Udupi is a city in the state of Karnataka. It is popular for the Krishna Mutt and is also known as Parashurama Kshetra. The Krishna Matha is a temple dedicated to Bhagwan Krishna and it is surrounded by many other ancient temples including the Anantheshwara temple (dedicated to Lord Parashurama), the place where the parents of Sri Madhvacharya prayed for a child and were blessed by the lord.
The Krishna Matha was established by the founder of Dvaita Sect Sri Madhvacharya in the 13th century. It is believed that Madhvacharya found two murthis of Krishna and Balarama which were originally from Dwaraka and installed them in two temples as Malpae Kshetra Balarama and Udupi Sri Krishna Matha. The practices of Udupi Sri Krishna Matha are till day in accordance to the practices followed by Sri Madhvacharya who commenced them in such a way that it upholds the obligation of Krishna as Dwarakadeesha or The King of Dwaraka.
The Krishna Matha of Udupi during its existence of about 800 years stood as an unshakeable pillar of Dharma during the islamic invasions and is still working for the welfare of the society by working for the upliftment of poor, feeding thousands of devotees, providing free education to children, conducting free health camps for people etc., irrespective of their caste, creed, color and religion. The Krishna Matha is also famously known for its Gaushala which acts as the house of various Bharatiya breed cows.
Recently, the Matha came under the cloud of controversy when certain communists, under the mask of social activists, criticized the temple authorities for Pankthi Bhojana, a practice of providing Brahmins with a place for having food separate from other people thus giving rise to discrimination, by starting the Udupi Chalo campaign and gave an open statement that they will lay siege to the Matha if this practice is not stopped.
The Udupi Matha has the poojas performed by the Mathadipathis (Sanyasis) of the Astha Mathas (8 Mathas which were established by the direct disciples of Sri Madhvacharya for the worship of Krishna) unlike many other temples. These sanyasis have always worked for the upliftment of the society and have even provided scheduled castes with the Sri Vaishanava Deeksha thus fighting against the scourge of untouchability before all these political Dalit movements. So a question arises about how will such sanyasis allow discrimination? Why did various local organizations support this practice of the Matha and try to make others understand that there is no discrimination in the practices followed by the Matha. For this we must thoroughly understand about the concept of Pankthi Bhojana.
Hindu Dharma is unlike Abrahamic religions; it is not just a religion but that which sustains everything, eternally. This teaches an individual to respect his parents, elders, polymaths etc. So earlier it was the duty of Kings and other wealthy people to feed some Brahmins with great wisdom (polymaths) as a sign of respect before having their food, while commoners will serve their parents with food before having it themselves. So temples also followed this practice of serving learned Brahmins with food after the Lord as a sign of respect. As it is the duty of every Hindu to respect his parents, teachers and Gods – as stated in a very popular phrase as Matha, Pitha, Guru and Deva.
Pankthi Bhojana follows this same concept where not all Brahmins but the Brahmins with great knowledge regarding the Vedas and other scriptures are served with food immediately after the poojas as a sign of respect. Learned Brahmins here are provided with food in a place just behind the shrine of Sri Krishna after the Poojas at afternoon and evening only once. From the second queue, the other Brahmins are provided with food along with others where people irrespective of their caste, creed etc., are provided with food everyday.
One will be surprised to know that the temple not only provides food to the devotees visiting the temple, but also provides the mid day meals for thousands of children studying in various schools in the district of Udupi. This makes us understand that these so called social activists who are being provoked by western NGOs not only have no idea about the values of our tradition, but also try to give those traditions an image of discrimination, thus trying to provoke unrest and violence among the people at a place where fraternity is being maintained by the efforts of this great institution established by Sri Madhvacharya.
The communists have been working in Bharat for the past 4-5 decades as the mercenaries of ‘Breaking India’ forces. They have been running different campaigns to destroy the traditional and cultural values of this great country. As Udupi Krishna Matha is standing as one of the unshakeable pillars of Hindu Dharma, they have begun questioning its ethics to defame and destroy it. So it is up to patriotic Bharatiyas to stand for the Matha and protect our traditional and cultural values.
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