Commentary

Ram Mandir Is Above Political Differences

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar

Jan 19, 2024, 03:54 PM | Updated 04:22 PM IST

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar.
  • Political parties should rise above their differences and come together on 22 January.
  • The Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya Ram Mandir is a moment of great pride for our civilisation. It demonstrates the love, devotion and celebration in the hearts of millions of people in India and around the world.

    The consecration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir is an occasion for everyone to come together, beyond their political differences and celebrate the life of Lord Ram. 

    This is also a time to acknowledge and appreciate the role played by the Honourable Supreme Court, our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and all the stakeholders who worked together to bring this to fruition.

    Lord Ram Is Eternally Relevant

    Lord Rama is a universal figure. He is an inspiration to millions not just in India, but all over the world.

    Even today, in a Muslim-dominated country like Indonesia, Ramayana is enacted before weddings, and, in Thailand, Ramakien is one of their national epics.

    Shri Ram set an ideal example of truthfulness, discipline and commitment. Shri Ram always followed the path of 'commitment is more important than life itself.’

    Commitment is necessary in any walk of life-social, professional or personal. A river needs two banks to flow. The difference between a flood and a flowing river is that the flow of water in the river is controlled in one direction. During floods the water rages over and has no direction.

    Similarly, energy in our life needs some direction to flow. If you do not give it direction, there will be chaos. Today most of the people are confused because there is no direction in life.

    When you are happy, you have a lot of life force within you; but when this life energy does not know where to go, how to go, it gets stuck. Just as water has to keep flowing, life too has to keep going. Commitment is necessary to move life energy in one direction. Life depends on commitment.

    Pran Pratishta Before Temple Is Built Is An Ancient Practice — Lord Ram Sets Precedence

    It is said in our scriptures that, for the wise one, the Divine resides in the self, and for the simple bhakta, the Divine resides in the idols. 

    Many have raised concerns about the Pran Pratishta taking place before the temple being built. But, this is not the first time this is happening. When Lord Ram did the Pran Pratishta of the Shiva Linga in Rameshwaram temple, he didn’t build the temple first. He did the Pran Pratishta, and later, the temple was built by successive kings.

    This has been the practice across many temples in India like Tiruvannamalai, Madurai Meenakshi, Badrinath, Kedarnath and even Somnath. First, the garbhagriha was built, the Pran Pratishta was done, and then the rest of the temple was built. And, there are no scriptural objections to this method.

    Yes, according to one school of thought, the temple should be built before Pran Pratishta. This is relevant when there is no purity (sannidhya), where the presence of the Divine isn’t already revealed. But, Lord Rama’s presence is palpable in Ayodhya, and he is already there. People have been praying to him there for ages. 

    What Is Ramrajya?

    A well-organised state is called Ramrajya. The dream of Ramrajya has been with us for thousands of years.

    What is Ramrajya? It is a state where everyone gets justice, everyone is prosperous and everyone is satisfied. When health, happiness, prosperity and justice prevail in the society, and people are moving towards achieving the higher truth of life instead of getting entangled in material wealth or enmity, then that is Ramrajya.

    This kind of society has always been the dream of the people of this country. This is the reason why the description of a Ramrajya inspired people even more during the freedom struggle.

    Making India Ramrajya was a big dream of Mahatma Gandhi. He took the name of Shri Ram and united the whole of India in the name of Ram for the independence of India.

    Who Is Ram?

    Ram is our 'Self'. He is very conscious. Consciousness is the ocean and our ability to perceive, think and understand and the different aspects we experience in life are the symbolic waves of this ocean of consciousness. They are merely peripheral.

    Consciousness acts as the fundamental foundation, and just as one cannot escape the sky, you find yourself immersed in the ocean of consciousness always. In fact, the entire existence is filled with this consciousness, and you cannot escape it.

    The experience of consciousness becomes clearer when all other sensory experiences move into the background. This is referred to as Nirvana, Moksha and other names.

    The Ramayana Is Eternally Playing Out In Our Lives Every Day

    The Ramayana is happening within us all the time. Ram is consciousness. Laxman is alert. Hanuman is breath and Ravana is a symbol of ego and negativity. Sita is the mind.

    Mind is a wave in this ocean of consciousness. Mind is a special function of consciousness. You know, when we experience through the senses, we say that 'the mind is what experiences'. When I am looking at you, that aspect of the consciousness which can see, listen, smells or taste is the mind.

    This mind is both your friend and enemy. When the mind is your enemy, it binds you to your past thoughts and experiences, because it does not allow you to see your situations from a new perspective. This is because everything we experience happens through the mind; even knowledge is obtained through the mind.

    When the mind is your enemy, it makes you judgmental, brings suffering and stiffness in life. And when the mind is your friend, it brings joy, freedom and liberation. So, the mind can be our worst enemy or our best friend.

    Lakshman indicates alertness. There is a stream of awareness within us that cannot be destroyed.

    Accepting and observing that stream is spirituality — 'I have not changed, I have not aged, I am the same.' This awareness brings so much courage and strength in life that nothing can shake you.

    Observing one's life and seeing it is spirituality, this is 'Satsang'. Satsang does not just mean singing hymns, but contemplating the truth of life.

    Hanuman is our breath which is the link between our body, our soul and our mind.

    Sita ji became fascinated by the golden deer. Our mind gets attracted to things and goes towards them. The ego hijacks the mind and distances it from the soul.

    Hanuman ji is a symbol of breath; he is also called the son of wind. Hanuman ji helps Lord Ram in bringing Sita back from Lanka. In this way, with the help of breath (Hanuman), the mind (Sita) along with awareness is led to the soul which is Shri Ram.


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