Author: Pavithra Srinivasan
The official logo and motto of Ram Mandir Trust “Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra” is
॥ रामो विग्रहवान् धर्मः ॥ Ramo Vigrahavan Dharma
– Rama is the personification of Dharma -righteousness, meaning , if Dharma had a human form then it is Rama .
The above phrase taken from Aranyakanda, Canto 37, shloka 13 from Srimad Valmiki Ramayana which continues to read as
रामो विग्रहवान् धर्मः साधुः सत्य पराक्रमः |
राजा सर्वस्य लोकस्य देवानाम् इव वासवः
raamo vigrahavaan dharmaH saadhuH satya paraakramaH |
raajaa sarvasya lokasya devaanaam iva vaasavaH ||
“Rama is the embodiment of righteousness, he is virtue incarnate, truthful and of unfailing prowess. He is the Ruler of the entire humanity, even as Indra is the ruler of Gods.
Srimad Valmiki Ramayana is the most authentic source of the sacred and soul ravishing story of Sri Rama. This epic literature, considered as the AdiKavya( First poem) by Maharishi Valmiki, reegarded as the Adi Kavi ( First poet) of the ancient Vedic Indian civilization.
Dated millennia ago, this poem consists of 24,000 verses divided into six Kandas or sections :- Bala Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kishkindha Kand, Sundara Kanda, Yuddha Kanda, leaving an ineffaceable impression about the life history of Sri Rama, fresh and illuminating even today.
Ayodhya means an unconquerable city residing wherein Moksha or ultimate freedom from the cycle of birth and death, from the bondage of struggles & sufferings, is granted.
Valmiki Ramayana gives a beautiful description of this great city :-
“Ayodhya was built by Vaivaswata Manu in the great principality, known as Kosala, extending along the banks of Sarayu. The glorious city with its well- aligned roads is 12 Yojanas ( 96 miles)long & 3 Yojanas (24 miles wide). It is happy and prosperous full of abundant riches and plenty of food grains. It abounds in horses, elephants, cows, camels & donkeys.It is graced with beautifully ramified extensive highway peopled by well classes of craftsmen, foremost of learned men who have mastered the Vedas eminent seers, skilled archers. It is graced with lovely women, orchards , and mountain like mansions built with precious stones.Encircled by a deep moat which cannot be easily entered or crossed, the city cannot be easily approached by enemies….”
BalaKanda , Canto 5, Shloka 1- 23.
Ever since this immortal poem has been written, people have never stopped believing that Sri Rama was born in Ayodhya.
In fact one of the most famous and familiar version of the Ramayana is Ramacharitamanasa written in native dialect Awadhi, by the renowned and highly devout saint Tulsidas in the 15nth Century . The impact of Ramacharitamanasa is so great that devotion for Rama is evoked in the heart of every common man who reads it.
Sant Tulsidas propitiates the city of Ayodhya in Balakanda section saying,
“I reverence the exceedingly holy city of Ayodhya ( Sri Rama’s birth place) and the river Sarayu flowing beside it that wipes out all woes of Kali Yuga. I bow to the men & women of the city who enjoy the affection of Sri Rama in no small degree”
Srimad Valmiki Ramayana and Tulsidas Ramacharitamanasa have given Bharatvarsh & the world , the greatest civilizational heritage . While the former regards Rama as “Maryada Purushottam”- a human hero with exceptional values, prowess and excellent conduct as a son, brother ,husband and a King ; the latter depicts Rama as Supernatural, Supreme being, the essence of Puranas & Vedas, a God incarnate who has descended into the human world to destroy the demons and protect the people.
Both envision a Ramya Rajya where as the King, Rama ruled with justice, followed the law and was always ready to stand against adharma. In the Rama Rajya people were devoted to their duty,were skilled and accomplished, conformed to the precepts of Vedas, and Dharma reigned highest in their living.
Over the centuries many vernacular versions of the Ramayana have appeared and become popular, the Itihaasa embellished by regional experiences and sentiments .
The heroic personalities of Ramayana have found their way into the common greetings , speech , music , dance, literature in indigenous lands and neighboring countries.
The life of Rama is not only about love, adventure, politics, battles & victory but also about philosophy, ethics, values & morals that form the familial, social, religious, political and spiritual fabric of India. Rama is not merely a name , and the Mandir not merely a structure.Deeply embedded in the psyche of the minds of people and the cultural consciousness of the nation., Rama is a symbol of dignity, identity and unity across North, South ,East & West.
Despite the world reeling under the effects of Covid , the city of Ayodhya is steeped in celebration and festivity, the people rejoicing in the preparation of ground- breaking ceremony Bhumi Pujan for the construction of grand Ram Mandir, at the Ram Janma Bhoomi in Ayodhya.
The city is tastefully decorated with lamps in all houses and temples, and chants of Vedic Rituals fill the air as a pre ceremonial celebration.
Sacred Soil & holy water from sacred rivers, important temples & religious sites are sent to Ayodhya for the construction of the grand temple.
In the tradition of Indian culture, the construction of any site begins with Bhumi Puja for seeking the grace of Mother Earth to support and sustain the construction for many generations.
Sita Devi was discovered by King Janaka while ploughing a field to perform a Yagna, Hence she is daughter of the soil of Mithila ,daughter of Mother Earth. She grew with exceptional intelligence, virtues & skills at an extraordinary pace in the loving care of her foster father King Janaka and later became inseparable part of Sri Rama, like the word and its meaning.
Therefore BhumiPuja for the construction of Ram Mandir is also indicative of receiving Sita Devi’s blessings.
The auspicious ceremony is a culmination of years of riots, penance, sacrifices, forbearance and resistance of millions against violent religious invasions, colonial rule and conversions over centuries. It is the people’s unstinted faith that Rama is real that has led to the historic moment in Ayodhya which will now be a symbol of the rich culture, heritage and civilisational renaissance, putting it in a special place on the global map.
With the foundation stone made of pure silver weighing 22600 gm installed at the RamJanma Bhoomi, by the Honourable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi , the wait and exile of millions from celebrating the birth place of Rama, is over. Rama is home on Aug 5, 2020 in the unconquerable city of Ayodhya.