Shravanabelagola, March 7, 2006: An eight day Ashtanika pooja for world peace in connection with the 2006 Mahamasthakabhisheka celebrations began at the Digambar Jain Mutt’s Bandara Basadi.
It maybe recalled here that the Mahamasthakabhisheka celebrations had commenced with a similar Ashtanika pooja that lasts eight days. The pooja, which began today morning marks the beginning of the closure of dharmic rites in connection with the Mahamasthakabhisheka celeberations.
The Ashtanika pooja began Wednesday morning with the Siddha chakra aradhana, and Ashtavidharchana and Vinyanjali later in the evening, to the Sahasra Koota Jina Bimbha, encompassing all the 24 Teerthankaras. As a part of the pooja abhisheka for the the deity today was conducted using eight pooja items namely water, sandalwood, akshata, flowers, charu, deepa, dhoopa and fruits. During the course of the pooja which will last another seven days, the deity will be worshipped with items increasing daily by the multiples of eight.
By the end of the eighth day, marking closure of the dharmic rites in connection with the celebrations, the deity would have received as many as 2,400 abhishekas with different materials.
The day also marked the celebrations of the 37th anniversary of Acharya 108 Vardhamana Sagar Muni Maharaj’s deeksha. This venerated Jain monk had taken deeksha as a young nineteen year old from late Acharya 108 Dharma Sagar Muni maharaj.
Jain monks and nuns, including Acharya 108 Gurunandi Muni Maharaj and Acharya 108 Devsen Muni Maharaj, observed the occasion by performing padapooja of Acharya Vardhamana Sagar at Varni Bhavan inside the Mutt premises. Digambar Jain Mutt’s HH Jagadguru Karmayogi Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji graced the occasion and presented the Acharya, under whose leadership the Mahamasthakabhisheka of 2006 was conducted, with five silver kalashas and a silver statue of Bhagawan Bahubali. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)