Shravanabelagola, January 8, 2006: Acharya 108 Sri Viraga Sagar Muni Maharaj reached Shravanabelagola today with a group of 34 monks to participate in the new millennium’s first Mahamasthakabhisheka of Bhagwan Bahubali Swami, bringing the total number of munis and nuns to reach this pilgrim town to 114.
Acharya Viraga Sagar Muni Maharaj traveled nearly 200 kms by foot from Moodbidri to reach Shravanabelagola. Before reaching Moodbidri for his Chaturmasa in September, the Acharya and his group of monks had traveled from Bhilai in Chattigarh and reached Karanja in Maharashtra, more than a 1500 kms, again by foot.
The Archarya, visiting Shravanabelagola for the first time, was ceremoniously welcomed near Vidyananda Nilaya and brought in a procession to Mangayi Jain Temple where he was received by Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji with poornakhumba even as devotees, acharyas, nuns and internees thronged the area, and devotional songs and music rent the air.
Later speaking at the occasion Acharya 108 Sri Virag Sagarji Muni Maharaj said it was his lifetime dream to have the darshan of Bhagawan Bahubali and now he considered himself truly blessed to have reached Shravanabelagola. “I propose to climb the hill without wasting time and we travelled the entire distance seeing Bhagawan Bahubali in every stone we came across. It is true that if a believer thirsts for the Lord, he will see it in any object. Personally, reaching Shravanabelagola and seeing the gathering of monks here, I feel like a small child returning to the fold of his family,” he said.
Continuing, the Acharya said the true meaning of religion has to reach the people to bring about a transformation in the current chaotic situation existing in the society. One has to understand the sacrifice, knowledge and dedication of the acharyas towards the dharmic values for the transformation of their soul towards the protection of these values, he added.
Acharya 108 Sri Vardhamana Sagarji Muni Maharaja, speaking on the occasion, described it as a moment in time witnessing confluence of renunciation, meditation and yoga, and said this was a time when pure devotion comes to fore.
Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji, who graced the occasion said, this was the second biggest batch of monks to have ever arrived in Shravanabelagola, the first being the visit of last Shrutakevali Badhrabahu Swami and his group of 12,000 monks. The Mahamasthakabhisheka spectacle will spread the message of peace and universal brotherhood throughout the world in the presence of a large number of munis, all inspired by the life and message of Bhagawan Bahubali, he added.
Mr. D Surendra Kumar and Mr. Pushpadantha of Dharmasthala, and Mr. Gyanchand and Mr. Ratanchand Jain of Chattarpur were felicitated for accompanying the muni sangh. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)