Udupi: Grand bi-annual Paryaya-2010 just a week away.......

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Report by Eugene Moodubelle
Pictures from Shri Shirror Mutt Website

Udupi, 11 January 2010: The bi-annual Paryaya Ceremony at Udupi is just a week away when the Pontiff (Swamiji) of the Shiroor Mutt, Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha will ascend the Paryaya Peetha (throne) at Shri Krishna Temple at Udupi on Monday, 18th January 2010. The Swamiji will be taking the place of the present Paryaya Swamiji, Shri Sugunendra Thirtha. All the preparations associated with the Paryaya are nearly complete and the city of Udupi and surrounding regions are waiting eagerly for the solemn Paryaya ceremonies.

Paryaya is a religious ritual that takes place every two years in the Shri Krishna Temple of Udupi. The worship (puja) and administration of Shri Krishna Mutt and the temple is distributed among the Pontiffs (Swamijis) of the Eight Mutts established by Shri Madhvacharya, proponent of the Dvaita philosophy. Each Swamiji of every Mutt gets an opportunity to perform puja in the Shri Krishna Temple by rotation for a period of two years. During Paryaya, the puja and administration of the Shri Krishna Mutt is handed over from one Swamiji to the other among the Eight Mutts. It takes place bi-annually in even numbered years. The last Paryaya was held on 18th January 2008 by which the puja and administration was handed over to Shri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji from the Shri Krishnapura Mutt Swamiji.

The rotation of the privilege of worshipping Lord Krishna and the right to administer the Shri Krishna Mutt and the temple amongst the Eight Mutts is fixed. The rotation starts with the Palimaru Mutt and ends with the Pejavara Mutt. The order of succession to the Paryaya among the Eight Mutts are: Palimaru, Adamaru, Krishnapura, Puttige, Shiroor, Sodhe, Kaniyooru, and Pejavara.

The 44-year-old Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha Swamiji, who had successfully conducted his earlier two terms of Paryaya during 1972-74 and 1986-88 will ascend the Paryaya Peetha on 18th January 2010 to conduct his third term of Paryaya to offer puja at the Shri Krishna Temple and look after the temple administration for the next two years.

On 18th January 2010, the Paryaya ceremonies will start from early morning at Udupi and preparations will begin from the previous day itself. The Paryaya Swamiji will go to a place called Dandathirtha and will take a dip in the holy pond and will offer puja as per tradition. He will enter Udupi city on the early morning of 18th January 2010 at around 3A.M and will be taken in procession from Jodukatte, near Taluka Office to the temple. The new Paryaya Swami and other Swamijis will be carried in palanquins along with cultural shows and bhajans.

The Paryaya Swamiji, Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha will then enter the Shri Krishna Mutt accompanied by the outgoing Swamiji, Shri Sugunendra Thirtha where the reins of the Shri Krishna Mutt and the temple will be formally handed over. The handing over ceremony will be held at the Sarvajna Pitha inside the Shri Krishna Mutt. At this ceremony the outgoing Swamiji, Shri Sugundendra Thirtha will hand over articles like Akshaya Patra and keys to the ascending Swamiji, Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha. Later, in the Vasanta Mahal a formal durbar will take place. A public ceremony will be held within the premises of the Shri Krishna Mutt for the benefit of the public.

The preparations for the Paryaya had begun practically one year in advance. Before ascending the Paryaya Peetha at the Shri Krishna Mutt, the ascending Swamiji, Shri Lakshmivara Theertha had to perform a number of rituals among which Akki (rice) Muhurtha, Kattige (firewood) Muhurtha, Bale (Banana) Muhurtha and Bhatta (paddy) Muhurtha are significant. So far at different intervals, Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha of the Shiroor Mutt has performed all these four Muhurthas from March till December 2009.

The Shiroor Mutt being the Paryaya Mutt has been thoroughly renovated and was inaugurated on 11th November 2009. In order to give out information regarding the Paryaya and other activities of the Shiroor Mutt, a website of the Mutt was also inaugurated by Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha Swamiji on 17th December 2009. On 18th December 2009, the incumbent Paryaya Swamiji, Shri Sugunendra Thirtha of the Puttige Mutt performed the ‘Chappara Muhurtha’ on the occasion of the Paryaya Utsav at the Shiroor Mutt.

Another important and significant pre-Paryaya ritual was the grand ‘Pura Pravesha’ of Swami Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha on 1st January 2010. On his arrival from the Shiroor village near Hiriyadka, 21 kilometres from Udupi where the main branch of the Shiroor Mutt is located. In the evening, the Swamiji offered prayers at the Mahisha Mardini Temple at Kadiyali and was later taken in a colourful procession from the Sharada Mantapa through the streets of Udupi passing through the city bus stand, service bus stand, Triveni Circle, Head Post Office Road and Sanskrit College before terminating at the Car Street. The procession was enriched by folk, Yakshagana, tiger and doll dancers, musical bands and bhajan mandalis.


After the procession the Swamiji had ‘Dhuli Darashana’ of Lord Shri Krishna through the ‘Kanakana Kindi’. He then visited temples of Anatheshwara and Shri Chandra Mouleshwara and offered prayers. He was greeted by Shri Sugunendra Thirtha Swamiji of the Puttige Mutt, the present Paryaya Swamiji at the entrance of the Krishna Mutt.

The city of Udupi is fully geared up to the age old Paryaya rituals that have been conducted without a break since around 700 years. A number of dignitaries from the government including the Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, religious heads, devotees of Shri Krishna and tourists from foreign countries and within India are expected to witness this grand Paryaya Rituals on 18th January 2010.


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Comments on this Article
Ganesh Kamath, Missamari, Assam Thu, March-11-2010, 12:14
Iam really thankfull to bellivision for watching these pictures, by stayig in remote village in Assam. During Paryaya i visited my native place Udupi.I watched Paryaya its memory is still remaing in mind just like a hollogram. The dancing girl of Koti- Chennaya,fire spliting Puthana still remaing fresh in my mind. If possible please send photos of these two artists i want to keep them where ever i go.Thank you bellevision
Victor D, Moodubelle / Bahrain Tue, January-12-2010, 5:41
When we see the bi-annual Paryaya pictures and its reports. We felt very happy, how our Bellevision and its reporter are so generous and also how they respect other religion and its traditional values and its culture without any hasetation. I salute Bellevision for your honesty and simplicity.
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