Shravanabelagola, February 12, 2006: With the direct telecast of the Mahamasthakabhisheka celebrations not happening after the first two days, and Day Five being a Sunday, thousands who thronged the Vindhyagiri hills today became the first to have a glimpse of the celebrations in progress even without a pass or an invitation.
Continuing with the experiment of Saturday when they allowed general public to view the symbolic Mahamasthakabhisheka without kalashas held for the officers of the judiciary, the police today allowed members of the general public to have a glimpse of the Mahamastakabhisheka, progress in its full complement. The police allowed the members of the public, who had queued up, climb up through the steps on the northern side; reach the feet of the 58.8 ft monolith from below the reserved platforms meant for Kalasha holders and others, when the Mahamastakabhisheka was in progress; pray to Bhagawan Bahubali in the colour he presented himself before them; make their offerings of coconut and rice; collect flowers or handful of abhisheka water as the Bhagawan’s blessings; and return – all this in a manner of two to three minutes.
However, on the western entrance, some of the pass holders were not allowed to go up the hills around afternoon owing to the platforms that can hold 6,000 people being jam packed. This led to an impasse which was later resolved by the intervention of senior police officers.
SC Chief Justice participates: Chief Justice of Supreme Court Y K Sabarwal participated in the Mahamastakabhisheka on Sunday. He performed the Abhisheka with Shravanabelagola Pontiff Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji on his side. Earlier the Seer led him up the stairs behind the platform in a ceremonial procession with dharmic rites from the pooja sthal at the feet of Bhagawan Bahubali. A group of ten other judicial officers of various designations accompanied the Chief Justice.
Mega Deeksha on Monday: In one of the biggest turnouts ever at a Deeksha or initiation ceremony during the Mahamasthakabhisheka, as many as 36 Jains will be initiated to different categories of a Jain monk, from a Kshullak and onward, at the Panchakalyana Vedike in Tyagi Nagar on Monday. Followers of Acharya 108 Viragasagar Muni Maharaj, Acharya 108 Varadattsagar Muni Maharaj, Munishri Vishuddasagar and Munishri Vinishcharya Sagar, will be initiated into the order of the Jain monks in the presence of Acharya 108 Vardhamanasagar Muni Maharaj and Shravanbelagola Pontiff Swasthishri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji. The ceremony will be held from10.30 am to 12.30 pm. This will be followed by a special programme by the revolutionary Jain monk Munishri Taruna Sagar.
Rousing cultural show: Devotees and visitors to Shravanabelagola for the Mahamasthakabhisheka have over the last four days turned out in huge numbers to savour the cultural programmes featuring leading artistes. What began with an evening with leading playback singer S P Balasubramaniam on Feb 7, followed by a performance from music director/singer Ravindra Jain on February 8, gathered huge momentum when ghazals by Hariharan echoed off the Shravanabelagola’s hills. But, the biggest day was Saturday, when actress Shobana with her Bharatanatya performance, and singers C Ashwath and company with their folk songs drew delirious crowds. Noted carnatic classical vocalist Balamuralikrishna is scheduled to perform on Monday. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)