Amidst the ongoing global events and celebrations leading up to the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22, massive billboards featuring Lord Ram and the majestic shrine in the temple town of Uttar Pradesh have been erected in more than 10 states, extending thousands of miles away in the United States.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) US chapter, in collaboration with Hindus from various parts of the US, has installed over 40 billboards across 10 states, showcasing the message surrounding the grand ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony at the birthplace of Shri Ram Lalla in Ayodhya on January 22. The billboards adorn prominent locations in states such as Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, with Arizona and the State of Missouri joining this visual celebration from Monday, January 15, as per the VHP American chapter.
Amitabh VW Mittal, the general secretary of Hindu Parishad of America, emphasized the sentiment conveyed by these billboards, stating, “The resounding message conveyed by these billboards is that Hindu Americans are elated and joyously participating in this once-in-a-lifetime event. Their emotions overflow as they eagerly await the auspicious day of the consecration ceremony,” as reported by ANI.
In commemoration of the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the Hindu American community across the US has arranged numerous car rallies and has scheduled additional events leading up to the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ in Ayodhya.
The ceremonial installation of the idol of Shri Ram Lalla inside the sanctum sanctorum of the grand temple on January 22 will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A multitude of leaders and dignitaries from various walks of life have been invited to witness the grand opening of the temple in Ayodhya.
According to temple officials, the ceremony is planned over a seven-day span, commencing on January 16. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has finalized the enthronement of Ram Lalla at the sanctum-sanctorum of the Ram Temple at noon on January 22.
To mark the Pran-Pratishtha ceremony of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya, Vedic rituals will commence on January 16, a week before the main ceremony.
The Indian envoy to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, highlighted the cultural significance of the Ramayan during an event at the US Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, titled ‘Ramayana across Asia and Beyond’. He expressed, “Ramayan is a bridge across geographies and teaches people about the complexities of human relationships and the eternal struggle between good and evil.”
Sandhu further emphasized the widespread influence of Ramayan across the Indo-Pacific region, stating, “The lessons and tales from Ramayan are passed down from generations, and it is hard to say exactly when one learns them. The epic gives insights into the complexities of human relationships, governance and spirituality, dharma or duty, justice, sacrifice, loyalty, and the eternal struggle between good and evil.”
In response to the growing anticipation in India regarding the opening of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the Mauritian government announced a special break for Hindu public officers on January 22. The Mauritian Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, granted a two-hour special leave for Hindu public officers to participate in local events marking the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Shri Ram Lalla in the Indian temple town.
The official statement from the Mauritian Cabinet read, “(The) Cabinet has agreed to the grant of a one-off special leave of two hours on Monday, 22 January 2024, as from 1400 hours to public officers of Hindu faith, subject to exigencies of service, in the context of the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir in India, which is a landmark event as it symbolizes the return of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.”