Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir Celebrates First Ram Navami with ‘Surya Tilak’ Ceremony

Surya Tilak at Ram Mandir

Ayodhya: In the sacred city of Ayodhya, a momentous celebration unfolds as devotees across the nation observe Ram Navami with heightened fervor. This year’s festival is particularly significant as it marks the first Ram Navami since the completion and dedication of the Ram Mandir. The temple, a beacon of faith and tradition, is hosting a unique ‘Surya Tilak’ ceremony for Lord Shri Ramlala, drawing the eyes of the devout and curious alike.

The Dawn of a New Tradition: ‘Surya Tilak’ at Ram Mandir
At precisely 12:16 pm, a celestial event will grace the idol of Lord Ram as the ‘Surya Tilak’ ceremony commences. This ritual involves a precise alignment of mirrors and lenses, designed to focus the sun’s rays onto the deity’s forehead, creating a sacred mark of sunlight. The ‘Surya Tilak Project,’ meticulously tested by scientists, ensures that this divine interaction between the sun and the idol occurs annually on Ram Navami, symbolizing the blessings of the Sun God.

Devotional Innovation: A Blend of Science and Spirituality
The ‘Surya Tilak’ is not merely a spectacle but a testament to the harmonious blend of scientific ingenuity and spiritual devotion. The Roorkee team, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, has engineered an opto-mechanical system that channels sunlight from the temple’s third floor to the sanctum sanctorum. This system, validated through rigorous testing, employs a series of mirrors and lenses within a tilting mechanism, culminating in a focused beam of light that adorns Lord Ram’s forehead for approximately four minutes.

Ensuring Devotees’ Participation: LED Displays and Contingency Plans
To ensure that all devotees can partake in this sacred moment, the temple trust and government have installed numerous LED screens both inside and outside the temple premises. These screens will broadcast the ‘Surya Tilak’ and other Ram Navami festivities, allowing for a communal experience regardless of one’s physical location in the temple.

Clouds Cannot Dim the Light of Devotion
In the event of an overcast sky, the ceremony’s planners have decided against using artificial light, respecting the authenticity of the ritual and the beliefs of the faithful. The ‘Surya Tilak’ is a celebration of devotion, and the natural light of the sun is an integral part of this spiritual practice.

Surya Tilak at Ram Mandir

The Team Behind the ‘Surya Tilak’
The successful implementation of the ‘Surya Tilak’ is the result of the collaborative efforts of experts from CSIR-CBRI Roorkee and IIA Bangalore. The team, led by Dr. SK Panigrahi and Professor R Pradeep Kumar of CSIR-CBRI, and advised by Dr. Anna Purni S and Prof Tushar Prabhu of IIA, has brought this ambitious project to fruition, marking a new chapter in the temple’s storied history.

As Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir celebrates this historic Ram Navami, the ‘Surya Tilak’ stands as a symbol of India’s rich cultural tapestry, woven together by threads of faith, science, and community.