Surya Tilak: Ayodhya basks in glow of sun’s obeisance to Ram Lalla - Hindustan Times
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Surya Tilak: Ayodhya basks in glow of sun’s obeisance to Ram Lalla

By, Lucknow
Apr 17, 2024 09:30 PM IST

For around four minutes, the Sun’s rays performed the much-awaited “Surya Tilak” of Ram Lalla. Devotees outside the sanctum sanctorum hailed the event by chanting “Jai Shri Ram”

It was a unique moment to be remembered for ages as a beam of sunlight fell directly on the forehead of Ram Lalla’s idol at the sanctum sanctorum of the newly built grand Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday noon, marking Surya Tilak and commemorating the “janmotsav” (birth celebrations) of the deity on the first Ram Navami since the consecration ceremony on January 22.

Ritual of Surya Tilak being performed on the idol of Ram Lalla on the occasion of Ram Navami, at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday. (PTI PHOTO)
Ritual of Surya Tilak being performed on the idol of Ram Lalla on the occasion of Ram Navami, at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday. (PTI PHOTO)

The doors of the sanctum-sanctorum were closed briefly to avoid overcrowding but opened as the clock struck 12 noon. For around four minutes, the Sun’s rays performed the much-awaited “Surya Tilak” of Ram Lalla. Devotees outside the sanctum sanctorum hailed the event by chanting “Jai Shri Ram”. Inside, priests conducted an “aarti”. Public broadcaster Prasar Bharti telecast the event live on Doordarshan.

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The “Surya Tilak” was made possible by an elaborate apparatus involving mirrors and lenses that directed sun rays into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, and onto the deity’s forehead.

The atmosphere in Ayodhya was festive since early morning when Mangala Aarti was performed. Several lakh devotees from adjoining regions and other parts of the country turned up in Ayodhya for Ram Navami, the Vedic rituals for which began early. The deity was decorated with flowers and “abhishek” was carried out with milk and water from the Saryu river.

Acharya Satyendra Das, head priest of Ram Lalla, supervised all the rituals in the Ram Mandir. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, chairman of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, was also present.

Through the public address system, Champat Rai, general secretary of the Trust, kept apprising devotees of the rituals being performed by priests even as the entire Ram Mandir was decked up with flowers on the occasion.

A crown made of precious gemstones, including emeralds and a ruby, adorned the idol of Ram Lalla on the occasion. The rubies and gemstones were provided by Apple Green Diamond of Arun Kumar Thapar.

In the middle of his Lok Sabha election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the event on his computer tablet.

“After my Nalbari (Assam) 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 and glory,” he wrote on X.

He also shared pictures of himself watching the Surya Tilak on the electronic device.

He also greeted people on Ram Navami.

“The first Ram Navami after the Pran Pratishtha in Ayodhya is a generational milestone, weaving together centuries of devotion with a new era of hope and progress. This is a day crores of Indians waited for,” he said.

“This is the fruit of the hard work and sacrifice made by the people of the country over many years,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath also shared a video of the Surya tilak on his official handle on X and wrote, “The grand Surya tilak adorned on the forehead of Suryakul Bhushan Shri Ram Lalla is today illuminating the entire nation with its eternal glory. Jai Jai Shri Ram!”

Elaborate security arrangements were made in Ayodhya on the occasion.

The Ayodhya Municipal Corporation put up around 100 LED screens across the temple town to live stream the rituals at Ram Mandir.

Devotees were offered specially prepared “dhaniya ki panjiri” (coriander panjiri) and other prasad during their exit from the temple. Chhappan Bhog was offered to Ram Lalla with these delicacies prepared at Karsevakpuram.

A large number of devotees also took a dip in the Saryu at Ram Ki Paidi.

Temples and muths across Ayodhya reverberated with chants of “Bhay Pragat Kripala, Deendayala Kaushalya Hitkari...” at noon, marking the birth of Ram Lalla. Grand “janmotsav” celebrations were also held at Ashrafi Bhawan, Shri Ram Ballabha Kunj, Dashrath Mahal, and Lakshman Fort among other places even as the temple town was bustling with crowds of pilgrims since early morning.

Special rituals were also performed at Hanuman Garhi temple from 2.30am onwards to celebrate Ram Navami.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Pawan Dixit has been a journalist for over a decade. He has extensively covered eastern UP for around five years, covered 2012 UP assembly polls, 2014 Lok Sabha polls while being stationed in Varanasi. Now, in Lucknow, he covers outstation political assignments, reports special cases from district court, high court and state information commission

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