Friday 5 April 2024

And Sharayu keeps flowing...

On invitation from Shri Ram janmabhoomi trust, I reached Ayodhya on 21 January for the prana pratishtha samaroh. When I went from Lucknow to Ayodhya, from 10 km onwards, the roads were decorated with hoardings and  flowers. All the trees on road divider too were decorated with flower-garlands. Houses on both sides of roads were proudly displaying flags. After keeping the luggage in residence of a Sangh Swayamsevak, we went for a walk on the banks of Sharayu. Though Sharayu appeared flowing as ever silently, gracefully, I felt she has been a  witness to all happenings in the great city of Ayodhya. How she must be feeling today? I looked at her intensely.  With a gentle humming she started narrating.

What shall I say about how do I feel today? When I look back...but how far should I look back? The day when Dasharath Maharaj performed Putra kameshti yagna to get a son or the day when the people of Ayodhya were dancing joyfully on the roads because four sons were born to Maharaj Dashrath? Or that most significant day of my life when the toddler Rama entered my waters, when his little feet touched me like the blue lotus? His divine touch transformed me forever making me mother Ganga as many devotees call me.  Surely, my whole life became divine in the context of Sri Rama; the purpose of my life became only to watch him, to see him smiling, to listen to his name and to keep flowing carrying that sacred name of Sri Rama forward.
Or should I look back on the day when Sri Rama along with Lakshmana and Sita left for 14 years of Vanavas, with the people of Ayodhya crying and walking behind them and entreating Rama to take them along with him as they could not live without him? Even I was wondering how shall I live without him? But those very very long 14 years also made us realise that Rama is within us though I still longed to see him. Little did I know that it was also a glimpse of  future of a very long wait of almost 500 years to await return of Rama.  

Or should I tell about the day when Sri Rama returned after 14 years of Vanavas? How the Ayodhya decorated herself! The people were dancing on the roads joyfully, chanting his name, decorating Ayodhya with flowers, mini flags, lamps. As Sri Rama entered Ayodhya he looked at all. What an electrifying, endearing look! Each one felt that Rama looked at him or her.  People walking on my banks were narrating - 'do you know when Rama came he first looked at me and nodded'.  The other person said, 'No, he looked at me, he recognised me.'  A 10 year old boy told, 'Do you know? I was not there when Sri Rama left Ayodhya. When he returned he first looked at me with his beautiful and compassionate eyes  and smiled. He knows me.' Listening all their chatting, how happy I had felt!  

Or shall I tell the most touching moment of my life of complete fulfillment and at the same time moment of loss, when Sri Rama alongwith his brothers and people of Ayodhya immersed in me and gave up their bodies! But Shri Rama continued in the temple at Ram Janm Bhumi and also in the hearts of millions and millions of people. As the years passed, the impact of Sri Rama in the life of many increased. Varied stories of Ramayana started enlightening and elevating the lives of people.
Or should I tell about that fateful day when when the barbarous army of that  Babar just broke the temple. The hearts of so many were shattered. I kept flowing mingleing my tears with my waters. My waters must have become bit saline then than before. Or should I narrate the painful incidents of those courageous movements after movements when people tried to get back Sri Ram Janma Bhoomi and were killed mercilessly. The structure that was constructed in the place of Sri Rama temple become an eyesore. Everyday while flowing I tried to avoid looking at it but the pain in the heart continued.
Or should I tell that when many persons disregarding their life, their hardships continued to fight for that and ultimately removed that eyesore, how a glimmer of hope rose in my heart that I would see the reconstruction of Temple and my Rama standing there and blessing all. I did not know that even then, I will have to wait for a 30 long years.
But why should I remember all those painful days; it's all over. See, today the whole Ayodhya, why Ayodhya, the whole Bharat and even beyond there is a great joy in anticipation of tomorrow's Prana Pratishtha. See, how many persons are walking, enjoying,  dancing with happiness; some persons are raising the flags in their hands and dancing to the tune of Ramnama. The bright lights of cameras of media interviewing the luminary VIPs, common man, the devotees, Sadhus etc. has added to the lighting and decorations in Ayodhya.
See that woman, she has walked all the way from Vrindavan carrying Bala Krishna - Kanhaiya on her head. She wants to show Ramlala to Kanhaiya. See that Sadhu is dancing with goggles on his eyes though it is evening, he seems to be in his own world laughing, singing and dancing. The happiness around is boundless, infectious and elevating. I am flowing fast eagerly waiting for tomorrow. Do you know, when Sri Rama murti was being made, everyday Vedas were chanted near it. While listening to that I got transported to those days when all the three queens were pregnant and would be listening everyday to various chantings and narrations from our scriptures. I am sure tomorrow Ramlala's darshan would be as delightful and elevating as it was of Rama in Ayodhya in those days.
On the evening of 22nd January, Sharayu continued:
Did you notice how VVIPs started coming very early to the venue? The morning yagnas and chanting further heightened the eagerness of all to see Sri Rama. My waters swelled when the Prime Minister with his penance of 11 days for this pooja, arrived for Prana Pratishtha. Sri Rama went out of the way in performance of his duties towards others, the people of his nation and that is why he became so dear to all.  The same tradition is continued by his this devotee and other devotees. How satisfying it is I can't tell you!

At last the very long awaited moment of Prana Pratishtha arrived. The sankalp of Pooja was heard by me and I couldn't control my tears. The well being of all and their families who sacrificed for actualising the rebuilding of temple, of those who worked day and night to complete the temple, of those who did right justice in case of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi, of those who contributed for the temple, the devotees - all this was covered. After Prana Pratishtha two Garuds came and flew around the temple completing the Pradakshina, I was so thrilled that my waters stopped few seconds. Did you notice it? It was  as if the whole nature is welcoming the arrival of Sri Rama. What endearing Darshan all had! Tears on the cheeks of Sadhus, Sants and many others were flowing as freely as my waters, making it difficult to see him. I have no words to communicate my feelings. If anyone listens to my waters they would hear only Rama, Rama, Rama. I am too full to speak. I would keep flowing watching the happiness on the faces of many who would be coming in lakhs for darshan in coming days. But do you know, I would keep flowing to see Sri Rama entering the hearts of all and that would usher Ramrajya in Bharat.
....And Sharayu kept flowing mingleing her tears of joy in her waters and humming Ramnama. The thousands of lamps lighted on her banks reflected her happiness and hopes of many for Ram-darshan and Ramarajya. And Sharayu keeps flowing awaiting Ramarajya.

- Ma. Nivedita Raghunath Bhide
(Vice - President Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, Padmashri, )
कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
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Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

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