Ayodhya in grip of religious fervour; poised to make history with ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Lord Ram


January 22, 2024 and the city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh are set to go down in history with the much-awaited Pran Pratishtha of Shri Ram Lalla at the Ram Temple. The event will start with a morning puja followed by the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla in ‘Mrigashira Nakshatra’, which is expected to start around 12.30 pm and end at 1 pm.

WATCH: indica’s LIVE coverage of the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya

The ceremony will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and close to 7000 other dignitaries from India and around the world. People from all walks of life including representatives of 50 tribal communities will also attend the ceremony. PM Modi will address the gathering on the occasion.

The journey leading up to the Pran Pratishtha included a seven-day ritual that began on January 16, with the atonement ceremony, featuring a ‘purifying bath’ in the river Sarayu by Anil Mishra, a trustee of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra.

The rituals included worship of Lord Vishnu, offering Panchgavya and ghee, along with Panchgavyaprashan. A ‘Karmakuti Homa’ was conducted to mark the ‘Dashdaan’. The atonement ceremony was presided by Laxmikant Dixit, chief Acharya in charge of Pran Pratishtha.

A recitation of Valmiki Ramayana and Bhusundiramayana commenced in the run-up to January 22, and also began during the atonement ceremony.

On Day 2, January 17, the events started with a ‘Jalayatra’, a procession carrying the idol of Ram Lalla via the river Sarayu in a Mangal Kalash to the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya.

The third day began with Ganeshambika puja followed by around 15 different rituals including Varun puja, Chaturvedokta Punyahvachan, Vastu puja and Nandishraddha.

Day 4 started with Ganpati puja. The establishment of ‘agni’ manifested through ‘Arnimanthan’ in the ‘Navkunds’ was conducted among other pujas. A ‘havan’ was also performed along with a recitation of ‘Veda’ and Ramayana.

Rituals with sugar and fruits, along with daily prayers and Havan were carried out on the fifth day.

Day 6 witnessed Havan (Fire offering) and daily worship of the established deities and the divine bathing of the idol with sacred water from 114 Kalash and eventually laid to rest ahead of the grand Pran Pratishtha.

The intricate process involves 121 Acharyas overseeing the ceremony, with Ganeshwar Shastri Dravid as the chief coordinator and Laxmikant Dixit of Kashi as the Chief Acharya.

Seven adhivas will contribute to the spiritual sanctification, as per the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra.

According to the organizers, the event “transcends religious boundaries, bringing together followers of Shaiva, Vaishnav, Shakta, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, and various other traditions.”

After the Pran Pratistha programme, dignitaries will be granted darshan, spreading a sense of enthusiasm not only in Ayodhya but across the country.

The ceremony has garnered attention, with people contributing gifts from different states, including water, soil, gold, silver, gems, clothes, jewellery, huge bells, drums, and aroma/fragrance items.

The most notable among them were the Bhaars (gifts sent at the time of setting up a daughter’s house) sent from Goddess Sita’s maternal homes at Janakpur in Nepal and Sitamarhi in Bihar, symbolising a connection across borders and a resolution to celebrate this divine consecration with fervour across the nation.

Earlier, on Friday, January 19, the idol of Shri Ram Lalla, carved by renowned Mysuru sculptor Arun Yogiraj, was placed inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Covered with a veil, the first photo of the idol was revealed during the placement ceremony in the sanctum sanctorum on Thursday.

Several purported images of the idol, with the eyes uncovered, went viral on social media platforms.

However, Acharya Satyendra Das, chief priest of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Temple, claimed the viral images were not of real idols.

“As per our beliefs, the eyes of the idol cannot be revealed before the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ is completed. The images showing the eyes are not of the real idol. All procedures and rituals will be conducted as per our scriptures and beliefs. The eyes of Ram Lalla will not be revealed till the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ has been done,” the seer said.

The temple is constructed in the traditional Nagara style. Its length (east-west) is 380 feet; width is 250 feet and height is 161 feet; and is supported by a total of 392 pillars and 44 doors.

The pillars and walls of the temple showcase intricately sculpted depictions of Hindu deities, gods, and goddesses. In the main sanctum sanctorum on the ground floor, the childhood form of Bhagwan Shri Ram (the idol of Shri Ramlalla) has been placed.

The main entrance to the temple is situated on the eastern side, which can be approached by ascending 32 stairs through the Singh Dwar. There are a total of five Mandaps (Halls) in the Mandir – Nritya Mandap, Rang Mandap, Sabha Mandap, Prathana Mandap and Kirtan Mandap.

Near the temple is a historic well (Sita koop), dating back to the ancient era. In the southwestern part of the temple’s complex, at Kuber Tila, the ancient temple of Bhagwan Shiv has been restored, along with the installation of a statue of Jatayu.

The foundation of the temple has been constructed with a 14-meter-thick layer of roller-compacted concrete (RCC), giving it the appearance of artificial rock. No iron is used anywhere in the temple. For protection against ground moisture, a 21-foot-high plinth has been constructed using granite.

The temple complex has a sewage treatment plant, water treatment plant, water supply for fire safety and an independent power station. The temple has been constructed employing the country’s traditional and indigenous technology.

The Supreme Court on November 9, 2019, while settling the centuries-old dispute with regards to 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, paved the way for the construction of the temple by a unanimous decision.

The five-judge bench, comprising then-CJI Ranjan Gogoi, former CJI SA Bobde, current CJI DY Chandrachud and former judges Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, had ruled in favour of the construction of a grand Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site.

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