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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Sacred Shaligram shilas from Nepal to build Sri Ram-Maa Janaki murtis in Ayodhya handed over

Two sacred Shaligram shilas (stones) excavated from the Kali Gandaki River in Janakpur, Nepal to build a murti of Sri Ram and Maa Janaki (Sita) at the upcoming Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya were handed to the Ram Mandir Trust on Thursday.

At a ceremony in Ayodhya, Janaki Temple Mahanta Ram Tapeshwor Das handed over the Shaligram shilas, said to be 6 crore years old, to the General Secretary of Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, Sri Champat Rai.

Senior Nepali Congress leader and former Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi had taken a lead to excavate the two sacred shilas. “It took us eight days to reach Ayodhya from Nepal,” he said at the ceremony, describing the ‘Shila Yatra’.

Nidhi, who hails from Janakpur- the birthplace of Maa Sita, also known as Janaki – coordinated with the Janaki Temple which sent the two stones from the Kali Gandaki River. A bow for Sri Ram would also be sent by the Janaki temple in the coming days, said the Nepali leader.

“Stones found in the Kaligandki River are well known and very precious in the world. It is widely accepted that these stones are symbols of Lord Vishnu. Lord Ram is the incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu which is why the stone from Kali Gandaki River, if available, would be very good to make Ram Lalla’s murti in Ayodhya for Ram Janma Bhumi Temple. It was requested by Champat Rai- the General Secretary of the Trust (Ram Janma Bhoomi Teertha Kshetra) and I was very much active and interested in this, ” Nidhi told ANI

The shilas would be used to sculpt a life-size murti of Ram Lalla or Sri Ram as a child, and Maa Janaki.

Thousands of people welcomed and worshipped the Shaligram shilas while they were being transported from Nepal to Ayodhya. Both the stones are seven feet long, five feet wide, and 3.5 feet thick, according to the organising committee. They weigh between 16 and 18 tonnes.

On January 19, a team of temple trustees of Ayodhya arrived in Kathmandu in order to transport the shilas and met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. En route to Bharat, the massive shilas reached Janakpur or Janakpurdham, the birthplace of Maa Sita, at the weekend. There, a special puja was organised.

What is the Dev Shila ‘Shaligram’?

The Shaligram stones from the Kali Gandaki river, a tributary of the Gandaki river, which started flowing south after the formation of the Himalayas 65 million years ago, are considered as very sacred. As this article explains in detail –

“Shaligram Stone is a fossilised ammonite, a type of mollusk that lived millions of years ago. It is found in the sacred rivers of the Himalayas, particularly the Gandaki River in Nepal. The stone is considered to be a representation of Lord Vishnu….Lord Vishnu is said to have taken the form of Shaligram Stone to defeat the demon king Hayagriva. Since then, the stone has been worshipped as a symbol of Lord Vishnu’s power and is considered to have divine properties.

Shaligram Stone is used in Hindu rituals and is believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and blessings to those who worship it. It is also used as a talisman to ward off negative energies and protect the wearer from harm.

The significance of Shaligram Stone in the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is two-fold. Firstly, the temple is being built to commemorate the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. The use of Shaligram Stone, which represents Lord Vishnu, is therefore a symbol of the temple’s connection to the deity.

Secondly, the use of Shaligram Stone is a nod to the ancient Hindu tradition of building temples with sacred stones. In ancient times, temple builders would use stones with special properties to construct temples, as they believed that the stone’s divine properties would imbue the temple with spiritual energy. The use of Shaligram Stone in the Ram Temple continues this tradition and reinforces the temple’s religious significance. 

(With IANS inputs)

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