Shravanabelagola, Feb 19, 2006: As the curtains came down on the new Millennium’s first Mahamastakabhisheka on Sunday, the temple township witnessed the biggest ever turnout of devotees and tourists from different parts of the country and the world to witness the celebrations.
Roads were jam packed and the Mutt authorities in a bid to satisfy the waiting thousands, reverted to the new practice of allowing even those without passes to have a glimpse of the celebrations without allowing them up the jam packed platforms. The final day’s proceedings were supervised by MMC06 President Naresh Kumar Sethi. Huge queues in front of the Vindhyagiri Hills continued till late in the evening and into the night even after the Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations, which commenced on January 22, ended at around three p.m.
Revolutionary Jain Monk Tarun Sagar assumed the centre stage of the celebrations on Sunday. Going up the scaffolding immediately after the Pushpa Abhisheka, the fiery advocate of peace and non-violence addressed the devotees from right above Bhagawan Bahubali’s head as 6, 000 odd jam packed devotees on the platform greeted the hugely popular monk with a loud roar.
Addressing the devotees, Munishree Tarun Sagar pointed out that peace and the Jain ideals can reign only if it reigns in the house and urged all to take a vow that every mother in law would be loving and kind to daughters-in-law and vice versa, and that every son or daughter will take care of the aged, ailing and the old. As the devotees moved by the occasion and the spectacle of the celebrations, roared in approval, the Monk said peace in the house was essential for peace to reign in the world.
Munishree Tarun Sagar said Bahubali and his ideals were not limited just to Jains, and added that the giant monolith and the messages of peace and non violence he symbolizes, belongs to one and all, across faiths and religions. “The new millennium’s first Mahamasthakabhisheka has been a grand success and if peace reigned in the world during this period, it was because of the homage that was paid to the supreme votary of peace and non-violence- Bhagawan Bahubali,” he declared and rushing down from the scaffolding, went to devotees in different platforms blessing them all.
Among the VIP visitors at the celebrations on Sunday were Union Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Mr.K H Muniyappa and Gujarat Governor Naval Kishore Sharma.
Speaking to mediapersons, Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji said an estimated 25 lakh people attended the celeberations, which ended on Sunday evening. While everything went according to the plan, the political changes during the course of the celeberations has delayed the formal inauguration of as many as 15 different projects which have been completed. Stating that these projects will be inaugurated over the next few weeks and months, the Swamiji thanked both te Union and State Governments for their support.
Later, at the concluding ceremony held to felicitte the officials and people’s representatives involved in the conduct of the celeberations, ex-Minister H D Revanna said the partnership between the Government and the Mutt had worked well. “The minor hic ups which came out during the conduct of the celeberations were corrected along the way,” he added and thanked Shravanabelagola MLA C S Putte Gowda for his role in the celeberations.