Young in age, but not in wisdom

As Sri Vishwavallabhatheertha Swamiji, the youngest seer of Sode Vadiraj Mutt, is getting ready to ascend the Paryaya Peeta on January 18, he shares his views and thoughts with Manjushree G Naik   

Sri  Vishwavallabhatheertha Swamiji receiving sanyasa deeksha from Sri Vishvothamatheertha Swamiji. The youngest seer of Sode Vadiraj Mutt Sri Vishwavallabhatheertha Swamiji will ascend the sacred Paryaya Peeta of Sri Krishna mutt to begin his maiden two year term of Paryaya at a specific muhurtham (0620 hrs) on January 18. 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 seers of Ashta Mutts (Eight mutts) of Udupi was introduced after installing the black stone (Saligrama Shila) idol of Lord Krishna by great saint and Madhwa philosopher Sri Madhwacharya over 800 years ago and later (over 500 years ago) it was restructured by another great saint Sri Vadiraja Swami of Sri Sode Mutt. Under this system, every Swamiji of Astha Mutt will have the right to conduct Sri Krishna pooja and run the administration of the temple for two years in rotation.

Sode Vadiraj mutt seer Vishwavallabhatheertha Swamiji whose earlier name was Raghava Tantri obtained “Sanyasa deeksha” from his senior Guru late Sri Vishvothamatheertha Swamiji at Sri Kshetra Sonda in Uttara Kannada district on June 14, 2006 and became the 37th pontiff in the lineage of Sode Mutt.

Vishwavallabhatheertha Swamiji was born as the second son of Padigaru Srinivas Tantri and Vedavathi on March 24, 1991. The seer is known for his interest in promoting education and the engineering and management college established in Bantakallu in the name of his Guru, stands as the testimony for his keen interest in education and technology.

How do you feel about this special occasion as you are going to ascend the sacred Paryaya Peeta for first time?

Totally a new experience. I am undergoing a change within myself that has come out as a result of my innate feelings for ascending the Paryaya for the first time. I am not scared, rather I am more confident that the two years will be a smooth sail with new experiences. Lord Mukhyaprana will get the work done through me. He stands with me and I am no one before him to say that I will perform the two year ritual. He will make me to perform.
 
What are your plans during your two year Paryaya?

I have not thought of it. Currently, I am only concentrating on Lord Krishna’s pooja and other rituals to be performed daily during my days as a Paryaya seer.

Will you continue with the present programmes initialed by outgoing Paryaya Shiroor mutt seer Sri Laxmivaratheertha Swamiji?

Yes, all social welfare and temple development programmes introduced by the outgoing Paryaya seer will be taken forward as it is and no changes will be made in the process.

Besides, programmes pertaining to  education will be given priority. The mutt will continue supporting all educational institutions running under Sode Vadiraj mutt and the engineering college Sri Madhwavadiraja Technology and Management College at Bantakallu. The idea of establishing an engineering college originated as a result of the land offered by my late Guru for the purpose. Many elders supported me with my venture.

Paryaya Shiroor mutt seer Sri Laxmivaratheertha Swamiji is very much impressed by your way of decorating the baby idol of Lord Krishna. Decorating the Lord is one of the unique skills rarely exposed by Paryaya seers and Shiroor seer remains exception with his varieties of special decorations for Lord…What is your opinion and experience in this regard? Do you have any specific ideas to decorate the idol after assuming the power as Paryaya seer?

Yes I tried something innovative with “Parijatha” flowers which was not done earlier by any of the seers of Ashta mutts. It was an unique experience of decorating the tiny idol of Lord Krishna with the flowers that is known for its special aroma. I have not made up my mind for any special ideas to decorate the idol. I will adorn him with the decorations following the ideas that come to my mind. Decorations should be something unique and special that is not done till now. However, it should not be against the tradition.
 
Shiroor seer had put up his mobile number for the devotees everywhere in the temple to directly contact him in case of inconveniences during the darshan of Lord. What are your plans?

I don’t have any mobile number to put up. However, I will look that no inconveniences are faced by the devotees inside the temple and also in the premises of Sri Krishna mutt. Measures will be taken to see that all the facilities will be offered to the devotees without any hurdles. An enquiry centre is already at work.

Your opinion about controversies surrounding Made Snana and coal based UPCL thermal power project?

The issue of Made Snana is irrelevant at a time when the entire city is geared up for Paryaya celebrations. And when it comes to UPCL, I don’t have any idea exactly over the issue. However, the environment is more important and no plans should be initiated against the idea of polluting the environment.

What you have to say for the controversy surrounding you as alleged by the supporters of Putthige seer Sri Sugunendratheertha Swamiji that he has not been invited to Paryaya Darbar?

I have nothing to say as I am the junior most seer. There are many seniors who are against the idea of inviting Putthige seer. My decision has nothing to do with the controversy.

Tell us something about your experiences regarding the pilgrimage tour you had taken up prior to Purapravesham.

I have visited many temples in North as well as in South India. I feel Sri Krishna Temple is the best among all others as the essence of traditional rituals do exist even today in Krishna temple at Udupi. Devotees have the facilities to get the dasrhan of Lord during all the hours of the day through “Kanakana Kindi” which is nowhere seen in any temple in India.

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