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On the day of utthaana dvaadashî, the festival of lakshadîpa begins. This festival is held for four days up until the full moon day and is one of the important festivals of Krishna Mutt.
In the evening, after the night service, the ritual of offering navagraha dâna is held. Nine types of grain are offered to the priests to please the Lord of the nine planets. Swamiji then brings out the processional icon of Sri Krishna from the sanctum sanctorum; it is then placed in a palanquin and taken in procession to the Madhva Sarovara. It is then placed in a decorated boat and after ârati is waved by the Swamiji, the boat is rowed around the maNTapa. This festival is known as teppotsava. The crowd of devotees sits in rows around the tank and respectfully stands up as Sri Krishna passes them by. The boat goes around the sarovara three time. The oil lamps are reflected in the water and the musicians play devotional music. This is one of the nicest festivals held to worship Sri Krishna.
While Krishna is being rowed around the sarovara to the delight of His devotees, the festival icons from Ananteshwara and Chandreshwara are brought out by the priests. Sri Krishna is then brought out from the sarovara and placed in the garuDa ratha along with the icon of Hanuman. The icons of Ananta Padmanabha and Chandramaulishwara are placed in the small chariot.
Swamiji waves ârati to Sri Krishna, Ananta Padmanabha and Chandramaulishwara, and then the devotees begin to pull the ratha-s around Car Street. The royal elephant, the pipers and musicians, and other paraphernalia go in front of the cars. Vedic hymns are chanted as the cars move forward, and lamps are brought out and handed to the paryâya Swamiji, who offers ârati to Krishna on behalf of all His devotees.
On both sides of the Car Street oil lamps are lit in rows. In between these thousands of lamps the two cars move gracefully. In the southern end of Car Street the cars stop and the Swamijis sit on a cloth spread on the ground. A discussion on philosophical topics is held there among the scholars assembled.
At the end of the discussion, fireworks are set off and a large cloth dipped in oil is set alight and held high in the air. This display is of great delight to the assembled devotees, especially the children.
When the cars return to Krishna Mutt, vasanta puujâ and other night rituals are performed as usual.
The second day of the bright fortnight of the month of mârgashîrsha is observed as the annual festival of the Chandramaulishvara temple. The icons of Ananteshwara and Chandreshwara temples are placed in the garuDa ratha and taken round the Car Street with pomp and festivity.
The sixth day of the bright fortnight of mârgashîrsha is known as Subramanya shashhThi or Skanda shashhThi, the birthday of Subramanya a.k.a Kârtikeya a.k.a Skanda, the son of Shiva. A special ritual is arranged in the shrine of Subramanya. In the forenoon the icon of Subramanya is taken round the Car Street in the garuDa ratha and a special feast is arranged in chauki. Once in a paryâya a special ritual known as nâga maNDala is held in the vasanta maNTapa on this day.
During the period of the solar month of dhanu a special puujâ is performed at dawn by offering Krishna a dish of green gram. The devotees are fed the main meal of the day in the early morning hours, during this month.
On the day of the vyatîpâta yoga in the solar month of dhanu a special puujâ is performed in the morning by offering a dish made of green gram.
Just like dhanurvyatîpâta the day of vyatîpâta yoga in the month of dhanu is celebrated with special ritual.
The twelfth day in the shukla paksha (bright fortnight) of mârgashîrsha is celebrated as mukkoTi dvâdashî. A special puujâ is performed that day and an offering of a dish of green gram made to Krishna.
The full moon day in the month of mâgashîrsha is known as datta jayanti. It was on this day that Vishnu was "born" as Datta through Anasuya, the wife of sage Atri. A special puuja is arranged for Datta on this day.
Five days before makara sankramaNa, a seven day festival begins which ends on the day after sankramaNa. During the first five days the garuDa ratha and the small ratha are taken out on procession.
The sixth day, sankramaNa, is believed to be the anniversary day of the installation of Krishna in Udupi. To celebrate this anniversary, the biggest festival in Udupi is held. The three cars are taken out on procession. Sri Krishna rides in the Brahma Ratha, Mukhya PrâNa rides in the smallest, and the processional icons of Ananteshwara and Chandreshwara ride in the Garuda Ratha. Devotees from all over India and even from abroad come to witness this festival.
On the seventh day, a special festival known as suvarNotsava, or chuurNotsava, is held after the mahâ puujâ. The brahma ratha is taken out in a procession which is the last in this series of festivals.
After the icon of Sri Krishna is seated in the chariot, the Swamiji waves ârati and then throws down coconuts, oranges, bananas, coins and other objects towards the devotees. The devotees vie with one another in catching those fruits coming down as prasâda.
Another noteworthy feature of this day is that all Swamijis and scholars join with the common folk in holding the rope and towing the Lord's chariot. They forget their differences of opinion, status, etc., and stand as equals in this sacred task of service to Krishna.
After the procession goes around the Car Street, the Swamiji takes sacred bath in Madhva Sarovara holding the processional icon of Sri Krishna in his hands. All the devotees join together and take bath known as avabhR^ita snâna or purificatory bath.
Thousands of devotees are fed on this day, It is said that during the past the paryâya Swamiji used to take food in RâjângaNa along with the common devotees, but since the crowd nowadays is so large and uncontrollable, the Swamiji now takes his food in chauki. Crowds in excess of ten thousand people are fed in this grand feast.
The seventh day in the bright fortnight of mâgha is known as ratha saptamî. The next day is observed as BhîshmâshTamî. On both of these days the icon of Sri Krishna is taken out in procession after the night service. Special feasts are arranged for the devotees on both days.
The ninth day of the bright fortnight of mâgha is the day on which Sri Madhva went out to Badarikashrama and disappeared. (1317 CE -- pingaLa samvatsara mâgha shuddha navamî). This day is celebrated with great pomp and festivity.
The paryâya Swamiji, as well as any other Swamijis residing at Udupi on this day, go to Ananteswara and offer special puujâ to the original icon of Sri Madhva. They also chant hymns. In Sri Krishna Mutt special puujas are offered to the icon of Sri Madhva. The scholars chant Madhva Vijaya in the suurya shâlâ.
A feast for the thousands of devotees who have come to participate in this festival is held during the day. In the evening a painting of Sri Madhva and the volumes of his works are taken out in procession and kept in the vasanta maNTapa. A special congregation of scholars is convened. Scholars are specially invited from far off places to participate in scholarly discussions. At the end of the discussions the Swamiji honors those scholars by giving presents and honorariums.
In the festival at night Sri Krishna is taken out in the brahma ratha.
The fourteenth day in the dark fortnight of mâgha is celebrated as Shiva râtri. There are special puujâ-s at Ananteshwara and Chandreshwara, and a flag hoisting ceremony takes place in Ananteshwara. There is a special car festival in which the icons of both Chandramaulishwara and Ananteshwara are taken out in procession in the brahma ratha.
The full moon day in phâlguna is celebrated by bringing an effigy of kâma, the god of love, to the Car Street and burning it. The visual burning of the replica of kâma symbolises the curbing of lust in our heart.
The next day the people throw color powder at each other and celebrate the Holi festival.
The third day of the dark fortnight of phâlguna is celebrated as Sri Vâdirâja's memorial day. Especially during the paryâya of Sri Sode Mutt, this festival is celebrated with great pomp. During the paryâya of the other Swamiji-s, special services are arranged in honor of Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha. A great feast is arranged for the devotees.
The fourth day of the dark fortnight of phâlguna is celebrated as the anniversary of Sri Vyâsa Tîrtha. Sri Vyâsa Tîrtha, though not a saint from one of the Udupi ashhTa-maTha-s, is nonetheless intimately connected with Udupi because of Sri Kanaka Dâsa and Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, his renowned students. A special feast is arranged for the devotees, and spiritual seminars are arranged on this day.
This section is due to Raymond Crawford. Much of the material comes from a book published for the 1984 paryâya of H.H. Sri Vishwesha Tîrtha Swamiji, by Bannanje Govindacharya, U.P. Upadhyaya, and Muralidhar Upadhyaya.
Created June 14, 1996; last updated August 10, 2001.