of God, came to Udupi to worship Lord Krishna. He was not allowed inside the temple since he was from a lower caste. Sri Krishna, pleased by the worship of Kanakadasa created a small hole in the back wall of the temple and turned to face the hole so that Kanakadasa could see him. This hole came to be known as KanakanaKindi.
The sight of the beautiful Muddu Krishna is available to everybody through the Kanakanakindi.
Inside Krishna Temple
The temple office is to our right on entering the shrine. We proceed a few yards further. A path leads us to a sacred tank known as Madhva Sarovara. To the West is the entrance to the shrine.
There is a status of Chenna Keshva at the entrance. This in fact is the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum from the East. The Swamijis used to enter into the sanctum sanctorum through this after bathing in the tank. It is said that when the crowd of the pilgrims increased the door was closed and a status of Chenna Keshava was installed in the second half of the last century.
Only on the Vijayadashami day this door is opened now. On that day the Swamiji enters the shrine through this door. The nine sacred corns are also brought into the shrine that day through this door for the fresh harvest feast. On all other days this entrance is closed and the status Chenna Keshava stands there.
When we proceed towards the left in the circumambulating path we come across a small room known as anuyaaga sale, the hall of oblation to fire-god. The priest make oblation to fire when the puja is performed inside the sanctum sanctorum.
A golden palanquin is kept in the room in front of that. The 33rd pontiff of Sri Krishna Mutt, Sri Vidyapurna Thirtha Swamiji, donated the golden palanquin.
Let us turn towards the West and have a look at the surya sale, hall where the scholars recite Veda, purana, itihaasa and the works of Sri Madhvacharya.
In the evening the pipers and musicians sing and play on musical instruments and offer their services to Sri Krishna.
Attached to surya sale is another room in the West. This is known as Cinnada Koone, treasury of jewels. All jewels offered to Sri Krishna right from the emperors of Vijayanagar up to the Kings of Mysore are stored here.
To the right is a mantapa in front of the shrine. In between this mantapa and the sanctum sanctorum there is a small passage and a window through which the visitors can have a look at the idol inside. This window with nine square holes is known as navagraha kitiki. Window of nine planets. It must be noted that there is no entrance to the sanctum sanctorum in the front. One has to look at the idol through this window, which is covered with artistically carved silver plates.
In fact there was a door here. It was later on closed to control the crowd, as was the case with the eastern entrance. The beautiful metal status of Jaya and Vijaya still stand on either side of this window.
The window is decorated with the carvings depicting the ten incarnations of Vishnu. Inside the window is seen the tiny idol of Krishna as a small boy. There is a churning rod in the right hand and rope in the left. We can observe innocent look in the face. This is the only idol of this kind for the whole of India.
Even the lamps burning by the side of Krishna have a history of centuries. The lamp lighted by Sri Madhvacharya are kept burning even to this day and well protected. It was never allowed to get extinguished.
There is a tradition which records that when Chaitanya Maharshi came to Udupi he got a lamp lighted from this lamp and took it to Vrindavan and preserved it there. Thus the lamp lighted by Sri Madhvacharya sanctifies not only Udipi, but also Vrindavan, which was once upon a time the field of Krishna’s sports.
To the right of this idol is another idol of Sri Venugopal Krishna. This is not clearly visible to the devotees who view it from the window. Nothing definite is known about this idol, but there is a oral traditional which gives the story thus.
It is known from the Shankara Vijaya of Ananthan-andagiri that Hastamalaka, one of the intimate disciples of Sri Shankaracharya had established an idol of Krishna in Rajatapiithapura
Hastamalaka had installed it in Kangur Mutt at kosdavur near Adi Udupi. In the 14th century this came under the jurisdiction of the Balegar Mutt of a Madhva pontiff Sri Akshobhya Tirtha near Tirthahalli. He appointed Brahmin priest for worship in the temple. In due course it severed its connection with the Balegar Mutt. The priest in charge of the temple found it difficult to perform the rituals due to poverty. Hence they surrendered the idol to Sri Krishna Mutt. Thus the idol of God Krishna of Adi Udupi was established beside the idol of Udipi Krishna.
There is a small mantap in front of the sanctum sanctorum. Fanning of the deity with chowry before the evening puja and the mantapa puja after the night worship are the two ceremonies performed here.
To the west in front of the mantapa there is a hall known as canard sale. The ‘Kanaka’s window’ is on the wall of this hall. In the evenings scholars recite epics and scriptures here. In the northern corner there is a small mantapa reserved for the worship of sacred texts during Navratri. There are two shrines on either side of this hall. In the North there is Mukhyaprana and in the south there is a small shrine of Garuda.
These two idols were brought to this place from Ayodhya and installed here as evidenced by the biography of Sri Vadiraja.
When Sri Vadiraja went again to Ayodhya he brought the idols of Hanuman and Garuda and installed them in front in front of Sri Krishna’s idol.
The shrine of Mukhyaprana has two enclosures. One is the sanctum sanctorum. The priest sits outside this to distribute tirtha and prasaada. Rangapuuje is one of the special rituals here. Swamiji himself performs the main puja here after the mahaapuuje of the noon and the raatripuuje of the night at the main shrine. All dishes offered t Lord Krishna are later on brought here and offered to Mukhyapraana. This Mukhyapraana is the most powerful deity here. It is believed that Mukhyaprana himself makes all arrangements for the Paryana festival.
When we proceed further towards the North there is a platform for sacred Tulasi plant and a big lamppost. This Tulasi vrindavan is well decorated during the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Kartika. The Tulasi plant is worshipped with recitations and dancings for twelve days during period.
When we proceed further north there is one passage leading towards the left to the throne, kitchen and the dining hall known as cauki. The entrance at the right leads to the sanctum sanctorum. Since the Eastern and Western doors are closed, this is the only door leading to the sanctum sanctorum.
When we stand at the steps and turn towards the South a small shrine can be seen. It is the shrine of the Sri Madhvacharya. The beautiful little idol holding a stick in one hand is decorated with a join cloth and the mudras of knowledge and fearlessness in hands. Sri Vadiraja had installed this statue.
By installing the idol of Madhvacharya at the northern entrance Sri Vadiraja started the tradition of worshipping Madhvacharya also in the same shrine.
Though the architectural pattern of the temple remained uncharged for centuries its outer appearance was changed by renovations at different times.
There was a path of circumambulation inside the sanctum sanctorum. But since there is the idol of Sri Madhvacharya it is closed now. In place of wooden spokes there speared a stonewall around the sanctum sanctorum. Attached to the wall are the spokes of brass for oil lamps.
Krishna Temple Vicinity
The advent of Lord Krishna to this divine land is dramatic. Once when Sri Madhwa was meditating near the Malpe beach (5 km from Udupi ), he saw a ship drifting away following a severe storm. He saved the ship by his yogic powers. As the swamiji knew beforehand that the ship carried the idols of Lord Krishna and Balarama, he accepted the Gopi Chandana pieces that the ship’s captain offered.
He installed the Balarama idol in Vada Pandeshwara village near the shores and the Lord Krishna idol at Udupi near the Chandramouleeswara shrine.
In ancient times, Udupi was known as Sivalli and Rajathapeetapuram. Legend has it that Chandra, the Moon God , did penance here in a forest, propitiating Lord Shiva to redeem Him from a curse by Daksha Prajaapati. In Sanskrit, Udu means `star’ and Pa means `leader’. Chandra being the head of the stars, the place came to be known as `Udupi’. Since Shiva was worshipped by Chandra, the Lord is known as Chandramouleeshwara. This Shiva shrine is situated opposite to Sri Krishna temple. The Swayambu Linga changes colour thrice during the day — black in the morning, blue at noon and white at night. The temple tank is known as Chandra Pushkarini or Madhwa Sarovar.
There is another shrine for Lord Ananteshwara. When Sage Parasurama redeemed the land from sea, he crowned his devotee Ramabhoja as the king of this land. He performed Ashwamedha Yaga on this holy soil. While ploughing the land prior to the yaga, he killed a snake accidentally. To redeem himself from Sarpa dosha (sin of killing a snake), he made a silver peetam (Rajatha Peetam) with images of snake carved on it. Hence the place acquired the name Sivalli or Siva-belli. The king installed a Linga Ananteshwara. Lord Parasurama is worshipped in Linga swarupa in this shrine. There is a 40-foot-high Deepa sthamba outside the shrine.
Behind the shrine is a tank known as Madhva Saroovara. Sri Raghavendra Tirtha of Sri Puttige Mutt renovated it with stone slabs in the sixteenth century A.D.
The Swamijis have to bathe in this tank before they commence the worship at the shrine. If we go round the tank on the northern side bhoojana sale is visible, where hundreds of poor people are fed every day. Special arrangements are made in the first floor of this building for feeding the students and guests.
In the Northeast corner we can notice a chariot-shaped heaps pf logs of wood. The firewood needed for two years Paryaya term is stored artistically in the shapes of a ratha .Here again the credit goes to Sri Vadiraja Swamiji for starting this tradition. This is an example to show how one can produce a piece of art with the piece of wood. Like the chariots of Udupi, this firewood chariot is also an object of attraction to the pilgrims.
When we go round the tank we come across a small shrine in the South West corner. There is a beautiful idol of Bhagirathi seated on crocodile. The 29th pontiff of Sri Adamar Mutt by name Vibudhapriya Tirtha installed the idol.
There is a legends behind this. It is believed to have happened during the period of Sri Madhvacharya. The Acharya was still a boy. He wanted to undertake a tour of Badari. His preceptor Achuta Prajna did not want to be separated from his disciple. He heard a divine voice starting that the Acharya need come to the North in search of the Ganges. The sacred river itself will come towards the South in search of the Acharya Accordingly the people witnessed a column of white stream springing up in the South West corner of the tank. All people took bath in the sacred waters along with the Acharya. Madhva Vijaya records that once in every twelve years the sacred Ganges flows into this tank.
This continues even now. The white waters of the Ganges sprang up during the Paryaya of Sri Vibudhapriya Swamiji and a small shrine was constructed to commemorate the event. The Swamiji who come to the tank for oblation worship this idol.
There is a beautiful mantapa in the middle of the tank. The ritual of pouring milk on Tulasi ksiiraabdhi takes place here on the twelfth day of the white fortnight of Kartika month.
The beauty of this tank must be witnessed during the teppootsava, the boat festival. With thousand of lamps around the mantapa and their reflection in the water it is a delightful sight providing a fantasy of Lord Varuna waving Aarti to the great god.
The tank was originally know as ananta tirtha. After the Ganges descended into this tank for the sake of Madhvacharya it came to be designated as Madhva Saroovara.
To regulate the movements of the pilgrims during festival seasons there is a separate exit passage to come out of the temple. This overbridge path passes through the Western side of the tank and joins the Car Street. The Swamiji of Admar Mutt built this new passage during his Paryaya (1972-73 A.D.)
Asta (8) Mutt in Udupi Mutt
When we come out of Sri Krishna Mutt and start going round the Car Street towards the East we come across the Kaniyur Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is in the Kaniyour Village and hence that name. The original pontiff of this Mutt Sri Rama Tirtha was gifted with an idol of Yoga Narasimha of four hands seated on swastik symbol.
The idol has sankha and cakra in two hands and the remaining two hands are placed on laps. The present swamiji Sri Vidya Vvarinidhi Tirtha is the 29th pontiff in the line. He was initiated when he was 11 years in the year 1942. vaisaakha bahula sasthi of Chitrabhanu samvatsara.
This is located in the Southeast corner of the Car Street. Before the time of Vadhiraja the main village branch of this Mutt was in Kumbhasi village. Hence it was known as Kumbhasi Mutt. Arasappa Navak of Sode honoured Vadiraja Swamiji by gifting land properties at Sode. Vadriraja Swamiji constructed a big Mutt there and renamed this Mutt as Sode Mutt. The main branches of all seven Mutts are in the villages of South Kanaka. But that of Sode Mutt alone is in the North Kanaka District.
The original pontiff of this Mutt started worshipping the idol of Bhuvaraha. Gifted by Sri Madhvacharya. The idol is known for its remarkable iconography with Bhuudeevi on one thigh and the other leg supporting on the hood of serpent. Along with Bhuvaraha idol of the personal god of Vadiraja namely Hayagriya is also worshipped. Sri Hayagriva is the presiding deity of knowledge and accordingly the idol has in hand the mudra of knowledge, book, rosary and conch. The 35th pontiff in the lineage Sri Vishvottama Tirtha Swamiji is the present head of the Mutt. He was initiated into the order at the age of 9 in the year 1943, the bhaadrapada suddha caturthi in the samvtsara svabhaaun.
Puttige Mutt : Next to Sode Mutt in the southern portion of the Car Street is Puttige Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is in the village by name Puttige. The idol of Vithal with Rukmini and Satvabhama gifted to the first pontiff Sri Upendra Tirtha by the Acharya Madhva is worshipped here. The idol has a smiling face with conch in one hand.
The other hand with abhaya mudra is placed on the waist. Since other two Mutts also have the idol of Vithala, the idol of this Mutt is known as Upendra Cvithala to distinguish this from the other idols as the one worshipped by the pontiff Upendra tirtha. The 29th swamiji in the lineage sri Sugunendra tirtha is the present pontiff. He was initiated into the order at the age of 13 on the 8th April, 1974.
Adamar Mutt is located in the South West corner of the car Street. The main branch of this Mutt is in the village known as Adamar.
The Acharya Madhva had gifted an idol of Kaliyamardana Krishna with four arms to Sri Narasimha (Narahari) Tirtha, the original swamiji of this Mutt. The idol depicts Lord Krishna with one leg on the serpent and with the other leg lifted up in a dancing pose. One hand is bent in a dancing pose and the other is holding the tail of the serpent. The other two hands are decorated with conch and the cakra.
The present swamiji Sri Vibhudhesha Tirtha is the 29th pontiff in the lineage. He was initiated into the order in his 18th year 1945 AD, (parthiva samvatsara jyeeshtha bahula trtiiyaa).The swamiji has initiated his disciple Sri Vishvapriya Tirtha as his successor, who was initiated into the order in the age of 15 on 2nd June 1972.
By the side of admar Mutt in the western portion of the Car Street is Pejavar Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is in the village by name Pejavar.
The idol worshipped here is that of Vithal with Sri Devi and Bhuu Devi gifted to the founder pontiff Sri Adhokshaja Tirtha by Sri Madhvacharya. This idol with its one hand placed on hips is also known as Aja Vithala to distinguish it from the other idols of Vithala. The idol worshipped by Adhokshaja Tirtha is rightly called Aja Vithala. Along with this, the idol of Sri Rama of Kanvatirtha is also worshipped. This is the idol worshipped by Sri Vijayadhvaja Tirtha.
Sri Vishvesha tirtha the 33rd pontiff in the lineage is the present swamiji. HE was initiated in his 8th year in 1938 (Bahudhaanya samvatsar Maargasiira Suddha dasami.)
He has initiated a junior swamiji to the order. His name is Sri Vishvavijya Tirtha. He was initiated in his 16th year in 1979 (siddhaarthi samvatsara vaisaakha suddha saptami)
Beyond Sri Pejawar Mutt in the western Car Street there is Palimar Mutt by the side of the Kanakadasa Road. The chief branch of this Mutt is in the Palimar village.
The idol of Kodanda Rama with Lakshmana and Sita gifted by the Acharya Madhva to the first pontiff Sri Hrshikesha Tirtha is worshipped here. The idols of Rama and Lakshmana have bows and arrows in hands whereas that of Sita has lotus in hand. The 29th swamiji in the lineage Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha is the present pontiff. In the year 1969 the then Swamiji of Palimar Mutt renounced his seat and the swamiji of Sri Bhandarkeri Mutt accepted it and continuous to be in charge of both the Mutts. He has now initiated two junior swamijis for both the mutts under his charge; The junior swamiji of Palimar Mutt, Sri Vidhyadhisha Tirtha was initiated at the age of 24 years in the year 1979. (siddhaarthi samvatsara jyeestha suddha navami.)
Sri Krishna Mutt is located in the northern side of the Car Street. The main branch of this mutt is in the village Krishnapura.
The idol of Kaliyamardana Krishna of two shoulders, gifted by the Acharya Madhva to the first pontiff Sri Janardana Tirtha of this Mutt is worshipped here. The idol has an attractive pose of child Krishna with his one leg on serpent Kalinga and another leg lifted up and holding the tail of the serpent in his left hand. The right hand has the mundra of abhaya to those who are afraid of the poison. At the request of Sri Janardana Tirtha the Acharya had given another idol of Ugra Narasimha also which has the pose of Narasimha keeping Hiranyakashipu on his laps and tearing away his intestines. Two hands operate at the chest of the enemy and the remaining six hands hold various weapons. At the foot of this
Eight-handed ferocious Narasimha is the tiny Prahlada standing with folded hands.
The 35th pontiff in the lineage Sri Vidyasagra Tirtha is the present chief of this Mutt. He was initiated in May 1970.
To the east of Sri Krishna Mutt in front of the Kanaka’s shrine is located the Shirur Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is in the village Shirur.
The idol of Vithala with Sri Devi and Bhudevi gifted by the Acharya to the first pontiff Sri Varmana Tirtha of this Mutt is worshipped here. To distinguish this Vithala from the other idols of Vithala, the name Varma Vithala is given to this idol.
The 30th pontiff in the lineage Sri Lakshmivara Tirtha is the present chief of this Mutt. He was initiated at the age of 8 years in june 1971.
Paryaya is a system in which the eight pontiffs of Udupi undertake the responsibility of worshipping Lord Krishna and manage the temple by turn for a fixed period of time.
The swamiji who is in change of the worship and other rituals is known as the paryay swamiji. His Mutt is then known as the Paryaya Mutt. The duration of the tenure is known as the paryaya period. The ceremony of handing over the charge of Sri Krishna Mutt to the new swamiji is known as the paryaya festival.
Up to the period of Sri Vadiraja the paryaya was taking place once in two months. Thus each swamiji used to get his term once in sixteen months. Then Sri Vadiraja changed this system. He started the tradition of two-year term for the paryaya.
Sri Vadiraja celebrated his first two-year paryaya in his 52nd year in 1532-33 A.D. But it is believed that he did not start the tradition from his own paryaya. One round of the sixteen-year cycle starts from the paryaya of Sri Palimar Mutt. Hence it can be concluded that the first two-year tenure of paryaya might have started from 1522-23 A.D.with the paryaya of Sri Palimar Mutt.
As per this tradition every Mutt had completed 29 two-year terms of the paryaya. The twenty ninth cycle started in 1970-71 with paryaya of Sri Palimar Mutt. The last paryaya of that cycle was completed by the paryaya of Sri Pejawar Mutt which commenced in 1986-87 A.D. with the paryaya of Sri Palimar Mutt. Then this 30th Cycle will end by 2000-2001 A.D. with the paryaya of Sri Pejawar Mutt.
Preparations for Paryaya:
The preliminaries start a year before the paryaya ceremony. The foremost among those rituals are
1. Baale unhurt
2. kaki unhurt
3. Katie mahout
4. batter mahout
This takes place on an auspicious day about a year before the paryaya festival. Plantain and tulsi groves are formally set up on that day.
Each paryaya swamiji requires tulsi leaves for daily services at the Krishna Mutt and plantain leaves for feasts. Banana is needed for offerings to the idol. Hence the swamiji has to start cultivating these plants in the gardens belonging to his Mutt so that by the time the paryaya period starts these rituals can commence with all requirements.
On the day of mahout the priests first pray the nine planets. Then the workers of the Mutt carry the seedlings of the tulsi and the plantain to be planted. The procession moves towards the Krishna Mutt. The royal elephant and other paraphernalia of the Mutt participate in this. They offer prayer at the temples Chandreswara and Anantheswara. They also pray before the shrine of Krishna and offer coins and pray like this. ‘Please bless us so that there should be no dearth of tulsi for your worship and plantain leaves for the dinner.’ They also bow down to the idols of Sri Mukhyaprana and Sri Madhvacharya and go back to their Mutt. Then they plant tulsi saplings and banana plants.
This is now celebrated as a ritual rather than a real effort to grow more tulsi or plantain.
Within two months of celebrating the bale mahout they celebrate kaki mahout. Thousands of people are fed during the period of paryaya. During special festivals about five to ten thousands are to be fed. Hence one must have a good stock of rice. The group of rice starts from the harvest time of the previous year.
Like the other ritual after the prayer to the nine planets the procession starts from the Mutt. A pack of rice is decorated and kept in a palanquin. It is covered with a silken cloth. The devotees go behind the palanquin with packs of rice on their head. All officers of the Mutt participate in the procession. They pray at the temples of Chandreswara and Anantheswara.
The swamiji himself conducts this ritual. A special feast is served in the moon. Other swamijis are also invited to the Mutt and honoured.
This is celebrated about six months before the commencement of the paryaya. After collecting rice arrangements are to be made to gather firewood for cooking. Hence this ceremony.
Storing of firewood in an artistic manner is the specialty of Udupi. Firewood is piled up in the shape of a beautiful chariot. This is visible in the North-East corner of the Madhva Sarovara.
This ritual is observed by the artists to commence the building of this beautiful chariot out of the rugged pieces of wood.
After propitiating the nine planets the procession starts with the workers carrying the loads of firewood. After saluting the deities in different temples they reach the place behind the cattle-shed where the chariot of firewood is to be constructed. After the purificatory ritual of the ground the artists commence their work.
Many skilled artists for many days to pile up the firewood and arrange it in the shape of a chariot of fifty feet height. A few days before the Katie mahout of the next paryaya this chariot is dismantled and the firewood is used for cooking.
This ritual takes place about seven or eight weeks before the paryaya. This is arranged to gather paddy from the new crop before the paryaya ceremony. It can be noticed here that al these rituals calculated to acquire leaves for eating. Rice for food, firewood for cooking, paddies for rice have the sole aim namely the continuation of the tradition of mass feeding. That is why Lord Krishna of Udupi is known as anna brahma.
After the prayer the procession starts from the Mutt. A bag of paddy is placed in a palanquin and covered with silken cloth. After saluting the deities in different temples the procession enters the badagu maalige.
The badagu maalige is the official stores house for the paryaya. It is on this day that the authorities of the next paryaya enter this place. The pack of paddy is placed an platform here and the priest offer rituals of worship. The manager of the paryaya Mutt offers fruits and remunerations to scholars. From that day the new paryaya Mutt takes charge of his building.
Another ritual also takes place that day. By that time the chariot of firewood is constructed. A decorated dome is brought along with the procession. It is ceremoniously handed over to the chief architect and then placed on the top of the chariot. By this all preliminary rituals of paryaya are over.
About four to five months before the Paryaya ceremony the swamiji goes on a pilgrimage to different holy place. This is known as paryaya puurva sancaara.
After the paryaya the swamiji is not supposed to move out of Udupi. Hence before the ceremony he goes to different places to meet his disciples and invite them for the paryaya festival. He is supposed to visit all centers of pilgrimage from Kanyakumari to Badarikashram and offer services to the deities in those places in order to obtain blessings from the deities for the smooth running of the tenure of paryaya.
On an auspicious day the swamiji offers special prayers to his deities and starts on the pilgrimage. He visits places like Kanyakumari, Rameshwara, Tirupathi, Mathura, Brndavan, Dwarka, Gaya, Kashi, Prayag, Hrshikesh, Haridwar, and Badari etc. After finishing the tour of the Southern as well as the Northern India he returns to his district.
Afterwards he visits the pilgrim centers of the district and finally enters the Udupi town in an auspicious moment.
During this tour to different towns the devotees invite the swamiji and honour him. They also contribute liberally for the expenses of the paryaya.
About ten to fifteen days before the paryaya festival the swamiji concludes his tours and ceremoniously enters the town of Udupi. The entire town is decorated to welcome the swmiji.
A big crowd is seen at the joodu katte at the Udupi Mangalore Road on that day to welcome the swamiji. If the swamiji enters the city from Shimoga side the reception is arranged near the Kadiyali temple on the Udupi-Karkal route. As soon as the swamiji reaches the place he is garlanded by the leaders and the dignitaries of the town. Flowers and fried rice are sprinkled on the route.
From the mantap at the joodu katte the swamiji taken to the car street in procession. The replicas of the great saints as well as the idols of the Mutt are placed in the palanquin and taken in the procession. The musicians play on pipe and other instruments. The scholars chant the hymns of Veda. The swamiji is seated in a decorated chariot. The idols are in the palanquin.
The streets are all well decorated up to the car street. Different archs and Mantaps are constructed en route and they are named after the pontiffs of that Mutt.
When the procession reaches the Car Street the swamiji descends from the chariot and walks upto Chandreshwara, Anantheshwara and then reaches the Krishna Mutt and offers prayers.
At the entrance of his Mutt the nine planets are propitiated and the swamiji enters the Mutt. In a public function at the Car Street the citizens honour the swamiji and offer him felicitations. He is profusely garlanded by the people. The swamiji announces his new plans and projects proposed to be undertaken during the tenure of his paryaya and seek the co-operation of the citizens.
A couple of days before the paryaya the devotees bring rice, jaggery, pulses, vegetables, coconuts and other objects needed for the mass feeding during the festival of paryaya and donate them to the swamiji. These objects are brought in trucks, carts and head loads in processions. The processions pass through different streets of Udupi and enter the Krishna Mutt. The swamiji accepts these contributions and blesses the devotees.
This is a ceremony in which both the swamijis-one who hands over the charge and the other who takes over the charge-donate rice and vegetables to other swamijis of Udupi. All provisions are taken out in procession and sent to different Mutts.
This is arranged because all pilgrims visiting the paryaya festival and staying in different Mutts must be fed and looked after properly. Hence a token contribution is given by the swamiji to different Mutts so that they can offer hospitality to visiting pilgrims. This is arranged as a token of co-operation.
Invitation to Paryaya
A day before the paryaya festival the swamiji goes to different Mutts in procession and personally invites the swamijis for the paryaya rituals.
The heads of other Mutts invite the swamiji to their respective Mutts before the paryaya and arrange a grand feast in honour of the swamiji by offering money as well as other objects like sandal paste etc.
Festival arranged by the outgoing swamiji
The day following that of Makara Sankramana is celebrated as Churnotsava. No festivities are celebrated the following day. The third day is allotted to the out-going swamiji to celebrate his last special services. The fourth day is the day of paryaya.
Normally the festivals fall as per the schedule: 14th January-Sankramana. 15th January-Churnotsava, 16th-Rest, 17th -the festival arranged by the outgoing swamiji. 18th-The paryaya festival.
A special feast is arranged by the outgoing swamiji on the day preceding the paryaya. With the Brahma Rathotsava in the night his responsibilities come to an end. Next day he has to perform the nirmaalya visarjana puujaa only. Afterward it is the duty of the swamiji who takes charge the next day.
The Festival of Paryaya
The swamiji who is to take charge of the Krishna Mutt goes to a place called Danda Tirtha about 10 Kilometers south of Udupi on the previous night. It is the place where Sri Madhvacharya was studying during his childhood. To irrigate the gardens of his teacher he had made canal though his ritual-stick. That pond came to be known as dandatiirtha.
At about 3-00 a.m. after midnight the swamiji gets up and bathes in the holy pond and starts towards Udupi. At about 4-00a.m. he reaches the outskirts of Udupi and a big crowd of devotees welcomes the swamiji at a place known as joodu katte. The other swamijis of Udupi, excepting the one who is to hand over the charge, assemble there. The swamiji who is to hand over the charge stays back at the Krishna Mutt to welcome the new paryaya swamiji there.
The route from the joodu katte to the car street is decorated with festoons and lights. All buildings are illuminated. The arcs and festoons representing different traditions of preceptors provide a grand appearance to the area. Different kinds of drums, trumpets and musical instruments are played. The sound reaches the sky and enlivens the entire area.
As soon as the would -be parayaya swamiji reaches the joodu katte the other pontiffs and the devotees assembled there welcome the swamiji who is now going to have the good fortune of serving Lord Krishna for the next two years
The swamijis who come to welcome the paryaya swamiji are well dressed with silken shawl and silken headdress. Then all of them sit on their palanquins. The idol of the deity of the would be paryaya Mutt is placed in a palanquin and takes at the head of the procession.
The entire route is well decorated. The trained elephants with howdah on their back and slowly waving fan-like ears go in the front row of the procession. This is followed by different kinds of tableaux and decorated staffs and arcs. Troupes of singers and pipers participate in the procession. The vehicles carrying the idols as well as the singing and dancing in ecstasy, the priests chanting the hymns from the Vedas, the idol of the Mutt in a well decorated golden palanquin and the swamiji in a well decorated palanquin-all these produce the image of a grand pageantry.
Thousands of people come in flocks and gather on both sides of the streets as well as the balconies of the houses en route to witness this historic scene. The procession moves slowly and covers the one-kilometer distance in about two hours.
On reaching the car street the swamijis get down from the palanquin. They walk on the white cloth spread on the road. They circumambulate the car street and reach the Krishna Mutt.
The swamiji salutes the idol of Krishna through the Kanakas’ window. The priests pray the nine planets and offer donations of grains and money to learned Brahmins to appease the planets. From there the swamiji goes to the temple of chandreswara and Anantheswara.
At the entrance of Sri Krishna Mutt the out-going swamiji receives the new swamiji and leads him inside by holding his hands. They first descend to the Madhva Sarovara, wash their hands and feet and enter the sanctum sanctorum.
When the two swamijis enter the sanctum sanctorum, the other swamijis proceed towards the building known as Badagu Malige, sit on their decorated seats and wait for the paryaya swamiji.
The swamiji enters the Mutt and places his box of idols in the tiirtha mantapa and waves aarati.
Then both the swamijis enter the sanctum sanctorum and pray before the idol. They also pray before the idol of Mukhya Prana and prostrate before the idols of Sri Krishna, Mukhyaprana and Garuda at the Chandrashala hall.
Then the important ritual of handing over the charge takes place in the room known as simhaasana. Only a few officials of the Mutt participate in this ritual transfer of powers.
The new paryaya swamiji places the box of idols in the sacred seat and waves aarati. Then the outgoing paryaya swamiji sits on the seat of Madhvacharya and takes the would be paryaya swamiji by his side and honours him by offering the sandal paste and other objects of honour.
The next item in the programme is to ascend the throne. The outgoing swamiji gets up from the seat of Madhvacharya, holds the hands of the new incumbent and makes him sit on the seat. He then himself sits down by his side. Soon after the ascent the swamiji is officially known as the paryaya swamiji. The swamijis of the eight Mutts get very few such occasions of occupying this sacred seat sanctified by the association of the great Acharya himself. From the moment the swamiji occupies this seat, he directs all activities and rituals as the representative of Sri Madhvacharya.
Transfer of the aksaya paatra
After exchanging the seats the two swamijis enquire about each other’s welfare and go towards the idol of Sri Madhvacharya at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum. They offer afghan water to the Archery. The outgoing swamiji hands over the aksaya paatra the age-old vessels preserved from the time of Madhvacharya, its ladle as well as the keys to the shrine. With this ritual the management of Sri Krishna Mutt is officially this ritual the management of Sri Krishna Mutt is officially transferred to the new paryaya swamiji.
In the badagu maalige
From there the swamiji proceed towards the badagu maalige building. There the new swamiji honours others swamijis by offering sandal paste and other objects of honour. During the time of Sri Vadiraja the paryaya congregation used to take place in this place.
Congregation at the Arranging open theatre
The last programme of the ceremony is a big congregation known as durbar subhead at the Rajangana. All the swamijis come in procession at about 7-00a.m. to this auditorium. The entire area is already crowed with the people who assembled there with their invitation cards. The place can accommodate about twenty thousand people.
After the chanting of the hymns from the Vedas the swamijis bless the devotees. The outgoing swamiji bids farewell to all and the new paryaya swamiji announces his plans projects for the improvements of facilities at the Krishna Mutt. Leaders and luminaries from different cross-sections of the society felicitate the new paryaya swamiji on this occasion.
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