As the Pran Pratishtha of Bhagwan Ram Lalla was held in Ayodhya on January 22, the Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom (UK) also celebrated the momentous occasion in grand fashion.
The members of the diaspora adorned the city of London with digital banners reading ‘UK celebrates the homecoming of Bhagwan Ram in Ayodhya’. While Londoners regaled at the saffron display on a busy January 22 morning, the Hindu temples all across the UK (about 250) are celebrating the day with special puja, Bhandara, bhajan-kirtan, and hawan.
“Bhagwan Ram is beyond any borders. He is an energy that touches the lives of all beings on earth globally. It is a proud day for us here in the UK as we celebrate the coming of Bhagwan Ram,” Manish Tiwari, the founder and chairperson of Here and Now 365, a London-based multi-cultural agency said.
#WATCH | UK: Member of the Indian Diaspora in London, Manish Tiwari says, "…Lord Ram's 'urja' must be inculcated in life and thus transform it. We are happy that we celebrated this event ('pranpratishtha' of Ram Temple) in the UK as well…It is a glorious moment for our… pic.twitter.com/RVeUb6te4s
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2024
In the Southhall Ram Mandir in London, the members of the diaspora organised a ‘Bhandara’ (community feast) to celebrate the occasion and distributed different food items to the people.
“It’s a big moment today–the opening of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. We, the people in London, especially the Ram Mandir in Southall, are very privileged. The Bhandara has been going on since 7am in the morning; bread pakoras, jalebis, hot tea, kadhi chawal, bhajia. The youngsters and devotees have joined us from all over,” Gullu Anand, trustee of the Southall Ram Mandir said.
In a separate event, the Hindu Society at Oxford University and the department of Centre for Hindu Studies organised a special event to celebrate the Pran Pratishtha in Ayodhya.
#WATCH | Oxford, United Kingdom: Indian diaspora of the University of Oxford organised a special event on the occasion of Ram Temple 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony.
(Source: Oxford Hindu Society) pic.twitter.com/IL19VKBttC
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2024
The event included the singing of the Ram Sankirtan Bhajan and the Hanuman Chalisa and concluded with an ‘aarti’. Students expressed joy and satisfaction regarding the construction of the mandir.
Akshay, the President of the Oxford Hindu Society, elaborated upon the event saying, “Today, we celebrated the Pran Pratishtha. We performed pushpanjali, aarti and prasadam at the end. It feels amazing to be a part of an event like this.”
“Today is a very auspicious day for all the Indians and we celebrated the event with our fellow Hindus,” Saahas Arora, an Indian student from Prayagraj, said.
“The Pran Pratishtha is uniting Hindus around the world. Bhagwan Ram is close to everyone’s hearts and it is a day of celebration. Many events are taking place across the UK to celebrate the event,” Abhiraj Singh, a student of Indian origin said.
Students from and around the university took part in large numbers in this event. Members from various international communities also joined the Oxford Hindu society in the celebration.
The students hailing from different parts of India enthusiastically took part in this event and expressed joy and satisfaction for the temple.
The Bhagwan Ram Lalla murti was unveiled at the Pran Pratishtha at Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22, after the hour-long rituals in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who led the ceremony. Stressing the significance of laying the foundation for India’s next millennium, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon the citizens to pledge towards building a strong, capable, grand, and divine India from this moment onward.
“We have to lay the foundation of India for the next one thousand years. Moving ahead from the mandir, now all of us countrymen take an oath to build a strong, capable, grand and divine India from this very moment”, the Prime Minister exhorted the countrymen.
RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were also present inside the sanctorum during the rituals. Distinguished individuals from various domains, including cricket, film, saint society, politics, art, literature, culture, and other fields, attended the ceremony.
(with inputs from ANI)