Building the Temple : Banayenge Mandir

via Dr. Vijaya Rajiva published on December 8, 2011

The moving simplicity of the short clip on building the Ram temple in Ayodhya accurately represents the dreams, hopes and aspirations of the aam admi Hindu

Whichever way one cuts it the worship of Shri Rama has been an enduring feature of the Indian landscape since time immemorial and thousands of aam admi Hindus have sacrificed their lives in either the defence or recapture of the Ram temple since 150 B.C. when the Greek king Menander is said to have partially destroyed the temple built in  Ayodhya. The temple has been built and rebuilt to consecrate the janmasthan (birthplace) of Shri Rama worshipped as the avatar of Vishnu. In the end, the invaders and conquerors will not overcome.

Liberal/Left historians have bypassed this aspect of Indian history and generations of young Hindus have been raised in their educational institutions without an accurate account of the significance of the Ram temple at Ayodhya which continues to evoke such strong sentiments amongst Hindus. The janmasthan and the consecration of the deity on that spot is central to Hindu belief. It has been pointed out that the mosque in the Islamic faith does not occupy such an importance. It is primarily a place where the faithful congregate to offer prayers. Indeed, in Saudi Arabia mosques have often been demolished to make way for building roads. The Christian church has some more resonance in the worshipper’s mind and is the place where in the Roman Catholic faith, the priest invokes the presence of Christ in the eucharist. But neither of these faiths has the theme of the consecration of the deity at a particular spot as in Hinduism.

This is also why there are literally thousands of temples, big, small and medium in the Indian landscape. While the two proselytizing faiths have attempted to build their own centers of worship, they cannot and will not match the importance of the temple in the Indian landscape. It is also reported that the building of mosques and churches is disproportionately high relative to their populations and is being undertaken for proselytisng reasons.and liberally funded by foreign funds expressly for this  purpose.The importance of the temple for the Hindu derives from the ancient worship of the divine powers in the Vedas, several millennia ago.The 1008 plus hymns of the Rig Veda are a call to the Viswa Devas (celestial powers), the atmospheric powers and the terrestrial powers  to come to earth and be seated there,  so that mortals could worship them.

The sanctity of the landscape is therefore a given. This cannot be negated by the two proselytising faiths which came to India only in recent history and who do not attach religious significance to their places of worship in the manner in which Hindus do.

Hindu polytheism, mirrored in the worship of the earthly, atmospheric and celestial powers , has a bond with the indigenous peoples of the various continents. Perhaps it is only in India has this been translated into a high tradition and took on continuous existence in the classical tradition and down to contemporary times. Perhaps it is only here that this has found expression in temples big, small and medium. While rituals of worship express the  Hindu tradition as it evolved in villages, towns and cities and continues to the present times, the building of temples, followed the trajectory of the vastu shastras.

These are devoted to the science of building rock and stone structures whether of secular structures or sacred  structures. In both cases bhumi or earth is the central player for it is here that the gods and goddesses of the universe come to interact with humans. It is no wonder then that the Ram temple continues to play a central role in the Hindu ethos.
Ayodhya is that patch of earth where the avatar Shri Rama was born. It is indeed the janmasthan.

Jai Shri Ram !

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

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