Ram Lalla honoured with 'Surya Tilak' on Ram Navmi'; PM says 'emotional moment'

Ritual of 'Surya Tilak' being performed on the idol of 'Ram Lalla' on the occasion of 'Ram Navami', at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Wednesday, April 17, 2024.
Ritual of 'Surya Tilak' being performed on the idol of 'Ram Lalla' on the occasion of 'Ram Navami', at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

Ayodhya | A beam of sunlight fell directly on Ram Lalla’s idol at the new temple here on noon Wednesday, marking the “Surya Tilak” of the idol on the first Ram Navami since its consecration.

Devotees began queuing up at the Ram temple here before the break of dawn, district officials said. The local administration and the temple authorities had made special arrangements to handle the crowds on Ram Navami.

As the “Surya Tilak” of the deity took place, devotees outside in the sanctum sanctorum hailed the event by chanting “Jai Shri Ram”. Inside, priests conducted an “aarti”.

The “Surya Tilak” was made possible by an elaborate apparatus involving mirrors and lenses that directed sun rays into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, and onto the deity’s forehead.

The Ram idol was consecrated in a ceremony led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22.

In the middle of his Lok Sabha election campaign, Modi watched the event on his computer tablet.

“After my Nalbari (Assam) rally, I watched the Surya Tilak on Ram Lalla. Like crores of Indians, this is a very emotional moment for me. The grand Ram Navami in Ayodhya is historic. May this Surya Tilak bring energy to our lives and may it inspire our nation to scale new heights and glory,” he wrote on X.

He also shared pictures of him watching the ‘Surya Tilak’.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also shared a video of the 'Surya Tilak' on his official handle on X.

"The grand 'Surya Tilak' adorned on the forehead of Suryakul Bhushan Shri Ram Lalla is today illuminating the entire nation with its eternal glory. Jai Jai Shri Ram!,” he wrote.

Temple spokesperson Prakash Gupta said, "The Surya Tilak was done for around four or five minutes when the sun rays were directly focused on the forehead of the Ram Lalla idol."

"The temple administration prevented the devotees from entering the sanctum sanctorum at the time of the Surya Tilak to avoid overcrowding," Gupta said.

Dr DP Kanungo, Chief Scientist at CSIR-CBRI, Roorkee, told PTI, "As planned, the Surya Tilak of Ram Lalla was executed at 12:00 pm."

As per an official statement, a crown made of sustainable precious gemstones was adorned by the idol of Ram Lalla on the occasion.

In consultation with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, the CSIR-CBRI, Roorkee team developed a mechanism for 19 years to steer the sunlight from the third floor of the temple to the 'garbha griha'.

A detailed design to bring sunlight to the 'garbha griha' was developed by CBRI, with the IIA providing consultancy for the optical design.

The system was tested by the scientists on Tuesday.

Dr S K Panigrahi, a scientist at CSIR-CBRI Roorkee, who was also associated with the project said that the basic objective of the Surya Ttilak project is to focus on the 'Tilak' on the forehead of Shri Ram idol on every Shri Ram Navami day. Under the project, sunlight will be brought on the forehead of Lord Ram at noon on Shri Ram Navami in the Chaitra month every year.

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