Temple and the Mutts

There have been connections of Kashi Mutt Samsthan, Gokarna Mutt as well as Kavale Mutt with the Manjeshwar Srimad Anantheshwar Temple for many centuries. There are 2 Vrindavans of previous Swamijis of Kashi Mutt at Manjeshwar and a branch of Kashi Mutt. The Kashi Mutt at Manjeshwar, is housing the Vrindavans of Vibhudendra Tirtha and Vasudendra Tirtha.

Below is a Write Up from Shri M Ananth Bhakta about the connections of the Temple and Kashi Mutt.

In the beginning let me write a few lines about the existence of age long respect and love between the Gowda Saraswath Brahmans of Manjeshwar and the Kashi Mutt. We have enjoyed a special Status with the Mutt but it was and is a humble one. We have been the traditional humble servants of the mutt and we used to be at the service of the Swamiji whenever His Holiness required it. There is no question of Bhinnahapatra for the visit of His Holiness and He can visit Manjeshwar as his will without consulting us and we had to and have to obey His orders and to be at His service whenever liked and decided by His Holiness. I do not think any other place enjoys this humble previlege. It must not be confused to mean that we do not submit any Binnahapatra to His Holiness at all. We have done and will do it in future also to invite His Holiness for any special occasion. But it will never dilute the power of His Holiness to visit our places at His will. One of the reasons for this unique position might be the fact that our Temple, unlike our other Temples, belong to Eighteen Petahs (Towns). And though the Temple is in Manjeshwar, the Gowda Saraswaths of all the Eighteen Petahs have interest and voice in the administration of it. So, naturally His Holiness has an extra responsibility as far as our place and the Temple is concerned. Many of the past Heads of the Mutt have contributed and donated in cash, kind and jewellery to the Temple at different times and their generous aid is enourmous. Many of the Heads have also sacrificed their personal interest and toiled for the Temple. Many instances can be given to prove it but it will become a long story. I wish to give here the example of late revered His Holiness Srimad Bhuvanendra Theertha Swamiyar who was a great Savant, Saint and Scholar. At His time the Oracle of the Temple was not functioning and He wanted to make it function once again. It should be noted the Oracle of this Temple is different from the Oracles that are in vogue in our other Temples and it was and is held in great reverence. He toiled and worked hard for it but His efforts did not bear fruit. As a last resort His Holiness offered Sathyagraha before Lord Anantheshwar by fasting with Pepper paste smeared all over His body. What a sacrifice for the Temple? God Anantheshwar was moved by His sacred penance and the Oracle manifested as prayed by Him. This instance shows how deeply the Heads of the Mutt were interested in our Temple and Their love and respect for it and its welfare. It would be noted that many of the donations and contributions to the Temple coffers by our community leaders and people were entirely due to the influence wielded by the heads of the Mutt. The Temple owes its rich and affluent position to the revered Heads of the Mutt who toiled for the Temple.

At one time the administration of the Temple was an ideal one. The supreme Head of the administration was the head of the Mutt. And under Him there were two hereditary Trustees belonging to two respectable families of the place and under their control were Chowgules (four persons) belonging to four responsible families of the place who functioned in turn and managed the daily affairs of the Temple and it was working very satisfactorily Unfortunately, due to internal quarrels, litigation and personal rivalry, the Temple became a cockpit for personal fight. And this ended in the notification of the Temple by the Government. It should be noted here that though the powers of the Heads of the Mutt diminished as regards the internal administration, Their position as the Head of the community and Their power in regard religious and spiritual affairs were not affected at all. Now thanks to the efforts of late Shri Ananda Baliga the Temple has been declared as a sectional and Gowda Saraswath one and it is the sacred duty of our community wherever they may be to rally round His Holiness and see that His original position and power is restored.

I humbly appeal to our community to rise to the occasion, sink their differences and strengthen the hands of His Holiness and see that proper steps are taken to restore His Divine Authority over the Temple.

Now coming to the Sahasra Kalashabhishekam of the Temple which will be performed in the immediate presence and personal guidance of His Holiness it will be the third Abhishekam as far as our Temple is concerned. The first and the second were performed at the time of Srimad Bhuvanendra Theertha Swamiji and Srimad Sukratheendra Theertha Swamiji respectively. Now the third will be celebrated and it is being performed not only for increasing the Sanctity of the Temple but also for the general welfare of our community and it is the Sacred Duty of everyone of us to rally round His Holiness and make it a grand success.

By Shri M Ananth Bhakta, Manjeshwar