Udupi: The stage is all set for the grand biennial Paryaya festival to be held here on Monday January 18. A festive atmosphere prevails in the city. The main roads on which the Paryaya procession is to pass have been asphalted. The biennial Paryaya tradition was proposed by Madhwa exponent Sri Madhwacharya and restructured with elegance by Sri Vadiraja Swamiji.
The initial Paryaya system on rotation among the swamijis of Ashta Maths (Eight Maths) of Udupi was introduced after installing the black stone (Saligrama Shila) idol of Lord Krishna by great saint and Madhwa philosopher Sri Madhwacharya over 800 years ago, then every Swamiji of Astha Math had the right to conduct Sri Krishna Puja and run the administration of the temple for two months in rotation. This system was modified by Shri Vadiraja Theertha of Shri Sode Vadiraja Math in which every Math will take over responsibility of Krishna Puja and administration of the Krishna Math for two years.
Paryaya, a popular festival of this region, has a history dating back to the 13th century. “Paryaya” in Sanskrit means change or transition. In this context, it means a biennial festival to celebrate the transfer of authority of exclusive rights of worship and management of Shri Krishna Temple from one Swamiji of the eight Maths (“Ashta Maths”) to another.
The right to occupy the “Paryaya Peetha” (also called the “Sarvajna Peetha”) of Taulava Madhwas, which is situated at “Simhasana Shala” in Shri Krishna Temple, consecrated by Shri Madhwacharya, exponent of Dwaita philosophy, also gets transferred on the occasion.
The swamiji of the Math, who gets these rights of worship, is known as “Paryaya Swamiji”, and his Math is referred to as “Paryaya Math”. The Swamiji with the help of other Swamijis of Ashta Maths involves himself in various spiritual, religious and social activities during this two-year tenure. The eight Maths are Sri Palimar Math, Sri Admar Math, Sri Krishnapur Math, Sri Puttige Math, Sri Shiroor Math, Sri Sode Math, Sri Kaniyoor Math and Sri Pejawar Math.
Tradition has it that Shri Madhwacharya appointed eight heads in 1298 to propagate Dwaita philosophy and Paryayas then lasted only for two months. This system changed in 1532 when Sri Vadiraja Tirtha Swamiji of Sri Sode Math introduced the biennial system.
The biennial Paryaya festival in Udupi falls on the fourth day after “Makara Sankranti” in the even years of Christian era.
Many rituals precede the Paryaya festival and preparations begin a year before the event. These rituals are “Bale Muhurta,” “Akki Muhurta”, “Kattige Muhurta” and “Bhatta Muhurta.”
About four months before ascending the Paryaya Peetha, the new “Paryaya Swamiji” undertakes a pilgrimage to the holy places across the country to invite devotees of Lord Krishna for the upcoming Paryaya. He takes “Samsthana deities” of his Math with him and is accompanied by an entourage. During this pilgrimage Swamiji visits many holy places like Dwaraka, Mathura, Badari, Hardwar, Prayag, Gaya, Kashi, Puri, Tirupati and the like. He has to take a dip in the holy rivers like Narmada, Yamuna, Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Tungabhadra, Netravati and Kumaradhara. The Swamiji also visits holy places in Tulunadu such as Pajaka Kshetra, Dandathirtha and Kukke-Subrahmanya. The Swamiji cannot move out of the Car Street here during his Paryaya tenure.
Nearly 15 days before the Paryaya festival, the Swamiji returns to Udupi where he is given a warm welcome. This is called “Pura Pravesha”. The Swamiji enters the temple town in a large procession that culminates at Car Street. He then visits Sri Chandreshwara and Sri Ananteshwara temples and reaches Sri Krishna Temple where he offers prayers after which he enters his Math. A civic reception is accorded to the Swamiji on Car Street.
A few days prior to the Paryaya festival, the “Hore Kanike” processions will be held. Devotees from various places bring vegetables, pulses, coconuts, rice and other items for mass feeding offered at Sri Krishna Math during the Paryaya. These items are brought in a procession to the temple where the new “Paryaya Swamiji” accepts them.
Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of Pejawar Math, will ascend the “Paryaya Peetha” at 5:40 am on Monday January 18. Banners have been put on the main roads of the city welcoming the Swamiji. A large number of devotees have already arrived in Udupi from different parts of the State and the country.
As per tradition, Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji will go to “Danda Tirtha” near Kaup, about 10 km from Udupi, where he will have a holy dip at 1:30 a.m. He will then come to Joddu Katte in Udupi. A grand procession carrying the chief deity of the Pejawar Math in a golden palanquin, and Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji and other Swamijis of the Ashta Maths will leave Joddu Katte at 2:30 am. As many as 10 tableaux and 75 cultural troupes will participate in the Paryaya procession. The tableaux participating in the Paryaya procession are “Radhakrishana Vihara”, “Geethopadesha and Vishwaroopa”, “Nadabrhama”, “Kanchana Brhama”, “Anna Brahmma”, “ Vasudeva Krishana”, “Kanvatheertha”, “Gopi Chandana”, “Vadiraja Theertha”, and “Sheshashayana Mahavishnu”.
After offering prayers to Lord Chandramouleshwara and Lord Ananteshwara, the swamiji will enter Sri Krishna Math. The handing over of the “Akshaya patre”, “Sattuga”, and keys of the sanctum sanctorum by the outgoing Swamiji, Sri Vidyavallabha Teertha Swamiji of Kaniyoor Math, to Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji, will be the high point of the festival. This will give the latter the right to worship Lord Sri Krishna for the next two years.
The other important event of the day is the “Darbar” at Ananda Theertha Mantapa near parking place or the temple at 6:20 am. Lal Krishna Advani – Former Deputy Prime Minister of India and MP Gandhinagar LS constituency, Oscar Feranandes – Former Union Minister and MP Rajya Sabha, Nithin Gadkari – Union Minister of Road Transport, Highway and Shipping, Suresh Prabhu – Union Minister for Railways, Sadhvi Uma Bharati – Union Minister for Water Resources, Ananth Kumar – Union Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers, Smriti Irani – Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Nirmala Seetharam – Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Sripad Naik – Union Minister for Tourism, G.M Siddeshwara – Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Sadananda Gowda – Union Minister for Law, Vasundara Raje Scindia – Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Chandrababu Naidu – Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Devendra Fadnavis – Chief Minister of Maharastra, D.H Shankermurthy – Chairman Legislative Council, Karnataka, G. Parameshwar – Minister for Home, Government of Karnataka, R.V Deshpande – Minister for Industries, GOK, H.K Patil, Minister for Rural Development – GOK, Vinay Kumar Sorake – Minister for Urban Development, GOK, B.S Yeddyurappa, Former – Chief Minister of Karnataka and MP Shivamogga-Byndoor LS Constituency, Veerappa Moily – Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and MP Chikkaballapur LS Constituency, HD Kumarswamy – Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, N. Dharam Singh – Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, K.S Ishwarappa – Leader of Opposition Legislative Council, Karnataka, Panner Selvam – Finance Minister, Government of Tamilnadu, Abhayachandra Jain – Minister for Youth Services and Fisheries GOK, Dinesh Gundu Rao – Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies, GOK, A Manju – Minister of State for Animal Husbandry and Sericulture, GOK, Manohar Tahsildar – Minister for Endowment, Prahalad Joshi – MP Dharward LS Constituency, CM Ibrahim – Deputy Chairman – Karnataka Planning Board, GOK, Dr Sambhashiva Rao IAS – E.O. TTD, K Srinivas Rao IAS – J.E.O. TTD Tirumala, Pola Bhaskar – J.E.O. TTD, Tirupati, Padmashri Dr. Prahlada Rama Rao – Defence Advisor, Govt. Of India, Asagodu Jayasimha – Chairman Jungle Resorts, P.G.R Sindhia – State Commissioner, Scouts and Guides are among the dignitaries who are expected to participate in the “Darbar”. Eminent persons who have contributed in various fields will be honoured with the Paryaya awards on the occasion.
Felicitation to the outgoing Paryaya Swamiji – Vidyavallbha Tirtha of Kaniyoor Math will be held at the Car Street at 9:00 pm on January 17. This will be followed by a display of fireworks on the open space near the Rajangana parking lot.
The district police have made tight security arrangements for the Paryaya festival in Udupi on 17 Friday and 18 Saturday.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com Udupi SP Annamalai IPS said that three SP’s (Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Karwar), 3 ASP’s (Udupi, Shivamogga and Chitradurga) 11 DYSP’s, 21 CPI, 2 RPI, 115 PSI, 105 ASI, 905 HC/PC, 90 WPC, 258 Home Guards, 6 KSRP and 9 DAR platoons, 2 AST’s, 2 BDS’s, 50 ANF commandos, 50 Garuda Police, 5 Fire tenders, 10 ambulances, will be deputed during the Paryaya. 6 check posts are setup with 24X7 monitoring. The Deputy Commissioner has banned the sale of liquor in the CMC limits. A police outpost is opened at Car Street to register the devotees’ grievances. A police outpost has been set up at Car Street for security and to help the pilgrims. All precautionary measures have been taken in the interest of public safety, he added.
District Superintendent of Police has urged the public to support the police in implementing the security measures.
People can feel free to contact the control rooms’ setup at: Diana Circle and Sri Krishna Math parking on number 0820-2526444, 100 and Udupi Town Police Station on 0820-2520444.
The entire Car Street is seen glittering with illumination and the Kaniyoor Math situated in Car Street has been given a new look. The entire Math has been illuminated, giving it a look of grandeur. Buntings, banners and welcome arches have been erected on the main Paryaya procession route from the traditional entrance point of Jodukatte to Car Street covering a distance of about two kilometers.
The entire ambiance surrounding the temple town gives a festive look. The two main ‘Gopurams’ of Sri Krishna Math have been re-painted and illuminated and the entire Car Street has a bridal appearance.
On the occasion of Pejawar Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji’s fifth Paryaya Mahothsava celebration the team members of Mangalorean.com are also all set to give live updates to the readers and also devotees of the Sri Krishna temple who are spread in all corners of the world.