Udupi Sri Krishna temple


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December 22nd 2021
Published: December 22nd 2021
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According to mythology, when Lord Krishna’s wife Rukmini requested her husband for the idol of Balkrishna, the child form of the Lord, Shri Krishna entrusted Vishwakarma with the task of designing the idol. Vishwakarma made a beautiful idol of Balkrishna with the holy saligrama stone and gave it to Rukmini for worship.
The idol, in the course of being worshipped by hundreds of devotees at Dwaraka with the application of sandalwood paste, got completely covered with the sandalwood paste. It is believed that this same idol is now placed at the temple.
As a consequence of the great flood that occurred at the end of the era of Lord Krishna, Dwaraka was completely engulfed by the sea. And the sandalwood covered idol of Lord Krishna also got washed away.
Saint Madhvacharya and the Idol
Decades passed. And then centuries later, a sailor found the idol in the shape of hard rock on an island. He began using the rock to balance his ship. Sometimes later, when his ship was faced with a raging sea storm somewhere beyond the west coast of the South Indian Peninsula, Saint Madhvacharya sensing the danger while meditating on the shore, beseeched Lord Vishnu’s mercy to calm down the angry weather. He then signalled the ship with his garment to sail ashore.
After sailing ashore safely, the sailor fell on the Saint’s feet with gratitude and requested him to accept something from his ship as a token of thankfulness. Saint Madhvacharya chose to accept the sandalwood rock as his gift. Later when he happened to break the rock, the idol of Balkrishna emerged from it bit by bit.
The Saint was filled with sublime joy and bliss when he realized through his deific vision that it was the same Balkrishna idol that Rukmini worshipped. He immediately decided to bring home the idol of his true devotion to his Matha at Udupi, some 4 km from the shore where he was praying. That shore today is known as the Malpe beach.
Krishna turns to the west for Kanakadasa
Why is the idol facing west, instead of east as in all other temples?
It is said that Saint Madhvacharya had originally installed the idol facing east. Kanakadasa, a devout devotee of Lord Krishna, was denied entry to the temple through the main eastern entrance because he was from the lower caste.
Desperate to get a glimpse of his Lord, Kanakadasa ran to the western side of the temple, and pressing his eyes through the three holes in the wall, began to pray fervently to Lord Krishna to appear before him.
Impressed by his devotion, the Balkrishna turned to the west and made himself seen to Kanakadasa through the 9-holed window and the opening on the wall beyond. It was since then that the idol of Balkrishna rests facing west inside the temple. And that’s how began the tradition of offering prayers to the Lord only through the 9-holed window in the western wall of the temple. The hole came to be known as Kanakana Kindi.
Source: https://www.karnataka.com/udupi/udupi-shri-krishna-matha/

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