20-day Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations begin in Shravanabelagola

Mahamastakabhisheka, the grand festival of anointing the statue of Bahubali in Shravanabelagola every 12 years, was inaugurated on Wednesday by the countrys President Ram Nath Kovind.

The crowd cheered as the President began his address in Kannada saying Sahodara Sahodarigalige Nanna Namaskaragalu.

“Karnataka must hold a special attraction for me as I find that in the six months since I became President, I am visiting this state for the third time,” Kovind said. He said that Jainism laid the seeds for a tradition of peace and non-violence in the country and the importance of these values is slowly increasing.

“Jain tradition forms the threads which hold the country together. I am happy to be part of this traditions festival,” he said. First Lady Savita Kovind also took part in the ceremony.

Jain munis and sadhvis from across the country and thousands of devotees were present for the inaugural. The festival was opened with the unveiling of a replica of the monolith statue, accompanied by a crescendo of bells, horns and drums. The crowds called out cheers for Bahubali.

Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji, head of the Shravanabelagola Mutth, is leading the festival for the fourth time since 1981, which marked 1000 years since the first Mahamastakabhisheka

“People have been eagerly waiting, first for 2018 to come and then for February 7. The occasion is finally here,” Charukeerthi said, addressing the gathering. The seer thanked the state government for providing infrastructure for the fest and support for a Prakrit University, the district administration and central government.

Addressing the audience in Hindi, Charukeerthi said that it was the tradition for the festival to be inaugurated by the President of the nation. In 2006, it was inaugurated by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and in 1993 by Shankar Dayal Sharma.

“I am so happy that the presidents wife has also participated in the festival. It is as though my mother has come,” he said.

Acharya Shri Vardhaman Sagar Muni Maharaj, who will be leading the rituals for the third time, recounted the story of Bahubali and his message to the world of sacrifice, peace and non-violence.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah said his government was lucky to get a chance to participate in the organisation of the festival. He said that the district administration and ministers have tried to ensure that devotees visiting the festival have the best amenities.

“There is violence and hate among people of different religions. It is okay to be proud of your religion but it is not right to hate other religions,” he said. He urged people to not just remember the values propagated by Bahubali but adopt principles of peace and non-violence in their lives.

The anointments for the Bahubali statue as part of the Mahamastakabhisheka will begin on February 17 and will continue until February 25.

Mahamastakabhisheka, the grand festival of anointing the statue of Bahubali in Shravanabelagola every 12 years, was inaugurated on Wednesday by the country’s President Ram Nath Kovind.

The crowd cheered as the President began his address in Kannada saying ‘Sahodara Sahodarigalige Nanna Namaskaragalu’.

“Karnataka must hold a special attraction for me as I find that in the six months since I became President, I am visiting this state for the third time,” Kovind said. He said that Jainism laid the seeds for a tradition of peace and non-violence in the country and the importance of these values is slowly increasing.

“Jain tradition forms the threads which hold the country together. I am happy to be part of this tradition’s festival,” he said. First Lady Savita Kovind also took part in the ceremony.

Jain munis and sadhvis from across the country and thousands of devotees were present for the inaugural. The festival was opened with the unveiling of a replica of the monolith statue, accompanied by a crescendo of bells, horns and drums. The crowds called out cheers for Bahubali.

Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji, head of the Shravanabelagola Mutth, is leading the festival for the fourth time since 1981, which marked 1000 years since the first Mahamastakabhisheka

“People have been eagerly waiting, first for 2018 to come and then for February 7. The occasion is finally here,” Charukeerthi said, addressing the gathering. The seer thanked the state government for providing infrastructure for the fest and support for a Prakrit University, the district administration and central government.

Addressing the audience in Hindi, Charukeerthi said that it was the tradition for the festival to be inaugurated by the President of the nation. In 2006, it was inaugurated by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and in 1993 by Shankar Dayal Sharma.

“I am so happy that the president’s wife has also participated in the festival. It is as though my mother has come,” he said.

Acharya Shri Vardhaman Sagar Muni Maharaj, who will be leading the rituals for the third time, recounted the story of Bahubali and his message to the world of sacrifice, peace and non-violence.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah said his government was lucky to get a chance to participate in the organisation of the festival. He said that the district administration and ministers have tried to ensure that devotees visiting the festival have the best amenities.

“There is violence and hate among people of different religions. It is okay to be proud of your religion but it is not right to hate other religions,” he said. He urged people to not just remember the values propagated by Bahubali but adopt principles of peace and non-violence in their lives.

The anointments for the Bahubali statue as part of the Mahamastakabhisheka will begin on February 17 and will continue until February 25.

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