Udupi’s Paryaya controversy raises questions on the role of seers

January 20th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by admin  

January, 20 (ANI): Even though the issue of ascension of Paryaya Peetha and worshipping of famous deity Lord Krishna in Udupi has been resolved, it has raised many questions pertaining to the role of seers and maths. In fact the Seer of the Puttige Math Sugunendra Tirtha created history in the coastal town of Udupi on Friday by becoming the first Swamiji of the
Ashta Maths (eight monasteries) to ascend the Paryaya Peetha despite having travelled abroad. Foreign travel is taboo for the Swamijis of Ashta Maths, as it is considered polluting. It is evident other seven seers boycotted the traditional
ascension ceremony allowing further controversy and confusion. The high drama marred the Paryaya and many devotees felt that it was a shame that the seers fought openly on a non-issue. They recalled that according to tradition when the priests controlling the temple centuries ago did not allow Kanaka, a lower-caste devotee, to
enter the temple, he went to the back side and prayed. The image of Lord Krishna turned around and a special window had to be opened at the
back of the sanctum sanctorum. Even today, the window is called the Kanakana Kindi, and is kept open. The Paryaya issue even divided the devotees to take sides. Thanks to some mediation, it was temporarily resolved and Swami Sugunendra
Tirtha adorned the throne. The issue of Paryaya stirred the peace of the coastal town Uduipi. Even though God Krishna is the mute witness, the fight between the seers
brought many issues regarding the role of seers in taking control of the math. The Paryaya allows one of the eight seers in every two years for once the right to perform Puja to God Krishna. But the controversy over
transferring the power to Sugunendra Tirtha has brought the fight to open. Even it has reached the courts to find a solution. Talking to ANI the Pejawar seer, one who created the storm by opposing the ascension, has said that he and the Puttige Swamiji had reached an
agreement on the issue of ascension of Paryaya Peetha and worshipping Lord Krishna. According to the agreement, the Puttige seer could ascend the Paryaya Peetha and do “Pujas” without touching the idol. But some seers of the
Ashta Maths considered both the issues (’puja’ and ‘peetharohana’) to be important. “It is unfortunate that the other seers of the Ashta Maths did not agree. I tried sincerely to solve the problem. I am sad that I could not succeed. But
I do not blame anybody,” he said. He also clarified that the non-participation of the seers of the seven maths in the Paryaya procession and the Paryaya Durbar function was only
their way of showing their disagreement over the issue of ascension and worship of Lord Krishna. “It was not a boycott,” he clarified. Udupi is a divine shrine in the coastal region of Western Ghats, Situated about 60 kilometres from Mangalore, Udupi is a fairly large and
upcoming town that was the sanctum of Madhvacharya, the great exponent of Bhakti movement. (ANI)

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