Udupi: The ritual ‘Kattige Muhurtha’ (storing of firewood) was performed by Sri Pejawar Math seer Sri Vishveshatheertha Sripada of Sri Pejawar Math, as part of the third leg of preparation for the biennial Paryaya at Sri Krishna Mutt here, on August 21.
Symbolically, loads of firewood carried by the people was taken in a procession from Pejawar Math, situated around the main Car Street, to the backyard of Sri Krishna Mutt where the firewood was piled up artistically resembling a cart. They offered prayers at Chandramouleshwara and Ananteshwara temples.
This piled firewood is utilised by the Paryaya mutt during their two year Paryaya period which comes once in two years among the seers of Asta Mutt (Eight mutts) on rotation. The construction of the firewood chariot was taken up by Shashidhara Mestri, son of Vittal Mestri who has been doing this work for the past 10 Paryayas. A major attraction of “Kattige Muhurta” is the artistic manner in which the firewood is arranged. The firewood is arranged to look like a chariot near Madhwa Sarovar after days of work.
Earlier to Kattige Muhurtha, the incoming seer of Pejawar Math who is ascending ‘Paryaya Peeta’ to take charge of the temple administration and Sri Krishna Pooja rights for two years from the outgoing Paryaya Kaniyoor Math seer Sri Vidyavallbhatheertah Swamiji, has already performed ‘Bale Muhurtham’ (planting of Banana saplings) and ‘Akki Muhurtham’ (storing of rice). The preparatory process for the main Paryaya festival will culminate with the fourth and final leg preparation of ‘Bhattha Muhurtha’ (storing of paddy), which will be held during December this year. The concept of ‘Kattige Ratha’ (cart of firewood) came into existence over 500 years ago.
Sri Sode Vadiraja mutt introduced the practice of biennial Paryaya system in place of the two month Paryaya term. As huge firewood was required during the two year period, firewood was stored in an artistic manner giving a shape of “Ratha” at the backyard of the temple instead of piling it in a haphazard manner.
Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Math ascends the Paryaya Peetha for the fifth time on January 18, 2016. No seer of the Ashta Maths of Udupi has ascended the Paryaya Peetha, also known as Sarvajna Peetha, more than four times since the biennial Paryaya system began in 1522. Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami ascended the peetha in 1952, 1968, 1984 and 2000.