As jubilation took hold of Ayodhya after the enthronement of Bhagwan Ram Lalla at his majestic abode, hundreds erupted in celebrations at the iconic Times Square in New York City on January 22. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, a Stanford University graduate from Hollywood who has been residing at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh for nearly 30 years, led the crowd of hundreds here to celebrate the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Bhagwan Ram Lalla in Ayodhya.
The vibrant celebrations were marked by triumphant chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Addressing members of the Indian diaspora, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati said the celebratory event marks not only the opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya but a ‘Rashtra Mandir’, symbolising the country’s unity.
“Back home today, we have opened not just a Ram Mandir but also a Rashtra Mandir. It will stand as a Mandir of unity. This is the Mandir for which we waited for over 500 years,” she said.
Underlining the significance of the occasion, she added, “Ram devotees across generations had been waiting for this day. It has finally arrived after more than 500 years.” The celebration drew hundreds of Indians to Times Square, as they waved saffron flags and joined in the collective joy.
The cultural festivities included dance performances, adding to the vibrancy and festive ambience around the event. As the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ unfolded, army choppers were pictured showering petals on the temple. PM Modi also showered petals on workers, who were a part of the construction team that shaped the grand Ram Mandir.
He was also seen sprinkling flowers on the murti of Jatayu at the Ram Mandir premises and also offered prayers to Bhagwan Shiv in Ayodhya Dham. While addressing the dignitaries invited to the Pran Pratishtha, PM Modi said the unveiling of the Bhagwan Ram Lalla murti is not only a moment of triumph after a prolonged struggle but also one of humility.
“This is not just a moment of celebration for us all but also one to reflect the coming of age of the Indian society. This occasion is as much about triumph as it is about humility. The world is replete with instances of countries that faced a lot of difficulties resolving historic wrongs and injustices. However, the way we untied the knots and resolved all outstanding issues gives us hope that our future is going to be more beautiful and fulfilling than our past,” PM Modi said.
The PM said that the construction of the temple, which some feared would set off a firestorm, now stands as a symbol of peace, patience, harmony and integration.
“There was also a time when some people used to say ‘Ram Mandir bana toh aag lag jaegi’ (the making of the Ram Mandir would set off a firestorm). Such people lacked an understanding of the purity of our society, the spirit that binds us all. This majestic abode of Bhagwan Ram Lalla will now stand as a symbol of peace, patience, mutual harmony and social unity. The construction of this Mandir did not set off a fire but exuded a positive energy that has been infectious for us all,” he added.
He added that the Ayodhya Mandir also testifies to a renewed national consciousness of Bhagwan Ram and his place in our everyday lives. The Bhagwan Ram Lalla murti was unveiled during the grand ‘Pran Pratishtha’, which involved hour-long rituals led by Prime Minister Modi.
(with inputs from ANI)