In a remarkable show of solidarity and celebration, over 40 giant billboards featuring Sri Ram and the majestic Ram Temple in Ayodhya have been erected across more than 10 states in the United States. The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), US chapter, in collaboration with Hindus from various regions, has orchestrated this visual extravaganza as a prelude to the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony scheduled at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22.
The billboards, strategically placed in states including Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, aim to convey the enthusiastic participation of Hindu Americans in this historic event. Arizona and the State of Missouri are slated to join the visual celebration starting Monday, January 15, according to the VHP, American chapter.
Amitabh VW Mittal, General Secretary of the Hindu Parishad of America, expressed, “The resounding message conveyed by these billboards is that Hindu Americans are elated and joyously participating in this once-in-a-lifetime event. Their emotions overflow as they eagerly await the auspicious day of the consecration ceremony.”
Teja A Shah, Joint General Secretary of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, America chapter, highlighted the palpable enthusiasm within the Hindu community in New Jersey. Various events, including car rallies, exhibitions, curtain raisers, and the grand celebration on the night of January 21, have been planned, fostering a sense of joy and anticipation among members of Mandirs across New Jersey.
To commemorate the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the Hindu American community has organised several car rallies and scheduled numerous events leading up to the ‘Pran Pratishtha.’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to attend the ceremonial installation of the idol of Shri Ram Lalla inside the sanctum sanctorum of the grand temple on January 22.
Leaders and dignitaries from diverse backgrounds have been invited to the grand temple opening in Ayodhya. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has outlined a seven-day ceremony, commencing on January 16, leading up to the enthronement of Ram Lalla at the sanctum-sanctorum of the Ram Temple at noon on January 22.
The Pran-Pratishtha ceremony will involve Vedic rituals that begin on January 16, a week before the main ceremony. The Indian envoy to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, emphasised the significance of Ramayan as a cultural bridge across geographies. He spoke at an event titled ‘Ramayana across Asia and Beyond’ at the US Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, underscoring the epic’s teachings on human relationships, governance, spirituality, duty, justice, sacrifice, loyalty, and the eternal struggle between good and evil.
In a global acknowledgment of the event, the Mauritian government has granted a two-hour special break for Hindu public officers on January 22. This gesture is to enable them to participate in local events marking the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Shri Ram Lalla in Ayodhya.
The Mauritian Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, issued an official statement stating, “(The) Cabinet has agreed to the grant of a one-off special leave of two hours on Monday, January 22, 2024 as from 1400 hours to public officers of Hindu faith, subject to exigencies of service, in the context of the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir in India, which is a landmark event as it symbolises the return of Sri Ram in Ayodhya.”
As the world eagerly awaits this historic occasion, the billboards in the US stand as a testament to the widespread enthusiasm and anticipation surrounding the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.