What is the myth behind Pran Pratishtha and the Surya Tilak Ceremony of Ram Lalla?

Ram Lalla is a deity of the Ayodhya temple. He is considered the complete avatar, or Purnavatara, among Dashavatars. Hindus and Indian Vedic Story believe that Rama was Para Brahman. During his Rama Avatar in Treta Yuga, he was aware of his divine potencies but still led a life as an ordinary human being. 

Sage Narada and Valmiki, the divine authors of the epic Ramayana, always considered him Purusottama, the ideal man, due to his sixteen qualities. 

Punya Kshetras of Ayodhya, the Birth Place of Rama Lalla

Rama Lalla, the 7th avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born in the ancient and most sacred city of Ayodhya. He became the son of King Dashrath and Queen Kaushalya and the brother of Shanta, his sister, Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughan.

However, in Ayodhya, there are three most sacred places, or Punya Kshetra (virtuous pilgrimage sites), where devotees visit. They are: 

  • Janmasthāna, the birthplace 
  • Svargadvāra, the gateway to heaven
  • Yajñasthala, the place where Rama performed the holy sacrifice 

According to ancient history and culture, these places used to exist in the earliest days, as well as Janmasthān temple, Svargadvār temple, and Trētā-kā-Thākūr temple. 

Ram Lalla: The Deity of Ayodhya Temple 

The presiding deity of Rama Mandir in Ayodhya is Ram, the infant form of Lord Rama, an avatar of Vishnu. Tulsidas, the great devotee and poet of ancient India, used to call Rama his Ram Lalla. 

The infant Rama idol has been installed in the sanctum sanctorum as the Mūlavirāt mūrti, the main deity.

Earlier in 1949, the idol of Lord Rama was installed in the temple as Ram Lalla Virajman by Ayodhya local devotees. 

Ram Lalla Virajman’s idol shall be used as Utsava mūrti, an idol for festivals.

However, the present Ram Mandir has been built under the guidance of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, with the permission of President Draupadi Murmu. The construction began in 2020 at the Janmasthan of Lord Rama. 

Trayodasakari Mantra: A Gateway to Salvation

The Trayodaśakṣarī mantra ( त्रयोदशाक्षरी मंत्र) is the 13-character mantra. It is also called the Śrī Rāma Tāraka Mantra, the mantra for salvation that can be chanted as Śrī Rāma Jaya Rāma Jaya Jaya Rāma. In Hindi and Sanskrit, it is श्री राम जय राम जय जय राम​. Hindus believe that if a person chants the mantra, they get salvation. However, Tāraka means something that helps a living being or Jīva Atma cross Bhav Sansara, the ocean of the material world. 

Great devotees of Ram Lalla, such as Valmiki, Tulsidas, and Mahatma Gandhi, used to chant the mantra and popularise it among ordinary people in India.

Pran Pratishtha Ceremony for Ram Lalla

Ram Mandir Teerth Kshetra Trust declared that, as per the Hindu astrologers, the consecration ceremony, or the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla would be on January 22, 2024.

For the Prana Pratishtha ceremony, the UP Government raised ₹100 crore to celebrate ‘Ramotsav,’ in 826 local bodies with the Ram Paduka Yatra. The ceremony began on January 16, 24, and continued until the opening of the Ram Mandir on January 22, 24. The devotees and PM followed the path of Ram Van Gaman, retracing his 14-year exile from Ayodhya.

Prana Pratishtha of the Ram Lalla, the new idol, in the sanctum sanctorum has been done by PM Modi. He has undertaken an 11-day fast, consuming coconut water and fruit. He slept on the ground to clean his inner self before performing the consecration ceremony on January 22, 2024.

He even urged people to light up oil lamps, or diyas, and celebrate the day as Diwali.

Architecture of the Ram Lalla Temple

Ram Lalla temple architecture is divine and beautiful. It was built as per the Hindu Vaastu Shastra and Shilpa Shastra.

The Ayodhya temple is 250 feet wide, 380 feet high, and 161 meters long. It has been named the world’s largest ancient Hindu temple. The architecture is panoramic. It consists of fine and intricate designs in the Maru, Gurjara, and Nagara styles.

The temple is beautifully constructed as a three-story temple having five mandapas, garbhagriha, and Shri Ram Darbar, with five halls on the first floor.

  • Nritya Mandap
  • Rang Mandap
  • Sabha Mandap
  • Prarthana Mandap
  • Kirtan Mandap

Rama Lalla temple is nestled with adorable deity statues, including Surya, Bhagwati, Ganesh, Shiva, Annapurna, and Hanuman, with individual temples on the northern and southern arms. 

The Ayodhya temple has a couple of 366 columns curved with 16 idols: the incarnations of Shiva, the 10 Dashavataras, the Chausath Yoginis, and the 12 avatars of the goddess Saraswati. 

Ram Lalla Temple: The Octagonal-Shaped Sanctum Sanctorum

As per Indian mythology, the Ram Lalla temple design is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, as he holds the octagonal part of Trideva, often found on Shiva Lingam and Lingodbhava Murthy.

The Ayodhya temple is spread over 10 acres, leaving 57 acres of land for the complex, a prayer hall, a lecture hall, a museum, education facilities, and a cafeteria. Along with these, the Ram temple can accommodate over 70,000 devotees at a time.

Science and Myth Behind Ram Lalla Surya Tilak: Sun Kiss Ceremony on Raghav’s Forehead 

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics, under the Department of Science and Technology, has made the first Surya Tilak on Ram Lalla’s forehead so divine and important in the history of the Ayodhya temple. The team of IIA directed the sun onto the forehead of Kaushalya Nandan at the event of Ram Navami at noon on April 17, 2024, in the Chaitra month.

They also informed the devotees of Lord Ram that the ritual would be repeated every year on the occasion of Ram Navami.

The Surya Tilak ceremony was executed using four mirrors and two lenses with the help of an opto-mechanical design and a manual mechanism to shift the position of the mirror.

However, the Ram Lalla temple is still under construction; the Surya Tilak ceremony will be executed using four mirrors and lenses as permanent fixtures. 

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Archana Das
Archana Das
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