City of Casey honours Udupi Pontiff

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Melbourne: In a special ceremony, the City of Casey honoured his holiness Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji during his short visit to Melbourne. The pontiff of Udupi Puthighe Matha presented him a certificate and memento.
Welcoming Shri Theertha on October 9, Councillor Mick Morland, Mayor of City of Casey, said he was honoured to welcome a Hindu pontiff, head of a 750-year old institution who was travelling across the globe spreading the message of peace.
The Mayor was accompanied in the ceremony by Councillor Damien Rosario and Councillor Rafal Kaplon and other Council representatives. His holiness was accompanied by a small delegation of Hindu representatives and priests from Sri Krishna Brundavana Melbourne.
Shri Theertha is the first head of religious institution or Matha from Udupi from the Dvaita philosophy of Sri Madhwacharya to travel overseas and start branches of the Matha to spread spiritual knowledge and preserve the traditions outside India. Sri Krishna Brundavana, his religious institution has been present in USA and Canada for many years. It opened in Melbourne in May 2015 as a priest house at 5 Hayes Road, Hampton Park. It is also the first priest house in Australia where prayers are puja are conducted for Sri Krishna, Sri Hanuman and Guru Raghavendra Swamy.
In his felicitation address, Shri Theertha observed that Australia is a unique place being a country as well as a continent or one country. “We should take up this concept further and treat the whole world as one nation.” He further stated historically many millenniums ago Australia and India were linked geographically but drifted due to geological movements. This has been proved by historians and researchers, he said. “Even now the West Coast of Australia and the East Coast of India have similar geographical shapes indicating the linkage.”
Swamiji observed that Melbourne, the most liveable city and one of the most modern cities in the world also welcomes and embraces different beliefs and is open to new thinking. He remarked that Australia is a very good example of how people from varied backgrounds, cultures and traditions can blend and contribute to enrich the society.
Swamiji presented the Mayor with a framed painting of Bhoomi Matha or Mother Earth along with a book on Acharya Madhwa’s teachings and a shawl.
(TIW)