January 20, 2024: As the historic inauguration date of Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir draws near on January 22, where the installation of Lord Ram Lalla’s idol will take place post the consecration ceremony, meticulous preparations are underway. This landmark event is expected to witness the presence of numerous VVIPs and celebrities, making it a monumental occasion.
In a bid to ensure seamless execution, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath personally inspected the temple site on January 9. To grasp the profound significance of the event, it is essential to delve into the pran pratishtha ceremony, a sacred Hindu ritual that breathes life into the deity.
Understanding Pran Pratishtha
Pran pratishtha, translating to ‘establishing the life force’ or bringing the ‘deity to life,’ is a ritual that invokes a deity into an idol, transforming it into a sacred and divine entity. Once the pran pratishtha is completed, the idol transcends into a deity capable of accepting prayers and bestowing blessings upon worshippers.
Ayodhya Ram Mandir: Pran Pratishtha Ceremony and Its Significance
In preparation for this significant ceremony, a series of rituals precede the pran pratishtha. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra announced a seven-day consecration ceremony starting from January 16 for the Ram Mandir. Activities include auspicious events like touching the Saryu river embankment, conducting Vishnu Puja, and Gau Dan on the first day. Subsequent days feature a ‘shobha yatra’ for the selected Ram Lalla idol, various pujas, and a ‘nav grah shanti hawan’ to appease all planets.
On the day of the pran pratishtha, the idol, previously submerged in water and grain, is ceremoniously brought to the temple. Bathed in milk and adorned with fragrances, it is placed in the sanctum sanctorum facing eastward. Priests chant hymns, mantras, and conduct rituals, culminating in the ceremonial opening of the statue’s eyes, believed to permanently infuse it with life.
As for the temple structure, it adheres to the traditional Nagara style, boasting a three-storied shrine with 392 pillars, 44 doors, and five Mandaps. With Ayodhya gearing up for this momentous occasion, anticipation is building for the pran pratishtha ceremony set to commence on January 16. The meticulous execution of these sacred rituals is poised to mark a historic moment in the cultural and spiritual tapestry of Ayodhya.