Temple town's tryst with tradition

Pejawar Mutt seer to take charge of Udupi Mutt for record 5th time

Temple town's tryst with tradition

The temple town has transformed itself into a dazzling fairytale destination for the grand biennial Paryaya celebrations.

Vishweshateertha Swami, the 85-year-old pontiff of the Pejawar Mutt will ascend the ‘Paryaya peetha’ (the spiritual seat of power) for the fifth time at the Krishna Mutt here in the wee hours of Monday. This is a record of sorts in the nearly 800-year legacy of the mutt.

The ceremony, at 6 am inside the sanctum sanctorum, will see the seer taking over the reins of the mutt and the puja rights from Kaniyur Mutt seer Vidyavallabhateertha Swami. The temple witnesses a change of guard every two years, with each of the Ashta mutts (eight monasteries) taking charge by rotation.

Biennial system

It was Madhwacharya, the proponent of the Dwaita school of philosophy, who installed the ‘Saligrama’ stone idol of Lord Krishna here over 800 years back.

He also founded the eight monasteries with young pontiffs to perform Krishna pooja, for two months each by rotation. Vadiraja Swami of Sode Mutt modified this by introducing the biennial system in 1522. This is the 32nd cycle of the Paryaya and the Pejawar Mutt is the eighth in the order of succession. Incoming seer Vishweshateertha Swami left Udupi on Sunday night to Dandatheertha near Kaup, to take a dip in the holy pond. Following this, he will enter Udupi city at Jodukatte, where he will be received by the assembled seers of the Asta mutts, except the outgoing seer.

The incoming seer will be taken in a grand procession from Jodukatte. About 74 tableaux will add colour to the pageantry. A number of dignitaries from across the country will witness the historic event. The incoming pontiff and other seers will be carried in decorated palanquins mounted atop vehicles.

The most significant ceremony of handing over charge will be held at the ‘Sarvajna Peetha’ (seat of spiritual knowledge) inside the sanctum sanctorum where the outgoing seer will offer the sacred ‘Peetha’ to the incoming seer and hand   over the charge of the temple administration. The outgoing seer will be presented articles like ‘Akshaya Patra’ and the keys in the presence of all other seers. An informal durbar will take place at the venue built newly for the purpose outside the temple premises. Later, a formal public durbar will be  held.

Row over Puttige seer’s presence

Puttige Mutt seer Sugunendrateertha Swami said on Sunday night that the controversy surrounding his presence in the Paryaya ceremony remains unresolved, reports DHNS from Udupi.

He told reporters after the first round talks with the senior and junior seers of the Pejawar Mutt that the first round of talks was a failure as they could not come to any consensus. A few seers of the Asta Mutt are opposing his presence, as he has undertaken foreign travel, considered a taboo for pontiffs. However, Vishweshateertha Swami, the incoming Paryaya pontiff, is okay with his presence.

He declined to name the seers opposing his presence. “I am under pressure from my followers and disciples to attend,” the Puttige seer said. Later in the night, the pontiff told a press conference that he would stay away from the celebrations after a deal was brokered.


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