Temple Town Udupi Decked up for Krishnapur Paryaya Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

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Temple Town Udupi Decked up for Krishnapur Paryaya Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Udupi: The stage is all set for the grand biennial Paryaya festival to be held here on Tuesday, 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 the great saint and Madhwa philosopher Sri Madhwacharya over 800 years ago. Earlier 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 Swamiji of Shri Sode Vadiraja Math in which every Math will take over the responsibility of Krishna Puja and administration of the Sri 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 to 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 Sri 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 the “Simhasana Shala” in Sri Krishna Temple, consecrated by Sri Madhwacharya, the exponent of Dwaita philosophy, also gets transferred on the occasion.

The Swamiji of the Math who gets these rights of worship is known as the “Paryaya Swamiji”, and his Math is referred to as the “Paryaya Math”. The Swamiji with the help of other Swamijis of the Ashta Maths involves himself in various spiritual, religious and social activities during his 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 Sri 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 Theertha 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 the 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, the Swamiji visits many holy places like Dwaraka, Mathura, Badari, Hardwar, Prayag, Gaya, Kashi, Puri, Tirupati etc. He has to take a dip in the holy rivers Narmada, Yamuna, Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Tungabhadra, Netravati and Kumaradhara. The Swamiji also visits holy places in Tulunadu such as the 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 are held. Devotees from various places bring vegetables, pulses, coconuts, rice and other items for mass feeding offered at the Sri Krishna Math during the Paryaya. These items are brought in a procession to the Temple where the new “Paryaya Swamiji” accepts them.

Krishnapur Paryaya

Krishnapur Math

Sri Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji of Krishnapur Math will ascend the “Paryaya Peetha” at 5:55 am on Tuesday, January 18. Banners have been put on the main roads of the city welcoming the Swamiji. Krishnapur Math Paryaya will be a low key affair this time due to the coronavirus crisis.

Sri Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji  

Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji of Krishnapura Math will take over this responsibility for the Fourth time from Eshapriya Theertha Swamiji of Adamar Math.

As per tradition, Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji will go to “Danda Tirtha” near Kaup, about 10 km from Udupi, where he will have a holy dip at 2:15 a.m. He will then come to Joddu Katte in Udupi. As per the celebration committee’s request, the district administration has sent the proposal to the state government seeking permission for observing the Paryaya procession during the time of the night curfew. If the government gives the permission only then the procession will be held. Due to COVID, the procession will be held in a simple manner carrying the chief deity of Krishanapur Math in a golden palanquin, and Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji and other Swamijis of the Ashta Maths will leave Joddu Katte at 3:00 am.

Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji will ascend the Sarvajna Peeta at 5:55 am on Tuesday. This will be followed by the traditional Paryaya darbar at the Rajangana. Both new and incumbent Paryaya Swamijis will be felicitated on this occasion. Post-darbar, Vidyasagara Theertha will start his Paryaya tenure with Maha Puja of Lord Sri Krishna. A large crowd will be avoided during the Paryaya procession, Sarvajna Peetarohana, handing over of ‘Akshaya Patra’, Araluguddige and Darbar. There will be a live telecast of the Darbar.

As pledged by Sri Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji of Krishnapur Math the public are asked to cooperate as Math has decided to celebrate Paryaya in a simple manner focusing more on the spiritual rituals. The situation calls for utmost precautions and it is not the time to take risks. The government protocols will be followed diligently and only a few necessary public functions will be held symbolically avoiding huge gatherings.

The district administration will ensure zero traffic on the adjacent road along the procession route to enable devotees to view the procession in its full splendour.

The entire Car Street is seen glittering with illumination and the Krishnapur 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 entry point of Jodukatte to Car Street covering a distance of about two kilometres.

The entire ambience 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 Sri Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji of Krishnapura Math’s fourth Paryaya Mahotsava celebrations, the team members of Mangalorean.com are also all set to give live updates to the readers and also devotees of Sri Krishna Temple who are spread in all corners of the world.

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