NEW DELHI, Jan 22: The long-awaited consecration ceremony of the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya was finally performed on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being the chief guest and over 7,000 other invited personalities attending the rituals.
Following the consecration, the shrine will now be opened to the public from Tuesday. The “Pran Pratishtha” ceremony began at 12.20 p.m. following which Mr Modi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath among other addressed the gathering that also included seers and top leaders of various fields in the country. An emotional Prime Minister told the gathering, “Today, our Ram has arrived. After a long wait for ages, our Ram has arrived. Our Ram Lalla will no longer live in a tent. Our Ram Lalla will now on stay in a magnificent temple.”
Mr Modi said the consecration of the Ram temple was the harbinger of an era of a prosperous India and gave the people a new mantra linking “Dev se desh; Ram se Rashtra (from God to country, and from Ram to nation).” The PM also said 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.
Pointing out that the consecration of the grand temple marked the end of over 500 years of wait, Modi said there must have been something wanting in “our devotion” that it took centuries for this to happen. “I say sorry to Lord Ram today. I am sure He will forgive us,” the PM said, adding that while in the Treta Yuga, Ayodhya missed Lord Ram for 14 years, the period for which sent to “vanwas,” people of this era have missed Him for five centuries.
“I have come before you are witnessing the divine consciousness in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum. There’s so much to say but, but there’s a lump in my throat. After unprecedented patience, innumerable sacrifices and penance, our Lord Ram has arrived. I congratulate the country on this occasion,” the Prime Minister said and added January 22 is “not just a date on calendar, but the dawn of a new era.”
Equating the consecration ceremony with breaking free of a mindset of slavery, he said it was a blessing that we are alive to witness this historic event. “Even after thousands of years, people will remember this date, moment. It is Ram’s supreme blessings that we are witnessing it,” he said.
Saying that “Ram’s existence was questioned” by some people, the Prime Minister said, “In India’s Constitution, in its first page, there’s Lord Ram. I thank the Supreme Court for maintaining the dignity of law.” Some people, he said, had warned that the construction of the Ram Temple would “ignite a fire” (violence), but “Such people could not understand the purity of India’s social consciousness. Ram is not fire, but energy. The construction of this temple of Ram Lalla is a symbol of the Indian society’s peace, patience and mutual harmony. We can see this has not given birth to a fire, but energy,” he said.
“Ram is not a fire, he is an energy. Ram is not a dispute, he is a solution. Ram is not just ours, he is everyone’s,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “Today, we did not just see the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla’s idol, but also the pran pratishtha of the unbreakable unity of India,” he said.
The consecration ceremony was held after the first phase of the temple’s construction, made possible by a Supreme Court judgment in 2019 on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit. The Hindu litigants argued that the Babri Mosque was constructed at the site of a temple marking the birthplace of Lord Ram. In 1992, the 16th-century mosque was demolished by “kar sevaks.”
Mr Modi later also went for a darshan of Kuber Tila on the Ram temple premises and offered prayers to Lord Shiva there. He performed ‘jalabhishek’ (offering water on the ‘Shiva linga’) and also did a ‘parikrama’ (circumambulation) of the temple. The ancient Shiv temple located on the Kuber Tila in the Ram Janmabhoomi complex is also being renovated by the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which is constructing the Ram temple.
A book on Ayodhya, a metal ‘diya’, a special ‘mala’ and a scarf bearing the name of Lord Ram are among the items that have been gifted to the guests who attended the consecration ceremony. The gifts were in a bag that had a graphic image of the new temple and of Lord Ram in a very young avatar.
The book is titled ‘Ayodhya Dham – The Lord’s Abode’ which also carries the image of the old idol of Ram Lalla on its cover. The ‘mala’ has come up with a fabric pouch that bears ‘Uttar Pradesh Tourism’ and its tagline. The guests also received a box of four laddoos, chips, revdi, cashew nuts and raisins.