The Anticipated Return of the King
The ultimate part of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is focused on the return of Aragorn, the rightful king of Gondor who has been away from his kingdom and reluctant to take up the mantle of the king and save his kingdom from the invasion of the Dark Lord Sauron. Hence, the final part of the masterpiece by JRR Tolkien is rightly called The Return of the King.
However, the subject of this article is not Aragorn, Tolkien, or LOTR. The subject of this article is the king of the ancient kingdom of Kosala who is now finally returning to his home, thereby ending the agonising wait of 500 years for all those who have always steadfastly believed in him. So many sacrifices were made, so many obstacles had to be overcome, so many powerful people had to be dealt with, but at the end of the day, the will of the devotees triumphed and our beloved Raja Ramachandra is coming home.
Ever since the Supreme Court of India pronounced its verdict in the Rama Janmabhoomi case, millions of people across India have been eager to finally see their dream come true and tomorrow, we together take one step forward towards achieving it as the bhoomi pooja of the Rama mandira is all set to take place with Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi himself leading from the front.
Hailed as maryada-purushottama, Bhagwan Shri Ramachandra has been a symbol of hope since time immemorial. Throughout our history, the reign of any great ruler has been compared to the concept of Ramarajya or the rule of Rama. The love for the motherland that most of us have also has its origin in the words of Rama who says to Lakshmana in the Ramayana.
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी
Mother and motherland are superior even to heaven
For almost all the ideals and values that we have adopted in life, Bhagwan Shri Rama is the perfect embodiment of the same. Parents wish to see their son become like Rama. In Rama, we see the perfect example of how a human being should be and hence he is referred as maryada-purushottama. Shri Rama’s presence is visible throughout India.
In the northern part of the country, people greet each other saying “Ram-Ram” in Hindi. In the southern part of the country, parts of Karnataka were once the ancient kingdom of Kishkindha. There is not a single village in Karnataka where there is not a temple of Hanuman and where there is Hanuman, there is Rama. Numerous dasarapadas are dedicated to Shri Rama. There are so many Rama temples in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The famous town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu has been blessed by the grace of Rama.
It is no surprise that nothing has united Hindus in India in the recent past like the Rama janmabhoomi movement. Rama bhaktas emerged from every nook and corner of the country to carry the dream that their forefathers had left behind for them since centuries. All of us remember the bleeding head of Ashok Singhal who lived and died for Rama. We remember the sacrifice of the Kothari brothers who were so young in age but never lacking in spirit. We remember the guiding lights who were our saints like the Pejawar Swamy Shri Vishwesha Teertha.
We acknowledge political leaders like LK Advani, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Murli Manohar Joshi, etc who managed to rally huge crowds behind them. We acknowledge and remember the efforts made by intellectuals, historians, and archaeologists alike such as Arun Shourie, Sita Ram Goel, Ram Swarup, Meenakshi Jain, BB Lal, KK Muhammad. We acknowledge the efforts made by legal team led by the nonagenarian K Parasaran and also the efforts made by Dr Subramanian Swamy towards the cause.
Last, but definitely not the least, we remember the millions of kar-sevaks who selflessly contributed towards the cause without expecting any personal benefit for themselves. This bhoomi pooja which will happen tomorrow is because of the efforts of all the people mentioned above and numerous other people who had just one wish in their lives, to restore the birthplace of Rama to its full glory and splendour.
In this beautiful article, Hariprasad N has quoted Shri Vadiraja Tirtha on how he described Ayodhya, 10 years after the original Rama mandira was destroyed.
The great saint described Ayodhya as a pativrata who is waiting for her husband to return. She has waited for 500 years now and it does feel like the wait is finally over. Having seen the images of Ayodhya being decorated and lit up ahead of the bhoomi pooja, I would like to say that the city now looks like a bride who is ready to welcome her beloved.
Tomorrow is a historic day for all of us and on the eve of the bhoomi pooja of the Rama mandira, let us remember every moment that has happened in this regard. The wait is finally over and the much-anticipated return of the king is all set to take place. Jai Shri Rama! 🙏🏾