Mangalore the coastal city of Karnataka was witness to a grand historic event lasting nearly a month from 24th May 2012 to 16th June 2012, in connection with the consecration and reinstallation ceremonies of deities of Samsthan Shri Kashi Math of the Gowda Saraswatha Brahmin community. These were held at the Sri Venkataramna Temple, of the community at Car Street where the branch Math of the Sri Kashi Math Samsthan is located.
The following is a brief report of the event, called Parihara and Punah Prathista Mahothsava designed to achieve the Divine Grace of Sri Vyasa Raghupathi of Sri Kashi Math Samsthan.
Shishya Swamiji H.H. Sri Samyameendra Teertha Swamijji arrived at the venue at 7:30 A.M on 24th May 2012 from their PaneMangalore camp to join Guru Swamiji H.H. Sri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji. Both the Swamijies then went to the Pooja room of the Srimad Sudhindra Teertha Sabha Graha in the Math and stood before the deities. The Sabha graha was full of devotees from different places. Vedamurthi Pandit Narshimha Acharya then led the prayer to Sri Vyasa Raghupathi asking for pardon for sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. This prayer was repeated by the congregation. Following this, H.H. Sri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji prayed to Sri Vyasa Raghupathi to forgive the Samaj, instill brahmanya in the members again. Both the Swamijies then came out of the Pooja room and sat outside in the hall. The shishya Swamiji then worshipped the Guru, showing the Arathi to the Guru, garlanding Him and prostrating at His feet.
This function held on 24th May 2012 signalled the start of the expiatory rituals held in the temple premises over the next 15 days till 8th June, in which over 500 priests of the Samaj from different places in Dakshina Kannada & Udupi Districts, Bangalore, Kerala, Mumbai, Delhi, Haridwar etc., took part. The rituals included Maha Vishnu Havana, Nava Chandika Havana, Vanadurga Havana, Pavamana Parayana, Paapa Parihara Sooktha Japa, Adhbutha shanthi, Navagraha japa, Maha Mruthyanjaya Japa, Maha Sudarshana Japa, Dhanwanthari Japa, Rigveda Samhitha Yaga, Maha Vishnu Yaga, Brahma Gayathri Japa and Havana during this period. In the evenings, Durga Namaskara was offered by the members.
Maha Poornahuthis of Nava chandika Havana, Maha Vishnu Havana and Rig Samhitha yaga were held respectively on Monday the 4th June, Tuesday the 5th June and Friday the 8th June 2012, in the sacred presence of and by the Lotus Hands of Shishya Swamiji H.H. Samyameendra Teertha Swamiji.
All the above were conducted in a serene, spontaneous and systematic manner. Such divine atmosphere was a rare gift for all the participants to witness and be a part of.
To ensure participation of the members of the entire GSB Samaj in the various districts, the following unique programmes were held.
1. Shri Vyasa Raghupathi Ratha Yatra originating from Basrur Shri Kashi Math
This Yatra carrying the images and photos of Shri Vyasa Raghupathi and our Guru’s, passed through Siddapur, Hemmady, Koteshwar, Brahmavar, Katapadi, Perdoor, Karkala, Mundkur, Mulky, Bajpe, Mangalore, Puttur, Uppinagadi, Bantwal, Kasargod, Kanahangad, Mulleria, Konchady, over a period of 18 days from 13th May to 30th May 2012. The participants covered the distance on foot and stayed overnight at either the Math branches or Temples managed by the Math at these places.
2. Concurrently with above, Shri Vyasa Keerthanothsava consisting of Bhajana Mandalis were held as follows
- From Gangolli to Konchady from 22nd May to 2nd June
- From Karkala to Konchady from 27th May to 29th May
- From Kasargod to Konchady from 26th May to 28th May
- From Ujire to Konchady from 25th May to 27th May.
- From Puttur to Konchady from 25th May to 27th May.
The above were planned in such a manner that all centers even small villages, where GSB’s reside are covered and people enabled to participate. Both these, Shri Vyasa Raghupathi Ratha Yatra and Shri Vyasa Keerthanothsava terminated at Konchady Shri Kashi Math on 30th May & 27th May respectively.
On Sunday 3rd June there was a grand procession of both these viz Yatra and Keerthanothsava along with Horekanika ( provisions, vegetables and other items given as offering to the Math ) from different places, which started at 3:00 PM from Konchady on foot and reached Shri Venkataramana Temple Car Street at 8:30 PM. There were over 29 troupes of Bhajan singers along with colorful tableaux and numerous vehicles carrying the Horekanika. These were symbolically accepted by the Shishya Swamiji H.H Shri Samyaendra Teertha Swamiji who was seated on a Dias in front of the temple. Car Street was jam packed with people which reminded one of the annual car festival crowd. Men, women, children, young and old all participated with enthusiasm and fervor.
RITUALS CONNCECTED WITH PUNAH PRATHISHTHA (REINSTALATION)
These rituals were held from Saturday 9th June to Wednesday 13th June.
9th June to 12th June: Maha Prarthana was followed by Devatha Adhivasa Pooja, Bimba Shuddhi, Dwadasha Purahsara Kalashabhishekha, Sanidhya Havana ( on all the 5 days ) Moola Mantradi Japanushthana , Pavamana 36 Avarthana Havana ( on 3 days 9th,10th,11th June) Pancha Vimshathi Kalashabhishekha to Sri Vyasa Raghupathi, Laghu Vishnu Havana, Panchamritha Abhishekha to Sri Vyas Raghupathi Narasimha Devaru, Navagraha Havana. All these were carried out in the august presence of Shishya Swamiji.
Wednesday 13th June was the day all were eagerly waiting for. The rituals started at 6:30 A.M consisted of Panchamritha Abhishekha, 108 Avarthana Pavamana, Kalashabhishekha, Rik Samhitha Kalashabhishekha, Saptha Thirtha Abhishekha, Sanidhya Havana & Maha Poornahuthi at the Lotus Hands of Shishya Swamiji.
All these were carried out in a separate enclosure in the hall. Deities of Shri Vyasa Raghupathi Narasimha Devaru were duly bedecked and placed on their individual Peethas and carried individually by shishya Swamijji out of the special enclosure to the main Pooja room and were placed by Him on the Silver Prabhavali. Mathadipathi H.H. Shri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji who was seated in the Pooja room then conducted the Prasanna Pooje and Ashthamangala Nireekshane ( viewing of the duly consecrated and bedecked deities ) followed by Aarathi. The assembled devotees rent the air with cries of Sri Vyasa Raghupathi ki jai, Narasimha Maha prabhu ki jai, Shrimad Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji ki jai, Kashimathadish ki jai, Shrimad Samyamendra Teerth Swamiji ki jai, Sri Kashi Math Samsthan ki Jai. Patta kanike was offered to the Swamiji by the deities.
Concurrently with the above, from 9th June to 13th June there was Samoohikha Stotra Patana in the morning, noon & evening. Devotees of all ages participated in this Traikalika Aradhane chanting the specially prescribed Stotras provided in a book form. From 9th June to 15th June there was also Parayana of Srimad Bhagavatham. From 14th June to 16th June there was Parayana of Srimad Valmiki Ramayana.
Bhajana Sapthaha was conducted from 9th June to 16th June at Shri Venkataramana Temple where Bhajana Mandalies from all over participated. On 15th June there was Nagara Bhajna as part of the Sapthaha when Devotees went around singing Bhajans in the streets adjoining the temple along the usual route. The Bhajana Sapthaha Mangala was held on Saturday 16th June.
Prasada Bhojana is a salient feature of Shri Kashi Math Samsthan and this was in full view during the entire duration from 24th May to 13th June, when all participants were fortunate to eat the Prasadam of the Lord in the afternoon and in the evening. The number of people varied from day to day and reached an estimated 15000 on Wednesday 13th June. One should also mention the valuable part played by the various organizing committee members and particularly by the large number of volunteers. The seamless and silent working in all departments left no room for any complaint.
Closed circuit TV was in full use during the entire period, which enabled one to watch the proceedings conveniently from anywhere in the premises. The local media carried day-to-day reports of the event. Namma Kudla the local TV channel enabled the people to watch the events from their homes. It is estimated that about 6,50,000 people watched the event. Taranga weekly and the local dailies came out with special supplements.
There was a grand Sabha karyakrama in the evening of 13th June at 8:00 PM in the Rajangana of the Temple. Shri Kashi Mathdipathi H.H Shri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji as well as Shishya Swamiji H.H Shri Samyamendra Teertha Swamiji graced the occasion with their august presence on the specially constructed Dias. The meeting started with prayers by Vaidiks. Shri C.L Shenoy, Trustee of the temple welcomed the Swamijies and the others. He said that Mangalore and Our Samaj were indeed blessed by this occasion. He hoped that all arrangements and responsibilities have been carried out to the full satisfaction of Shri Swamiji. Shri G.V Kamath then gave brief description of the function starting from 24th May to 13th June. He said that because of the blessings of our Swamiji and Shri Veera Venkatesha, our people from all walks of life, from all places had voluntarily and eagerly participated in the various functions with Tanu, Mana & Dhana. He said that over 500 priests ( Bhatmams ) had responded to the call and participated in the various rituals. Over 4 lakhs Namaskaras were offered by the devotees during the function. Dr. Dayananda Pai in his address expressed pleasure over the participation of large number of people and assured his full dedication to all activities of Shri Kashi Math Samsthan.
In Their Anugraha Pravachana, H.H. Shri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji said that they were fully satisfied by the way the programme ran through the duration and expressed gratitude to Shri Vyasa Raghupathi for the grand success. “We were thinking how Shri Vyasa Raghupati could be restored to their Simhasan. No doubt, we got the deities but they were without adornment. However within a period of 1.5 to 2 months, Shri Vyasa Raghupathi prompted so many people to come forward voluntarily and donate their mite so that Simhasana and Vaibhava has returned. Shri Vyasa Raghupati got this done — Is our firm conviction. It is good that all people have joined in. It is not proper on this occasion to mention names but everybody has chipped in. We are convinced that Shri Vyasa Raghupathi and Narasimha Deva have pardoned the samaj for the sins knowingly or unknowingly committed. It is significant to note that He Himself chose the timing of His reappearance. We are not worried for the future. We know that those who have good intentions and have done good things so far will continue to do good in greater measure and others will also participate in the activities of the Math. Let us not worry about what others are doing or not doing. Let us ourselves do the right things always. We invoke the blessings of Shri Vyasa Raghupathi on all of you.” Thus the Swamiji blessed all those assembled and those who were watching on television.
Thus ended a historic function. The deities of Shri KashiMath Samsthan including those handed over to the first Guru H.H Shri Yadavendra Teertha Swamiji by H.H Shri Vijayeendra Teertha Swamiji, as well as the one providentially obtained in the Ganga at Kashi by H.H Shri Keshavendra Teertha Swamijji, and other deities obtained / acquired by various Swamijis in our Guru Parampara over the last 400 years or so were reinstalled on the Simhasana on 13th June. Trikala Poojas to the deities recommenced after a long interval of about 17 years, since the time in 1994 when the deities were handed over to the disowned former Shishya, Shri Raghavendra. It is a sad and dark period in the history of the Math when a Shishya not only openly defied the direction of the Guru Swamiji but also went to court against Guru, lost the case and disobeyed the court order; and continues to disobey to this day. It is only because of the patient, just and sober conduct of the case by H.H Shrimad Sudindra Teertha Swamiji over such a long period that not only justice as prevailed but has also averted a deeper and wider fissure in the G.S.B Community. It is to be hoped and prayed for that with this issue now almost well behind us, all the members of the community will join in and work for a bright future for all keeping in view our traditions.