Moment of great happiness, says top Ayodhya seer ahead of ‘Pran Pratishtha’

With just a day left for the grand opening of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Temple, shared his joy ahead of the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ saying it would be a moment of ‘great happiness’ for him to ceremonially restore the deity to His birthplace.

The ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Shri Ram Lalla is scheduled to begin at 12.30 pm on Monday. Speaking to ANI on Sunday, Acharya Das said, “It is a moment of great happiness that Ram Lalla will finally take his throne at the grand temple. The chanting of Vedic verses that began on January 16 will be completed tomorrow.”

On the rituals preceding the ceremonial enthronement or ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Ram Lalla, the top Ayodhya seer said, “The ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony will begin tomorrow at 12.30 p.m. A puja will be performed, following which Shri Ram Lalla will be given a bath in the Saryu River. The lord will then be adorned with clothes and trinkets. After this, Ram Lalla will be fed the ‘Prasada’ and a ‘Shringar Aarti’ will be performed. The deity will then be established at the temple and the devotees will be allowed ‘Darshan’.”

Speaking on the tent idol of Ram Lalla, which came to be worshipped at the site where the Babri Masjid once stood, Acharya Das said, “Today, at 8 pm, the tent idol of Ram Lalla will be placed at the grand temple. Today is ‘Ekadashi’, which makes it an auspicious day for placing the idol at the temple. The tent idol was carried to the make-shift temple by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth. Now, the idol will be carried to the new temple by dignitaries. I, along with four other priests, will be there as well.” After the Babri mosque came apart brick by brick on the morning of December 6, 1992, the Kar Sevaks pitched a tent on the ruins and ceremonially installed an idol of Shri Ram Lalla. The idol has come to be worshipped at the demolition site ever since.

On Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s claim that the newly placed idol of Ram Lalla does not look like a child, the top Ayodhya seer said, “These are meaningless remarks. There is already an idol of Lord Ram in his child-like avatar. Now, a bigger idol has been placed for a sighting or ‘darshan’ by devotees. However, it would seem that these facts are either not in the knowledge of some of our politicians or they are doing politics just for the sake of it.” Singh, earlier, said the newly seated Ram Lalla idol does not like a child. “I have been saying this from the beginning. Where is the idol of Ram Lalla? Whose idol was destroyed? What was the need for the second statue?

Our Guru Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Ji Maharaj had also suggested that the idol of Lord Ram in the Ram Janmabhoomi temple should depict the deity as a child in the lap of Mother Kaushalya. But the idol placed at the temple does not look like a child.” The statement evoked saffron fury, with Kameshwar Chaupal, a member of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, accusing the Congress leader of ‘shooting in the dark’. “Don’t give importance to Digvijaya Singh. His statements rarely make sense. The remarks of Digvijaya Singh and some other leaders like Sanjay (Raut) from Mumbai are not even worth dignifying with a response,” he said. Earlier, the new idol, sculpted by Arun Yogiraj, was placed inside the sanctum santorum of the temple.

The idol is 51 inches tall and weighs 1.5 tonnes. The idol portrays Lord Ram as a five-year-old child standing on a lotus also crafted from the same stone. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform rituals marking the ‘Pran Pratishtha’. A team of priests led by Lakshmikant Dixit will lead the main rituals. Several celebrities and noted personalities have been invited to the ceremony.

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