PM Modi says ‘extraordinary moment’ after unveiling Lord Ram idol at Ayodhya

Prime Minister says Ram Lalla would not be in a ‘tent’ any longer; the moment is not just of “vijay” (victory) but also “vinay” (humility); expresses gratitude to judiciary for upholding the dignity of law and justice

January 22, 2024 04:07 pm | Updated 11:50 pm IST - Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat offer prayers before the idol of Ram Lalla during the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ rituals at the Ram Mandir, in Ayodhya, on January 22, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat offer prayers before the idol of Ram Lalla during the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ rituals at the Ram Mandir, in Ayodhya, on January 22, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The ‘pran pratishtha’ or consecration of the idol of Lord Ram at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya took place on Monday, amid chanting of hymns and performance of rituals, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries in attendance. Mr. Modi, who participated in the ceremony, termed it a historic day, stating that it was akin to a “nation rising by breaking the mentality of slavery, a nation drawing courage from every affliction of the past, creating a new history in this manner.”

In Pictures | Ram temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya

Mr. Modi, one of the yajmans (empowered to conduct the ritual) of the ceremony, took the ‘sankalp’ for the pran pratishtha, and later walked inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple with a silver ‘chattar’ placed on a red folded sheet of cloth for rituals. The Ramjanmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, that was formed for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, had also nominated 16 other people from across the country and from different communities as yajmans for the ceremony. They included Domraja of Kashi, Anil Chaudhary, the keeper of the flame at Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi, Mahadev Gaikwad, considered the representative of the 315 nomadic and 198 denotified tribes, and Anil Mishra and his wife Usha Mishra, termed the “pradhan yajman” of the consecration rituals.

The consecration rituals were performed inside the sanctum sanctorum by Mr. Modi, which took place during the “Abhijeet Muhurta” (a highly auspicious period in vedic astrology).

Also read | Ram temple consecration to be beginning of campaign for reconstruction of ‘Bharatvarsh’: Mohan Bhagwat

Shri Ram Lalla idol unveiled; PM Narendra Modi offers prayers at Ram Temple | Video Credit: Special Arrangement

After the ceremony, Mr. Modi broke the 11-day fast, which was part of his spiritual preparation for the rituals, after Govind Dev Giri, a member of the Teertha Trust, fed him some charanamrit.

Also read | ‘January 22 will mark the break of new dawn in Ayodhya’

Later addressing a gathering of around 8,000 dignitaries and guests, the Prime Minister aid Ram Lalla (as the deity is named) would not be in a “tent” any longer, a reference to the makeshift arrangement that had been put in place after the destruction of the Babri Masjid. The moment was not just of “vijay” (victory) but also “vinay” (humility) and invited those who had opposed the Ram Temple to also come and experience the feeling.

Thanks judiciary

Expressing gratitude to the judiciary for upholding the dignity of law and justice, Mr. Modi said the grand temple was built in a judicial manner. “In our Constitution, in its first copy, Lord Ram is there. Even after the advent of the Constitution, legal battles over the existence of Lord Shri Ram continued for decades. I express my gratitude to the judiciary, which upheld the dignity of justice. The temple of Lord Ram, synonymous with justice, was also built in a judicial manner,” said Mr. Modi.

Calling upon the “critics” of the temple to introspect, while describing the temple as a symbol of peace and harmony, the Prime Minister said there was an apprehension that if the Ram Temple was built it would lead to unrest, but that “they failed to understand the purity of India’s society.”

Also read: Ayodhya Ram temple consecration | Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan urges people to reaffirm commitment to ‘secular’ credentials of nation

“Ram Temple is a symbol of peace, patience, harmony, and maturity of Indian society. Today, I call upon those people to rethink their perspective,” Mr. Modi said to the audience, which comprised prominent people from all walks of life, including seers who had been involved in the Ram Temple movement, industrialists like Mukesh Ambani and his family, film stars like Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel.

Spirit of service

Speaking on the inclusiveness and spirit of service of the characters in the Ramayana and the life of Lord Ram, the Prime Minister said there was much to learn from them. “We need to learn the value of service and loyalty from Lord Hanuman, fortitude from Adivasi mother Shabari who had the conviction that ‘Ram would arrive’, while the Nishad Raj had helped Ram and Sita cross the Ganga in his boat,” he said. “Even the smallest of creatures such as squirrels had contributed to the construction of the Ram Setu, while the Jatayu had taken on Ravana to save Sita despite knowing he would be defeated,” Mr. Modi said.

Also read | Ayodhya consecration proclamation of Ram Rajya: Yogi Adityanath

He also tendered an apology, seeking forgiveness from Lord Ram, on the centuries of wait till today’s consecration, citing that perhaps that there might have been “deficiencies in our efforts for it to be so.”

The Prime Minister added that there is a question over what is to follow after the consecration of the Ram Temple. “This grand Ram temple will be a witness to the rise of a magnificent India. It teaches us that if the goal is proven true, if it is born out of collective and organised strength, then achieving that goal is not impossible. We should take a pledge to build a capable, developed, magnificent, and divine India. It is our time; we have reached here after centuries of waiting; this is the step towards nation building,” he said.

Later, Mr. Modi went to the Kuber Tila, located in the southwestern part of the temple complex which houses an ancient temple of Lord Shiva, to offer prayers.

The place is considered significant for Hindu-Muslim unity and a key site during the First War of Independence. He also met with workers who are involved in the construction of the Ram Temple.

The temple, built in the Nagara style, is based on a design by Chandrakant Sompura and his son Ashish, and the idol of the Lord Rama deity has been sculpted by Arun Yogiraj of Mysuru.

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