Ujjain : Dharmadhwaja of three major Shaiva akharas, Juna, Avahan and Agni will be hoisted on March 25, but before the hoisting of Dharmadhwaja there is a meticulous process involved in the preparation.
Hoisting ceremony is an auspicious occasion and is treated as inaugural of the mela for akharas and religious institutes. Not only the wood for the flag staff is chosen carefully, the length is also defined by the akharas. Forest department was roped in to make arrangements for the high quality wood, which could sustain the pressure of wind at height of 65 feet. Although there is no strict measurement prescribed, but the saints prefer wood length of 52 arms. General Secretary of Agni Akhara Mahant Govindananda Bramhchari told Free Press, “In ancient times there were no standard measurement tools, so the Sanyasis used to measure the wood length using their arms, so still the 52 arm length is preferred.” He said in present times the 52 arm length roughly measures around 65 feet.
Forest department has prepared big for Simhastha mela and has braced for 3 times supply of wood stock, which it did in previous Simhastha mela of year 2004. Last Simhastha roughly 25,000 quintals of wood was supplied, this year they have estimated supply of 75,000 thousand quintals. High quality eucalyptus trees from forests of Dewas were brought down to meet the demands of akharas. Chief Conservator of Forest Dr PC Dubey said, “High quality flagstaffs have already been delivered to the akharas, to which the akhara representatives have Okayed”.
General Secretary of the Avahan Akhara Mahant Satya Giri said, “Dharmdhwaja represents official inauguration of Simhastha-Kumbh mela for akharas”. Once the flag is installed activities of Sadhu-Sanyasis start beneath the flag. He said before the Dhwaja is hoisted 52 knots of ‘Yagnopaveetham’ are tied on to the staff, with holy rituals. The 52 knots of Yagnopaveetham represent the 52 Madhis or houses of Sanyasis in the Dashnami sect.
General Secretary of the Juna Akhara Mahant Hari Giri says, the Dharmadhwaja is the marking of an akhara and serves as beacon of the akhara.
Not only the flagstaff but the flag also has speciality and is only prepared by seasoned tailors, as it has a length of more than 5 meters. He said with present developments the process has become easier, or it was a herculean task for us to find a suitable tailor. At present most of the akharas prefer the flags made in Varanasi, which is famous of rich heritage of akharas, and consists of centre of major akharas.