As Pran Pratishtha of Ram Mandir is going to take place on January 22 in Ayodhya, Hindus living across the continents are busy in making this event memorable. Many of Hindus are also travelling to Ayodhya to witness this historic event.
“About hundred Hindus of African, Hispanic, South American, Indo-Burmese, South East Asian and European origin from 55 countries are coming to witness Pran Pratishta of Ram Mandir. Some of the countries include Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Colombia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malawi, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the USA, the UK, and many others,” said VHP Joint General Secretary Swami Vigyananand, who looks after the VHP’s international affairs.
In the US, one estimate suggests that there are more than three million Hindu Americans, constituting approximately one per cent of the country’s population. Dr Jai Bansal, who lives in New Jersey, US, serves as the Vice-President of Education for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA). He shared that his organisation is leading the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha event in the US. “We are asking mandirs in the US to participate in the event by watching the live broadcast of the Pran Pratishtha event in Bharat, and conduct Ram Dhun, distribute malas and prasad. For those unable to participate due to the time gap, we have encouraged them to light diyas at their homes,” Dt Bansal added.
Dr Jai Bansal further said that to educate people about the Ram Janmbhoomi movement, various programmes are being organised. Several webinars have been held; many more are being arranged to create awareness about the Ram Janma Bhoomi history and movement.
“With approximately 1200 mandirs in the United States, almost 600 Mandirs have already registered to participate in the event. They are being asked to upload pictures of their celebrations on our website so we can share them with the world. Car rallies have been organised, including recent ones in Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston; more taking place in New Jersey, Cincinnati and North Carolina. Around 600 mandirs have already registered with VHP-US, and other Hindu organisations like HSS are offering assistance. Several exhibitions about Ramayan and how Bhagwan Ram is worshipped around the world, especially in Southeast Asian countries, are also being held,” Dr Jai Bansal added.
In the United Kingdom, there are more than one million Hindus, who also play an important role in the governance of the country. Sheila Maharaj, who lives in London, United Kingdom, says, “As a British Hindu, on this eagerly anticipated occasion of the enthroning of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya, it is a matter of joy not just for Bharatiyas but for the Hindu diaspora also. With a population of over one million, British Hindus have managed to establish 294 mandirs in the UK.
In England, Scotland and Wales, Hindus are busily planning to mark the occasion of Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya on January 22. Whilst some are celebrating with day long programmes , others are holding celebratory activities over several days . For British Hindus the sheer act of celebrating Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha at the same time and on the same day with our fellow Sanatanis in Bharat unites to strengthen our identity as Hindus worldwide and to deepen our love , pride and connection with our ancestral land that is Bharat in this era of Bhagwan Sri Ram rising,” she added.
“It is a landmark event in the history and cultural heritage of India that is Bharat. While the lesser mortals have been celebrating the return of Lord Ram after the war of the wicked and evil vices from times immemorial, the ensuing Pran Pratishtha is the true return of the deity to his right and rightful home- Ram Janmabhoomi, signifying the triumph of righteousness and truth. This homecoming after centuries serves as a testimony to the faith & spirit of Hindus and historians across the world, who are eagerly looking forward to the consecration ceremony,” said Ragasudha Vinjamuri who lives in London, UK.
The Hindu Heritage Centre in Rotorua, New Zealand, in association with Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations (HOTA) Forum, is set to organise a momentous community prayer gathering to mark the inauguration of the Sri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya January 22, 2024.
According to Hindu Heritage Centre, a community prayer event will take place at the Hindu Heritage Centre , January 22, 2024, between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm (New Zealand time). Participants will engage in bhajans, kirtans, perform aartis, and collectively chant “Shri Rām Jai Rām Jai Jai Rām” 108 times. Recitals of Hanumān Chālisā is planned. Efforts will be made to broadcast the ceremony live on online platforms, enabling a shared experience for all. Also, Rotorua’s Hindu devotees have been encouraged to light lamps in their households after sunset on the ceremonial installation day of Rāmlalā. Hindu Heritage Centre will also light lamps by the devotees.
Pradeep Batra from Malaysia said that local Hindus have organised an event at Spice Garden Banquet Hall in Kuala Lumpur at 5 pm. “We will also organise recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, followed by the distribution of Prasad, he added. There are about 2,000 Hindu mandirs in the country, and the Hindu population is approximately 1.78 million.
Shanti Bhushan Singh, who currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria, informed that there are three to four Hindu mandirs. We have organised two programs: on January 20 at Gita Ashram and on January 22 at Gita Mandir.
“We are organising Sundar Kand, showcasing a replica of Ayodhya, and arranging a Jhanki. Afterward, Prasad will be distributed. In Lagos, Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar is expected to attend our event. We have been trying to invite him to our event,” he said.
Shanti Bhushan further added that the presence of Hindu mandirs in Abuja and Kano states, where many events are also planned.
Parimal Raval, who lives in Mozambique, said that in Maputo, on January 22, the Hindu community is organising an event at Shree Vishvambhar Mahadev Mandir & Radhe-Krishna Mandir. Additionally, there is another mandir of Sri Ram located 60 kilometers away from the capital city. This mandir is situated in Salamanga Village and was built in 1915. “On January 22, we will organise various cultural events at the Mandir, including the display of the story of Bhagwan Ram through videos,” he added.
“In Maputo, there are about 2,000 Hindus, mostly of Gujarati origin. In the North, in Ilha de Mozambique, there is a 450-year-old Shiv Mandir. There is also a saying that Vaskodigama first came here in Ilha de Mozambique city and then went to discover India. There are Hindu mandir in different cities of Mozambique like Maputo, Salamanga, XaiXai, Maxixe, Inhambane, Beira, Tete, Quelimane, and Nampula. we (Hindu Community Maputo) also send Pavitra-Jal (water) from Sri Ram Mandir – Salamanga River for Abhishek purpose of Sri Ram Murti -Ayodhya which will held on January 21,” Parimal Raval further added.
Piyush Lalitkumar Satapara, who lives in Australia’s Parth, said, “We have organised live telecast of Pran Pratishtha at Jalaram Mandir and Indian Community Centre. Only in Perth, a total of 1,000 Hindus have done registration for Pran Pratistha celebration. In Brisbane, Melbarne, Syndey and Adelade also, Pran Pratishtha celebration is being organised.”
Vinod Pillai, who lives in Germany, said that Pran Pratishtha related event in the country is being coordinated by HSS and VHP. Many different Hindu organisations have come together to celebrate this occasion. Pran Pratishtha related events are being organised at more than 20 locations. “We are in contact with more than 30 mandirs and ashrams for this purpose. There are more than one lakh Hindus in Germany”, he added.
Ravindra Nath Maharaj, who resides in Trinidad and Tobago, mentioned that Sanatan Dharma started from the ground level there. There are approximately 25 Hindu organisations active there, out of them six are prominent organisations. Among them, Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha, Divine Life Society, Chinmaya Ashram, and Hindu Prachar Kendra are some of the major Hindu organisations. There are 200 Hindu mandirs, out of which 60 are large and involved in many significant activities. Celebrations of Ramnavami, Shivratri, and Hanuman Jayanti are common here.
“Both Hindus and non-Hindus (indigenous people) will come together to celebrate this Pran Pratishtha event. When the Girmitia community was brought to Africa, the only thing that saved them was the Ramayan and Hanuman Chalisa, which they carried with them,” Ravindra Nath Maharaj added.
Rahul Gupta, who lives in Porto, Portugal, mentioned that there are thousands of Hindus in the country. However, the population is divided into different parts, and they will organise events based on their individual capacity in their respective localities.
Satish Jala from Malawi said that there are about eight main Hindu mandirs and gurudwaras in the country. There are three main cities in Malawi where about 5000 Hindus live, namely Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu. In Mzuzu, an event related to Pran Pratishtha has been organised. However, in Blantyre, various events and Sewa Karya are being organised for several days. Additionally, a Rath Yatra is scheduled for January 21, and various events are planned for each of the four Sundays in this month.
Not only Hindus, even those people who believe in Bhagwan Ram are happy that finally a grand Ram Mandir is being constructed in Ayodhya. One of them is French journalist Francois Gautier, who had covered Ram Mandir movement as a journalist, said, “I started writing about Ayodhya in the late 80’s in Blitz, a Mumbai periodical brought out by a Parsi, Mr Karanjia. No other newspaper, wanted to publish what was then not politically correct. I had three sources, the first was Sitaram Goel, the pioneer of Hindutva, who published my first book (The Wonder that Was India); the second Koenraad Elst, who is the father of us all, and should be duly recognised and honoured by the Government of India; and the third, British archives, which said that their archeologists had found Hindu artifacts under the disputed structure. I went to discover for myself the reality and went there. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Ayodhya was a totally Hindu place, with mandirs, small streets, ghats, flags, with lone abandoned disputed structure on top. Thus, it became clear to me that the disputed structure was only symbol of Hindu hate. Now, it seems to be right and just that Prime Minister Narendra Modi restores the glory that was Ayodhya”.