Shravanabelagola, February 3, 2006: More than One lakh people are expected to congregate on this pilgrim township on February 5 on the occasion of the grand Mahamastakabhisheka procession featuring more than 90 tableaux and cultural groups from different parts of the State.
Briefing media-persons at the newly built Government media centre after an inspection of the works underway at different locations for various guest houses, Shravanabelagola Pontiff Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji said for the first time, idols of all the 24 theerthankaras will be taken out seated in individual silver palanquins in the procession. “We expected Congress president Sonia Gandhi to participate in the celebrations on February 5. But, this is not happening and this has enabled us devote all our energy in organizing the procession, which will be a grand one,” he said. The procession which will commence from the Panchakalyana mantap will circle the Vindhyagiri hills at 3 p.m and return to the mantap.
The procession will feature folk troupes performing dollu kunitha, veeragase, pooja kunitha, hulivesha, kamsale, goruvara kunitha, suggi kunitha, jaggalige, karaga dance, kamjeelu, somanakunitha, nandi kunitha, maragalu kunitha, hejjemela, karadi mela, puravanthike and jogathi kunitha among others. The newly donated silver chariot and the silver palanquins will be an added attraction apart from the various tableaux and music groups. A folk troupe from Kerala will perform the traditional ‘Chenda’.
On the issue of monks using mobiles, the Swamiji said he was not in favour of monks who have renounced the worldly possessions and contacts using such devices. “The more detached from the material world they remain the better. For, it is their endeavor to attain salvation and this would be compromised if they fail to remain detached,” he added.
The Swamiji said it also the duty of all the devotees and organizations such as the Mutts to ensure that the code of conduct and rules and regulations laid down for the monks is adhered to at all times.
Earlier in the morning two monks secured initiation from Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar and Acharya 108 Sanmathi Sagar in the presence of all the 187 other monks present, amidst the chanting of slokas and performance of the pancha kalyana pooja. The initiation proceedings which began early in the morning saw Kshullak Akshay Sagar, who came donned in a saffron cloth, being initiated as Munisri Gommata Sagar and attaining the digambar stage. This was followed by Brahmachari
Bhojjappa Gaji who came clad in a white cloth, being initiated as Kshullak Shravanasagar clad only in loin cloths.
During the initiation ceremony, Acharya Devendra Sagar, Acharya Namnith Sagar and Acharya Punya Sagar performed ‘Kleshalochana’, plucking of all the hairs on their head, beard and moustache with bare hands, as the dharmic atmosphere at the mantap became all pervading.
Later, Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji said a major deeksha or initiation ceremony will be held on February 13 when as many as 30 persons are expected to be initiated. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)