SHRAVANABELAGOLA: The 88th Mahamastakabhisheka is an event of many firsts. It is for the first time in the Mahamastakabhisheka’s 1037-year history that a woman from the Jain community is heading the celebrations. Seventy-year-old Sarita Jain is the president of Bharatvarsheeya Digamber Jain Teerthkshetra Committee, which is conducting the event.
According to Sarita, she had never thought that she will be heading the committee during the Mahamastakabhisheka.
During the inauguration of the event on Wednesday, President Ram Nath Kovind, who appreciated the preparations, was delighted to know that a woman was heading the committee. “He congratulated us for whatever we have done,” Sarita said.
“When I was elected four-and-a-half years ago, there was a bit of an internal tussle in the committee. In order to solve the problem, a negotiation was reached and the term was shared between me and another person, who served for two-and-a-half years.
Later, I was appointed president. It was then that I realised I will be heading the committee during Mahamastakabhisheka. I was the happiest person in the world.” Sarita, who has four grandchildren, said that she has invested all her time in the past two years to ensure the Mahamastakabhisheka is a successful event. During the period, 184 temples were renovated across India, she said.
Meanwhile, for the first time, 5,000 people will be able to witness the Mahamastakabhisheka at a time atop the hillock.
The organisers have built a huge gallery with the help of German technology. People can also witness the event using a mobile app.
Need to adopt principles of Jainism: Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind said it was the need of the hour to adopt the principles of Jainism, which promotes peace, non-violence and tolerance. President was accompanied by his wife Savita Kovind. He said he was very happy to visit Shravanabelagola. “I am very happy visiting Karnataka. Since I became president in July 2017, this is my third visit to Karnataka.” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Jain saints were making efforts to uplift human values by spreading peace and non-violence.