Sri Krishna Temple and Ashta Mutt Udupi

Sri Krishna Temple Udupi
Sri Krishna Temple Udupi

Lord Krishna is worshipped meticulously 14 times a day, according to an elaborate code of elegant rituals, starting at 4 a.m. and closing at about 11 a.m. A distinguishing aspect of this worship is feeding of devotees on a large scale.

Besides the holy image of Sri Krishna, there are many subsidiary deities and noteworthy spots for pilgrims to see inside Krishna Temple, and around the Car Street. There are two small enclosures enshrining images of Hanuman (Mukhyaprana) and Garuda in the north-western and south-western corners of Sri Krishna temple. These deities were brought from Ayodhya and installed in the 16th century by Sri Vadiraja Swami. In the north eastern corner, one can see a room containing a holy seat called Simhasana. This is the spot on which Sri Madhva used to sit and meditate. It is the  privilege of the Paryaya Swamiji to occupy this seat for Japa, meditation and distribution of holy water and prasadam to devotees. This holy seat is near the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Krishna Shrine. At this entrance, there is a beautiful image of Sri Madhva, installed by Sri Vadiraja Swami.

Adjacent to the main corridor through which the pilgrims enter the Krishna temple, there is the holy tank called MADHVA SAROVARA. The Swamijis have to bathe in this tank before they commence the worship at the shrine. A lovely image of goddess Bhagirathi is worshipped in the south-western corner of this tank.

In the outer wing of the temple, on the northern side, pilgrims come across a small shrine of Subramanya, dining halls, administrative office, Vrindavans of deceased Swamijis, and auditoriums meant for religious discourses or cultural programmes.

The headquarters of the Ashta Maths are housed in eight buildings situated around the Car Street or Rathabeedi. The names of these Maths and their original monks are as follows:

  1. Palimaru Mutt, Udupi–  Hrishikesha Teertha
  2. Adamaru Mutt, Udupi–  Narasimha Teertha
  3. Krishnapura Mutt, Udupi –  Janardhana Teertha
  4. Puttige Mautt, Udupi – Upendra Teertha
  5. Shiroor Mutt, Udupi – Vamana Teertha
  6. Sode Mutt, Udupi – Vishnu Teertha
  7. Kaniyoor Mutt, Udupi – Rama Teertha
  8. Pejavara Mutt, Udupi – Adhokshaja Teertha

The names have been listed according to the serial order in which they assume charge of worship of Sri Krishna and conduct the Paryaya.

Numerous are the saints, philosophers and scholars who came on pilgrimage to Udupi. Among them a Saint called Kanakadasa is particularly remembered in Udupi, because of the special grace bestowed on him by Lord Krishna.

Kanakadasa was a saintly minstrel of 16th century. Having come under the spiritual influence of Sri Vadiraja Swami, he came on a pilgrimage to Udupi. As he was of low birth, he could not enter the Krishna Shrine in those days. He was singing the praise of the Lord, camping in a hut in front of Krishna Temple. So intense was the devotion of this saint, that without entering the shrine he was granted a sight of Krishna’s image through a crack appearing on the western wall of the temple. It is believed that Sri Vadiraja Swami set up a window to commemorate this divine event. This window, with a trellis work of peep-holes is popularly known as Kanakana kindi (Kanaka’s window). Peeping through this window, a pilgrim can have a ready flashing sight of Krishna’s image without entering the temple. After this window was installed, it became customary for all devotees to catch a sight of Krishna’s image through this window, before entering the temple. Recently an image of Kanakadasa has been installed at the spot of the hut where he used to sit and pray.

Sri Krishna Temple and Seva at temples



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