492 Years of Wait Comes To An End in Ayodhya

The date August 5 will down in history as a momentous occasion when Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya to set the construction of the grand Ram temple in motion, a reality that was the political and socio-religious dream of not just the BJP, but a vast section of Indians.

Dressed in traditional attire (dhoti and kurta), the Prime Minister first washed his hands before bowing before the deity — Ram Lalla Virajman. Amid ‘Shankhnaad’, Modi offered his prayers to the deity before making a parikrama of the shrine.

Next, he planted a ‘Parijat’ sapling in the temple complex at 12.03 p.m. and watered the plant.

He then proceeded for the ‘bhumi pujan’ ceremony after offering prayers at the 10th century Hanuman Garhi temple, accompanied by uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

At the ‘bhumi puja’ site, Modi sat with Adityanath, UP Governor Anandiben Patel and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, maintaining adequate social distancing, amid chants of Sanskrit shlokas. With soil and water from across the country and a silver brick weighing around 40 kg, the ‘bhumi pujan’ was an elaborate affair.

The Prime Minister reached Ayodhya in a chopper little after 11.30 p.m.

The Prime Minister is next scheduled to address the top saints of the country, marking the beginning of the construction of the grand Ram temple, which has been the electoral promise of the ruling party in each of its manifestos.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ for the construction of the Ram temple was possible solely due to the efforts made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Welcoming guests after the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony, the chief minister said that the centuries old struggle for the temple was taken to its logical conclusion by the Modi government.

“The ‘Bhumi Pujan’ will not only mark the beginning of the construction of the Ram temple but also ‘Ram Rajya’ as envisaged by the Prime Minister. We started the ‘Deepotsav’ programme three years ago to give the people a feel of Ram Rajya and we also worked alongside for beautification and development of Ayodhya that will now emerge as one of the most prosperous religious destinations. The Prime Minister has already earmarked projects for the Ramayana circuit,” he said.

Yogi Adityanath said that due to the pandemic, very limited number of people could be invited for the ‘Bhumi Pujan’.

“But I welcome all those who wanted to come and are now watching the ceremony from their homes,” he said and added that this was the beginning of a new India.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, chairman of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, said that now a mesmerising temple will be built at the birthplace of Shri Ram with the help of millions of ‘bhakts’. He termed the temple construction as the construction of India.

He said that all people are dedicated to build the Ram temple. The temple will be built soon and the wishes of all the devotees will be fulfilled. “Hindus want to see the construction of a mesmerising Ram temple,” he said.

The Mahant said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have formally started the construction of the temple and now this will be ready soon. This is the wish of all the Ram bhakts.

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, who attended the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony for Ram Mandir along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that several people made sacrifices for the temple in Ayodhya and now with the construction work starting there is a wave of joy across the country.

Addressing a gathering in Ayodhya, Bhagwat said, “So many people sacrificed their lives, but they could not be present here physically.” Bhagwat said that the RSS had taken the cause for the Ram Mandir.

“I remember the then RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras telling us that we shall have to struggle for 20-30 years, only then will this be fulfilled.”

“We struggled for 30 years and in the 30th year, we have now attained the joy of fulfilling our resolution,” Bhagwat said.

Remembering BJP veteran L.K. Advani, who could not attend the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony in Ayodhya, the RSS chief said, “There are many who could not be physically present today due to the global pandemic, but they are present in spirit. I am sure all of them, including Advani ji, would be watching the event from his home and will be glad today to see their dream come true.”

Bhagwat further said that there is a “wave” of joy in the whole country today.

The RSS leader also hailed the Prime Minister for taking bold steps for making the country self reliant. He stressed that everyone should take a vow to make India self reliant.

He also said that India believes in ‘Vasudev Kutubhkam’, i.e. World is One Family. “We believe in taking everyone along. Today is a new beginning of a new India,” Bhagwat said.

He also emphasised on making Ayodhya beautiful and said that the work for the Ram temple has started and we are eager for the completion of the temple.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who started his speech with Jai Siya Ram chant, said the entire country today is in the trance of Lord Ram. He said that a grand temple will now be built for Ram Lalla deity who had been living under a tent for many years.

“Every heart is illuminated; it is an emotional moment for the entire country… A long wait ends today,” said the Prime Minister.

He added that given the raging pandemic, a “maryada” has been kept in mind during the “Bhumi Pujan”. Earlier, Sangh Chief Mohan Bhagwat also said that the invitation could not be extended to many considering the CIOVID-19 pandemic.

“The ‘Jai Siyaram’ call is resonating not only in the city of Lord Ram today, but throughout the world. I express my gratitude to all citizens of this nation, Indian diaspora across the world and all the devotees of Lord Ram on today’s pious occasion,” he said.

He said that from Kanyakumari to Kshirbhavani, Koteshwar to Kamakhya, Jagannath to Kedarnath, Somnath to Kashi Vishwanath, all is immersed in Lord Ram.

He also referred to the fact how holy soil and water from across india reached Ram Janmabhoomi for ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony.

The Prime Minister said Ram is in India’s history and philosophy. In a significant statement, he used Ram to portray a “unity in diversity” of India, which he says is present in different forms in different areas of India.

The Prime Minister dressed in traditional attire (dhoti and kurta), earlier bowed in front of the deity — Ram Lalla Virajman himself. Amid Shankhnaad, the PM offered his prayers to the deity after which he took part in an elaborate ‘Bhoomi Pujan’.

Ram Lalla and ‘Vikas’ were brought together in a fine interpretation of Lord Ram in the speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday after the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony in Ayodhya.

“Ram is for everyone, Ram is within everyone,” he said, while addressing the seers after the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Beginning his speech with “Jai Siya Ram” chants, Modi went on to link Lord Ram with modern times and said, “Lord Ram has shown us the path of realisation and research.” He referred to the epitome of morals & dharma “Maryada Purushottam Ram” to stress on the observation of similar “maryada” (limits) in today’s life. The Prime Minister exhorted citizens to follow a similar “maryada” in times of the Covid-19 pandemic by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. “Ram speaks, thinks, according to time, place and circumstances. Ram teaches us to grow with time. Ram is in favor of change, Ram is in favor of modernity,” said the Prime Minister.

He said that a grand temple will now be built for the Ram Lalla deity who had been living under a temporary tent for many years. “Every heart is illuminated; it is an emotional moment for the entire country… A long wait ends today,” said the Prime Minister. The event sets the ball rolling for the construction of a grand Ram Temple, a key electoral promise of the ruling party.

However, the message the Prime Minister tried to drive home was larger. “This day is proof of the truth of the resolve of crores of devotees. This day is a unique gift of a just, fair India to truth, non-violence, faith and sacrifice,” he said.

He said Ram is present in different cultures, in different areas. “Thousands of years ago, in the Ramayana of Valmiki, Lord Ram was guiding ancient India, in the Middle Ages, Ram was pushing India through Tulsi, Kabir and Nanak, the same Ram was present in Bapu’s hymns as a force of non-violence and satyagraha during the freedom struggle,” said the Prime Minister, while sending out a powerful message.

He said, “Ram is carved in our mind, mixed with us. You see the amazing power of Lord Ram — buildings were destroyed, every attempt was made to eradicate his existence. But he still remains in our mind.”

But, at the end, the Prime Minister sent a larger message that Lord Ram stands for modernity, development and fairness and those are the aspects all Indians should aspire for, in the name of the deity, he suggested.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Ayodhya on Wednesday after a gap of 28 years. With this, he made three records together in a day.

Modi is the first-ever Prime Minister to visit Ram Janmabhoomi. Also, this is the first instance, when a Prime Minister has visited Hanuman Garhi to seek Lord Hanuman’s blessings. And, Modi has become the first Prime Minister to participate in the ‘bhumi pujan’ program of a temple that is a symbol of preservation of the cultural heritage of the country.

Modi had visited Ayodhya in 1992 and had also addressed a gathering along with Murli Manohar Joshi at the GIC ground in Faizabad (Ayodhya). Thereafter, they had also visited Ram Lalla. Modi was the convenor for the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ led by the then BJP President Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi which had begun in December 1991 and reached Ayodhya on January 18, 1992. This Yatra was organised to demand the abrogation of Article 370. Wednesday also marks one year since article 370 was scrapped in J&K.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya is the beginning of a new era in India. He said August 5 is a historic day for all Indians.

In a series of tweets, Shah said the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya is a symbol of the strong and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The construction of the Ram temple shows the strong and decisive leadership of the Prime Minister. My heartiest congratulations to all Indians on this historic day. The Modi government will always be committed to protecting and preserving Indian culture and its values,” he said.

He added, “Bhumi Pujan and the foundation stone of the grand Ram temple was performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the birthplace of Lord Ram. This has started a new chapter in the history of great Indian culture and civilization.”

“The construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya has always been a symbol of faith for Hindus for centuries around the world. Today, PM Narendra Modi and Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra have done the work of honouring that faith by performing Bhumi Pujan of Ram temple, I express my heartfelt gratitude for this.”

The Home Minister said that the ideals and thoughts of Lord Ram reside in the soul of India. His character and philosophy of life are the cornerstones of Indian culture. With the construction of the Ram temple, this holy land Ayodhya will re-awaken in the world with its full glory. Development in Ayodhya will also generate employment opportunities.

He said, “The construction of the Ram temple is the culmination of centuries of continuous sacrifices, struggle, penance of Ram bhaktas. Today, I salute all the seers and sadhus who have kept this priceless heritage of ‘Sanatan dharma’ for so many years. Jai Shri Ram!”

Hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and cadres across Karnataka celebrated the bhumi pujan ceremony for the new Ram temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh by offering prayers, lighting lamps and distributing sweets, a party official said on Wednesday.

“Our leaders and cadres in cities and towns across the state watched Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone for the construction of the grand temple of Lord Ram at Ayodhya on this auspicious day,” the party official told IANS here.

Party’s Mysuru district unit President T.S. Srivatsa and cadres offered prayers at their respective houses due to Covid-induced restrictions on gatherings at public places and need to maintain social distancing.

“Prayers were offered at around 10,000 homes and in temples across the city. All of us watched Modi live on television while performing the bhumi pujan at the Ram janmabhoomi and also listened to his inspiring speech in Hindi,” Srivatsa said.

State Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said sacred soil and holy water from rivers like Cauvery and Krishna from the state were sent to Ayodhya for the temple construction “as Lord Ram belongs to all”.

“It is our good fortune to witness the Prime Minister laying the foundation stone of the temple as Lord Ram is supreme,” said Sudhakar.

Special prayers were also offered for the welfare of all the people across the country.

State Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan offered prayers at a Ram temple in the city’s northwest suburb with others, maintaining safe distance.

“We are blessed to have witnessed the historic moment when the temple foundation stone was laid by Modi,” Narayan said.

State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa said the religious ceremony at Ayodhya was the first step towards “ending slavery and restoring the Hindu culture in the birthplace of Lord Ram”.

“As mosques were built after demolishing temples at Kashi and Mathura like at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh; time has come to re-build Hindu temples at both the places and restore the Hindu culture,” Eshwarappa told reporters at Shivamogga in the state’s Malnad region.

To ensure peace and maintain law and order during the ceremony at Ayodhya, state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has instructed the police to tighten security and step up vigil across the southern state.

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Wednesday said he was quite happy with the Ram temple Bhumi Pujan performed in Ayodhya as the long-held dreams of the people are finally taking shape.

In a press note issued by Raj Bhavan, he said, “I am very happy today. We were committed to building the temple and today our commitment is being fulfilled. We had imagined that a grand temple for Maryada Purushottam Ram shall be constructed one day and today we can see our imagination and dreams taking final shape.”

“We always wanted India’s magnanimity to increase many times in the world with the construction of the grand Ram temple. Now, on this historic day, I pray that this temple will emerge as a symbol of cultural and national unity which will go along with the principles of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. This work is being done in accordance with the court’s decision, general consensus and public sentiments. I congratulate and greet all the saints and citizens who were part of the Ram Mandir movement . Also, I congratulate and thank the Prime Minister,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mishra will recite the ‘Sunderkand’ with his family on Wednesday evening. The Governor will also light 101 lamps at ‘Sandhyavela’ in Raj Bhavan and pray to Lord Ram for the prosperity of the country and the state.

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