Udupi Sri Krishna Temple!! It was our first wedding anniversary and we decided to begin the next year with the blessings of Lord Krishna. One of our friends suggested that one can never miss the food served in this temple. So we started to the temple at 11.oo cock and made sure that we do not miss the temple lunch served around 12.30 PM. We finished our prayers and headed towards the ‘Bojna Sala’ as they call it, where the food was served.
We were asked to move to the first floor, which opened into a big hall and there were six rows of seating arrangements made for people to sit and have food. We occupied a place somewhere in the fourth row and was waiting for the food to be served. We could observe all kinds of people gathered there. : The Rich and the Poor, Children and Adults, ill and healthy, The North and the South and many others.
There were huge drums where they load rice from the cooking vessels, and huge vessels where Sambar, Rasam were transferred. A person came up, pushing a trolley, beneath which plates were seen, which however we missed in our first notice. The person first gave water, which many of us were wondering what exactly to do with that, while few others started cleaning the floor with that. The others few who had taken the plates from the trolley, cleaned up the Plates and positioned it in front of them. We then rushed up to get our plates(when we realised that our expectation of banana leaf was put off) and was waiting for the food to be served.
A short and stout person, came up pushing the trolley serving rice to people. To my astonishment, food was served on the floor for people who did not get the plates. People made holes in the middle of the rice bath for Sambar to be served. Then came up Rasam which was also served on the floor. And then the Sweet Payasam which tasted deliciously but could not ask for more though. Butter milk was served which we have to scoop our hands together and drink. Once we finished our lunch, elderly ladies who were sitting on a corner came over and cleaned up all the places and were getting ready the place for the next batch of people to be served!!!
This ritual of eating from floor is executed usually when one has put forth his/her wish before Lord Krishna and the Lord has showered His blessings to fulfill his/her wish. This custom triggers a tiny thought that many of us have push aside rationalism when it comes devotions to God and believe that this faith can take us on a long way through the hassles and tussles of life!!!
Udupi Krishna Temple also has an architectural twist, where Lord Krishna does not face the door, rather faces a window on the side of the temple. It is believed that an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, kanakdasa, was not allowed inside the temple owing to cast differences and he used to offer his prayers through a window on the side of the temple. One fine day, Lord Krishna had turned towards the window facing his devotee and hence Lord Krishna faces the Window rather than the usual way of facing the entrance of the temple.