Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (SP)
Udupi, Nov 7: Many in coastal Karnataka are not aware of the contributions Haji Abdulla Saheb, founder of Corporation Bank, made to religious harmony. As Laksha Deepotsava of Srikrishna Mutt being celebrated today coincides with Bakrid, it is worth remembering this great man from the town.
Laksha Deepotsava of Srikrishna Mutt is being held from November 7 to 10 this year. Several decades back, because of unanticipated rains, thousands of earthen lamps kept ready for Laksha Deepotsava, were filled with water. The celebrations were destined to be doomed, but for the timely help rendered by Haji Abdulla Saheb. Saheb immediately supplied camphor from his godown, and ensured that the festival of lights went ahead without problems.
Haji Abdulla used to walk around Car Street once daily. He used to pay obeisance to Lord Srikrishna by having His darshan through Kanakana Kindi. Whenever any of the eight Mutts found themselves in a tight spot, Haji Abdulla readily extended help in terms of monetary offerings.
Saheb, who was involved with import-export business, was large-hearted when it came to helping the needy. He helped everyone based on the problems he faced, without looking at his caste, creed, religion, etc. If a person approached him for help in conducting marriage of daughter, Haji never sent him back disappointed.
There was a time when the daily community feast programme of Srikrishna Mutt faced problems because of restrictions placed on rice trade by the government. Saheb readily agreed to send the stock of rice he had imported from Burma to ensure that food distribution programme of the mutt went uninterrupted. He also used to import scents, fragrances and such other requirements for being used to Srikrishna Mutt, from Afghanistan.
The Swamijis of the eight Mutts had been invited when Haji Abdulla conducted his daughter’s marriage. The Diwans of the mutts attended the marriage and handed over presents. At the time Krishnapur Mutt Swamiji took over the task of making a golden palanquin for Lord Krishna, he had deputed the mutt Diwan to Haji Abdulla’s house to convey the same to him. Saheb, responding to the message, readily offered a ‘seru (measure)’ full of gold coins for the purpose.
Saheb used to get food cooked by Brahmin cooks at his home on special occasions like Golashtami, Navatrai, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Deepavali etc, and feed the people. He followed the religious requirements of his religion, but also loved and respected other religions. His love and affection transcended boundaries of religions and sects. The fact that Haji Abdulla continues to be a memorable personality in the annals of Srikrishna Mutt shows how much contribution he had made to religious harmony and universal brotherhood.