Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, Sep 14: Curtains were drawn to centuary’s second 88TH Mahamasthakabhisheka to Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelagola with a rituals held here on Friday.
The Mahamastakabhisheka was held once in 12 years and involves the grand consecration of the statue of Gomateshwara or Bahubali which is said to be the tallest free standing monolithic sculpture in the world.
The mega event headed by Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji, the pontiff of Shravanabelagola Jain Math was successfully held for more than seven and half months with all religious customs followed since the beginning on February 7. Initially, religious programmes were held and the veneration and anointment of the statue commenced on February 17 and continued till February 25.
Special poojas were held for 24 Thirthankar idol along with Bhagavan Bahubali statue before the rituals winded up with water sparkling event. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Mahamastakabhisekha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some of his cabinet colleagues took part in the event. Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and others also visited the shrine. The statue is situated in the town of Shravanabelagola in Hassan District. The 57,000 feet high statue which stands on a hill is carved out of light grey granite and can be seen as far away as 10 km.
In Jain tradition, Gaomata or Bahubali is the son of Adinatha, the first Tirthankara. The statue of Bahubali is highly polished and stands erect in Kayotsarga pose with stiff unbent arms and legs and arms away from the body.
The magnificent statue is standing on a full bloomed lotus. The body is robust and taut with broad shoulders. Hair is curly and his nose and chin are clearly defined on the broad face. He has the signs of a Maha Purusha (great man) such as ears with long lobes and unusually long hands.
Creepers entwined in his body and big ant hills up to his thighs show the severe penance he had undertaken. He has a calm and resolute disposition and his subdued smile reflects his inner peace.
Today final function begin to Mahamastakabhisheka, consecrated water is sprinkled onto the participants by devotees carrying 108 specially prepared 'Kalashas'. The statue is bathed in milk, sugarcane juice and anointed with saffron paste. Then, powders of sandalwood, turmeric and vermillion were sprinkled. Offerings are usually made of petals, gold and silver coins and precious stones.
The last Mahamastakabhisheka was conducted in 2006 and included an enormous showering of flowers from a waiting helicopter in the ceremony’s grand finale. The event attracted lakhs of devotees from different parts of the world.
It took almost 12 years to carve the idol of Lord Bahubali and hence to mark this Mahamasthakabhisheka conducted once in 12 years. One other story says that Chavundaraya who got the idol of Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelagola had instructed for performing Mahamasthakabhisheka once in 12 years.
According to the Jain scriptures it is seen that 12 is an auspicious number. Practically speaking to conduct the Masthakabhisheka of an idol of such a huge magnitude it involves a lot of efforts, time and money. Hence Masthakabhisheka is performed once in 12 years.
Since inception the Bahubali idol at Shravanabelagola has been worshipped by Jains all over the world and particularly from Karnataka. As it has been a tradition there to perform the Masthakabhisheka once it 12 years the same tradition has been followed. (UNI)