Shravanabelagola (Hassan District, Karnataka), 27th March 2023: The Pattabhisheka Mahotsava of SwastiShree Agamakeerthi Swamiji, who had been selected and conferred Vicharapatta Kshullaka Deeksha by Paramapoojya Jagadguru Karmayogi Swastishree Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Mahaswamiji of Shravanabelagola Jain Math was held at Matada Basadi in Shravanabelagola. It was held under the Holy Presence of Mathadhipatis – Pontiffs of all the Jain maths and a galaxy of devotees.
The Pattabhisheka rituals started off early in the morning at around 5.00 am with the Mangala snana of Bhattarakha designate Sri Agamakeerthiji i.e. holy bathing of the incumbent to the Bhattaraka seat before the pattabhisheka. This was followed by Jina Mandira Darshana, Pattabandha, Mangala Kalasha Sthapana, Japa, Dhyana & Sakalikarana.
After this the following rituals, ceremonies and poojas were conducted from 6.30 am onwards – Navakalasha Abhisheka to Lord Chandranatha, Chanting of Mahashanthi Mantra, Shanthidhara. Special Abhisheka Pooja in all the temples/basadis at Shravanabelagola, Panchamrutha Abhisheka Pooja to Goddess Yakshi Kushmandinidevi followed by Mahamangalarathi along with Shodashopachara.
From 9:00 am onwards the poorvakriyas for pattabhisheka (i.e. rituals before pattabhisheka) and simhasana (the Bhattaraka seat) pooja were performed. Around this time all the Bhattarakas and dignitaries assembled inside the Matada Basadi.
Sri Agamakeerthiji was taken inside the Matada Basadi by Sri Sudarshan, a shravaka (house holder) from one of the main devotee families along with other Bhattarakas. Following that Sri Agamakeerthiji had a darshan of Lord Chandranath, Yakshi Kushmandini and bowed down to his Guru His Holiness SwastiSri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji’s photo. Around this time the silver Kamandala, golden Padukas and golden Pinchi were brought near the simhasana by the priests.
The Kamandala, Padukas and Pinchi are said to have been inherited from the previous Bhattarakas and are said to be more than several centuries old. Agamakeerthiji was then led to the area around Simhasana by Sri Sudarshan. While Agamakeerthiji was involved in offering his prayers to the Simhasana, His Holiness SwastiSri Siddhantakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of Aretippur Jain Math along with the priests were involved in performing pooja to the simhasana. The pooja included the ashtavidha archana and arathi by the priests. By the time all these ritualistic performances were completed, it was close to around 9:21 am.
His Holiness SwastiSri Dhavalakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of Arihantagiri Jain Math took charge of the events and announced that the much awaited auspicious time for pattabhisheka has arrived. He asked the Bhattarakhas and Shravakas for their consent to have Shri Agamankirthiji as the next successor to the throne of Sri Charukirthi Bhattaraka seat at Sravanabelagola. All the Bhattarakhas and Sravakas replied affirmatively.
While it was exactly 9:21 am Sri Sudarshan led Agamakeerthi Swamiji to the decorated Simhasana. From then on Sri Agamakeerthiji was called as SwastiSri Abhinava Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji by His Holiness SwastiSri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of Kanakgiri Jain Math. The priests started chanting holy mantras-hymns while Charukeerthiji offered his prayers sitting on the simhasana. The devotees around hailed repeatedly the slogan “Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji Ki Jai”. Further, Sri Sudarshan offered the ancient Kamandala, pinchi, golden chain, finger ring and a chain with 108 beads of Sphatika (crystal snow) to Sri Charukeerthiji. The golden chain was garlanded to Sri Charukeertiji, while the finger ring was worn on his ring finger of the right hand. Soon after this Shri Charukeerthiji offered a pooja to the golden padhukas. Then he held the chain with Sphatika beads and the golden pinchi in his right hand and did his first Japa after being consecrated as the Bhattaraka of Shravanabelagola. Meanwhile the priests chanted the holy hymns and offered pooja to the golden padhukas by means of Kalasha abhisheka and arati and concluded all the rituals/poojas related to Pattabhisheka.
First Sermon – His Holiness Sri Charukeerthi Swamiji gave his first sermon after this event from the holy Bhattarkha Peetha – Seat in Matada Basadi.
First Darshana – Then Shree Charukeerthi Swamiji proceded to have a darshan of Tirthankar Chandranath and Goddess Kushmandini Yakshi in Matada Basadi and later moved towards the Bhandari Basadi at Shravanabelagola. He had the 1st holy darshan of all the 24 Tirthankar idols at Bhadara Basadi for the first time after assuming the Bhattarakha throne.
Pallakki Utsava – His Holiness SwastiSri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji was taken out in a procession in all the main roads of Shravanabelagola in a decorated silver pallakki (palanquin). People from the houses on either sides of the procession path decorated the roads with rangoli. When the pallakki with Charukeerthiji arrived in front of their houses the devotees offered coconut, fruits and money as well in a plate and requested Sri Charukeerthi Swamiji’s blessings. Shri Charukirthi Swamiji offered his blessings by sprinkling the coloured rice and chanting the holy hymns.
Dharmika Sabha – The Pallakki Utsava was followed by a Dharmika Sabha at Chavundaraya Mantapa, all the Bhattarakha Swamiji’s and thousands of devotees attended it.
– Dr. H.A.Parshwanath & Nitin H P, Bengaluru; Jain Heritage Centres