As the highly anticipated inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya approaches, a unique and symbolic gesture is set to strengthen the cultural ties between India and Thailand. In preparation for the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of Ram Lalla on January 22, 2024, soil from Thailand is being sent to the sacred site of Ram Janmabhoomi.
The initiative is led by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), with Susheelkumar Saraff, President of the Thailand chapter of VHP, expressing the significance of this gesture. “We have already sent water from two rivers of Thailand to Prabhu Sri Ram’s temple there. Now, we will send soil from here. Thailand has a deep cultural connection with India. It will only strengthen further,” he mentioned in an interview with a media house.
The collaboration between the two nations is not limited to soil; Swami Vigyanananand, founder and global chairman of the World Hindu Foundation (WHF), revealed that the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple will be telecast live in Bangkok. He highlighted the global participation of Hindus in the event, engaging in various religious activities such as kirtans, bhajans, puja, and recitation.
“We have ordered prasad from Ayodhya. A replica of the Ayodhya temple has been built here. We have also brought an image of the birthplace of Ram Lalla from Ayodhya,” said Swami Vigyanananand, emphasising the efforts to replicate the festive ambiance of Ayodhya worldwide.
This collaborative effort is not only a testament to the deep-rooted cultural ties between India and Thailand but also reflects the global significance of the Ram Temple inauguration. The live telecast in Bangkok and the participation of Hindus worldwide showcase the unifying power of cultural and religious events.
The decision to include soil from Thailand holds immense cultural significance. The impact of the Ramayana, the epic recounting Lord Ram’s life, has transcended borders and left an indelible mark on various cultures in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Laos.
In Thailand, the Thai version of the Ramayana, known as the Ramakien or Ramakirti, has been a source of inspiration for art, literature, dance, theatre, and temple architecture. The shared Hindu-Buddhist influence between ancient India and Thailand since the 11th century has contributed to the reverence for the story of Lord Ram in Thai culture.
The consecration date for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is set for January 22, 2024. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust has meticulously planned the Pran Pratishtha ceremony, with Ram Lalla to be enshrined between 12 noon and 12:45 pm. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the Ram Mandir, marking a historic moment in the cultural and religious landscape of India.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also received an invitation to attend the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony, underscoring the importance of the event in the political and religious spheres. The foundation stone for the Ram Temple was laid by Prime Minister Modi on August 5, 2020, signalling the commencement of the construction of this significant religious edifice.
As Ayodhya prepares for the grand event, the inclusion of soil from Thailand serves as a symbol of unity, cultural exchange, and shared reverence for the epic of Ramayana, resonating not only in the local context but also reverberating globally through the active participation of Hindus in various corners of the world.