Rajat Sharma


AKB30 As the nation watched the live streaming of Sun rays illuminating the forehead of Ram Lalla idol in the newly built Ayodhya temple on Ramnavami day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sitting in a helicopter, watched it on his iPad, 1100 kilometres away in Nalbari, Assam, after addressing a huge election rally. For the first time in the last 500 years, Ramnavami was celebrated in a grand temple built at the birthplace of Lord Ram. Modi wrote on X : “After my Nalbari rally, I watched the Surya Tilak on Ram Lalla. Like crores of Indians, this is a very emotional moment for me. The grand Ram Navami in Ayodhya is historic. May this Surya Tilak bring energy to our lives and may it inspire our nation to scale new heights of glory.” The beam of sunlight was reflected on the forehead of Ram Lalla idol through a special mirror-lens arrangement, designed by astronomers at the Indian Institute of Astrophyics (IIA), Bengaluru, and it was installed in the temple by a team of scientists from Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee. The IIA team began designing the apparatus three years ago, and prepared a four-mirror-and-four-lens array. The first mirror that received sunlight at noon, was positioned at an angle along the path of the sun rays. The light was then reflected to three other mirrors and after it passed through four lenses at desired intensity, it was directed to the idol’s forehead for three to four minutes. While the mirror directed the beams of light, the lenses made them converge to the required intensity. Millions of devotees of Lord Ram watched the Surya Tilak on their TV screens. Lord Shri Ram was born in a Suryavanshi dynasty, and the Surya Tilak was a historic moment. This was a momentous mix of conservation of our rich legacy and the marvel of modern science. Carrying out this at the right moment was not easy. The scientists had to toil hard to plan and create the apparatus before executing it. Ram Temple construction committee chairman Nripendra Mishra said, it was Prime Minister Modi’s idea for illuminating the idol’s forehead on Ramnavami day. Modi’s plea was that since Lord Shri Ram was a Kshatriya belonging to Suryavanshi dynasty, it would be advisable for the Sun God to do the Surya Tilak of the idol’s forehead. Modi did not leave it to the committee members. He himself contacted scientists and astrophysicists in Maharashtra and Karnataka, and assigned them this responsibility. The result: the world watched the Sun rays performing tilak of Lord Ram Lalla installed in the Garbha-griha of the temple. Konark Sun Temple in Odisha is one of several such temples, built in a manner where the sun rays directly fall on the main idol. Needless to say, Indian architects and scientists of yore had scientific knowledge of how to illuminate the idol inside a temple with Sun rays, as was done by modern scientists on Ramnavami day. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath was busy in Gorakhpur, performing Kanya Pujan to mark the end of nine-day-long fast of Chaitra Navratri. Yogi described this year’s Ramnavami as special in the sense that it is being held after a long wait of 500 years inside a temple. Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav spoiled the merriment by commenting that “performing worship inside temples is nothing but paakhand (hypocrisy). Yadav said, whatever happening in Ayodhya seems to be inauspicious, because the Ram Lalla idol was consecrated in a partially-built temple and BJP leaders are trying to reap political advantage out of it. Yadav claimed, he never went to a temple in his life, and always worshipped idols in his home. One can understand Ram Gopal Yadav’s unhappiness, because BJP leaders are mentioning about how Ram temple was built and the idol installed after a gap of 500 years. BJP leaders are telling people how Congress and Samajwadi Party boycotted the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya. In reply, Yogi Adityanath said, “in Sanatan Dharma, every morning begins with the word Ram, and when somebody’s life comes to an end, the word Ram is uttered. So where is the question of caste in this issue?” Yogi said, Congress, SP and BSP practise double standards. “Their leaders used to demand proof about the birthplace of Lord Ram, and now they say, Lord Ram belongs to one and all”, he said. I think, Yogi is right. Every Sanatani begins his morning with the name of Lord Ram, and when one passes away, Ram Naam Sathya Hai is uttered by the pall-bearers. This has nothing to do with any caste. I was surprised when Ram Gopal Yadav described temple goers as “hypocrites”. He holds PhD, M.Sc.(Physics) and MA (Political Science) degrees. He has been a lecturer and Principal of a college in UP. He must know that India is a land of faiths. Has he forgotten that dharma is the basis of Indian culture? Our temples are symbols of our rich heritage. Has he forgotten that millions of people in India go to temples and worship before gods? Yadav has no right to hurt the sentiments of people. If he is seeking political advantage by making such a remark, in order to make any section or community happy, then he is mistaken. He and his party may have to face enormous political loss in UP.

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