Shravanabelagola, February 10, 2006: As the Mahamastakabhishekha of Bahubali rolled into the third day, thousands continued to throng here on Friday to catch a glimpse of the 57-feet monolith that towers over the Jain heritage town.
On the third day, 1008 Kalasha holders performed the abhishekha for Gomateshwara accompanied by hymns on Friday. The honour of performing the Sandalwood abhisheka went to Mr.Anil Sethi of Bangalore while the milk and kashaya abhisheka was performed by Mr.Ganapathi Rao Sarai of Guwahati, Assam. With the organizers ironing out the minor hic ups in conducting the ceremony learning from the experiences of the previous two days, Friday’s Mastakabhisheka was smooth with awe struck devotees, braving the scorching sun, dancing to the tunes of devotional songs even the different dimensions of Bhagawan Bahubali came forth through the different colours that rained on him.
The day’s proceedings under the stewardship of Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji, in the presence of Sri Vardhaman Sagar Munimaharaj and other Acharyas began early with the Mastakabhisheka commencing at 8 a.m and ending ten minutes past 4 p.m. The ‘Kalashabhisheka’ was followed by ‘Panchamrutha abhishekha’ during which the statue was anointed with tender coconut water, sugarcane juice, milk, rice flour, turmeric paste, kashaya (a herbal concoction), kalkachurna, shrigandha (sandal paste), chandana (coloured sandal paste), ashtagandha (eight varieties of sandal paste), saffron, gold and silver flowers, precious stones and finally a variety of flowers.
Thousands of devotees watched the grand spectacle from the Chandragiri hills, opposite Vindhyagiri, with deep devotion and was awe-struck seeing the statue assume different hues during the ‘Panchamrutha abhishekha.’
Union Planning Minister M V Rajashekaran who participated in the celebrations atop the hills today did not make many efforts to hide his amazement and wonder. “This place needs to be declared a heritage site by the Union Government without waiting for any participation by the State. Shravanabelagola is too precious to be neglected by not according it the World Heritage Status,” he told media persons.
Making it clear That he would do his best to secure Shravanabelagola the status it is due, the Union Minister said Chief Minister Mr. H D. Kumaraswamy and himself would make a last ditch effort to secure the participation of Congress President Ms. Sonia Gandhi at the festival. “We will invite her and urge her to visit after the CMs Conference day after tomorrow,” he said.
The public show of Mahamastakabhisheka will have a break on Saturday and will commence again on Sunday. If Sarvatobhadra mahapooja at Bhandara Basadi, to all the 24 theerthankaras, is the highlight of dharmic face of the festival on Saturday, the cultural show will feature dance by noted actress Ms.Shobana and Group, followed by a gala light music evening featuring C Ashwath, Puttur Narasimha Naik and others. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)