Ayodhya: The holy city of Ayodhya is all set to witness the historic Pran Pratishtha (consecration) of the Ram temple on January 22, 2024. The Pran Pratishtha is a sacred ceremony that infuses life into the murti (idol) of Lord Ram, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu and the hero of the epic Ramayana. The ceremony will mark the culmination of the decades-long Ram Janmabhoomi movement that sought to reclaim the site of the demolished Babri Masjid, which was believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
The Pran Pratishtha will be performed by 121 Vedic and ritualistic Brahmins, who are experts in the ancient scriptures and rites of Hinduism. A team of 50 Brahmins, led by Pandit Laxmikant Mathuranath Dixit of Kashi (Varanasi), will stay in Ayodhya from January 16 to 22 to conduct the elaborate rituals. Before the Pran Pratishtha, there will be a yajna (fire sacrifice), a havan (offering to the fire), a recitation of the four Vedas (the oldest and most authoritative texts of Hinduism), and a chanting of various mantras (sacred formulas) for a total of 60 hours.
According to the Vedic Brahmins and historians of Kashi, such a grand religious ritual has not been seen in the country for over 150 years. They say that the last time such a magnificent yajna and charity event was held was during the reign of Harshavardhana, the great Hindu ruler of Kannauj, who ruled over most of northern India in the 7th century CE. The evidence of this is found in the Banskheda inscription of Harshavardhana, which contains his signature and mentions his donation of gold, silver, cows, horses, elephants, and land to the Brahmins and the poor.
The construction work of the Ram temple is also in its final stages. The temple is being built in the Nagara style of architecture, with pink sandstone and a towering spire. The temple complex covers an area of 2.77 acres and has several smaller shrines dedicated to other Hindu deities. The main attraction of the temple is the Shaligram stone, a black stone that represents Lord Ram and was brought from the Gandaki river in Nepal. The temple is 161 feet high and has three floors, each with a different purpose. The first floor is dedicated to Lord Ram, the second floor to Lord Hanuman, and the third floor to a museum that showcases the history and culture of Ayodhya.
The Pran Pratishtha of the Ram temple is expected to attract millions of devotees and visitors from across the country and the world. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is personally supervising the arrangements for the ceremony and the security of the city. The ceremony will also be attended by many prominent personalities of the country, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma, and many celebrities from the film and music industry.
The Pran Pratishtha of the Ram temple is a historic and auspicious occasion for the Hindus, who consider Ayodhya as the holy land of Lord Ram. The ceremony is also a symbol of the triumph of faith and justice over the forces of oppression and violence. The ceremony will mark the beginning of a new era of peace, harmony, and prosperity for Ayodhya and the entire nation.