Mahamasthakabhisheka is the head anointing ceremony which is performed once in 12 years to the 57 feet tall monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwara) at Shravanbelagola, Karnataka. It is one of biggest festivals for Jain community and it honors Lord Bahubali, a revered Jain icon. According to Jain texts, Bahubali had attained liberation from cycle of births and deaths (moksha) at Mount Kailash and is revered as a liberated soul (Siddha) by Jains.
Bahubali is also called Gommateshwara because of Gommateshwara statue dedicated to him and as lord Kammateswara from an inscription. Gommateshwara statue was built by Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya in
around 981 AD.
Importance of Shravanabelagola:
The Shravanabelagola town is located near Channaravapatna of Hassan district of Karnataka. ‘Shravana’ means a Jain ascetic and ‘Belagola’ means white pond. The place Shravanabelagola or Sravanabelagola is famous for the Bahubali statue which is supposed to be the tallest monolithic statue in the world, carved out of single block of granite. It is one of the most important Jain tirth (a sacred place) of the Jains in South India. Jain saint Bhadrabahu reached this place from Ujjain along with his disciples. Later Chandragupta Maurya, the ruler of Patna, also handed over his kingdom to his son Bindusara and chose to spend his days here.
About Lord Bahubali:
Lord Bahubali or Gomateshwara was the son of the first Jain Tirthankara named Rishabhadeva. Lord Bahubali attained Kevalagnana after giving the kingdom to his brother Bharatha, who was fighting for the kingdom. The Gomateswara temple is built on the top of a hill at an altitude of 3347 feet, on Vindhyagiri hills (also known as Indragiri or Doddabetta).
Why it is important for OAS Mains?
Recently, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated 88th Mahamastakabhisheka of Lord Gomateshwara by unveiling an idol of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola in Hassan district, Karnataka. President also lighted lamp to mark inauguration of the mega event which is held once in 12 years.