Udupi: The temple town is gearing up to witness the magnificent gala and most significant event, the biennial Paryaya festival on January 18, where the 84-year-old Sri Vishvesha Theertha Swamiji, popularly known to all as Sri Pejwara Swamiji will ascend the sacred ‘Paryaya Sarvajna Peetha’ for the fifth time and take over the charges to run the temple administration and Sri Krishna puja for the next two years. Pejawar Swamiji is a respected religious leader who is widely credited as the initiator of many social reforms. He is consider as the true spiritual ambassador of the Hindu Community.
The historic Paryaya festival of the Pejawar Math is all set to make an impression on the temple town, the Math’s Sri Vishvesha Theertha Swamiji, in his exclusive interview with mangalorean.com has shared his insights and future plans.
The historic Paryaya will render a platform for inter-religious dialogue; the heads of different faiths will be invited to share their insights and ideas for progressive approach. A national level inter-religious programme will be hosted in Udupi to cater peace and harmony said Sri Vishvesha Theertha Swamiji.
“It is the Blessing of God which has led me to acclaim the Paryaya peetha”. This Paryaya will witness a revolution in education. An educational campus will be built in 40 acres land in Pajaka to cater to the educational needs of students of all communities. Shri Krishna Math is visited by thousands of devotees and the basic needs of the devotees will be fulfilled. A parking space, rooms, toilets are to be constructed. Special attention will be given towards maintaining cleanliness in the premises of Shri Krishna Math.
“I have been sharing my views on the problems ruining our country and will continue to do so, during the Paryaya period I will utilise the media to communicate my views”, he added.
“I do not support any kind of discrimination, but while the discussions are held on ‘Made Made Snana’ and ‘Pankti Beda’ fingers are pointed towards me”. In the Shri Krishna Math everyone is fed without any discrimination. While some prefer to eat by sitting separate, we cannot oppose them, so a separate arrangement is made for them. The ‘Sahapankthi Bhojana’, where people of all classes consume food together, is being practised in the Krishna Math.
We have invited Dalits to the Paryaya and we are ready to give Bhakti Deekshe (anointment) to Dalits if they wish. The Bhakti Deekshe is same like the Lingadeekshe given by Veershaiva Swamijis. The former, ‘Nama Deekshe’, is an oath taken by a devotee to chant the sacred name of the Lord. The devotee is not required to quit alcohol or non-vegetarian food. In ‘Mantra Deekshe’, however, the oath-taker will be initiated to chant the mantras and also has to keep himself away from alcohol and non-vegetarian food,” the Swami explained. “We are not forcing anyone to obtain deeksha but it will reduce conversions. “I have strong objection to Made Made Snana, while we have allowed the devotes to participate in Yede Snana”, he added.
People of all religions can come to Shri Krishna Math and share their opinion. An inter-religious dialogue with the people of all faiths will be hosted. People of all religions should live in peace, brotherhood and love, he added.
The Naxal affected areas and the Dalit colonies will be developed. Religious programmes will be effectively organised. Temples will be developed, mid-day meal programmes and medical help to patients will be supported. Lectures by scholars will be organised in the Math. Other programmes will also be planned after gathering public opinion, he added.
The Swamiji insisted that he was not in favour of Made Made Snana. Yede Snana would be an alternative for the earlier, he suggested, maintaining that it will not be an insult to God, to perform Yede Snana. The Swamijis of all eight Maths are invited to the Paryaya. I am confident that they will participate in the Paryaya procession and Darbar. Sri Vishwaprasanna Swamiji, the junior Swamiji will help in offering Pujas during the Paryaya period.
In his concluding message the Swamiji said that all citizens of India should live in peace, harmony and brotherhood. The problems facing our country like corruption, rape and other issues should be effectively addressed, the concerned authorities will be alerted during the Paryaya period, he added.
Brief life history of Pejawar Swamiji
Sri Vishwesha Teertha was born in 1931 at Ramakunja to a Shivalli Tulu Brahmin family and his pre-Sanyasa name was Venkataramana Bhat. He was ordained into Sanyasa at the young age of 8 years in 1938. His Vidya guru is Vidyamanya Teertha of Sri Bhandarkeri Math.
The Swamiji assumed first Paryaya, turn to worship Lord Krishna at Udupi, at a young age. During his first Paryaya in 1953, he organized the All India Madhva Conference in Udupi. During his second Paryaya in 1969, he got the Badagumalige in Udupi repaired. During his third tenure as Paryaya Swamiji in 1985, he got a new hall built at Udupi called Krishna Dhama.
The Swamiji is involved in various social service organisations, and is said to have started many educational and social service organisations.
The Akhila Bharat Madhwa Maha Mandal [ABMM] center started by the Swami is said to have helped many of the poor students. He has established math centres at various holy places in India. These centres are of great help to many pilgrims.
The Akhila Bharat Madhwa Maha Mandal [ABMM] has many hostels all over Karnataka at places like Bengaluru, Hubli, Dharwad to name a few. These hostels give preference to very-poor students and give them accommodation and food almost free. For normal students it charges a very nominal monthly charge to run its various activities. These hostels give the same feeling as Maths as the students start their daily activities with Vishnu Sahasranam in the morning and then wear traditional white dhoti during lunch and dinner. The food provided is of Satwik nature and so it does not consist of non-veg, onions and garlic.
He is an adviser to the Hindu nationalist Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and was at the forefront in supporting the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He has also led the Go Raksha (Sanskrit: Cow protection) movement.
Sri Vishwesha Teertha has ordained Sri Vishwaprasanna Tirtha as his successor to the Pejawar Math in 1988.
Sahasra Chandra Darshana Shanthi was celebrated for Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji in Tirumala kshetra on March 7th, 2012 in the presence of several Peethadipathis.
He is known as the ‘Rashtra Swamiji’, a great social reformer. After Narendra Modi’s electoral victory and assumption of the office of Prime Minister of India, Sri Vishwesha Teeratha Swamiji called on him, and blessed him to serve the people with courage and compassion.
First Paryaya of Swamiji took place in 1952-53. Conducted all India Madhva Tathva Jnana Sammelan and established Madhvamahamandala in Udupi. Late Jayachamarajendra odayar inaugurated the sammelan. He also published monthly newspapers in order to promote Madhvatatva. On July 28, 1956, holy day of Teekacharya he established Adhyatma Vidyakendra Poornaprajna Vidyapeeta similar to a Gurukul to learn shastra in Bengaluru. Thousands of scholars who have learned so far in this organization are well known across the country. Some of the famous scholars impressed by Shripada’s knowledge are Kandanga Ramachandra Shastri, Maharaja of Cochin, D V Poddar, Kashi Rajeshwar Shastri, Ananthakrishna Shastri.
The second Paryaya took place in 1968-69 :- Collection of Geetopanyasa’s given by Swamiji is published as ‘Geetasarodhara’. Free treatment clinic was started in Udupi Rathabeedi. Jayateertha’s sixth centenary was grandly celebrated. Very big conference of Vishwa Hindu Parishat was also conducted in Udupi. Swamiji made a historic declaration of a slogan ‘Na Hindo Pathitobhaveth’.
The third paryaya (1984-1985) :- centenary celebration of Shri Krishna Prathista Sapthama was carried out grandly (13-1-1985). Sri Krishna Dhama lodging was inaugurated near Sri Krishna math on 7-12-1985. Rajangana Auditorium was also constructed.
The fourth Paryaya (2000-2001) :- Rajangana auditorium was inspected and tested for use. Large parking space was created to help the increasing number of tourists. Madhva mantap and Kanaka mantap was constructed in Vasanth Mahal of Krishna Math. Naivedya school was modified as Madhva school. Sarvajna school was created on roof top of Rajangana and two kitchen rooms were constructed. Sri Madhvacharya’s statue situated near Sri Krishna statue in the temple was covered with gold plating. Around 25 different conferences, 300 music programmes, more than 250 dance programmes, 150 Yakshagana programmes, 75 Talamaddale programmes and more than 25 skits have been performed.