Monday, July, 15,2024

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IN THE AURA OF DEVOTION!

Ram Aayenge…India and every place on Earth where there are Hindus, is imbued with shades of saffron and Jai Shri Ram chants and bhajans since the past month, as a Hindu who has chanted the name of Ram since birth, it is indeed blissful. People are united in celebrating the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Ram Lalla at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, it seems that the holy river Saryu has overflown the banks of Ayodhya and is flowing seamlessly through entire India.

Each one of us is dearly waiting for the time when we can visit Ayodhya and seek the blessings of Ram Lalla and see the magnificent Ram Janmabhoomi temple which is coming up. For most of us, Shri Ram has lived on forever in our hearts, such is his power that nothing could diminish his hold on our hearts and lives. But we are mere human beings and embroiled in his ‘Maya’ we forget the ‘formless within’ at times and desperately seek his form and a holy sacred place to bow our heads and seek his blessings, ‘Ek Sthan to Chahiye Jahan Sar Jhuka Kar Prabhu Ke Charnon Mein Usse Pyaar Aur Maafi Mang Sake’ and what can be more pious, auspicious or holy for Hindus and Rambhakts than the birthplace of their beloved Shri Ram!

Today is a day of meditation, intense introspection, and quiet celebration. Let us light the ‘Ram Jyoti’, chant Ram-Ram, sing bhajans and dance in ecstasy for our beloved Ram Lalla and it is equally important to look within and strive to be deserving of being Rambhakts. Shri Ram was and is the epitome of righteousness, compassion and benevolence for fellow human beings, he was just and kind. Maryada Purushottam Ram was humble in victory and magnanimous towards his enemies, gentle with the weak and he was selfless, courageous, and maintained the highest standards of integrity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself follows the teachings of Shri Ram as he calls himself the Pradhan Sevak and also has called upon the Hindus to imbibe these very values and be humble and caring in victory. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India is the democratically elected leader of the nation but in these past few days he has also emerged as a moral and spiritual leader as he undertakes ‘Anushthan’ and follows strict rituals ahead of ‘Pran Pratishtha’. Sleeping on the floor on a blanket, drinking only coconut water; doing Gaupooja; and also daily doing various forms of ‘daan’, this routine of PM Narendra Modi since January 11, when he took the vow of doing ‘Anushthan’ (rituals) for 11 days before the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony inspires us also to look within and purify our heart and mind to be able to immerse ourselves in the worship of Shri Ram.

Ramayana, the life story of Shri Ram, so popular in Indian households is the bedrock of values, it is a reflection of the highest moral standards and virtues that should be imbibed in every human being. In fact, it is easy to chant the name of Ram, worship him and donate money, it is difficult to follow his teachings. If we call ourselves as Rambhakts, where is the space for corruption, abuse and violence in our life? Prabhu Ram says - ‘Parahita Saris Dharam Nahi Bhai, Parpida Sam Nahin Athmai (The welfare of others is the greatest dharma, and injury to others the greatest sin)’.

Lord Ram teaches us the values which are the core of our life and which we have forgotten. The true worship of Ram would be to be devoted to our parents, loyal to our life partner, share our property with our siblings, respect women, and ensure their safety, treat everyone with respect and kindness regardless of their social status or position, be incorruptible, be just and truthful… I could go on but the point has been made. We just need to look at the daily newspapers or go to the police station or local court to understand and realise how far we have moved from the teachings of Lord Ram.

It is indeed a fortuitous time as our beloved India stands on the cusp of becoming a global leader though spiritually Bharat has always led the world but somewhere, we had lost ourselves; and now in this resurgence and pride of being Bharatiya, we must grab the chance for a complete change. If we are shouting ourselves hoarse with joy amid chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Ram Aayenge’ then we must also promise each other to realise the dream of Ram Rajya and what does it really mean?

The principles of truthfulness, selflessness, integrity, and honesty need to be rejuvenated. We have to remember the ‘dharma’ which Shri Ram followed. If each one of us decides to follow the path of Shri Ram, then imagine the change that individuals can bring on to the systemic and national level. If we can embrace the core values of Hinduism, many of our problems will vanish. For us, Ram Rajya means good governance, progress for the nation, peace and prosperity for all. There is equal opportunity for all and no discrimination. Moral responsibility and selfdiscipline are of prime importance for all of us, from the highest political office to the individual in the end.

After ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Ram Lalla is completed today with devotion and love, let us promise that it is the beginning of a new Bharat, where each one of us carries Shri Ram and his ideals and values within us.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

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