Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Sri Krishna Mutt, Udupi

Udupi is one of the top tourist attractions in Karnataka and close to Mangalore. It lends its name to the famous Udupi cuisine allover the world. Udupi is known as Kashi of the South. It is a temple town famous for the Sri Krishna temple and the Ashta mutt. The mutt area resembles a thriving ashram, a holy place for devotion, daily prayers, rituals and living. It is also known as Lord Parashurama Kshetra, and is famous for Kanakana Kindi.

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Udupi, a popular pilgrimage centre, is also known as the temple city. It is also known as Rajata Peetha and Shivalli. Apart from this, the Tulu Ashta Mutts are a group of eight mutts or Hindu monasteries established by Madhvacharya, the founder of the Madhva parampara and Dvaita School Vedanta, based Hindu thought and philosphy in the 13th century. For each of the eight Mutts, he appointed one of his disciples as the first Swami and head of the Mutt.

And Paryaya is a religious ritual which takes place every alternate year in the mutt. During Paryaya, the rituals, puja and administration of the Krishna Mutt is handed over from the Swamiji of one Ashta Mutt to the Swamiji of another Ashta Mutt. The responsibility of the religious functions and administration of the mutt is smoothly passed on from one mutt to the other mutt. This practice has been going on for decades.

Udupi, 60 km north of Mangalore is the seat of Lord Krishna, and considered to be one of the holiest places for pilgrimage in Southern India. Here apart from the holy temple of Sri Krishna, this is also the birthplace of Sri Madhvacharya, founder of Dwaita Philosophy and one of the three great Acharyas. He is supposed to have discovered the idol of Shri Krishna from a ship, which he saved miraculously from the clutches of violent storm on the sea near Malpe, close to Udupi. One day when he was performing his morning prayers on the Malpe shore, he found that a ship sailing in the sea, was in danger owing to rough weather, Sri Madhvacharya with his divine powers was able to meditate and control and calm the rough weather.

The pond where the statue was bathed and purified came to be known as the famous Madhva Sarovar and the sanctum where the statue was installed became famous as the Krishna temple. As per information passed on from generation to generation, Sri Madhvacharya installed the statue in the later part of 13th century but there is no documented proof of the same.

Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna.  Udupi is first among the seven places of pilgrimages. Thousands of pious devotees throng the Krishna temple all round the year to catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna. The unique feature of Sri Krishna temple is that the Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kindi. The window is exquisitely carved and silver-plated. It has been a tradition of this temple to worship the Lord only through this window. Surrounding the Sri Krishna Mutt are several old temples, namely the Anantheshwara Temple which is over a 1,000 years old.

As per one of the legends, a popular belief is that King Rama Bhoja, an ardent follower of Parashurama installed the statue of Anantheshwara. Chandreshwara temple was built in the spot where Chandra (the moon) performed a penance, to get rid of the curse of Daksha Prajapathi. The place where Chandra meditated got to be called as Udupi. (Udu, a star and pa, follower) The usual practice in Udupi is to visit Chandreswara, Anantheshwara temples and then visit Sri Krishna temple.

In the 16th century, during Sri Vaadiraja’s rule, Kanakadasa, an ardent believer and devotee, came to Udupi to worship Lord Krishna. He was not allowed to worship in front or to enter inside the temple since he was from a lower caste, as was prevalent in those days. So dejected,  he went to the rear side and started to pray and sing devotional songs in the name of Sri Krishna. Pleased by the devotion of poor Kanakadasa, the Lord created a small window in the back wall of the temple, and the statue turned to face towards the small window so that Kanakadasa could see him. This small window came to be known popularly as Kanakana Kindi. This was the proof of his sincerity, belief and his devotion for Sri Krishna. 

It is believed that Madhvaacharya found the Vigraha of Sri Krishna in a large ball of gopichandana. As narrated by Madhvacharya in his Tantrasara Sangraha, the Vigraha is placed Pashchimabhimukha (facing west). All the other Vigrahas in other Mutts too are facing west. Devotees take darshan of Lord Krishna through the inner window, known as Navagraha Kindi and the outer window known as Kankana Kindi, which is decorated by an arch named after the saint. His statue has also been erected there.

The temple opens early morning at 5.30 as the sun rises. After the puja and rituals, the temple offers traditional vegetarian meal as prasadam. The daily sevas (offerings) and administration of the Krishna Mutt is managed by the Swamiji of the Ashta Mutts. Each of the Mutt perform the religious rituals and temple management activities for two years.

Sri Krishna Mutt is known worldwide for its strict vedic traditions, ancient customs and learning of Dvaita philosophy. It is also the centre of Daasa Sahitya, literature that originated in Udupi. Udupi being a temple city is dotted with temples. It also has restaurants offering delicious South Indian snacks and meals. Udupi is also famous for the fragnant Mallige flowers used for religious ceremonies, marriages and other functions.

The Ashta Mutts are - Pejavar, Puttige, Palimaru, Adamaru,Sodhe,  Kaniyooru, Shirur and  Krishnapura.
The expenses of the Sri Krishna Mutt are managed through voluntary contributions and donations in cash or kind from devotees, and well managed by the Ashta Mutt. The Pauli Krishna Mutt was renovated and Brahmakalashotsava ceremony was held on 18 May 2017. Festivals like Makar Sankranti, Ratha Sapthami, Madhva Jayanti (Vijaya Dashmi), Naraka Chathurdashi, Deepavali, Geetha Jayanti are celebrated every year. A lot of devotees from Karnataka and all over India and foreign tourists visit the place during these festive ocassions.

To visit Udupi, one can reach Mangalore by flight, and travel by road, Udupi is about 60 kms from Mangalore. Private taxis are available at a fixed fare. And if you are travelling by train, most Konkan Railway trains stop at Udupi station and you can reach the temple by auto or taxi. Regular buses ply between Mangalore and Udupi. Even private luxury and state transport buses plying from Mumbai to Mangalore, pass through Udupi and stop here. Good hotels are available nearby and many restaurants offer you delicious South Indian fare - snacks, sweets and meals. 

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Do you know: 8 Ancient Shiva Temples fall in a Straight line!

Shiva is the eternal truth……Shiva is life…. Shiva is death……Har Har Mahadev.
We hear everyday that science is progressing a lot day by day in 21st century. But do you know that India was already a world leader and excelled in fields of geography and science.
You might be surprised to know that 8 Shiva temples in India are built on a same latitude i.e. they will fall on same line if we use a ruler to locate them.
These 8 temples are:   

 Kedarnath – Kedarnath Temple (30.7352° N, 79.0669)
• Kaleshwaram – Kaleshwara Mukteeshwara Swamy Temple (18.8110, 79.9067)
• Srikalahati – Srikalahasti Temple (13.749802, 79.698410)
• Kanchipuram – Ekambareswarar Temple (12.847604, 79.699798)
• Thiruvanaikaval – Jambukeswara Temple (10.853383, 78.705455)
• Tiruvannamalai – Annamalaiyar Temple (12.231942, 79.067694)
• Chidambaram – Nataraja Temple (11.399596, 79.693559)
• Rameswaram – Ramanathaswamy Temple (9.2881, 79.3174)

These temples were built at a time (thousands of years ago) when there was no satellite technology available in world.
The architecture and location of these temples on one line symbolises the engineering and geographical knowledge possessed by ancient Indians.
Out of these 8,5 temples have Shiva linga, represented as manifestation of five basic elements of nature.(Earth, water, fire,air and space)
These Panch Bhoota Sthalas are important places of worship in South India (Pancha=5, Bhoota=elements, Thala=place)
Flickering lamps in the Srikalahasti temple shows the play of wind (respiration of Vayu Linga).Water spring in the innermost sanctum of the Tiruvanaikka temple shows the temple’s relationship to the element water.
Annual Kartikai Deepam (giant lamp is lighted atop the Annamalai hill) highlights the Annamalaiyaar’s manifestation as fire
Swayambhu lingam of sand at Ekambareshwar temple signifies the Siva’s association with the earth element. The formless space (Akasa) at Natraja Temple depicts the association of lord with nothingness and formlessness.
Even today research is undertaken by many historians and archaeologists to find out the mystery behind such accurate positioning of temples and choice of the latitude. It still remains a mystery

(Hinduism Lord Shiva, written by Gajanan Astrology)

Picture Post:
The ghost mansions of Chettinad, TN

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