RAMANAVAMI: Ramanavami is celebrated on Chaitra Shuddha Navami day. Bhoori Samaradhane on this day is held on behalf of Naravi Raya Kini. At night small ratha utsava and thereafter vasanta puja are held on behalf of lawyer Vasudeva Kamath. The Lord takes on Chaturmasyavrita on Ashadha Shuddha Dashami day. This day after Shatakalashabhisheka, Brahmana Santarpane takes place on behalf of V.V.Pai from Mumbai.
Kartika Shuddha Dashami : On this day Chaturmasya vrita comes to an end. Shatakalashabhisheka as well as bhoori samaradhane are held on this day. Bhoori Samaradhane is the seva of Kinnigoli Sanjiva Kamath.
Phalguna Bahula Dwiteeya : To commemorate 1969 Sahasra Kumbhabhisheka, every year on this day, Shatakalashbhisheka and Brahmara Santarpane are held on behalf of Yarmal Mohan Shenoy.
RIGUPAKARMA: On this day morning pujas over, upakarma havana is conducted, noonday puja is started and the Lord is offered yajnopaveeta (jannuve). All householders and brahmacharis of Gowda Saraswat society attend this and wear the yajnopaveetas through their respective purohits. Brahmacharis put on the yajnopavita and conduct agnikarya. New upaneetas offer to their purohits upayana (Padi- A harivana ful of raw rice + cucumber + dakshina). Brahmadanda received during upanayana is driven in tulasi katte and visarjana is conducted.
SHREE KRISHNASHTAMI (SHRAVANA BAHULA 8): On this day, the door of the temple is closed at 11-30 AM. At Pradosha Kala (4-6 PM) Madyahna puja is held followed by Rajopachara puja (Devatige Salaam) and immediately thereafter ratri puja is held in the presence of Joishy, Puranika, Prabhu and Kamath. After mangalarti Shree Venkataramana Swami (in the form of Shree Krishna) alongwith big samputa and mukhyaprana, graces the silver sheshavahana at the inner vasantasale. There, panchamrita abhisheka is offered to Saligramas as part of Shree
Krishanashtami puja. Later patra puja and pushpa puja are held. Bhaktamahajanas arrive
wearing silk (madi) with tulasi dalas required for sahasranamarchane and occupy inner and
outer chandrasales and repeat Sahasranamas after Joishys, and offer tulasi dalas. After every 250 namas, the tulasi dalas offered by the people are collected and offered to Saligramas and naivedya is offered and arati is performed. Similarly, Krishnashtottara, Keshavaadi 24 namas, 10 dashavatara namas are recited, tulasi dalas offered and later Pradhana deva is offered naivedya and arati in garbhagudi. Then Shrikrishna is offered naivedya of Kadabu ( rice + blackgram), Gajabaje, paramanna of beaten rice etc and mangalarati is conducted. Naivedya brought by Mahajans is offered to the Lord through Vaidikas. Next morning visarjana puja of Shree Krishna is held after dwara puja. On this occasion Shree Krishna is offered naivedya of Ksheeranna, 4 dosas and navaneet and arti is performed. Then Prasad is distributed to Vaidiks and trustees. Then saligramas are offered panchamrit, shuddhodaka abhisheka and invocation of dhyana etc and the Lord enters the garbhagriha along with Samputa. In garbhagraha as usual nirmalya visarjane and naivedya of Ksheeranna, dosa and navanit and arati are offered.
GANESH CHATURTHI (BHADRAPADA SHUDDHA CHATURTHI): On this day Malige Ganapati is decorated with silver kavacha (cover) and established traditionally in inner asantasale in the presence of vaidikas and trustees. For the next 5 days, as per Mahajan’s vows, sevas like Ganahoma, Rangapuja, mooduganapati etc. are offered to Ganesha every day. Each day after noonday puja and ratripuja, the same naivedya is offered to Ganesha and arti is performed. On the fifth day ratri puja is followed by visarjana puja. On Chaturthi day naivedya of Chouti laddus received from Mahajans is offered to Ganesha and distributed to about 7-8 thousand bhaktas who visit for darshan.
ANANTHA VRITA (BHADRAPADA SHUDDHA CHATURDASHI: on this day pallakki utsava starts for Ramasamudra carrying samputa containing Ananta thread (gold thread with 14 knots) and saligramma, alongwith mukhyaprana idol and gold kalasha. Then Yamuna puja is performed, kalasha is filled with cloth-strained water, kalasha puja vidhi is performed and the utsava returns to the temple. There, kalasha is established inside the Garbhagriha, and pujavidhis of Shrimad Ananta vrita are held. Then the usual naivedya of the temple along with 14 types of gandu bhaksha-bhojas, 14 times each is offered to Ananta Deva. [Apoopa, ravaladu, sukrunde, aralu hudi ladu, mandige (mando), Manohara, Cucumber Kadabu, Kadabu (Kotto), dosa, sardarvada, biscuit ambade, modaka, muskuvade and punvade]. Then after mahamangalarati, 14
namaskaras are offered to God, Then Bhoori samaradhane is held. Speciality of today is a curry made of colacasia leaves (alvati).That night, Ananta vrita Katha shravana is held in the temple. Next morning naivedya of ksheeranna and dosa is offered to Ananta deva and visarjana puja is carried out.
MAHALAYA: During mahalaya, no programme is held on behalf of the temple. But some
people, alongwith their purohits go to temple’s tank and perform pitra tarpana and organise brahmana santarpane through temple’s paryaya archaka on Mahalaya Amavasya. Such people gather at inner pradakshina patha of the temple, carry out Guru puja and Brahmarpana and brahmana santarpane is held in Rajangana. All this is arranged by paryaya archakas only.
HARINARAYANA, PASHCHIMA JAGARA, EKAHA BHAJANE AND VISHWAROOPA DARSHANA: Harinarayana and Pashchimajagara sevas start on Vijayadashami day i.e.
Ashweeja Shukla Dashami. Kartika snana too starts on this day. It continues till Kartika Shuddha Ekadahsi.
Harinarayana: After Ratripuja, Bhagavatas sing specially composed keertanas of
God and the bhaktajanas take 5 pradakshinas of inner circle chanting “Harinarayana, Harinarayana.” On Kartika Shuddha Pratipade, Harinarayana bhajan comes out after 4 th
inner round, takes a pradakshina around dhwaja stambha and deepa stambha and then takes the 5th pradakshina of the inner circle. On Kartika Shuddha Ekadashi, after noonday puja, during Pradhosha Kala, Ksheerabdi puja is held at inner tulasikatte. That night at about
8 o’clock, Puranika, Joishy, Prabhu, Kamath, trustees and Bhakta Mahajanas gather in a meeting at inner vasantasale and read out to the Lord that year’s annual Income & Expenditure account. Then naivedyarati of ratripuja takes place. After this, on this day, artis are performed before God 4 times every hour. After each arti, Harinarayana seva takes place. In Harinarayan seva performed after first puja, 3 pradakshinas are taken in inner round, 4th pradakshina is taken aound the outer round and the 5th is completed at the inner circle. After each puja respective sevadars are given Prasad. This programme is called panch-arti puja. After this, Ekanta seva takes place.
Pashchima Jagara : In the morning at Brahmi muhurtha, photographs of Shree Kashi Mutt Swamijis are placed in Mannagopura, lamp is lighted, prayer is offered and the townspeople chant bhajans. This nagara bhajane starts towards the temple with deevatige in hands. Reaching the temple, the bhajakas sit on the ground in front of the front door and wait for it’s opening. As the door opens, they stop the bhajan and get inside the temple.Inside the temple, after suprabhata, golden door is offered puja, door is opened and arti is performed at samputa inside the craddle. Then arti is performed before the Lords and this neelanjana arti is brought out and performed before the Lord resting in Tulasi in Yoganidra, and pradakshina is taken thrice at inner circle. Then pachanga shravana takes place. Thereafter singing of bhajana is restarted and they take a round of inner circle and stand at nade, chanting the bhajan, “Hari Mukhe Mhana”. Then the bhajan ends praising Shree Venkataramana fervently. This Pashchima jagara observance was started about 93 years ago (1915-16AD) by Balkunje Dasa Shenoy, Halekatte Srinivasa Pai (Bappanilo Shinapu) Ranjala Sheshagiri Shenoy (Sheshi Mamu) etc. In later years, Halekatte Ranga Pai, Balkunje Nagesh Shenoy (holding harmonium), Ranjala Narasimha Shenoy etc. have continued the tradition of bhajans. Now, Halekatte Ranga Pai’s children- Suresh Pai, Ramesh Pai, and Ganesh Pai are organizing this programme.
During this Pashchima jagara of Kartika masa, every morning after nairmalya visarjane, a cow with her calf is brought inside the temple, tied at inner tulasi katte and Gopuja is performed. The cow is fed with jaggery, beaten rice and bananas. This entire month, during nairmalya visarjane, naivedya offered to the Lord consists of sweet mosaravalakki (beaten rice mixed with buttermilk) and it is distributed among children. Pashchima means pashchat (afterwards) i.e – the time when night ends and the sun rises.The process of waking up the Lord from Yoganidra at this propitious time ceremoniously with music like Udayaraga and with devotion is called Pashchima jagara.
Vishwaroopa Darshana: Vishwaroopa Darshana is a part of Kartika masa celebrations of Chaturmasa vrita. The highlight of this celebration is waking up the Lord from Yoganidra by offereing various fruits and flowers with deep devotion, lighting oil lamps in thousands and
praising the Lord. Normally, on the last Sunday of Pashchima Jagara, Vishwaroopa darshana puja of the Lord is performed at Brahmi Muhurtha.On this day the Lord is decorated gloriously and oil lamps are lighted both inside and outside the temple. Outside pradakshina path is resplendent with flower arrangements and various colourful rangavalis (Rangoli). Colour pictures and images depicting purana events scintillate the temple precincts. 7-8 thousand people visit the temple to have Lord’s darshan on this day. These people move in a queue, have God’s darshan and step out, where they are presented with Prasad consisting of special laddus and fruits. Hundreds of volunteers take up the job of decorating the temple, lighting oil lamps and distributing Prasad. This is their seva to the Lord.
Ekaha Bhajane – Kartika Shuddha Ekadashi: On this day, after morning dwara puja, Joishy, Puranik, Prabhu, Kamath and the trustees gather and place a big Kaludeepa (lamp), in Garuda mantapa. Ramayana and other granthas (treatises) are placed near Lord’s padukas. Ganpati puja and then prayer take place. Paduka and granthas are shown arti and with the same arti the big Lamp is lighted and bhajana starts. Then a bhakta carries these granthas on his head and others
carry the lamp, singing bhajan, take a round of inner circle, take a round of outer pradakshina path, place the grantha in Vasanta mantapa and the Lamp in the middle of Chandrasale. Many bhajana mandalis take part in the bhajan and sing bhajans unremittingly until next morning. Every hour, arti is shown to granthas and God and prasad is given to respective participants. Next morning, after morning dwara puja, granthas are carried on head, lamp is lifted up and singing bhajans all the way, pradakshina is done in outer and then inner rounds, lamp is placed in Garuda mantapa, granthas are placed near God’s paduka and the bhajana comes to a close with the singing of Mangala. This Ekaha bhajana seva is being carried on for 75 years by Karkala Shreedhar Pai and later his son Ranganath Shreedhar Pai and children. Since the last 40 years, Shree Venkataramana Bhajana Mandali, Salmar, Karkala has been actively participating in this
Seva. Next day’s Brahmana Santharpane is the seva of this Bhajana Mandali. Since the last 12 years, Shree Venkataramana Bhajana Mandali has been conducting bhajana seva in the temple every evening.
DEEPAVALI: For 3 days from Naraka chaturdashi, Baleendra is lighted in the evening outside the main door of the temple. On Balipadya day, silver plate of bali mounted on elephant is fastened to dhwajasthambha. Bali’s idol from a box kept inside garbhagriha is taken out with Samputa and placed on the peetha in front of dhwaja stambha. Naivedya of fruit- coconut and pachakajjaya and puja are offered to Bali after Lord’s ratripuja.
Jagara Puja : On Naraka chaturdashi day at 4.30 in the morning the Lord is given an oil bath with pure lukewarm water after applying sandal wood oil (Tailabhyanga). Then Jagara puja is offered to the Lord at 8 AM, in the presence of Puranika, Joishy, Prabhu and Kamath. Then panchanga shravana is held and the details of mahotsavas from Kartika Shuddha dashami to Kartika Bahula Shashti are read out.
MUKKOTI DWADASHI : (MARGASHIRA SHUDDHA DWADASHI): As on Vaishakha Purnima day, after morning puja, the Lord mounts on silver mantapa and visits Ramasamudra for bath. After returning from there, he graces the yatrasana inside Manda chamber. After naivedya of milk kashaya and fruit-coconut, tulabhara seva is held if committed. After noonday mahapuja, bhoori Samaradhane is held. Then at night Ratha utsava is held in the town; silver mantapa utsava in Salmar; and keredeepa in Sheshatirtha. This morning’s Silver mantapa utsava at Ramasamudra and bhoori samaradhane are seva from Cholpadi Kamath family. Similarly, Ranga puja is held on behalf of Miyyaru Santhayya Kamath ; night Rathothsava is a seva from residents of outskirts of Miyyaru, Silver mantapa utsava and Deeparadhane are held on
behalf of Irvattooru gramasthas; Keredeepa and Kattepuje are seva of Miyyaru Vittala Hegde family.
SPECIAL UTSAVAS AND SANTARPANES: On days when mahotsavas are held by Gowda Saraswat Brahmins in famous temples of other towns, in Karkala Shree Venketramana Temple too utsava and Santarpanes are held.
For example : 1. On the day Pratishta Purnima is celebrated in Moolki Shree Venkataramana temple, in Karkala too Brahmana Santarpane is held in the afternoon and pallakki utsava is celebrated at night.
2. On the day of Shashti celebrated at Manjeshwar, in Karkala too Brahmana Santarpane is
held in the afternoon and Silver Sheshavahana utsava is held at night.
RATHA SAPTAMI (MAGHA SUDDHA SAPTAMI):
This morning pallakki utsava arrives at the lake, the Lord graces the Tulasi Katte
and abhisheka is performed. Then the Lord is offered Shodashopachara puja. Returning
from there the Lord mounts the Silver Ratha and visits the town. In the afternoon Brahmana Santarpane is held. Again Silver Rathothsava is repeated at night.
BHEESHMASHTAMI (MAGHA SHUDDHA ASHTAMI): On this day, Brahmana Santarpane is held in the afternoon and Silver Rathothsava at night.
MADHWANAVAMI (MAGHA SHUDDHA NAVAMI): On this day Brahmana Santarpane is held in the afternoon. At night, small wooden Anjaneya vahana is decorated resembling Shree Madhwacharya and utsava is held with the Lord seated there.
Dashami’s Dindi Utsava: This is also called Pakshotsava. The word Dindi does not appear either in Kannada or in Konkani. In Marathi the word Dindi means a type of Bhajan. This Dashami Dindi is a very simple utsava. This pallakki utsava visits the town with only 4 Hilals, returns to the temple and takes only one round in the outer pradakshina path and enters the temple. That day’s naivedya to the Lord consists of only beaten rice and sugar/ jaggery. Only on 3 Dashami days of Vasanta ritu 5 rounds of the temple are taken and Vasanta puja is held. Naivedya of panchakajjaya is offered in Vasanta mantapa. But during puja inside garbhagriha, naivedya will be only of beaten rice and sugar. Probably this pakshotsava is the first utsava held after 1537 AD sthapana of the temple. In those days, when the splendour of the temple was not much to speak about, this utsava must have been held in the simplest manner. Bhajan too must have accompanied utsava. Generally Gowd Saraswat Brahmins were conversant with Marathi language. Therefore they must have called this utsava celebrated with the ccompaniment of Bhajan, as Dindi utsava. Later the name must have ended up as Dashami Dindi (of course, this is only a conjecture sans any valid proof!)
PARYAYOTSAVA: Every year Paryayotsava is held in the temple on Margashira Shuddha Pratipade. Vaidikas performing in this temple belong to Vashishta Gotra. Formerly there were only a couple of families of these vaidikas. Eventually, these households branched out and families multiplied. As the families split, each one started staying separately. But as per
family lineage, the right of worship is vested with all members of the family and each
person gets his right after a specific time-span. Families having less number of brothers
get their turn of worship faster than others who have to wait longer. This tradition of
allotting equitable opportunity of right of worship to each family is called Paryaya. After
a year’s paryaya is over, these vaidikas are supposed to worship Parivara devas for one year.
On the day of paryaya at 9 in the morning a meeting is held at inner chandrasale of the temple where the Trustees, Puranik, Joishy, new and earstwhile paryaya archakas, other Vaidikas and Mahajans are present. The clerks of the temple office read out terms and conditions of Paryaya. Then the keys of the temple are handed over to new archaka who puts it in a harivana. Thereafter prayer takes place on behalf of predecessor and successor paryaya archakas, and prasad is distributed to trustees. New paryaya archakas place the harivana containing temple keys at the threshold of garbhagriha. Then trustees, Puranika, Joishy and gathered Mahajans visit the house of new paryaya archaka inorder to welcome him. There, he performs arti and prays to his household deity. Then the archaka along with puja parapharnelia, panchamrita ingredients, flowers-tulasi, Nazaru kanika and his wooden cash box is brought to the temple in grand ceremony to the accompaniment of vadya. After pradakshina in outer and inner circles, naivedya is offered and arati is performed before God on behalf of earstwhile paryaya archakas. Then, after puja krishnarpana and praying to God, prasad is distributed to the earstwhile paryaya archaka and his relatives. Thereafter the silver thata containing Saligrama is brought out of
garbhagriha by puja vaidikas. This Saligrama thata is received by an archaka garbed in silk
on behalf of new paryaya archaka. This tradition of changing hands of this saligrama is
called puja paryaya. This thata is carried inside the garbhagriha, placed in it’s place and naivedyarati puja is offered to God. After puja Krishnarpane, and prayer, new paryaya archakas receive prasad. With the distribution of the naivedya Prasad, Paryayotsava programe comes to an end. Earst-while paryaya archaka is given a send off and brought to his house respectfully. That night, silver Hanumantha vahana utsava is held. Since this day is punyatithi of paramapoojya Shri Kashi Mutt Samsthan’s pontiff Shreemad Bhuvanendra Tirtha Swamiji, God visits Shree Kashi Mutt first and puja takes place there. Thereafter the main utsava is celebrated.
DURGAMA SUVASINI: Every year Durgama Suvasini programme takes place in Krishna paksha of Maghamasa on a Tuesday. That day after Lord’s puja, Suvasini articles are placed at the inner tulasi katte and Durgapuja is celebrated for expulsion of evil forces and acquisition of everlasting prosperity (sthira Lakshmi). Naivedya of bhakshas offered to the Lord is placed on a banana leaf kept in a harivana and this is offered to Durgadevi as naivedya. Offering Kunkumarchane to Shree Lakshmidevi of Parivara devas, Saptashati parayana is held and udi articles are offered to Sridevi ( Shree Lakshmi ). Then 25 suvasinis’ feet are washed( padya) and are offered udis. At the inner pradakshina path, Brahmins and Suvasinis are served food on banana leaves, Brahmarpane is done and Brahmins are given hastodaka. Then a person carries on his head a harivana containing the banana leaf with bhakshas offered as naivedya to Durgadevi and the articles of udi. He takes a round of the temple and takes the harivana to Ramasamudra to the accompaniment of vadya and leaves it there. After he steps out of the temple, Brahmins and Suvasinis take their food. Thereafter mantrakshata and prayer are held before God and prasada is distributed. That night, Shree Lakshmi is offered flower puja. Then the utsava is celebrated with Lord mounted on Veeranjaneya vahana (Kuvalya Hanumanta).
After Ekanta seva of the Lord, temple’s vadyagaras (musicians) place a basket of cooked rice mixed with turmeric powder in front of dhwajastambha.Vaidikas sprinkle Lord’s thirtha, shreegandha and flowers over the charu ( turmeric rice). Thirtha is sprinkled on vadyagaras too. Then the vadyagaras carry the basket of charu and walk towards salmar, scattering the charu on both sides of the road. Then they place a banana leaf in front of the road going to Joginakere, serve the charu on the leaf, light a torch, drive it on the leaf, apply thirtha and gandha to it, move a coconut around it and break it on the ground. Similary on the way to town a coconut each is broken at brahmasthanas in front of Madhav Nayak’s house and at Kattingere Laxman Nayak’s place. Later at Peepal tree Katte belonging to lawyer Vasudeva Kamath behind Ananthashayana temple, charu is served on a banana leaf and a torch is driven on it, tirtha and gandha are applied to it and a coconut is moved around it and broken. Then the charu is scattered on either
sides of other roads of the town.
Durgadevi is worshipped with the intention of preventing outbreak of epidemics and calamities of any sort. By scattering the charu in the town, evil powers are appeased and ousted beyond town’s borders. Thus all time well-being and prosperity make home in the town by the grace of the Lord and Shree Durgadevi.
KAMADAHANA AND HOLI FESTIVAL: Kamadahana was brought about on Phalguna Purnima by Shiva. This day is celebrated as “Kamadahana and Holi festival.” Since Gowd Saraswats migrated from North India, some traces of celebrations there must have remained with them even now. That is why in the evening of Holi day, some people take a round of car-street to the beat of Nagari drum, teasing their own people along either sides of the road singing songs highlighting their shortcomings and uttering normal cusswords. Nobody takes this seriously. That night, they cut the trunk of a betelnut tree. Playfully, the tree trunk is thrown up in the air and caught as it comes down, and doing so they take it to a field belonging to the temple. Householders on either sides of the route break coconuts in front of it. This tree trunk is placed erect in the field and firewood is stacked around it. Vaidikas offer it puja and perform arti. With the same arti they set fire to the stack and the flames shoot up. (The firewood is collected from all households. Until about 50 years ago, wooden nameboards of shops, wooden gates of houses etc used to be stolen and one would find them in Holi pit!) When this is going on people in the olden days used to play a game with a coconut. The game, called Teppangai resembled the Western game of Rugby and was quite amusing.