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Ram Temple Trust Yet to Decide on Carving of Main Deity

Ram Temple Trust Yet to Decide on Carving of Main Deity


Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Feb 7: Even as the preparations are afoot to open the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya for “darshan” by December, this year, to be ready before the Parliamentary elections in early-2024, the temple trust is yet to take a decision on the carving out of the main deity.

A huge “Shaligram Shila” (considered a form of Lord Vishnu) has arrived from Nepal earlier this month for carving out the idol of Ram Lalla. But the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust (SRJTKT), overseeing the construction of the Ayodhya Ram temple has reserved a decision whether or not the main deity of the temple will be carved out of the holy shaligram stone.

According to the Trust chairman Nripendra Misra, a decision would be taken only after the sculptors saw all the options for the deity and submitted their opinion. Four prototypes are being created, in dolomite, in marble with a blue tinge, using another stone from Odisha, and using the Shaligram. “On January 29, it was decided that the sculptors will see all the four. We will also take the opinion of experts on stones based in Mysuru, on their suitability,” he said.

Misra said the members of the trust have to first decide how exactly the deity will look. “There is already one idol of Ram Lalla there, but we have to have another deity, just behind the original idol. That idol of the deity has to be available for darshan from at least 25 feet away, so the decision is, it will be a standing Ram Lalla of 4-5 years of age,” he said. “Two features are extremely important. When a devotee looks at his lord, he wishes to meet the eyes of the god. And the other is the Charan (feet). So, two features are fixed. That the deity will be Samcharan (with its feet at a level available for worship), and that the features should be such that a child is there. Even if there is a bow and arrow carried, that will not be real but like a toy for a child,” he added.

As for the Shaligram which has arrived from Nepal, Misra said whether or not the main deity was ultimately carved from that stone, it would be given a space where it can be worshipped since the “Shila” as per Hindu mythology is considered a form of Vishnu.”

A suggestion from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also being incorporated for the idol of the main deity. According to belief, Lord Rama’s birth on Ram Navmi occurred at a time when the rays of the sun fell on his forehead, around noon. Misra said the trust has asked an institute of astronomy in Pune to work out a way in which this can be manifest in the temple.

“We asked them if they can give us such a thing, because we now have to modulate, calibrate in a manner that when the sun’s rays come, then they get reflected on the forehead of the idol. So the sun’s rays will be received on some kind of a reflector and then computerised programming will be done to ensure that the sun’s rays fall on the forehead of the lord at 12 o’clock. The research work on this is complete. They have astronomically determined the dates for Ram Navmi and positions of the stars, for 19 years. After 19 years, the programming will have to be done again,” he said.

The Trust has drawn up a schedule to allow darshan in the temple by December, 2023. “The ground floor with garbh griha (sanctum sanctorum) and pranprathistha (installation of deity) will be completed except for the iconography. The devotees, hopefully, will have darshan of their lord in the garbh griha, by that date,” Misra said adding that Home Minister Amit Shah’s declaration at a political rally in Tripura last month that the Ram Temple will be ready to allow darshan on January 1, 2024 is drawn from the Trust’s schedule, he said.




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