Ayodhya Ram Mandir background

By: Dr Sudha Vashist, Nottingham, UK.

In a unanimous judgment, in November 2019, the Supreme Court of India ruled in
favour of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,Uttar Pradesh, Bharat. The Supreme
Court delivered a landmark judgment in the Ayodhya dispute after decades of
procrastination.

The 2.77 acre land was handed over to the Ram Mandir Trust of Ayodhya to build
the new long awaited Ram Mandir.

On 5 August 2020 there will be bhoomi pujan at the place that has been identified as
Ramjanam bhoomi. There will be worship of the earth on which this Mandir will be
built, which is a dharmic practice undertaken by devout Hindus.

History

There is much recorded and unrecorded history about Ayodhya.. From the time of
Valmikiji and Tulsidasji,to current times, much has been written about Shri Ram and
Ayodhya and how they are inextricably linked. They have a special place in the
hearts of all devout Hindus.

The Babri Masjid (“Mosque of Bābur”) was built in the early 16th century by the
Mughal emperor Bābur on a site traditionally identified as Ram's birthplace and as
the location of a grand ancient Hindu Ram Mandir.

The first recorded legal details of Ayodhya dates back to 1858. An FIR was filed on
November 30, 1858, by one Mohd Salim against a group of Nihang Sikhs who had
installed their nishan and written “Ram” inside the Babri mosque. The Nihang Sikhs
had also performed havan and puja there.

Hindus are concentrated in India and Nepal, but there are many Hindus worldwide.
There are approximately 1.2 billion adherents worldwide (15% of world;s population).
Nepal (81.3%) and India (79.8%) are countries with  Hindu majority populations.
There are about 1 billion Hindus in India, which accounts for 95% of all Hindus in the
world.

The ten countries with the highest Hindu population are:
1. India – 1 billion
2. Nepal
3. Bangladesh
4. Indonesia
5. Pakistan
6. Sri Lanka
7. United States
8. Malaysia
9. United Kingdom – 1.5 million
10. Mauritius

There are sizeable Hindu populations in other countries of the world as well. It is to
be noted that the Hindu populations in Bangladesh and Pakistan have reduced
significantly since 1947. It is also to be noted that 500 years ago, the residents of
what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh were largely Hindu.

Bhoomi Pujan 5 August 2020 7.45am BST

The bhoomi pujan is a major event of deep religious significance undertaken before
a constructing an edifice. Hindus have been invited to be a part of this historic event
by lighting a diya, a lamp on 5 August at 7.45am BST -at the time of the Bhoomi
Puja. It will remind Hindus of Shri Ram and reconnect them with Him, His birth place.
It will connect Hindus with the construction of the New Mandir at the place of His
birth in Ayodhya.

It is a time to reflect and rejoice, in much the same way as rejoicing takes place at
Diwali, when Shri Ram comes back to Ayodhya with his wife Sita.
I would suggest that Hindus from all the different countries of the world pledge to
send an engraved foundation stone to Ayodhya from their respective countries, to
ensure that their yogdaan is noted, during the bhoomi pujan. Alternatively a pledge
can be made now, and an engraved foundation stone can be sent at a later time.

जय श्रीराम जय श्रीराम
Jai Shri Ram
July 2020

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