From Udupi to the World: 25 Years, 15 Temples – Sri Puthige Math’s global impact

Team Udayavani, Jan 15, 2024, 11:36 AM IST

Udupi: The spiritual journey of Srisugunendratheertha Sripada of Puthige Math has taken him across the globe since 1997 when he embarked on a mission abroad. With a clear vision, Sri Sugunendratheertha Sripada has established 15 Sri Krishna Mandirs across different countries over 25 years, aiming for a total of 108 worldwide.

These temples, named either Srikrishna Vrindavan or Srivenkatakrishna Vrindavan, are located in 11 places in America, one each in Canada, London, and two in Australia. Temporary cultural centers are also present in New Zealand, Switzerland, Netherlands, etc. Sripada aspires to build bridges between cultures and create a sense of home for Kannadigas and Indians in these foreign lands.

The temples in the USA, such as Srikrishna Vrindavans in Edison, Houston, and New Jersey, as well as Sri Venkatakrishna Vrindavans in Phoenix and Los Angeles, conduct various cultural and religious activities.

Notably, the Edison branch organizes an annual dance festival in New Jersey, where dancers dedicate their performances. The Phoenix Math prioritizes havans, including Atharvasahasrashirsha homa and yajussamhitayaga, and Los Angeles Math goes beyond religious activities, offering career guidance for high school graduates.

In Houston, where a significant diaspora sign from the Karavali of Karnataka, an extravagant Ganeshotsava celebration, Chandika Homa on Fridays, and Bayalu Yakshagana are held. The Houston Math also fulfills Dr Bannanje Govindacharya’s wish with the installation of a 32-foot high stone idol of Madhvacharya.

Across all branches, religious events such as Srinivasa Kalyanotsava, Guru Raghavendra worship, Satyanarayana Pooja, Durga Namaskar, and Gana Homam are regularly conducted. These events serve as a connection to the homeland for those residing far away.

Sri Sugunendratheertha Sripada’s commitment extends beyond religious services, as seen in the Melbourne Math’s efforts in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing free food to hospitals and assisting victims of forest fires.

To preserve and nurture the cultural roots among Indians abroad, Sri Sugunendratheertha Sripada emphasizes the importance of education. Bhagavad Gita classes have been conducted online for the past two years, with over a thousand students from different countries participating. Lectures are delivered by various scholars, fostering a sense of cultural connection.

In times of crisis, such as the global travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Sugunendratheertha Sripada and the Puthige Math community abroad have stood forward to perform posthumous rituals, demonstrating their commitment to supporting each other in times of need.

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