Shravanabelagola, February 4, 2006: Om Namo Arihantanam…Om Namo Siddanam…Om Namo Aayiriyanam…Om Namo Uvajjayanam…Namo Luve Savvasahoonam ….These chants and devotional songs accompanied by drum beating music rent the air in Shravanabelagola on Saturday morning as the Six day Panchakalyana Mahotsav got off to a rousing start with a grand religious procession from Bandara Basadi in the Mutt premises to the Panchakalyana Mantap a km away complete with six caparisoned elephants.
Panchakalyana Mahotsava, an homage of great significance to Adinatha, the first Theerthankaras and father of Bahubali, began in the wee hours on Saturday with the mangala sana of the families chosen as gods and goddesses, ‘Indras’ and ‘Indranis’, to perform the rituals as the Mahotsav is symbolic of the heavenly beings paying homage to Adinatha.
While the ‘Indranis’ were clad in Saffron sarees with kum-kum coloured lining, the men were clad in white dhotis.
The couples then circled the idols in the teample and then it was the turn of the Indras and Indranis to place the idols of the 24 Theerthankaras in silver palanquins amidst chanting of slokas. At the event being conducted since the first celebrations nearly 1025 years ago, what followed was placing of the idol of ‘Sarvanuyakshi’ atop a caparisoned elephant, in the presence of Shravanabelagola pontiff Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji.
With all idols in place, the procession commenced with complete music bands blaring out devotional songs and 108 damsels carrying Kalashas, the procession passed through the main streets of Shravanabelagola before reaching the Panchakalyana Mantap with the 200 strong group of Acharyas and monks in tow. Indra Mahendra Kumar Jain and Indrani Saritha Jain, the chief organizers of the Panchakalyana Mahotsav, participated in the procession seated atop one of the six elephants that was part of the procession.
Once the procession reached the Panchakalyana pendal, MMC06 Reception president Nirmal Kumar Sethi inaugurated the Panchakalyana mantap and Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar munimaharaj and other acharyas placed the idols in assigned places inside the mantap.
Later addressing media-persons, Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji said around 700 devotees have reached Indra Nagar within Kalasha Nagar in the town from West Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai and Assam to participate in the Panchakalyana celebrations. 32 Indra-Indrani couples, including Jwala Kumar from Mysore and Ananthapadmanabha Kumar from Shravanabelagola, will conduct the Mahotsav. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)