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Ram Navami 2024: For the first time in 500 years, Ram Navami is celebrated with Ram Lalla Virajman at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya

While Ram Navami has always been celebrated with great fervour, this time around, there is an exciting zing in the air about the celebrations never witnessed before. For, it is the first time in nearly 500 years that Ram Navami is being celebrated with Ram Lalla, the child-like form of Lord Ram, installed at the sacred site of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya.

17 April 2024 has registered itself as a momentous occasion in the country’s history. For, it is the first time in nearly 500 years that Ram Navami is being celebrated with Ram Lalla, the child-like form of Lord Ram, consecrated at the sacred site of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya.

Ayodhya is all decked up to celebrate the birth of Lord Ram, one of the foremost deities in the Hindu pantheon. Likewise, every city across the length and breadth of the country is drowned in the festivities of Lord Ram’s birth anniversary, with Mahaprasads being distributed in various corners, Ram Bhajans blaring on loudspeakers installed at popular intersections, and Shobha Yatra (procession) being carried out to celebrate a figure that has been at the centre of the Hindu piety. 

While Ram Navami has always been celebrated with great fervour, this time around, there is an exciting zing in the air about the celebrations never witnessed before. Perhaps there is a realisation among people about the enormity of the occasion and their incredible fortune for being the first generation to witness Ram Navami being celebrated at Lord Ram’s birthplace, the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir’ in Ayodhya.

This excitement is palpable in the manner in which Ram Navami celebrations are underway in different parts of the country. But more importantly, there is a consciousness among the general public about the magnitude of the moment in front of them. Until a few years ago, very few believed that Ram Lalla at Ayodhya at Ram Janmabhoomi would be a likely possibility shortly. That changed dramatically with Gujarat CM Modi ascending to New Delhi and taking over the country’s Prime Ministership in 2014.

And then, 5 years later, in 2019, the Supreme Court ended the long-drawn-out battle over the ownership of the Ram Janmabhoomi site and handed it over to Hindus, paving the way for the construction of a magnificent abode to Ram Lalla. 

Then, on January 22, 2024, a momentous chapter was inscribed into Bharatvarsh’s illustrious history as the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla concluded in Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir. PM Modi led the consecration ceremony, reinstating Ram Lalla to his rightful place after an agonising 496 years.

A wave of jubilation swept through the nation as millions of devotees thronged the streets and temples, big and small, to commemorate the completion of Ram Lalla’s Pran Pratishtha and offer their homage to the deity’s return to Ayodhya.

The resounding chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ echoed across the country, infusing a rare sense of triumph and energy among the vast multitudes gathered organically in their respective hometowns. The long-awaited prophecy of “Ram Lalla Aayenge, Mandir Wahin Banayenge” had finally come to fruition.

Amidst the nationwide revelry for Lord Ram’s homecoming, it was also a moment for solemn reflection on the centuries of struggle that led to the realisation of the Ram Mandir. In a speech that will echo for generations, PM Modi underscored the sacrifices made to fulfil the dream of constructing the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

“After centuries of unparalleled patience, countless sacrifices, renunciations, and penances, our Prabhu Ram has returned…” PM Modi remarked in his address following the Pran Pratishtha ceremony. He spoke of the resilience of Hindus, their steadfast devotion to Lord Ram, and their unwavering spirit in reclaiming what was rightfully theirs.

Lord Ram epitomises India’s enduring civilization, rooted in principles of freedom, pluralism, tolerance, and diversity. His return symbolizes the nation’s journey towards Ram Rajya, a vision of ideal social harmony, economic justice, and political freedom. The consecration ceremony thus stood as a triumph of righteousness over tyranny, a victory of inclusivity over Islamic iconoclasm. 

For many, the Pran Pratishtha ceremony marked the culmination of centuries-long efforts to reclaim Lord Ram’s birthplace and restore Him to His rightful abode. Yet, its significance runs much deeper. The reinstatement of Lord Ram in Ram Janmabhoomi pays homage to the thousands of devotees who sacrificed everything to reclaim a site that was forcibly taken by Islamic zealots. They endured the humiliation of a mosque built atop a preexisting temple, and their perseverance was honoured with the Pran Pratistha ceremony, and celebrated again today, nearly 3 months later on Ram Navami.

Truly, this moment has been nothing short of remarkable. Ram Navami celebrations with the presence of Ram Lalla Virajman at the sacred site is a testament to the unparalleled determination, unwavering resolve, and exceptional courage of the millions who ensured that the struggle for the Janmabhoomi was not lost to the trials of time. They passed on a sense of duty to Dharma to future generations, urging them to persist in the battle until the goal of liberating their God’s birthplace was achieved.

While India’s tumultuous history vividly illustrates that the Ram Janmabhoomi site is just one example of how Islamic iconoclasm and extremism subdued non-Muslims in India, it is also a tale of courage and steadfast determination that kept the Hindus going, celebrating their festivals and passing on the baton of struggle to their progenies. 

Numerous sites, notably the Krishna birthplace in Mathura and the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi stand as stark reminders of this iconoclasm. India’s history, even when viewed through a Marxist-Leftist lens, details how Muslim invaders from the Middle East, originally aiming to spread Islam, pillaged, plundered, raped, and massacred Hindus who worshipped idols.

Following the religious persecution under Muslim rulers, the Indic civilisation faced assault from the wily British, who economically drained the country to the point where it contributed less than 1 per cent to the global GDP upon their departure in 1947, a stark contrast to its peak of 27 per cent during the 17th century. Since the Indian independence, Hindus have been guilt-tripped by Nehruvian historians who instilled a sense of guilt in them with their distorted retelling of history. 

In this light, the Ram Navami celebrations after the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya are a significant victory for Hindus and followers of all Vedic faiths who grew restless with time but never gave up reclaiming what was rightfully theirs. The Ram Navami celebrations this year not only symbolize the centuries-long wait for Ram Lalla in Ayodhya but also stand as a testament to the victory of good over evil, a central theme of the Hindu epic Ramayana.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Jinit Jain
Jinit Jain
Writer. Learner. Cricket Enthusiast.

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