Sri Pajaka Kshetra
Pajaka, the birth place of Sri Madhwacharya, situated seven miles south-east of Udupi Kunjaru hill, This hill is also known as `Durga betta’. On its foursides are four holy teerthas or tanks created by Lord Parashurama. On the eastern side is Parasu Teertha, on the southern side is Dhanus Teertha, on the west is Gada Teertha and on the north is Bana Teertha. Taking bath in these teerthas is considered to wash out all the sins. Pajaka bears many marks associated with the child-hood incidents of Sri Acharya.
In the temple premises we can see two temples one is the Sri Anantha Padmanabha temple. This is also known as `Moodu Matha’. The main deity here is being worshiped by ancestors of Madhwacharya. Here we can see a stone in front of Tulasi vrundavana on which child Vasudeva did Aksharaabhyasa. This being a holy stone on which Sri Madhwacharya did his Aksharaabhyasa, many devotees come to Pajaka and initiate their child’s Aksharaabhyasa on this stone itself.
In the vicinity of this temple there is a pond named Vasudeva theertha. In the childhood days of Madhwacharya, once his mother wanted to have holy dip four theerthas around Durga betta. But due to health issues it was not possible for her to go to those theerthas and have holy dip. At that time child Vasudeva created this pond and assured his mother that, a holy dip in this pond itself is equivalent to the dip in those four theerthas. Hence the pond is named as Vasudeva Theertha.
When we go around this theertha, we can see a tamarind tree. One person gave a cow to vasudeva’s dad to feed milk for the baby Vasudeva. But due to the poverty, Vasudeva’s dad could not pay anything to that person. Vasudeva gave few tamarind seeds to that person and when he saw it, it was turned out to be of gold. This is believed that the same tree which is next to Vasudeva theertha.
Next we can see a Nagabana towards eastern side of the vasudeva theertha. Vasudeva planted Ashwatta tree with upside down and the plant has grown to a big tree in the due course. The same tree was alive till few years ago. Now the Nagabana is being renovated.
Coming further we can see two big stones. It is believed that, child Vasudeva kept them on the vessels of milk and curd. Even these stones are being worshiped with utmost devotion as these are being touched by Sri Madhwacharya in his childhood.
Another temple present in Pajaka is of Madhwacharya itself. Here we can see footprints of Vasudeva on the stones. There is a story beind these footprints which is quoted in “ Sumadhwa Vijaya” Composed by sri Narayana Pandithaacharyaru. Once Vasudeva had gone up to the Durga hill. Hearing his mother calling him, he jumped back to his house in one hop and the place where he hopped still bears the mark of his feet. On this very spot Sri Vadiraja Teertha of Sode matt installed an idol of Sri Madhwacharya which he wanted to install in Sode otherwise.
There is another place close to Pajaka on our way to Pajaka from Durga betta where Vasudeva crushed a demon in the form of a snake. A small temple is built to preserve this monument.
The maintenance and management of birth place of Sri Madhwacharya is being done by Udupi Kaniyooru matt. Every year, on Ashwayuja Shudda dashami (Vijaya Dashami) the birth day of Madwacharya is being celebrated in a grand manner in Pajaka under the guidance of HH Vidyavallabha theertha Swamiji of Kaniyooru matt.
Also in Magha maasa, from Paadya till Navami, Madhwa Navaratri is being celebrated as annual festival in Pajaka. On the very next day the holy dip in five theerthas will be done with the devine presence of HH Kaniyooru Swamiji.
Present pontiff HH Vidyavallabha theertha Swamiji of Kaniyooru matt is being young and dynamic has many plans for the developments of Pajaka including providing accommodation to the devotees who come from far places, also establishing a world class library wherein one can get all spiritual books related to Madhwa philosophy and also a building with entire “Sumadhwa Vijaya” being carved on the walls. In recent years many developments have taken place like large hall, dining hall, few rooms for boarding of devotees from distant places etc and many are going on. The Devotees can offer their contribution in any way possible for them to seek blessings of Sri Madhwacharayaru.
Sri Pajaka Kshetra,
Udupi – 574105
Contact details: 0820-2009013
– By Venugopal Rao