Staff Correspondent

They have asked him to respect the decision of the majority

Udupi: The controversy over Sugunendra Tirtha Swami’s visit to foreign countries took another turn here on Thursday with five seers of Ashta Maths coming out in the open for the first time and urging the seer to retain the sanctity of the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Krishna Temple by not worshipping Lord Krishna during his Paryaya, which begins from January 18.

Addressing presspersons here, Vidyasagara Tirtha Swami of Paryaya Krishnapur Math said that it was the duty of all the seers of the Ashta Maths to respect and follow the traditions of the Sri Krishna Math. These traditions were being followed for centuries.

Even the Paryaya swami had no right to change the religious traditions of the Sri Krishna Math, he said.

Hence he and four other seers — Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swami of Palimar Math, Vidyavallabha Tirtha Swami of Kaniyur Math, Vishwavallabha Tirtha Swami of Sode Vadiraj Math and Vishwaprasanna Tirtha Swami, junior seer of Pejawar Math — were of the opinion that Sugunendra Tirtha, who had visited foreign countries, should not worship Lord Krishna at the Sri Krishna Math. Visiting foreign countries was banned by the religious texts.

“I hope the Puttige seer would respect the majority decision of the Ashta Maths,” he said.

Various “satvika homas” and chanting of “Vayu Sthuti” mantras would be taken up at the Sri Krishna Math from January 6 to 12 for the welfare of the world and “to show the righteous path to the concerned”. A “Koti Tulsi Archane” and “Lakshmi Shobane” would be held on January 13. All the five seers would participate in these programmes.

Answering a question, the Krishnapur seer said he was open to talks with Puttige seer but without any compromise on the issue of foreign visits. Nobody was against the Puttige seer ascending the Paryaya Peetha, he said. The Puttige seer could anoint a junior seer (“shishya”) to worship Lord Krishna.

Till the junior seer could take over, the “puja” could be conducted by any other seer of Ashta Maths suggested by the Puttige seer, Vidyasagara Tirtha said.

When it was pointed out that Swami Vivekananda had visited the U.S., Vidyadheesha Tirtha said,

“Swami Vivekananda did not have the responsibility of worshipping Lord Krishna at the Sri Krishna Math in Udupi”.

A letter by Vishwapriya Tirtha swami, supporting the views of the five seers, was also read at the press meet.