Udupi Shree Krishna Temple: Tenets of Dvaita

Hindu Temples complete Hinduism thus, most frequently spotted in India. One such famous community place in Udupi is Shree Krishna Temple, anointed to Lord Krishna and Dvaita Matha. In the 13th-century, Sri Madhvacharya, who fathered Dvaita philosophy, set up Udupi Matha and Sri Krishna Temple to promote dualism. Madhwacharya implied, in divine dogma, two actualities can subsist together yet autonomously. And the legacy continues even today! Since its foundation, this famous Karnataka temple has eternally been a site of chants, chastity and prayers for universal well being. It rests in the heart of Udupi, with its Rajagopuram (entrance) being the tallest amongst the surrounding buildings.

Sri Krishna Temple Udupi

While the temple entrance is decorated, with Drāviḍa Style, pyramidal or kūṭina towers, interiors feature an expansive Aashram-alike space, resounding incantations. No footwear allowed, therefore, strive at assimilating the positive temple energy as you walk around grounded. The daily temple offerings are administered by Ashta Mathas (8 monasteries), each having its own Pattada Devaru deity. These 8-Mathas are Admaru, Kaniyoor, Krishnapura, Palimaru, Pejavara, Puttige, Sodhe Matha and Shirur. (Collectively, coined as Ashta Mathagalu in Kannada!) Every Matha commands temple management for two consecutive years.

Adhering to the original traditions, the leading priests of the eight chief Mathas change hands biannually in the Udupi Paryaya Utsava ceremony. At present, senior pontiff Sri Vishwapriya Theertha Swami and his assistant Sri Eshapriya Teertha Swami from Admar Moola Matha are administering the temple operations. This temple is also the nucleus of Daasa Sahitya literature dawned in Udupi. The city is envisioned as the ultimate resting place of Lord Krishna and is also known the Mathura of Southern India. This temple, however, follows an unusual tradition for the profound admiration of the lord. Devotees can only take a look at Lord Krishna through the inner, silver-plated window of Navagruha Kindi.

Unusual Worshipping at Shree Krishna Temple

From this nine holed window, one can view all the ten incarnations of Vishnu. Likewise, Kanakadasa (Kanakana Kindi), the outer window, is a small windowpane through which saint Kanakadasa, an ardent devotee, earned the promising sight of Lord Krishna. Kanakadasa belonged to a lower caste and was not allowed in the temple. Stout-hearted and determined, he began to pray to Lord Krishna from the backside of the temple. Gratified by his devotion, the statue of Lord Krishna turned around and gave Kanakadasa a propitious spectacle. Therefore, all the idols in the Ashta Mathas (including Lord Krishna) are facing west. A few steps away is Kanakadasa Mantapa, sheltering a lovely statue of the saint. 

Kanakadasa Mantapa

Kanakadasa, embellished with arched design, is connected to the Chandrasala Hall, which makes a feature of dangling bells, lit earthen lamps and a stately ambience. Fronting the Chandrasala Hall and beneath a silver awning is a four-pillared platform with a Deepastambam, a type of traditional sacred oil lamp. In its corner stands the meditative shrine of Lord Hanuman, and the inner sanctum is braced by the statues of Shri Madhvacharya and Lord Panduranga. The Lord Vishnu statuette you see on the holy altar is built, from five metals. However, the splendid idol of Balakrishna on a golden chariot is estimated to be the most magnificent in the world.

Udupi Shri Krishna Temple

Converged, in a meditational calm, the Lord Krishna statue at Udupi Matha is dressed in a diamond-studded suit, garlanded with fresh flowers. Each statue garment is, spun from holy threads of gold yarn. The grand worship follows through the offering of a hundred thousand Tulsi leaves and nearly a hundred priests chanting “Sahasranamam” all day all night. In the afternoon, the temple hosts Anna Dana, or lunch Prasadam, feeding tens of thousands of devotees. The temple premises also has a cowshed (Goshala) and a Brahma Ratha, the Temple Chariot.

Janmashtami, Madhva Navami and Ratha Sapthami are a few festivals that see grand celebrations at Udupi Shree Krishna Temple. Willed offerings by the devotees and the Ashta Mathas run the expenses of Udupi Krishna Matha. The mornings at Shree Krishna Temple unroll with the sounds of Conch shells and rhythmic patterns of Nagharas, as they wake Swamis and other Matha delegates at 4 AM to resume temple operations at gopuram. Shree Krishna temple opens at 4 AM and closes at 9.30 PM.

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