A multitude of devotees gathered in front of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir from 3 am onwards after the ceremony to view and worship the newly-consecrated Ram Lalla. The ceremony was held on Tuesday, exactly a day after Ram Lalla’s ‘Pran Pratishtha puja’.
When the morning broke, a big devoted crowd came to this sacred place attracted by its spiritual significance it. Ram Lalla was dedicated to the monument and devotees were anxious to see it, worshiping with a smile.
Ram Lalla’s ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony was held on January 22, 2024, with great fervor and celebrations. The important rituals were led by a handful of respected clerics under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The consecration was a special moment in history that showed the people’s dedication and faith, with the temple area full of activity and fervor.
The Unforgettable of History of Ayodhya
Think of walking in the narrow lanes and alleys of Ayodhya, where you can hear time whispering tales about a city that has seen centuries rise to fall. This location does not only consist of concrete and stone but is the embodiment of a vibrant cultural heritage, which has withstood the test time.
Ayodhya was not just an ordinary city centuries ago; it had a community that thrived in its divinity mentioned in the Ramayana, and every brick of prosperity and sanctuary bolstered this fact. The air was filled with devotion and the belief that Lord Ram had been born at this very site imbued it along with its future, as a pilgrimage destination (going back) to Ayodhya.
Jumping to the Mughal period, it seems a different color in the 16th century, its construction is ordered by Emperor Babur, and hustle and bustle of people as it takes shape. This magnitude, despite its grandeur, unknowingly paves the way for centuries of confrontation and discord into the place where the holy land is turned into a disputed ground separating communities.
The pace of time slowly but surely drags the once peaceful Ayodhya into a legal battleground 20th-century courts reverberate with the heat of legal snarls, as cases and appeals attempt to disentangle from a historical cloth. This is no ordinary conflict; it’s a collision of stories, each jostling for validation and resolution.
It is 1992, an epoch that breaks the grounds of Ayodhya. The Babri Masjid, an architectural icon of religious belief is brought down to become a ruin and the simmering communal tensions finally boil over. But the tune of coexistence is now discordant.
However, among the mess, justice’s hands stretch. In 2019, the Supreme Court of India issued a judgment that echoes all over the country. This is not just a judicial order; it recognizes the deep-rooted emotions that connect human beings to sacred lands in Ayodhya. A drive for unity tries to undo the damage that time and argument have brought upon wounds.
Enter August 2020. Imagine the surrounding air so charged with expectations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone for Ayodhya Ram Mandir. This is not a building project only but an endeavor, one step towards unity and healing. Dignitaries and religious leaders stand together, representing a common will to heal the wounds of history.
Ayodhya Ram Mandir is not only an architectural wonder; it’s a living story, the exemplary journey of triumph over conflict and unity despite differences. It can be a sign of strength that history, regardless of its intricacy, can guide how cultures should become accepted and how shared values connect human beings.
Political Turmoil over the Pran Pratistha Ceremony
It’s disheartening to witness a situation where certain Indian politicians seem unable to share in the joy that has resonated globally. The intricacies of the guest list and the approach to extending invitations for the consecration ceremony have become contentious issues, prompting some leaders to opt-out. Within the I.N.D.I.A. grouping, the Congress camp perceives the event as a BJP-RSS affair and has decided to boycott it on those grounds.
Noteworthy personalities such as Laloo Prasad Yadav, M.K. Stalin, and Sita Ram Yechury have also chosen not to attend. Yadav might be holding onto memories of pivotal events, such as blocking the Advani rath and the subsequent arrest of the veteran leader in 1990. Stalin’s strong views against Hinduism, influenced by his grandfather’s stance, further contributed to the nuanced decision-making. Yechury’s party, despite its ideological stance against religion, has forged alliances with the Muslim League in Kerala, underscoring the complexities of political affiliations.
A common thread binding these leaders is the belief that abstaining from the ceremony may sway Muslim votes, particularly from those who haven’t fully embraced the Supreme Court judgment. However, this strategic move places the opposition in a delicate predicament, as they must navigate the fine line between retaining their Hindu vote base and comprising many practicing Hindus among their party workers.
In this political tug-of-war, it becomes intriguing to observe figures like Rahul Gandhi, who, despite claiming religion as a personal matter, publicly declared himself a Shiv Bhakt not too long ago. Similarly, Mamta Banerjee’s regular attendance at Durga Puja, Arvind Kejriwal’s sponsorship of Sundar Kanda recitations, and Udhav Thackeray’s plan to pray at Kalaram temple offer glimpses into the intersection of personal faith and public identity. Many I.N.D.I.A. leaders, including Akhilesh Yadav and Sharad Pawar, express their intentions to visit Ayodhya at a later date, further adding layers to the evolving narrative.
The criticism extending to the guest list and the invitation process sheds light on internal party dynamics and interpersonal disputes. However, from an objective standpoint, prioritizing those instrumental in the temple’s construction – including the families of Ram Sewaks, trust members, religious leaders, supporting governments, public figures, administrators, NGOs, and the general public seems a reasonable approach.
Labeling the participation of the prime minister or chief minister as a political move appears baseless, considering the intrinsic link between ruling leaders and significant national events. Similarly, the involvement of the RSS supremo, given their role in organizing the public movement, seems justifiable.
Concerns raised about government agencies’ role in facilitating the event may echo hypocritical sentiments, given past instances of governments participating in various religious events. The challenge of treating religion as a personal matter becomes evident when political representation inherently involves representing the diverse faiths of the populace. Nevertheless, using religion as a divisive tool between communities is not only unsound politically but also stands as a potential crime against humanity.
The leaders choosing to boycott the Ayodhya event appear entangled in a complex web of minority vote bank politics or carry a lingering guilt complex from past actions. Fortunately, the unity displayed by many Hindu sects, taking pride in the construction of the Ram temple, signifies a potential turning point in Indian politics. The realization of the ideal of Ram Rajya, as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi, hinges on equitable treatment, positive governance, and leaders prioritizing the collective good over personal interests. The evolving narrative at Ayodhya underscores the intricate dance between personal beliefs, political strategy, and the broader aspirations of a diverse nation.
Unique Scriptures of Shri Ram Mandir
In the heart of Ayodhya, the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir is not just a grand structure; it’s a living testament to our shared cultural heritage and spiritual pride. Standing proudly speaks volumes about our artistic brilliance and devotion. Built-in the traditional Nagara style, this sacred abode spans 380 feet from east to west, stretches 250 feet wide, and reaches an impressive height of 161 feet.
The Mandir isn’t just a construction of bricks and stones; it’s a canvas of devotion adorned with 392 pillars and 44 exquisitely carved doors, each telling a story of Hindu deities, gods, and goddesses. As you step into the sanctum sanctorum, you’ll encounter the divine childhood form of Bhagwan Shri Ram, lovingly known as Shri Ram Lalla. Ascending to the first floor, you’ll find the Shri Ram Darbar, surrounded by five enchanting mandaps — Nritya Mandap, Rang Mandap, Sabha Mandap, Prathana Mandap, and Kirtan Mandap. The entire complex comes alive with dedicated Mandirs for Surya Dev, Devi Bhagwati, Ganesh Bhagwan, Bhagwan Shiv, Maa Annapurna, and Hanuman ji at its corners.
What makes this Mandir truly special is not just its architectural marvel but its dedication to tradition and sustainability. The builders have chosen to avoid steel or iron, opting for traditional materials like Bansi Paharpur Pink Sandstone and granite. It’s not just a temple; it’s an eco-conscious masterpiece, leaving 70% of its 70-acre area lush and green. The foundation, made with a 14-meter-thick layer of roller-compacted concrete, gives the Mandir a majestic, rock-like appearance. Each brick, known as “Ram Shilas,” carries the essence of Ram Setu, connecting our modern craftsmanship with ancient symbolism. The Mandir complex isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a harmonious blend of tradition and functionality, offering essential facilities like sewage treatment, water treatment, fire safety, and an independent power station. This sacred space isn’t just a place of worship; it’s a living embodiment of our cultural ethos, a symbol of unity, and a promise to safeguard our heritage for generations to come.
Celebrations around the World
In the United States, the excitement is palpable as preparations for the Consecration Day unfold. The event will be shared live across approximately 300 locations, creating a sense of unity and celebration. Notably, the vibrant atmosphere extends to iconic Times Square in New York, where the ceremony will be a focal point of attention.
Adding to the anticipation, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s US Chapter has made its mark with over 40 billboards, strategically placed in 10 states, including bustling areas in Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Georgia. It’s a visual reminder that the significance of this event resonates far and wide.
As the community gears up for the consecration, temples are buzzing with week-long festivities, creating a joyous atmosphere. Additionally, the spirit of celebration extends beyond the temple walls, with large-scale auto rallies revving up the enthusiasm in numerous cities across the country.
The spirit of anticipation is alive and well within the Hindu Community in the UK as they gear up for the consecration ceremony. Leading up to the big day, the community has organized spirited car rallies, adding a touch of celebration to the streets. Starting from The City Pavilion on Collier Road in West London, the convoy winds its way through the lively avenues of East London, creating a joyful spectacle before returning to where it all began.
Beyond the lively processions, the temples are abuzz with planned celebrations, setting the stage for a memorable event. What’s even more heartwarming is the effort to include everyone in the joy – over 100 locations have been carefully chosen for live streaming, ensuring that the festivities reach far and wide.
In Mauritius, where approximately 48% of the population follows Hinduism, the government has granted a special two-hour break for Hindu officials on January 22. The High Commissioner of Mauritius to India shared with ANI that the Mauritian community is eagerly preparing to adorn all the temples across the island with the warm glow of diyas. The verses from the Ramayan, resonating with spiritual significance, will fill the temple corridors as part of the “Ramayan Path” ceremony.
A heartening tradition is set to unfold in every temple, where a symbolic diya will be kindled, casting its gentle light, while the sacred verses of the Ramayan will be recited throughout the day.
In France, an exciting spectacle is in the works as preparations are in full swing for a grand Rath Yatra. The yatra is set to kick off from Place De La Chapelle at noon, with its majestic journey culminating at the renowned Eiffel Tower’s location, Place De Trocadero, by 3 pm. Before the yatra, a sacred “Vishwa Kalyan Yagna” and prayers will take place at a Ganesha Temple in La Chapelle. This prelude will feature an intricate puja, aarti, prasad distribution, and a captivating cultural show.
The yatra promises to be a visual feast as it winds through significant landmarks including the Arc de Triomphe, the Musee de Louvre, and Place De La Republique. It’s a harmonious blend of spirituality, cultural celebration, and a journey through the iconic landscapes of France.
The Hindu community in Australia is buzzing with excitement as they lead colorful car rallies through major cities in the buildup to the Pran Pratistha event in Ayodhya. These vibrant processions are not just a display of unity but a spirited expression of joy that resonates through the streets.
Adding to the festive fervor, celebrations are on the horizon at all temples across Australia. What makes it even more special is the thoughtful inclusion of those who can’t physically be present – the festivities will be live-streamed at several dozen locations, bringing a sense of celebration to every corner where hearts are tuned in. It’s a beautiful blend of tradition, community, and the modern touch of technology, creating a shared experience that transcends physical boundaries.
Unique Gifts for Ram Mandir
108-foot-long incense stick
In the center of modern Vadodara in Gujarat, a giant burning incense stick was formed over the past six months – 108 feet long weighing around 3610 kgs, and spanning a width as large as three point five feet. This wonderfully made project is estimated at Rs 5 lakh.
The dedication poured into this giant incense stick is reflected in the blend of ingredients used – 376 kg of aromatic guggul (gum resin), 376 kg of coconut shells, 190 kg of pure ghee, 1,470 kg of sacred cow dung, and 420 kg of various herbs. This aromatic masterpiece, standing at nearly half the height of Delhi’s iconic Qutub Minar, with its minaret soaring to 237 feet, symbolizes a fusion of artistry, devotion, and cultural richness.
Ram Temple-themed necklace
Romantically enough, a diamond merchant from Surat has created an incredibly ingenious narrative about craftsmanship and dedication by putting together a unique necklace based on the imagery of the Ram temple. It is this complex work of art decorated with 5,00 American diamonds and made out of two kilograms of silver. The creation, a work of love done by 40 hands during 35 days is brought to life.
A silk Bedsheet
A silk bedsheet portraying the Shri Ram Mandir, crafted by a silk manufacturer from Tamil Nadu, was presented to the Yajman of the Shri Ram temple.
44-foot-long brass flag pole
The Chief Minister of Gujarat inaugurated a ceremonial event in Ahmedabad by hoisting a 44-foot-long brass flag pole, known as “Dhwaj Dand,” weighing 5500 kg, along with six smaller poles.
A temple drum, measuring 56 inches and crafted from gold foil by the All India Dabgar Samaj in Dariyapur, is set to be placed in the temple courtyard.
The Ayodhya Ram Mandir is a monument of unity, faith, and cultural heritage. The settlement of the dispute in Ayodhya and starting to build a temple is an important fact for India, which brings attention to the need for tolerance respectful communications, and peaceful coexistence within diverse society communities. It is hoped that the construction of this grand temple will signal to people that they have a cultural heritage that makes them one nation.