Pran Pratishtha celebrations across the United States of America

  • By Nitin Kotak
  • January 23, 2024
  • 913 views
  • A personal account of Ram Mandir celebrations in Washington and Maryland with pictures.

A large section of Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Non-Resident Indians (NRI) across the United States have been enthusiastic about the building of the Ram temple at the Ram Janmabhoomi. Ahead of pran pratishta, large billboards had been placed at various places on national highways. Also, a few days ago the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America organized a Jai Shri Ram Tesla Light Show as a tribute to Shri Ram Bhagwan in which about 100 Tesla’s participated. This was performed at the Sri Bhakta Anjaneya Temple on Ayodhya Way in Maryland (click on link to view 5 minute video)

A similar show was also subsequently organized in the Bay Area of California, where more than 300 Tesla cars participated.

 

On Sunday, 21st January evening US time, hours before the pran pratishta ceremony took place in Ayodhya, various events were organized by the PIO and the NRI community to celebrate the historical event. We were lucky to be able to participate in two of those three-hour events in the Washington, DC and Maryland region because they were not at the same time but sequential – from 4:30 to 7:30 and from 8:00 to 11:00 pm!

 

The first one was a “Shri Ram Vandana” organized at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Beltsville. More than 1,000 people of all ages attended this event in the large temple hall. Videos, photos, presentations, and talks highlighted the involvement of the BAPS organization in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement from its early days. We learnt that Bhagwan Swaminarayan had moved from Chhapaiya to Ayodhya in 1786 and would regularly bathe in the holy Saryu and visit the Hanuman Gadhi for the next seven years. Also, Yogiji Maharaj visited Ayodhya in 1953, 1956 and 1968, and the late Pramukh Swami Maharaj visited Ayodhya eight times during his life, and they both prayed for a peaceful reconciliation and a beautiful mandir at the birthplace of Shri Ram.

 

The most important thing was that the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust had approached Pramukh Swami Maharaj and requested him to offer the first brick to build a mandir at the birthplace of Bhagwan Shri Ram. As such on August 16, 1989, on the auspicious occasion of Rakshabandhan, Pramukh Swami Maharaj sanctified the first shila (brick) of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir in Ahmedabad.

Amidst Vedic chants, Pramukh Swami Maharaj prayed for a grand mandir to be built on the Ram Janmabhoomi and offered the brick to the committee. Subsequently, 31 years later, on August 3, 2020, on the auspicious occasion of Rakshabandhan, Mahant Swami Maharaj performed the pujan of the shila yantra, which was placed at the foundation of the Shri Ram Janmaboomi Mandir. In 2023, Shri Govind Dev Giri Ji Maharaj, a trustee and treasurer of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirthkshetra Trust attended the murti-pratishtha ceremony of the sacred shrines at BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA, and also performed the prana-pratishtha of Shri Ram Darbar there.

Due to the intense connection between the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Ram Janmaboomi, 1,500 mandirs and 21,000 satsang centers around the world had organized similar events to participate in celebrating this occasion.

 

The second event at the Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center was to celebrate Bhagwan Shri Ram Ji’s Homecoming. About 50 devotees gathered to sing Ram bhajans, Hanuman Chalisa, Sunderkand followed by the recitation of the Ram Janam Chand from Tulsi Ramayan. 

Pranams Gurudev. 

We then saw a video of Swami Chinmayananda explaining the essence of Ramayan. Then Swami Dheerananda showed us a letter dated 9th November 1990 written by Swami Chinmayananda to a Swamini Dr. Suhasini, which ended with “we will build the Temple and you will see its inauguration”! It was a soulful evening which ended with the Hanuman Aarati and the Ram Aarati.

 

California's Silicon Valley also organized a large rally to commemorate this significant occasion. More than 1,100 enthusiastic participants, bearing saffron banners featuring the image of the Ram temple, took part in a massive car rally in the Bay Area. 

Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco. 

Light show in California.

Digital billboard vehicles displaying various scenes from the Ramayana along with the image of Lord Ram and the grand Ram temple built in Ayodhya fueled the excitement to another level. See a short video on PGurus And To hear 1 minute video in Kannada of celebrations in California  

 

The grand celebrations also extended to New York city's iconic Times Square, where the Indian diaspora assembled to illuminate the well-known location in honor of the Pran Pratishtha ceremony. Attendees came in colorful traditional attire and participated in dancing, singing bhajans and other songs. To see 2 minute video

 

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Also read

1. Rama in Tamil Nadu

2. Marathas and Ayodhya

3. Why making Ram Mandir is important for Asia

4. Architecture of Ram Mandir

5. What is Pran Pratistha

6. On Chanting the Name of SRI RAM

8. What is the deeper meaning behind the names of Sri Ram and his brothers

9. Adhyatma Ramayan marries Bhakti with Advaita Vedanta

10. Many versions of the Ramayana

11. A sacred journey to meet Pandit Ramashraya Tripathi Ji, a present-day disciple in the lineage of Goswami Tulsi Das

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