Remembering the Shuddhikaran & 18 Abhishek Mahotsav !
|Shri Sammed Shikhar Giriraj|
“Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there's a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living”
The year was 2012. All across India, a wave of concern had swept on the current condition of ancient Jain tirths. Many of the elders felt the pain at the dilapidated conditions of Kalyanak Bhumi’s as well. On the occasion of Shashan Sthapna Diwas, Vaishakh Sud 11 (2nd May, 2012) renowned speakers, Pt. Pradipbhai, Pt. Mehulbhai and Shri Ashishbhai explained the importance of Tirth raksha and why our ancient tirths needed to be restored back to its original glory. Thus the seed of Shree Sammed Shikhar Mahatirth Shuddhikaran & 18 Abhishek was sown.
|The poor conditions of Nirvan Tunks|
In a short duration, the event was formally announced. Though, the thought garnered a lot of support, a lot of people were apprehensive whether such an event, that too on such a large scale could be carried out by a few youngsters! My CS final examinations had begun and during that time the preparations began. Permissions were obtained from tirth pedhi; Train tickets, Shuddhikaran and 18 Abhishek samagri were purchased, lists were made and duties were delegated. But everything wasn’t as smooth as expected. From handling cancellations to making arrangements for night stay at Jal Mandir, (which is 9kms uphill Sammed Shikhar) , hurdles came in our way each & every moment.
Shuddhikaran of 27 Tunks & Jal Mandir by 38 youths was an uphill task, but the hope never faded and courage was never lost even for a moment. Even after all such obstacles and problems, hope was not lost and the urge to purify the Nirvaan Tunks at Shikharjee remained our top priority.
As the days were nearing, the responsibilities increased. Special care was taken so as to minimize the “ashatnas” by any of our members at the pious Shikharji Giriraj. To carry out a Shuddhikaran Jatra with youths, that too according to the “shashtras” was a very difficult process. 700 “Sona-Rupa Pushps” (Flowers made with Gold & Silver) were purchased so that use of stale flowers could be avoided during 18 Abhishek. All pure & rare “Aushadhis” were procured for 18 Abhishek Mahotsav and holy water from Shetrunji River (Palitana, Gujarat) was also procured for use in 18 Abhisheks.
On 15th June, 83 yatriks departed from Kolkata via Jodhpur express. At 5 AM, we all reached Madhuban, (the base of Sikharji hill). At the crack of dawn, 38 youths started the uphill climb. Gradually the temperatures started rising to 42 degree levels ! In this unbearable heat all the youths completed the arduous 9km long uphill climb to Gautam Swami tunk. From there we all split up in predetermined groups to clean up all the Nirvaan tunks.
Armed with brooms to buckets along with Angluchnas, Pathluchnas, morpinch, varakunchi, Marble powder, Awla powder etc, the groups cleaned up all tunks with due diligence. After completing the Shuddhikaran process Asopalav torans were decorated on each tunk.
|Shuddhikaran at Gautam Swami and nearby Tunks|
|Shuddhikaran at Parasnath Tunk and nearby tunks|
|Shuddhikaran at Jal Mandir|
|Shuddhikaran of Pratimajis|
|The wonderful team !|
In the beautiful and serene atmosphere at a height of 4000 feet, we all gathered at Jal Mandir in front of Shree Sammed Shikhar Parshwanath Bhagwan and opened out our hearts in front of the lord. The temple, looked heavenly in the gleam of flickering lamps. At the stroke of 7:30 pm, in various ragas, rhythms and mudras we all chanted the divine chant: “ॐ ह्रीं श्री समेतशिखर पार्श्वनाथाय नमः”. Minutes flew into hours and we lost track of time in the divine presence of lord. After countless stutis, stavans we conducted Aarti, Mangal Dipak and after vadhai we called it a day and dozed off in the beautiful environment.
|Bhakti at Jal Mandir|
The morning of 17th June, is so beautifully etched in my memory that I can recall each moment in great detail. At the crack of dawn, hearing the sweet chirps of birds, we all woke up. Even in summer the weather was so pleasant that we were all curled up in cozy blankets. At 5:30 AM, with the beats of percussions and the dhun of “જય જય શ્રી પારસનાથ !” we all completed the pradakshina of the temple and conducted “Dwarodghatan”. After the darshan of the lord, we again started the day with divine chants and Chaityavandan after which we decorated the temple with Asopalav Torans and various flowers. The fragnance of Sugandhi Aushadhi, Gulabjal, Kewdajal, Dashang Dhoop and Ittar wafted in the air making the environment more divine.
At the Shubh Mahurat of 8:30 AM, after Bhumi Shuddhi and Snatra Puja we started the 18 Abhisheks on the lord including Suvarna Abhishek (using Gold), Panch Ratna Abhishek (using 5 gems), Mangal Mrutika Abhishek (using 8 different types of soil), Sarva Aushadhi (rare herbs) , Tirthjal (from Shatrunjay) and Panchamrut. After Mudra Darshan, Surya & Chandra Darshan we conducted Aarti, Mangal Deepak and Shanti kalash.
After Chaityavandan, we started the downhill journey carrying divine experiences and lovely memories with ourselves. !!