With the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya just a day away, Head Pujari Acharya Satyendra Das exudes immense joy. In a statement on Sunday, January 21, he described the upcoming “Pran Pratishtha” ceremony as a moment of “great happiness” for him, symbolising the long-awaited return of Bhagwan Ram Lalla to his birthplace.
The grand opening, scheduled for tomorrow, is poised to be a historic and spiritually significant occasion for devotees and well-wishers.
The ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony holds profound importance in Hindu traditions, signifying the infusion of life force into the deity’s murti. As Acharya Satyendra Das will play a pivotal role in conducting the rituals that connect the divine presence with the sacred grounds of Ayodhya.
The ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Shri Ram Lalla is scheduled to begin at 12.30 pm on Monday, January 22. 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. Bhagwan 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 murti 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 murti of Ram Lalla will be placed at the grand temple. Today is ‘Ekadashi’, which makes it an auspicious day for placing the murti at the temple. The tent murti was carried to the make-shift temple by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth. Now, the murti will be carried to the new temple by dignitaries. I, along with four other pujaris, 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 murti of Sri Ram Lalla. The murti has come to be worshipped at the demolition site ever since.
On Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s claim that the newly placed murti of Ram Lalla does not look like a child, the top Ayodhya seer said, “These are meaningless remarks. There is already an murti of Bhagwan Ram in his child-like avatar. Now, a bigger murti 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 murti does not like a child. “I have been saying this from the beginning. Where is the murti of Ram Lalla? Whose murti was destroyed? What was the need for the second statue? Our Guru Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Ji Maharaj had also suggested that the murti of Bhagwan Ram in the Ram Janmabhoomi temple should depict the deity as a child in the lap of Mother Kaushalya. But the murti 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 murti, sculpted by Arun Yogiraj, was placed inside the sanctum santorum of the temple.
The murti is 51 inches tall and weighs 1.5 tonnes. The murti portrays Bhagwan 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 pujaris led by Lakshmikant Dixit will lead the main rituals. Several celebrities and noted personalities have been invited to the ceremony.