With bhajans reverberating, rangolis bedecking the entrances of houses and a gathering of over 10,000 people from across the world, the sleepy city of Dharampur is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandra who is also said to be Mahatma Gandhi’s mentor.
Organised by the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, the festival, Yugpurush Saardh Shatabdi Mahotsav, started on November 2 and will end on November 5. Utppal Mehta, public relations in-charge at the Dharampur mission said the world’s tallest statue of Shrimad Rajchandra, the Jain philosopher who is said to be Gandhi’s mentor, was unveiled on the first day. “The bronze statue is 34-feet tall. Another highlight of the first day was bhajan performance by singer duo Sachin-Jigar,” said Mehta.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed the audience on the second day of the festival and conducted an unscheduled meditation session. The main function will be held on Saturday with a mahastakabhishek ceremony of the Yugpurush’s statue. Mehta said, “Morai Bapuji, Swami Viveksagar and Lokesh Muni will grace the occasion. Evening is slotted for a play.”
A groundbreaking ceremony for a hospital in the Ashram premises will also take place during the festival. Health commissioner Dr Jayanti Ravi is expected to be a part of the ceremony. The tribal belt of Dharampur is home to the tribes of Kholcha, Bhil, Nayaka, Koknas, Vedch, Gamits, Warlis and Chaudaris.