Venur (Dakshina Kannada District, Karnataka), Jaunary 28, 2012: As the sounds of ‘chende’ and ‘kombu’ reached a crescendo, marking the grand start of the nine day grand ritual of mahamasthakabhisheka here on Saturday, 3,500 devotees sitting in the main venue and another equal number outside raised their eyes skywards to have a look at the head anointing ceremony of the 35 foot high gigantic statue, erected in 1604 AD to commemorate Lord Bahubali’s supreme sacrifice of renouncing the throne in pursuit of eternal bliss and liberation.
This is the millennium’s second mahamasthakabhisheka to the Venur Bahubali, after the first one in the year 2000.
The visual splendour, which comes once in 12 years, began at 8.15 pm when the 408-year-old, state’s fourth tallest monolith statue, was anointed first with 108 kalasha’s of water by the successor of Ajila Dynasty – which erected the Bahubali in 1604 AD – Dr Padmaprasad Ajila and his family.
Earlier the 108 kalasha’s filled ‘agrodaka’ from the well at Kallu Basadi, two furlongs from the main venue was brought in a procession at 8 pm. The pots filled with water were blessed during the Thorana Muhurat performed at Dhanur lagna of 4.20 am.
What followed after the 50 minute Jalabhisheka was indeed breath taking. From white to brown to yellow, the colour of the monolith statue changed by the minute, to the awe of devotees gathered atop the hill as milk, thousands litres of water, turmeric and sandal slided down the gigantic statue for 160 minutes. But the penultimate tribute to the statue was the anointment with varieties of flowers which was awesome. Indeed a sight to watch was when the monolith assumed different colours as the pastes and fluids of different ingredients such as tender coconut water, milk, sugarcane juice, kakshachurna (a concoction of medicinal plants), turmeric paste among others were poured one after the other.
The mahamasthakabhisheka ceremonies to all Bahubali’s in this part of the state are held only at night due to the stifling heat during day time. Bhagavan Shri Bahubali Swami Mahamasthakabhisheka Committee Executive President V Dhananjaya Kumar says that it is so due to the humidity and the heat prevalent here. “Jainism does not prohibit holding of ceremonies at night,” he said.
Lying in the pedestal’s corner were huge drums / cans carrying milk, turmeric paste, rice flour, sugarcane juice, kashya (a herbal concoction) and ashtagandha (eight varieties of sandalwood paste), to be used during the night-long ritual. In an environment conscious move by the organizers, the pouring was routed through a pipe to a pit outside the main venue, where it would be composted later with other materials. The ceremony was watched by many from North India too, but majority were from the state.
The ceremony, which takes place once in 12 years to signify the attainment of Kaivalyajnana by Bahubali after 12 months of meditation, has made the otherwise. – News Courtesy: Times of India