Shravanabelagola, February 7, 2006: The stage is all set for the Mahamastakabhisheka (anointing) ceremony of Bhagawan Bahubali, the enduring universal symbol of peace and renunciation, on Wednesday.
At the stroke of 10.34 am, the new millennium’s first Mahamastakabhisheka of Bhagawan Bahubali will begin with members of the Patni family from Kishangarh, Rajasthan, commencing the abhisheka by emptying the first kalasha. A sight, eagerly awaited by millions, some 6000 strong gathering lucky enough to be present on the three tier platform atop Shravanabelagola and others glued to the Television sets to watch live telecast on Five channels, Astha, Sanskar, Doordarshan, Udaya TV or Eenadu TV. Many other vantage points in this pilgrim township for those enthusiasts who fail to secure entry include the Chandragiri Hills, opposite the Vindhagiri Hills. As many as 108 Kalashas of water from different rivers in the country will be used on Wednesday before the Lord Bahubali is anointed with liquids.
The rituals of the day leading up to the anointment will commence early morning at 4.45 am with the Agrodaka (Holy water) leaving the Digambar Jain Mutt premises for the Vindhyagiri Hills accompanied by all those designated to perform the abhisheka on the day, all the Acharyas and monks, and Shravanabelagola Pontiff Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka in the holy presence of Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar muni maharaj.
Once atop the hills, the mangala dwani will commence followed by Bhaktamara Nrutya, Mangalashtaka, Sandhyavandane Sakalekarana, Kalasha Sthapana Vidhi, Prashasthi Vachana, Bhadrabahu Chandragupta Dance at Chavundaraya Basadi and Nadaswara before the first Kalasha is downed on the head of the magnificent monolith Bhagawan Bahubali by the members of the Patni family. This surreal sight will last 10 minutes, even as around 6000 policemen spread all over the town and uptop the Six illuminated towers keep watch.
In the day-long ceremony that will follow and end with the Mahamangalarathi at 3 p.m which will last till 3 pm, the Mahamastakabhisheka will take place through the Shatabdi Kalasha, Jalabhisheka (108 pots), Narikela Abhisheka (500 pots), Ishkurasa Abhisheka (300 pots), Milk Abhisheka (300 pots), Shwetha Kalkachoorna Abhisheka (100 kgs), Haritha Kalkachoorna Abhisheka (100 kgs), Kashayaabhisheka (25 kgs), Chatushkona Kalasha, Srigandha Abhisheka (25 kgs), Chandana Abhisheka (25 kgs), Ashtaganda Abhisheka (25 kgs), Kesari Abhisheka (¼ kgs), Suvarnartna Pushpavrushti, Pushpavrushti with flowers from different parts of the world, Poornakumbha Kalasha and Ashtadravya pooja.
As the illuminated Vindyagiri dots the evening sky, the air of expectancy looming in the air is palpable. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)