New Delhi, January 22
The majestic Ram temple dedicated to the deity was inaugurated in Ayodhya on Monday following a grand consecration ritual which Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally led from the sanctum sanctorum of the compound.
The consecration ritual witnessed prayers inviting the deity to reside in the newly sculpted 51-inch-tall black-stone idol of infant Lord Ram.
Soon after the prayers, led by head priest Sunil Shastri, concluded, the divine form of infant Lord Rama was revealed to the world, amid religious and festive fervour gripping the country and celebrations by Hindus worldwide.
"I feel eternally blessed to be part of this divine moment," said PM Modi as chief patron at the ceremony.
Earlier, the PM arrived in Ayodhya and walked into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, with rich offerings to the deity in hand.
Inside the garbha griha, which will be the abode of Lord Ram now that prana pratishtha rituals are complete, the PM was joined by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh governor Anandi Ben Patel and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The PM has been on an 11-day purity ritual to take on the role of yajman that he donned today.
As the idol was revealed, Indian military helicopters showered petals on the temple complex where celebrities from all walks of life, from seers and saints, to actors, sports stars and industrialists gathered as guests.
Champat Rai of Ram Mandir Trust earlier explained how the temple represents the spirit of "glorious India" with materials for construction and offerings for the grand ceremony today sourced from different states.
Just after the ritualistic inauguration of the temple, which was live telecast by most temples across India, the country broke into a prayer dedicated to Lord Ram, invoking deity's blessings for a peaceful and prosperous India.
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