The much awaited Pran Pratishtha ceremony or the consecration of the idol of Ram Lalla, representing the young Lord Rama took place at Ayodhya in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 January. The Prime Minister performed "Dandavat Pranaam" in front of the idol after it was unveiled.
The town of Ayodhya, as per reports, was under the grip of tremendous religious fervor as the Prime Minister, in the presence of dignitaries from across the globe, industrialists, media and the film industry among others, addressed a gathering of over 7,000 at the site. The shrine, following the consecration today, will be open to public from 23 January 2024.
Invitees to the ceremony included prominent politicians, top industrialists of the nation including Sunil Bharti Mittal and Mukesh Ambani, leading journalists, film stars including Amitabh Bachchan, Judges, Sportspersons and priests. All government institutions, educational institutions across the country were given a holiday to mark the occassion.
The Temple was constructed after the Babri Masjid on this site was demolished more than 3 decades ago, an incident, which burnt the nation on communal lines since. The temple construction began after the Supreme Court ruling in 2019 on the Ram Janmbhoomi - Babri Masjid title suit. In 1992, the 16th Century Babri Masji was demolished by "KAr Sevaks".
What is Pran Pratishtha
This ceremony marks the sanctification of the idol of Ram Lalla or the youthful incarnation of Lord Rama. The procedure of imbuing and idol with 'life', incorporates a series of rituals that have been derived from the Puranas and Vedas, the religious texts for those following the Hindu way of life. Each of these procedures bear a unique spiritual significance. The process begins with a Shobha Yatra where the idol is paraded aroung the temple premises, where it is believed that the onlookers devotion is transferred to it and this markes the transition of the idol into a deity. The Adhivas is the next process, where the idol is immersed in different materials, and then the idol is given a ritual bath. This bath can consist of a mixture of 108 different materials such as water with the essence of fragrant flowers (panchamrut), water poured over the horns of cows and sugarcane juice. The final and most crucial step is the opening of the eyes of the idol, or "Netronmeelan". This involved applying the Kohl (kajal) around the eyes of the idol using a golden needle, a procedure performed by the Prime Minister.