Diwali in Ayodhya: Ram, Laxman & Sita return in choppers. Yogi felicitates them
In a redux of Treta Yuga when Ram, Laxman, and Sita returned to Ayodhya in the mythological Pushpak aircraft along with Hanuman and Sugriva, the modern-day victors of Lanka landed at the Ram Katha Sthal on a helicopter this Diwali.
The chopper took off from the Faizabad airstrip before landing at the helipad near the Ram Katha Park.
And as a journalist claimed, that to relive the mythological moment in detail, one helicopter showered flowers petals on the symbolic Pushpak Vimaan.
Governor Ram Naik, along with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his Cabinet colleagues, including the two deputy chief ministers and Union ministers Mahesh Sharma and KJ Alphons, was there to receive the vanquishers and perform his ‘rajyabhishek’ – anointed Ram as the King of Ayodhya.
Elaborate plans were in place at Ayodhya to mark the return of Ram from Lanka after slaying Ravana and put the holy city on the cultural map of the state as an important tourist destination till such time as the promised temple of Ram is built there.
Ram Leela is also scheduled to be performed by artistes from Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka at the Ram Katha Park. For those unable to reach the venue, episodes of the Ramayana are going to be shown on LED TVs installed at various points across the city.
Parallel to these events, Ayodhya also prepared for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records by lighting 1.71 lakh diyas, earthen lamps, at Ram ki Paidi on the banks of the Saryu river where the Saryu aarti was performed.
Yogi Adityanath performed the aarti on the riverside as others watched.
Prof Dixit, who was supervising the arrangements under the watch of two officials from Guinness, said that they would try to light 2 lakh earthen lamps using 11,000 litres of sesame oil and 850 kg of camphor.
“To facilitate easy counting, the earthen lamps have been kept in a cluster of fives and tens,” he explained. Dixit said that the place which was originally chosen for placing the earthen lamps was not big enough to accommodate all the diyas so parts of adjacent areas have been included.
With the Supreme Court scheduled to start daily hearing of the Ram Janmbhoomi case from 5 December, the government of Uttar Pradesh has gotten busy preparing for a strong cultural revival of Ram prior to the promised Ram temple to be built in Ayodhya.
As part of the exercise, Adityanth is also scheduled to visit the neighbouring Chitrakoot where Ram, his wife, and brother had spent several years in exile.
Behind the push being given to Ayodhya, for the development of which the government has earmarked Rs 133 crore, there is an obvious political message before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the local bodies’ elections to be held in November. And the message was that even if the construction of temple gets delayed, the government is conscious of its commitment towards Ayodhya.
The seers in Ayodhya who have been awaiting the construction of Ram temple, may not be fully satisfied with the current buzz and the proposed 100-foot tall statue of Ram, for which the Shias have promised to give ten silver arrows.
The BJP and VHP leaders have exuded confidence that the construction of the temple will start in 2018, irrespective of what the Supreme Court judgment is.
“If the verdict is in our favour then there won’t be any issue otherwise we will rely on a negotiated settlement. Shias have already extended their support and many Sunnis too are now in favour of the temple. If this also fails then the government should pass a law in parliament for the construction of Ram temple,” Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, member of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and former MP, told media persons at Ayodhya.
It has been learned that the arrival of stones from Rajasthan at the Karsewakpuram is expected to resume soon after the monsoon lull, the number of artisans to be deployed for carving was also expected to increase after the festival season.
Edited by Jhinuk Sen