Prime Minister Narendra Modi today began 11-day rituals, including “strict vows and sacrifice”, to prepare for the Ram temple consecration ceremony on January 22. In a special message to the nation, he said he felt emotional and overwhelmed.
“I am emotional. For the first time in my life, I am experiencing such feelings,” he said in a 10-minute audio message posted on X.
PM Modi said it was his good fortune to be able to witness the “Pran Pratishtha” ceremony, in which an idol of Ram Lalla, or infant Ram, will be placed at the new Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
God, he said, had chosen him as an instrument to represent all Indians at what he described as a “historic and sacred moment”. To prepare for it, the Prime Minister said he would follow strict rules prescribed in scriptures and as guided by saints.
“As our scriptures say, for the yajna (sacrifice) of God, for worship, we must awaken the divine consciousness within ourselves. For this, the scriptures prescribe vows and strict rules that need to be followed before the consecration. Therefore, following the guidance I have received from saints on this spiritual journey… They have suggested the principles of conduct (yam-niyam), and I am starting a special observance of 11 days from today,” he said.
PM Modi referred to Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary today, calling it a “joyous coincidence”. He also cited the birth anniversary of Jijabai, the mother of Chhatrapati Shivaji, recalling his own mother too.
The Prime Minister urged Indians to reach out to him through his Namo app and sought their blessings.
“Even though I want to, I cannot capture the depth, vastness, and intensity of it in words. You can understand my state. The dream that many generations have cherished for years, I am fortunate to be present at its fulfilment. The Lord has made me a representative of all Indians. I am just an instrument. This is a huge responsibility,” said the Prime Minister.
“I seek blessing from people.”
The Prime Minister’s message comes in the middle of intense politics over the Ram Temple event, with the ruling BJP slamming opposition parties like the Congress for skipping the January 22 ceremony.
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have declined the invite, calling the event a “political project” of the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and asserting that “religion is a personal matter”.
The Left and the Trinamool Congress have also declared they will forgo the ceremony.
The BJP put out a “name and shame” tweet blasting some of the opposition leaders with the caption: “Note the faces of Sanatan opponents who rejected the invite for the Ram Mandir ceremony”.
“This is nothing new for those who called Lord Ram imaginary. This is the same Congress that once promised to rebuild the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. In 2024, the Congress that has boycotted Lord Ram will be boycotted by the people,” said Union Minister Anurag Thakur.
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