For the first time ever in the history of the famed Udupi Sri Krishna Temple, Iftar was organized for members of the Muslim community.
More than 150 people attended the ‘Souharda Upahara Koota’ held at Annabrahma Dining Hall in the temple premises on Saturday. The event was arranged by Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Paryaya Pejawar Matha.
Kashaya (a drink prepared with black pepper) along with dates, bananas, apples, watermelon, and cashew nuts were served to members who broke their fast at 6:59 p.m. on the eve of Eid.
The event was arranged by Vishwesha Tirtha Swami, the current seer of Paryaya Pejawar Matha. Pejawar Matha is one of the Ashta Mathas (eight monasteries) who head and govern the religious rituals at the temple.
On this occasion, Vishwesha Tirtha Swami, the seer who has been associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, urged the people of Karnataka to live in peace and harmony. The News Minute quotes him saying,
People from all religions must be tolerant and co-exist peacefully. Muslims have shown lot of affection for me in Mangaluru, Kasaragod and Bhatkal. They have given their offering during the Paryaya festival. Karnataka, especially in the coastal areas, must become an area which is peaceful and set an example for the state to be tolerant. All of us are children of the same creator.
30 years ago, the seer had also organized a Hindu-Muslim Sammelan at Rajaganga Hall in Udupi during the Eid festival. However, Muslims have gathered at the temple premises to break their fast for the first time.
After the Iftar concluded, people performed namaz on the second floor of the dining hall with Maulana Innayatullah, Imam of the Anjuman Mosque.
This gesture of communal harmony by Udupi Sri Krishna Matha is certainly an appreciable one and must be spread across the world!
However, this is not the first time a temple has hosted Iftar for Muslims.
Shree Lakshmi Narasimham Murthy Vishnu Temple in Malappuram district of Kerala hosted a vegetarian Iftar party for over 400 men and women on May 30, 2017. The event that was a part of renovation and deity restoration works at the temple witnessed participation from people of other religious communities as well.
Another act of generosity was brought to light during this Ramzan where Jammu and Kashmir police personnel distributed clothes and other items of basic need to the destitute in Pulwama district of the state.
In August 2016, a Muslim family of Kanpur became the epitome of communal harmony when it celebrated Janmashtami, the birthday of Hindu deity Lord Krishna, with huge fanfare.
The beautiful stories of the two religious communities celebrating each other festivals are neither restricted to these episodes, nor India.
In the month of March 2016, a Muslim boy hailing from Karachi, Pakistan, uploaded his picture after playing Holi (a festival celebrated largely by Hindus, in which people play with colors) on his Facebook account.
Here is the Facebook post of Wahid Khan
The exceptional display of communal harmony and multiculturalism by the boy named Wahid Khan and an overwhelming reaction of people to his gesture grabbed a lot of attention by that media. And the attention was indeed well deserved!
At a time when episodes of communal hatred and violence are propagated on a wider scale than anything else, letting people know about such beautiful episodes of communal harmony can do wonders for the world. Apart from inspiring people to live with love and peace, such occurrences also point out the possibility of a world where different communities can live together in harmony, without communal hatred against each other!