“Ram is not fire; Ram is energy. Ram is not a dispute; Ram is a solution. Ram is not just ours; Ram belongs to everyone. Ram is not just present; Ram is eternal.” Narendra Modi
January 22, 2024, will forever be a historic, monumental, and magnificent day of Sanatan Dharma revival for the consecration of Ram Mandir. Prime Minister Modi performed “Pran Pratishtha” which was witnessed by millions around the world. It was the grand spectacle of our lifetime. Everyone was overwhelmed, overjoyed, and felt blessed. I could not stop watching the live broadcast all night long in Minnesota with nearly a 12-hour time difference.
“In this historic moment, the nation is also remembering those individuals whose actions and dedication have led us to witness this auspicious day. ” Said Modi. He added, “Many people have shown the pinnacle of sacrifice and penance in the service of Ram’s cause. We all owe a debt to the countless devotees of Ram, the numerous ‘Kar Sevaks’ (volunteers), and the countless saints and spiritual leaders.” It was a true dedication to the lives sacrificed by Hindus from the ancient to the present.
Western Media Portrayal of Ram Mandir
Most Western media, however, narratives started with a statement like ‘Ram temple built on the ruins of Babri Masjid.” Such statements are devoid of the brutality of the tyrant invaders who damaged hundreds of Hindu places of worship. However, the infamous New York Times was full of negativity without the facts. It stated, “Islam does not appear in the Ramayana, having arrived in India only 1,000 years ago,” admitting that Ram and Ramayana preceded the Islamic tyrants. The looting, killings, and conversion of millions of Hindus can not be imagined by the ignorant NYT editors.
The most notorious anti-Hindu and anti-Bharat professor, Audrey Truschke, titled her article, ” India’s Ayodhya Temple is a Huge Monument to Hindu Supremacy.” She is a master of creating and fabricating controversies which unfortunately sell too well. It is important to mention that she tried and miserably failed in ‘dismantling’ the indestructible Hindutva. Her acidity and audacity in using ‘Hindu Supremacy’ is a reflection of her deep hatred for Hinduism. May she be forgiven and blessed by Ram Lalla in the best of our Hindu tradition.
The derogatory phrase ‘White Supremacy,’ refers to those who believe that “White” people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups, in particular black or Jewish people. Treschke abused her scholarship by claiming “White” superiority over Hindus in addition to Black and Jewish people. How tragic to have people like her in our communities who divide us?
Ramayana is one of the Hindu’s sacred scriptures about Ram from birth to his coronation as a King after his 14 years of exile. Lord Ram is personified as ‘Maryada Purushottam’ (the best of the men). He was an exemplary son, brother, husband, and the King. He reigned his kingdom where people lived with peace, prosperity, humility, harmony, mutual respect, and admiration. It is embodied in “Ram Rajya,” which is steadily taking shape in the new Bharat (that is India).
It is believed that Ram, the seventh incarnation of Supreme Lord Vishnu, took birth to save and protect the saints and seers constantly under attack by the demons. Now, Ram Lalla ( Ram as a child at the age of five) has returned, nearly 500 years later, to protect, preserve, and promote Hinduism and Hindutva against evil souls like Treschke and the Western media at large.
The Ram Lalla Mandir
January 22 marked the most auspicious day for Dharma followers when Ram Lalla came alive in Ayodhya. Following the elaborate ceremonies inside the magnificent Mandir, Modi congratulated everyone. He told the world, ” Today, our Ram has arrived! Our Ram has arrived after centuries of anticipation. Our Lord Ram has arrived after unprecedented patience, countless sacrifices, renunciations, and penance. Congratulations to all of you, to all the citizens of the country, on this auspicious moment.” Those words reverberated globally and the three-letter RAM became the most narrated word.
Modi Tweeted a short YouTube video with a caption. “What we saw in Ayodhya yesterday, 22nd January, will be etched in our memories for years to come.” The video is the culmination of the most-watched ceremony. An English transcript of Modi’s address is also available.
Millions start their day around the world with “Ram-Ram” as greetings. Who knows that RAM may have been narrated, chanted, and written about a trillion times on or around January 22. It did not matter what faith and ideology one belonged to. People could not escape the news of Ram Lalla Mandir’s opening. It was televised live and was on Social media globally.
RAM’s Many Names and Meaning
Lord Ram’s common names include Raghava, Ramchandra, Koshlendra, and Rambhadra. His 108 names manifest religious and spiritual significance. In Sanskrit, ‘Ra’ stands for राष्ट्र (Rashtra= Nation) and ‘m’ for मंगलमय (Mangalmay=Happy). Simply put Ram also means a ‘Happy Nation.’ Today’s Bharat is poised to be a happy nation as we march forward in 2024 and beyond.
In the modern age of technology, RAM also stands for Random Access Memory. What more does Ram mean? Allow me to stretch my belief in Bhagwan Ram as a sacred symbol of secularism. Letter R=Rome (home for Christian’s Vatican City), A=Ayodhya (the Divine Mandir for the Sanatan faith), and M=Mecca (sacred for Islam). Thus Ram is inclusive of the world’s three biggest religions.
Nearly one billion Hindus in the world were immersed in Reincarnating, Attaining, and Meditating their beloved RAM. Following Pran Pratishtha, about half a million devotees have visited Ram Mandir every day. Ram’s Ayodhya Dham is expected to attract about 100 million people annually, second only to about 150 million visiting Mecca.
Lord Ram in Modi’s Words
Modi observed the occasion as “not only about victory but also about humility.” Paraphrasing his words about history and changing times, “Our country has opened this chapter of history with seriousness and emotional fervor indicates that our future is becoming exceedingly beautiful from our past.” He told the world that Ram Lalla’s Mandir signifies the peace, patience, mutual harmony, and coordination of Indian society.
Modi characterized Pran Pratistha as a recognition of the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family). He suggested the consecration as an unwavering faith in Indian culture, human values, and ultimate ideals. Modi talked about the value of centuries-old सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिन (Let all be happy) as a manifestation in the Ram Temple. This temple, according to Modi, is not just a mere shrine; it is the manifestation of Bharat’s vision, philosophy, and insight.
“It is a temple of national consciousness as the faith. foundation, thought, constitution, consciousness, and contemplation of Bharat,” said Modi. Additionally, Ram is the pride, glory, a continuous flow, an influence, and an idea. Ram is also eternal, perpetual, pervasive, universal, and soul of the world. Citing Maharishi Valmiki, who composed the sacred Ramayana, Modi said that the impact of the consecration of Ram is not just for years or centuries, its impact will last for thousands of years.
Defending Sanatan Through the Centuries
Ram Lalla in Minnesota
For a proud Hindu like me in Minnesota, the transformation of Ayodhya is beyond words and imagination where Bhagwan Ram was born and Ram Rajya originated. What matters most is the reincarnation of the immortal Ram who lives in our mind, heart, and soul.
Every Mandir across America celebrated Bhagwan Ram’s return to Ayodhya. There were large billboards on the national highways, car rallies, and special chanting and puja in the Mandirs. It matched the regional diversity of Bharat with a strong and renewed bond among Sanatan followers.
The Hindu Temple had a Ram Leela by children on January 20. The community organized a car rally that concluded at the temple with puja, bhajans, and prasad. Later, a light and sound show on the temple campus blessed Tesla owners.
The Hindu Temple had a special Puja and offerings in its Ram Mandir throughout the day on January 21. About 800 Sanatani returned at 10:30 PM (10 am on January 22 in Ayodhya) for more chanting and watching the live broadcast of Pran Pratishtha.
The Swaminarayan Temple, organized a special event to observe Pran Pratishtha with several hundred people in attendance. It included a segment from Ramayan. Lord Ram’s emissary goes to King Ravana asking him for the return of Ram’s wife Sita to avoid war. Chanting in Ram’s glory and a telecast about BAPS’s involvement in the Ram Temple followed. A procession carrying Kalash (a pot with sacred rice from Ayodhya) followed by Aarati (prayers) honoring Lord Ram was part of the event
Modi concluded his narration as a time of success and time of accomplishment. “This magnificent Ram Temple will bear witness to the rise and the dawn of Bharat. This grand Ram Temple will bear witness to the prosperity of Bharat, the development of Bharat!”He went on to say that the goal is achievable if validated by truth and born out of collective and organized strength.
Modi bowed at the feet of Ram Lalla, the moment we may never witness again. He offered his respects to all the saints, seers, and guests. “This is Bharat’s time…; we all have waited for this era, this period. Now, we will not stop. We will continue to rise to the heights of development, ” said Modi.