Courtesy -Sri Lakshmi Vittala Valakadu
LAND OF PARASHURAMA
Lord Vishnu, in his sixth incarnation
as Parashurama, after making twenty. one assaults on kings who had deviated
from the path of Dharma, performed a great yajna. Having donated all the land
he won, he was left with no land for Himself. Reluctant to stay in the land
already gifted, he reclaimed a strip of land from the Arabian Sea. This coastal
strip of land, from Gokarna to Kanyakumari is known as Parashurama Kshetra.
Ramabhoja, a great devotee of Lord Parashurama
was proclaimed the king of Parashurama Kshetra.lntending to perform a maha yajna,
he got the site for the sacrificial fire ploughed up. A serpent got into the
plough and got killed. Although the serpent was a demon in disguise, the king
was worried, as it was a sin to kill a serpent. To atone this sin, he was directed
by Lord Parashurama to build a big silver pedestal(Known as Rajathapeeta)as
a seat to the Lord.
where the Lord appeared in the form of Linga and occupied the silver pedestal is
known as ANANTHESHWARA. It is believed that it was on the request of Lord Shiva
that Lord Parashurama also enshrined in the Linga in the form Lord Anantha and
hence the name Anantheshwara.The king Ramabhoja also built four Durgalayas(Durga
temple) and Nagalayas (Subramanya temple) one each in each direction.
Anantheshwara Temple has been a seat of learning since time immemorial for the
study of Veda, Vedanta, Upanishads. It was this place where Sri Madhwacharya
obtained lessons from his Guru Sri Achyuthaprekshacharya. The details of
Anantheshwara appear in the Sri Skandapurana.
It is said that Chandra (Moon God) was
cursed by Daksha Prajapati. To ward off this curse, Chandra performed penance
in propitiation of Lord Ishwara on the banks of a holy pond, Chandra pushkarini.Lord
Ishwara being pleased, appeared and released Chandra off the curse. "This
place has since been known a CHANDRAMOULEESHWARA and there is an ancient temple
of this name. In Sanskrit, "Udu" means stars and "Pa" means
lord. Udupa means lord of stars, which is Moon. Hence the place where Udupa(Chandra)performed
penance and obtained grace is known as UDUPI.
It is at a distance of 12 kms from Udupi. It was at this
place that Lord Parashurama created 4 ponds namely Gadathirtha, Parashuthirtha,
Banathirtha, Dhanushthirtha and installed goddess Durga atop the hill. The house
where Sri Madhwacharya was born at the foot of the hill. Even to this day one
could see the spots where the Acharya spent his childhood and performed miracles.
MADHWACHARYA (1238-1317 A.D.)
Udupi emerged as a great centre of vedantic
philosophy after the advent of Sri Madhwacharya.He was the exponent of 'Dwaita
Sri Madhwacharya was born in a place
called Pajaka at the foot of-a hill called Kunjarugiri or Durga betta, with
a Durga temple on its top. The Acharya was born in fulfillment of the prayers
offered by his parents at Ananteshwara temple with rigorous austerity for 12
years. He was initiated into ascetic order in his sixteenth year. He traversed
the length and breadth of the country many times with his trusted disciples.
Badrinath in the Himalayas was his favourite spot, where he is reported to have
visited the hermitage of his Guru, the divine sage Sri Vedavyasa and received
directions for writing his commentaries on 'Brahmasutras' and the Mahabharatha
epic composed by the divine sage. In all he has written 37 works, 4 on Brahmasutras,
10 on Upanishads, 2 on Sri Bhagavadgita and the rest on various topics of philosophy.
The 'Dwaita' philosophy highlights that the Lord (Paramathman) and the Subject
(Jeevatman) are always different. Salvation (Moksha) is possible through pure
devotion (Bhakti), which is eternal bliss. In several of his works the great
Acharya has disclosed his identity as the third incarnation of Lord Vayu, the
earlier incarnations being Hanuman and Bhima. He disappeared from human sight
in 1317 . A.D. while delivering a discourse on Aitarey Upanishad at a particular
spot in Ananteshwara temple.
LORD SRI KRISHNA
The idol of Sri Krishna installed at the Sri Krishna Temple
is carved out of Shalagrama Shila. Legend has it that Rukmini herself was worshipping
this idol at Dwaraka.When Sri Krishna disappeared from this world Arjuna deposited
this idol in the spot called 'Rukmini Vana'.The idol which lay buried inside
the mud of Gopichandan, was mistaken for a lump of Gopichandan and loaded as
ballast into a ship carrying merchandise from Dwaraka along the West Coast When
the ship was approaching the Malpe Port, it got caught in storm and was about
to sink. Sri Madhwacharya who was on the shore waved his upper cloth and quietened
the storm, saving the ship from disaster.The grateful captain of the ship offered'
all the wealth in his ship to Sri Madhwacharya. But the great Acharya chose
the lump of gopichandan which lay in a corner. He carried the gopichandan to
Udupi, a distance of four miles, singing the 'Dwadashstotra'. The moment he
immersed the gopichandan in the Madhwasarovara, a beautiful idol of Sri Krishna
emerged. Sensing these chain of events by his aparoksha jnana or divine knowledge,
the Acharya himself installed the idol. The idol represents Lord Krishna in
his playful childhood posture with a curd-churning rod in the right hand and
the churning rope in the left Thus Lord Krishna came to be worshipped by Sri
Madhwacharya and later by the pontiffs of Ashta Mutts founded by him. The right
of touching and worshipping this idol rests with the pontiffs of these eight
mutts only who are the spiritual descendents of Sri Madhwacharya.
Sri BhavisameeraVadirajaru I (1480-1600
Vadiraja Theertha was the eighteenth pontiff in the lineage of Sri Sode Mutt
Born at Kumbhashi, 30 kms north of Udupi, Sri Vadiraja Swami was a great
spiritualist and eminent scholar of outstanding ability. He toured throughout
the country propagating the Dwaita philosophy.
was greatly honoured by the Kings of the Vijayanagara Empire. Apart from writing
a number of commentaries and hymns to expound the Dwaita philosophy, he composed
hundreds of simple devotional songs in Kannada and Tulu for the use of the
common folk. The pattern of worship and
organisation of sri Krishna Mutt and the eight Mutts in their present form was
conceived and worked out by him. He redesigned the tenure of Parayaya from two
months to two years and got seperate monasteries constructed for the eight pontiffs
around Car-street. Having lived for 120 years, Swamiji's Vrindavan is in Sode
near Sirsi, which is a holy place of pilgrimage and still potent in granting
the devotees desires. Sri Vadiraja Swamiji constructed a temple for Lord Sri
Trivikrama and Ramadevi. He was an ardent worshipper of Lord Hayagriva. He is
considered to be one of the 'Rujuganas', a heir apparent to the position of
The Swamijis of the eight Mutts conduct
the worship at Sri Krishna Mutt by turns, for two years each. This tenure of
worship by rotation is known as "Paryaya". The Swamiji in charge of
worship at any point of time is called 'paryaya Swamiji' and his mutt called
the 'Paryaya Mutt'.The biennial transfer of the privilege of worship from one
mutt to another is celebrated as a grand festival called 'Paryaya Festival'.
The handover of charge begins with a grand procession where all the swamijis
are brought in decorated palanquins (Pallaki). The outgoing Swamiji receives
the Swamijis and then handsover to the incoming Swamiji, the keys to the Sri
Krishna Mutt and the Akshaya patra (a vessel given by Sri I Madhwacharya to
the temple for the sake of never-ending Annadana or mass feeding)
MUTTS(Eight Mutts) OF UDUPI
Sri Madhwacharya initiated Sanyasa to
eight of his brahmachari shishyas in order that they propagate the Dwaita Philosophy
and carry on the pujas to Sri Krishna. It is said that the number eight is very
dear to Lord Krishna, who was the 8th child of Vasudeva and Devaki. Sri Madhwacharya
also gave each of the eight Mutts, a deity of the respective mutt.The Paryaya
Swamiji assisted by the other Swamijis worships Lord Krishna. There is an elaborate
code of elegant rituals governing the daily worship and festivals conducted
at the temple regulating the mutual relationship of the eight mutts.
SRI KANIYUR MUTT
Emerging from the temple of Lord Sri Krishna, the first Mutt to be seen is the
Kaniyur Mutt. The main branch of the Mutt is Kaniyur, a place near Kukke Subramanya,
145 kms from Udupi. The original head of the Mutt was Sri Rama Theertha. Sri
Narasimha is the presiding deity. The present pontiff of the Mutt is Sri Vidhyavallabha
The second Mutt to be encountered on Car street is the
Sri Sode Mutt.The deity is Sri Bhoovaraha. Earlier this Mutt was attached to
a place called Kumbashi and called the Kumbhashi Mutt. It was ater the time
of Sri Vadiraja Swamiji that the Mutt came to be known as Sri Sode Mutt. Sode
or Sonda is a place near Sirsi(North Kanara) and is 224 kms from Udupi. The
original head of the Mutt was Sri Vishnu Theertha, the younger brother of Sri
Madhwacharya, It is believed that he is still engaged in penance in Kumaradri
hills. . The present pontiff of the Mutt is Sri Vishwothama Theertha Swamiji.
SRI PUTHIGE MUTT
After the Sode Mutt, is the Sri Puttige Mutt. Upendra
Theertha was the original Swamiji of this Mutt who was given the idol of Sri
Vittala by Sri Madhwacharya. The main branch of this Mutt is at Puttige. 21
Kms from Udupi. The present pontiff is Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji.
The next Mutt to be seen is Sri Admar Mutt. The main branch
of this Mutt is at a place called Admar, 21 Kms from Udupi. The original head
of this Mutt was Sri Narasimha Theertha who worshipped a Kalinga Mardhana Sri
Krishna Idol given to him by his Guru Sri Madhwacharya. The present Senior &
Junior pontiffs are Sri Vibhudesha Theertha Swamiji and Sri Vishwapriya Theertha
Next to Admar Mutt is the Sri Pejavar Mutt. The original
Swamiji of this Mutt was Sri Adhokshaja Theertha. Sri Vittala is the presiding
deity of the Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is at Pejavar 55' Kms from Udupi.
The present senior & junior pontiffs are Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji
and Sri Vishwaprasanna Theertha Swamiji respectively.
SRI PALIMAR MUTT
The first Swamiji of this Mutt was Sri Hrishikesha Theertha
whose handwritten scripts, are still preserved at the Mutt. For his worship,
Sri Madhwacharya gave the idol of Sri Rama. The mainbranch of this mutt is at
Palimar 30 Kms. from Udupi. The present pontiff IS Sri Vldhyadeesha Theertha
Sri Krishnapur Mutt is on the Northern side of the Car
street, next to Sri Palimar Mutt. The first head of this Mutt was Sri Janardhan
Theertha. He was given an idol of Kaliya Mardhana Sri Krishna. the main branch
of this Mutt is at Krishnapur near Surathkal 45 kms from Udupi. The present
pontiff is Sri Vidhyasagara Theertha Swamiji.
SRI SHIROOR MUTT
Next to Sri Krishnapur Mutt and on the right side of Sri
Krishna Temple we see Shiroor Mutt. Sri Vamana Theertha was the original Swamiji
of this Mutt. He received a Sri Vittala idol from Sri Madhwacharya for his worship.
The main branch of this Mutt is at Shiroor, a .place 21 kms. from Udupi near
Hiriyadka. The present pontiff is Sri Laxmivara Theertha Swamiji.
SRI KRISHNA MUTT
N.H.17 passes"through Udupi about
a Kilometre west of Sri Krishna MuttThe main bus stand is about 250 metres to
the west of the temple. The Railway Station is at a distance of 3 Kms. to the
The Sri Krishna Mutt is situated in
Car street or the RathabeedhiI along with the Ashta Mutts. Tenkapet from the
South, Badagupetfrom the North, Padupet from the West are the main motorable
approaches. Sri Chandramouleeshwara and AnantheshwaraI temples are also situated
alongside Sri Krishna Mutt. In this Rathabeedhi are also situated Annayacharya
Mutt, Mulubagilu Mutt, Bhandarikeri Mutt, Vysaraya Mutt,Bheemanakatte Mutt,
Uttaradi Mutt and Sri Raghavendra Mutt.
On entering the Car Street through Kanakadasa Road and proceeding towards the
North one turns towards the east There is the tower of the Sri Krishna Temple
with what is known as Kanakana Kindi. The tower was constructed by the Krishnapura
Mutt Swamiji. To the right of that is Maana Stamba. This is between the Anantheshwara
& Chandreshwara Temples.
At the entrance we notice a huge Gopura, which was constructed by Sri lakshmivara
Theertha Swamiji of Sri Shiroor Mutt in 1978. On entering the Sri Krishna Temple
is a huge bronze bell, which is rung during pooja time. There is also a huge
plate which is beaten with a wooden hammer notifying the beginning of each &
every hour. The Seva Office is to the right Beyond that we descend into the
Sri Kanakadasa was a great devotee of Lord Sri Krishna.
He lived at around the same time as Sri Vadiraja Swamiji at Udupi and was carrying
out his Bhajans in front of the temple regularly. The spot where he was able
to obtain darshan of Lord Sri Krishna is now famous as Kanakana Kindi. As per
custom, the Swamiji who takes over charge of the worship for 2 years (paryaya)
is required to see the Lord first through this spot.
The tank is amongst the most sacred of
ancient Theerthas in our country. It is believed that qince in 12 years Mother
Ganga flows into this Theertha filling it with her bounty. This was stressed
repeatedly by the Saint Vijayadasa in his kritis.
To experience the full realization
of this theertha a comprehensive reading of the SKANDA PURANA - SAHYADRI KHANDA
- Section is advised. This theertha is named Madhwa Sarovara from the original
PAAPA NASHINI (washing away of sins) after the period of Acharya Madhwa.
In the South West corner of the Madhwa
Sarovar is a beautiful idol of Bhagirathi seated on a crocodile. In the middle
of the tank is a beautiful mantapa. The deites of the Ashta Mutts are specially
worshipped (Ksheerabdi Pooja) on the evening of Utthana Dwadashi every year.
During Rathosthsava Nights, floating festival or Teppothsava takes place. This
mantapa was constructed by Sri Raghavendra Swamiji of Puthige Mutt in the 16th
Opposite the Sarovar is the entrance to the Sri Krishna Mutt, where the statue
of Chennakeshava greets us on our entrance. Only on Vijadashami Day now is the
door opened and the Swamijis distribute the newly harvested holy corn(Kadiru)
grown in the Mutt premises. 9 sacred Corns are brought into the shrine on this
day for the fresh harvest feast.
On turning left we come across a small
room known as Anuyaaga shale, the hall of oblation to the fire-God. Priests
make oblation to the fire as puja is performed inside the Sanctum sanctorum.
A golden palanquin is kept in the room in front of that. The golden palanquin
was donated by the pontiff of Sri Krishnapur mutt Sri Vidyapurna Thirtha Swamiji.
Further on we reach the Surya Shale. Here, scholars recite Veda, Purana, itihaasa
and have religious discourses on the works of Sri Madhwacharya. In the evening
pipers and musicians play on musical instruments.
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 pilgrims can obtain darshan of the Supreme
being. This window with nine square openings is called NAVAGRAHA KINDI or window
of the nine planets. It is believed that darshan through all nine openings will
ensure prosperity. (Navavidha Bhakthi). The window is decorated with the carvings
depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
In front of the Navagraha Kindi on either side of the Chandra Saale are the
shrines of Lord Mukhyaprana on the North and Lord Garuda in the South. Both
these idols were obtained at Ayodhya by Sri Vadiraja Swamiji. Lord Mukhyaprana
is worshipped with groundnut floor after the Ratri puja of Lord Krishna. It
is called Maharangapuja. All offerings to Lord Krishna are later on brought
here and offered to the Lord.
Moving further we encounter the platform
for sacred Tulasi plant and a big lamp post, it is well decorated during the
bright fortnight of the lunar month of Karthika. The Tulasi plant is worshipped
with recitations and dancings for twelve days during this period.
At the steps of the sanctum sanctorum a small shrine can be seen at the Southern
side. It is of Sri Madhwacharya. Sri Vadiraja Swamiji installed the beautiful
little idol draped in a loin cloth,holding a stick in one hand and the mudras
of knowledge and fearlessness in the other.
To the North, a narrow passage leads
towards the left to the throne, kitchen and dining hall known as Chauki. The
entrance at the right leads to the sanctum sanctorum.
The Garbhagudi consists of 2 rooms. In
the bigger room the. Swamiji's perform the daily tarpana. There is also silver
mantapa with the golden cradle where the shayanothsava of the Lord takes place.
It is in the inner room that the idol of Lord Krishna installed facing west.
There is a churning rod in the right hand and rope in the left and is the only
one of its kind in India. The unique aspect of this idol is that it is etched
with Chakrankitha. Only during ksheera Abhisheka is the beauty of this decoration
This idol was brought from Malpe & immersed in the Papa Nashini theertha
(Madhwa Sarovar) by the Acharya himself. Although his fourteen disciples tried
to lift and carry the idol for installation, it was not possible for them together.
But the Acharya alone was able to carry it and install the same and it stands
there till this very day. This was possible for the Acharya to do so himself
as he is the third incamation of Lord Vayu. ,
The lamps also have a long history behind
them, Lit by the Acharya they burn to this very day, prominent among them, Bhadra
Kaludeepa. There is a platform on either side of the Lord, when lamps are lit
on this platform the ambience that is created is one of pearls flashing in all
glory. To the right of the main idol is another of Sri Venugopalkrishna which
is worshipped daily.
Coming out of the Garbagudi is a narrow passage leading
to the Sarvajna Peeta (Simhasana). This being the seat of Dwaita philosphy enthrones
the Paryaya Swamiji.
On the left is a small dark room reserved for cooking special offerings for
Lord Krishna's Naivedya.
Moving ahead leads to the Chauki. The
door at the left leads us I to the kitchen. The big hall of the Chauki, with
seating capacity of : about 400 is the place where the Swamiji takes food in
the form . of prasada of Sri Krishna along with scholars, guests and other pilgrims.
North of the Chauki is the Bhojana Shala.
In the dining hall thousands of people are fed every day since the beginning
of the . Madhwacharya era. The Bhojana Shala was constructed by the27th Poniff
of Sri Shirur Mutt,Sri Lakshmi Samudra Thirtha Swamiji in 1915 AD. It is because
of this that Udupi is known as Anna Brahma Kshetra with Tirupathi being known
as Kanchana (Gold & Money) Brahma Kshethra and Pandarapura, Nada (music)
At the end of the passage we can notice the Vasanth mahal
- a stage where recitations, lectures, discourses and other cultural programmes
take place in the evenings. During the spring festival ! of Vaisakha month the
ritual of Vasantha puje takes place here. , Formerly the paryaya congregation
also used to take place here.
MAALIGE - ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE
West of this building is the Badagu Maalige.
The Administrative Offices, Treasury, Granary, etc., are found here. Since the
days of Shri Vadiraja Swamiji upto the Second half of the 19th century the Paryaya
congregation also used to take place in a hall inside the building. Continuing
the ancient tradition even now the Swamiji sits on a decorated platform alongwith
other Swamijis, exchanging Sandal Paste and other objects on Paryaya eve.
The Ganesha festival is celebrated for
4 days here in the month of Bhadrapada with the Paryaya Swamiji himself performing
puja to the specially decorated idol of Sri Ganesha.
LORD SUBRAMANYA GUDI
East of the Vasanth Mahal is the shrine
of Lord Subramanya constructed by Shri Vadiraja Swamiji. It is believed that
Lord Subramanya is guarding a great treasure underneath donated to Sri Vadiraja
Swamiji by a Moghul Sultan.
To the right side of Sri Subramanya Gudi is the Navagraha gudi.. installed by
Sri Laxmivaratheertha Swamiji of Sri Shiroor Mutt in 1995.
Further to the East is the Cow shed (Goshala).
Since cows are rendered very dear to Lord Krishna, Go puja is also is one of
the sixteen pujas performed by Paryaya Swamiji. It is also a custom that the
Paryaya Swamiji personally feeds the cows in the Goshala. after the Mahapuja.
Beyond that is the stable for the elephant. . There are two elephants "Lakshmeesha_'
Behind Vasantha Mahal on the northern
side is Vrindavana. There are 43 Vrindavanas and a very old Ashwatha tree. Aswatha
Pradakshina is one of the duties of the Swamiji in charge of the Krishna mutt.
From there we can notice a vast level
ground known as Rajangana. Paryaya assembly is arranged here. Mass feeding and
cooking takes place here at festival time.
On one side of the Rajangana is the Shiroor
Mutt Guest house. On the other side is the Guest house called Birla Choultry.
To the side of Birla Chowltry is Sri Krishna Dhama, a Choultry constructed by
Sri Vishwesha Thirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt.Facing the Rajangana is the celebrated
Gita Mandir constructed by Sri -Sugunendra Thirtha Swamiji of Sri Puthige Mutt
which comprises of a meditation hall with all the eighteen chapters of the Sri
Bhagavad Geetha inscribed on the walls.
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