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Thousands congregate for new temple consecration

    Chennai (Tamil Nadu), 31 January, 2012: Over 10,000 followers of the Jain religion from across the country, on Sunday congregated at the newly built Shri Matru Pitru Smruti Shri Sheetalnath Tirthankar Jinalaya to witness the consecration ceremony. The ceremony involved the opening of the Kalas on the temple tower and the pratishta of the idols of the Tirthankaras, the holy men of the religion.

    Claimed to be the first jinalaya in Tamil Nadu to have the idols of all 24 Tirthankaras, the temple near the Mint clock tower on Basin Bridge Road, occupies an area of 8,000 square feet. It has been built by the family of Sankarji Prithviraj Kawad.

    According to those associated with the temple, the architecture of the shrine was of the Rajasthani style, with white marbles that adorn the temple walls and floors being sourced from important centres across the country. While the shrine has the idols of all the 24 Tirthankaras, the main deity would be Bhagwan Sheetalnath, the tenth among the list of 24 of whom Mahavira was the last.

    The Central dome of the structure, built with intricately carved white marbles carrying the 14 sacred symbols, was 83 foot in height, claimed the organisers.

    The consecration ceremony involved the ritual of Anjanshalaka, where the eyes of the idols were decorated with a collyrium made of various substances that are considered auspicious in the Jain community. The organisers informed that the idols were made of semi-precious stones such as rose quartz, yellow morgue and black rainbow.

    While the Kumbabishekam was performed on Sunday, the programmes leading to the ceremony were inaugurated on January 22 by Speaker D Jayakumar. Apart from devotional singing every evening, a play depicting the life of Sheetalnath was staged on all days. However, the highlight of the nine-day ceremony was the procession taken out on Saturday from Mint Street to the temple in which more than 15,000 jains participated. The construction of the temple would take another eight months to be completed. – News Courtesy: IBN Live

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