NEW DELHI, Jan 23: Thousands of devotees turned up for a “darshan” of the Ram Lalla idol as Ayodhya temple was opened to general public on Tuesday, a day after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the consecration ceremony of the idol and announced “Lord Ram has arrived.”
The huge crowd wanting to have the darshan of the idol prompted the chief priest of the temple Acharya Satyendra Das to comment that the temple city seemed to be “back to the Treta Yug” when people thronged Ayodhya when Ram returned to his kingdom after 14 years of exile in the forest.
Das also said it was unlikely that everyone would be able to have a ‘darshan’ of the new Ram Lalla idol the same day as the temple town saw lakhs of devotees turning up to offer prayers on Tuesday. “So much crowd has gathered here today that not everyone will be able to have darshan today and the same crowd will be visible tomorrow and for the next few days,” he said.
“After the Pran Pratishtha ceremony, Ayodhya Nagari has turned pure. In the Treta Yug when Lord Ram came back, the Ayodhya Nagari was delighted…A glimpse of the Treta Yug is visible today. So many Bhakts have come to Ayodhya now and Jai Shree Ram chants are echoing here, it seems that we have gone back to Ayodhya during the Treta Yug times,” the Acharya said.
Speaking on the reason for the large crowd on Tuesday, the chief priest said, “4,000 saints have come. Every priest from across the country has brought along 2-4 people with them. This has led to an extensive crowd.” The Acharya added that it is worth seeing the excitement in the devotees who have gathered in thousands to give a glimpse of Lord Ram Lalla. “Ayodhya is Rammay. It is divine and beautiful. The decorated Mandir is worth seeing. It is worth seeing how people are excited to see Lord Ram,” he added.
Satyendra Das said the aarti was held at 6:30am. “A new system has to be made about the aarti and bhog in a few days,” he said.
“Darshan is going on from 6:30am. Both the new idol whose Pran Pratishtha was performed and the smaller idols are being worshipped. Devotees are having ‘darshan’,” he added.
A large number of devotees, both locals and visitors from other states, gathered near the main gateway along the Ram Path leading to the temple complex late on Monday night, seeking an early entry to the premises the following morning.
As a large crowd gathered during the night near the ceremonial gateway that was decked up for the consecration ceremony — police told the devotees that they would only be allowed to enter the temple the following morning when it opens for the public.
An idol of the new Ram Lalla was consecrated at the Ayodhya temple on Monday, a landmark event led by Modi who also gave a clarion call to go beyond the grand mandir’s construction to build the foundation of a “strong, capable and divine” India of the next 1,000 years.
Lakhs of people watched the ‘pran pratishtha’ ceremony on television in their homes and neighbourhood temples, savouring the historic moment.
Meanwhile, Mr Modi told the president Droupadi Murmu that the mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas’ was inspired by Lord Ram. In response to Ms Murmu’s letter to him, Mr Modi said, “The results of this mantra are visible everywhere today. In the last decade, the country has succeeded in bringing 25 crore people out of poverty,” he wrote.
“Lord Ram has given the inspiration of sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas aur sabka prayas (everyone’s support, everyone’s development, everyone’s faith and everyone’s effort),” he said. “The ideals of Lord Ram give us constant energy to work for welfare and empowerment of poor.”
Ms Murmu had written a two-page letter to the Prime Minister on the eve of the inauguration of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya and called the nationwide celebratory atmosphere around the event an “uninhibited expression of the eternal soul of India.”
PM Modi said he “was in a different state of mind” when he received the President’s letter: “Your letter helped me to deal with these feelings and to come to terms with them.” Describing his experience at the newly-built Ram Temple, he said that he “witnessed the most unforgettable moments of my life in Ayodhya Dham”. “I have returned from there with an Ayodhya in my heart.”