A momentous occasion in Udupi

The temple town witnessed the grand biennial Paryaya festival in which the 85-year-old Pejawar mutt seer Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swami ascended the Paryaya Peetha for the fifth time early Monday.

He has, thus, created history in the legacy of 800 and odd years of the famed Sri Krishna temple in the town.

The seer took charge of the puja rights of Lord Srikrishna from Sri Vidyavallabha Theertha Swami of Kaniyur Mutt and ascended the “Paryaya Sarvajna Peetha” at 6 am inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on Monday.

Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swami was born on April 27, 1931 as the second child of Narayanacharya and Kamalamma, a devout couple from Ramakunja. They named child as Venkataramana. The then head of the Pejawar mutt, Sri Vishvamanya Theertha Swami, initiated Venkataramana as a Sanyasi when he was eight years old.

The initiation happened on December 3, 1938 at Chakratheertha near Hampi and Venkataramana became Sri Vishwesha Theertha, upon initiation.The young Sanyasi completed his early education in Udupi. The head of the Bhandarakeri Mutt, Sri Vidyamanya Theertha Swami, taught all the Shastras to the young Yati for eight years and helped transform him into a knowledgeable and erudite scholar of Vedanta and Shastras. 

Sri Madhwacharya, the proponent of ‘Dwaitha’ (Dualism) philosophy who installed the ‘Saligrama Shila’ idol of Lord Srikrishna here about 800 years ago, also blessed the eight (Ashtha) mutts with eight young Yatis to perform Lord Srikrishna’s puja rituals on a rotation basis. Later, seer Sri Vadiraja Swami of Sri Sode Mutt modified this by introducing the biennial Paryaya system by changing the two-month term into a two-year term among the seers of Ashtha mutts on rotation in 1522. Since then, the celebrations of handing over the charges of the puja rights have been a grand event with people’s participation.

The current cycle is the 32nd of the biennial Paryaya and the Pejawar Mutt is the eighth mutt in the order of succession to the Paryaya Peetha in the cycle. The cycle starts with Palimar Mutt followed by Admar, Krishnapura, Puttige, Shiroor, Sode, and Kaniyur Mutts, ending with Pejawar Mutt. The traditional Paryaya ceremony and rituals have been retained since 800 years.

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