"Paryaya" in Sanskrit means "alternative". It can be loosely meant as "Another".
Paryaya ritual at Udupi
Paryaya is a religious ritual which takes place every alternate year in Krishna Matha (Krishna Temple) of Udupi. The puja and administration of Krishna Matha is distributed among the Swamijis (seer or monk or pontiff) of Ashta Matha's established by Dvaita philosopher Sri Madhvacharya. Each swamiji of every matha gets chance to perform puja to Udupi Sri Krishna by rotation for a period of two years.
During paryaya, the puja and administration of Krishna Matha is handed over from Swamiji of one of Ashta Matha to the Swamiji of another Ashta Matha. It takes place every two years in even numbered years. On 18 January 2012, the puja and administration was handed over to Sodhe Vadiraja Mutt's Vishvavallabhatirtha Swamiji from Shiroor Mutt's Lakshmivaratirtha Swamiji.
The paryaya takes place in the early hours of 18th January of even numbered years at Udupi. The preparations start from the previous year itself. The ascending Swamiji goes to a place called Dandathirta and takes dip at holy pond and does puja as per tradition. He enters Udupi city at around 3AM. A procession is taken from Jodukatte (Near Taluk office) of Udupi town, where ascending Swamiji and other Swamijis are carried in planquin along with cultural shows and plays. Previously, the procession started from Kinnimulki which was considered as southern most tip of Udupi town. The Swamiji then enters Krishna Matha accompanied by outgoing Swamiji, where the reins of Krishna Matha are handed over formally. The hand over ceremony is held at Sarvajna peetha inside Krishna Matha. At this ceremony the descending Swamiji hands over articles like the Akshaya Patra and the shrine keys to ascending Swamiji. A formal durbar takes place in the Rajangana. There are many rituals which are followed as it was seven hundred years ago. A public ceremony is held at Rajagana within the premises of the Krishna Matha for benefit of general public.
Bale Muhurtha, Akki Muhurta, Kattige Muhurta and Batha Muhuratha
Before ascending throne of Sarvajna peetha, rituals are initiated one year before paryaya by the ascending Swamiji. Main among them are Bale (Banana) Muhurtha, Akki (Rice) Muhurta, Kattige (Fire wood) Muhurtha and Batha (Paddy) Muhurta.
First, Bale Muhurta is performed, one year prior to the Paryaya by the ascending Swamiji. In Bale Muhurta, banana or plantain saplings are planted along with tulasi (Basil) to meet the needs to Krishna puja and for feeding of devotees. After that, Akki Muhurtha is performed, where rice is stored in Mudi (made from hay). Around 48 Mudis are stored on Akki Muhurtha. Kattige Muhurtha follows Akki Muhurtha. Firewood is stored in the form of ratha (Chariot/Temple car) for future use during Paryaya. The firewood stored is used for cooking prasada and feeding devotees who come to Krishna Matha during the two years of Paryaya. Batha Muhurtha is performed after Kattige Muhurtha. Batha (dried paddy) is stored for meeting future requirements within premises of Sri Krishna Matha. All these muhurthas are done on auspicious days with offering to Chandreshwara, Ananteshwara and Sri Krishna deities. These are done for smooth running of the Paryaya.
Order of Paryaya
The rotation of the privilege of worshipping Lord Krishna amongst the eight mathas is fixed. The rotation starts with the Palimaru Matha and ends with the Pejavara Matha. The complete order is