Row erupts over keeping Ram Lalla awake

| | Lucknow
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Row erupts over keeping Ram Lalla awake

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 | Biswajeet Banerjee | Lucknow

Controversy has erupted over the district administration’s proposal to keep Ram Lalla awake for 24 hours during the upcoming Ram Navami festival, drawing objections from saints and members of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.
Anticipating a significant surge in the number of devotees during Ram Navami, the district administration has suggested keeping the temple doors open round-the-clock, discarding the traditional ‘shayan’ (sleeping) timing to accommodate the expected influx of worshippers.
District Magistrate Nitish Kumar had announced that the Ram Temple management would open its doors round-the-clock from April 16 to April 18, with the pinnacle of celebrations scheduled for April 17.
However, the proposal has been met with skepticism from saints, who question the prudence of such a decision.
Senior priest Satendra Das remarked, “Never ever has any temple remained open for 24 hours, that too for three days. This is against Hindu tradition. Bhagwan also needs rest.”
While the Trust asserts that it is consulting with the saints to gather their opinions on the matter, concerns remain regarding the departure from established worship traditions.
The Ram Navami fair, slated to begin on April 9, anticipates a massive turnout of over 50 lakh devotees in Ayodhya from across the country. With such a crowd expected, there is consideration to extend the temple’s opening hours to 24 hours a day during the festival period to ensure uninterrupted ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla.
Presently, the temple operates for 14 hours daily, attracting a footfall of approximately 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh devotees to Ram Lalla’s shrine.
Acknowledging the necessity for extended hours during the festival, the district administration has urged the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to contemplate opening the temple 24 hours on Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami ‘tithis’ (dates).
However, dissent arises from some saints, arguing that the proposal contradicts religious scriptures by depriving Ram Lalla of sleep.
Trust’s general secretary Champat Rai echoed the concerns raised by the saints, emphasising that Ram Lalla is revered in the form of a 5-year-old child, and it may not be suitable to keep them awake constantly.
“Should we keep Ram Lalla awake for 24 hours? Will it be prudent?” he questioned.
He added that a final decision would only be reached after thorough deliberations and discussions among all stakeholders.
Ram Navami, a Hindu festival celebrated to honour the birth of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation Lord Rama, marks the culmination of the nine-day Chaitra Navratri celebrations, observed in the Hindu month of Chaitra, which falls on the cusp of spring and summer.
This marks the first Ram Navami following the sacred consecration of Shri Ram Lalla. With such a significant event, Ayodhya is bracing for potentially massive crowds.
As numerous individuals seek spiritual rejuvenation through participation, stringent security measures have been implemented to mitigate potential risks.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked both the chief secretary and DGP to personally oversee the preparations for the event.
To cater to the massive influx of devotees, arrangements are being meticulously planned for ‘darshan’ over three consecutive days, with special emphasis on Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami, Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra said in a statement.
Since the consecration of the Ram Temple on January 22, devotees have flocked to the Ram Lalla temple, with nearly two crore people having visited the temple in the past two months.

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