How huge is 88th Mahamastakabhisheka - Shravanabelagola 2018

The Mahamastakabhisheka - Shravanabelagola 2018 is a festival of Jain community. Held once in every 12 years. This is 88th year for the festival. Inaugurated by President of India. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting.

Posted 1 year ago in Current Events, updated 1 year ago.

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The 88th Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations kicked off with a grand inaugural ceremony at Shravanabelagola on Wednesday. President of India Ramnath Kovind inaugurated the event in the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other dignitaries at the foothills of the Vindyagiri Hills.

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The Mahamastakabhisheka (Grand Consecration/The Great Indian Festival) refers to the abhisheka (anointment) of the Jain images when held on a large scale. The head anointing ceremony is performed once in 12 years to the 57 feet tall monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali, the son of Bhagwan Rishabhanatha,the first of the twenty four Jain Tirthankaras, is worshiped for living with exceptional qualities that he displayed during all stages of his life from conception, birth, renunciation, enlightenment and salvation at Shravanabelagola. The Bahubali statue is described as one of the mightiest achievements of ancient Karnataka in the realm of sculptural art. The statue stands upright in the posture of meditation known as kayotsarga. The statue is accessible through a flight of 500 steps.

The event is being held under the leadership of His Holiness Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of Shravanabelagola (one of the most important Jain tirth (a sacred place) of the Jains in South India) from February 17 @ 8:00 am - February 25 @ 5:00 pm organised by Gommateshwara Bhagawan Sri Sri Sri Bahubali Swami Mahamasthakabhisheka Mahotsava – 2018 Committee at Indragiri Hillock, Shravanabelagola, Karnataka 573135 India. It is an integral part of the ancient and composite Jain tradition.

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The ceremony in 2018 is said to be the 88th in the series that commenced in the year 981 A.D.and second Mahamastakabhisheka of the 21st Century. The date is decided by the luni-solar Jain calendar. Over 1 million devotees are expected to attend the consecration ceremony this year. The ceremony will be graced by hundreds of Jain acharyas such as Acharya Shri 108 VardhamansagarjiMaharaj, AcharyaShri 108 Pushpadantsagarji Maharaj, AcharyaShri 108 Vishuddhasagarji Maharaj, Muni Shri 108 Chinmaysagarji Maharaj etc.

Purified water and sandalwood paste is poured over the statue from a scaffolding. This event continues for weeks. As the Mahamastakabhisheka begins, consecrated water is sprinkled onto the participants by devotees carrying 1,008 specially prepared vessels. The statue is then bathed and anointed with libations such as milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste, and sprinkled with powders of sandalwood, turmeric, and vermilion. Offerings are made of petals, gold and silver coins, and precious stones. Most recently, the ceremony's finale has included an enormous shower of flowers from a waiting helicopter. The Mahamastakabhisheka begins by devotees carrying 1,008 specially prepared vessels (kalashes). The statue is then bathed and anointed with libations such as water, milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste, and sprinkled with powders of sandalwood, turmeric, and vermilion.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Shravanabelagola. According to Hassan SP Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad, around 5,500 police personnel, including different forces of the state will be deployed during the event. Anti-sabotage squads, motorcycle squads and many such have been formed to ensure 24/7 security. Besides CCTV cameras, drones are being used for the first time in Shravanabelagola to keep an eye on the developments.

The Jain mutt has decided to urge the government to implement certain development works ahead of the mega event.


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