In the 1540s, Sri Vadiraja Tirtha went on a tirtha yatra to Ayodhya. While there he composed a shloka describing that sacred land of the Hindus. He said:
“ayOdhyA nAma nagarI bhAti sAdhvI vadhUriva |
vanaM gatasyApi tasya pAdukE yA$karOt patiM”
“The town of Ayodhya appears resplendent like a chaste wife (woman). That city which accepted the paduka as it’s Lord (rama) even when he had gone to the forest.”
Traditional commentators elaborated on this shloka and compared Ayodhya to that wife who was constantly looking at the ornaments and clothes of her husband who was away, anxiously waiting for him to return.
That wait of nearly 500 years is almost over!
Thanks to the never say die spirit of the bhaktas of Sri Rama for over five centuries, the wait is over.
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of thousands of people from different walks of life in this great nation, the wait is over.
Thanks to the squirrel like contributions of kara-sevakas from every nook and corner of this country, the wait is over.
“dvishtyA tvayA sahAyEna krutaM karma sudushkaram”
“Thank heaven! A very difficult task was accomplished due to your help”
When Prabhu Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya back in the Treta Yuga, after a 14 year exile, Bharata says the above words to Vibhishana who had accompanied Sri Rama. Rama’s return back then was not smooth either. Just like now.
During his second exile too, Sri Rama had to face multiple challenges. And there were numerous ‘vanaras’ who contributed their bit to facilitate his return.
The hundreds and hundreds of unknown mahants and sevakas who continued worship in the outer courtyard of the Rama Janmabhumi for 450 years.
The sants and mahants of the Akhil Bharatiya Ramayana Mahasabha who placed the Ram Lalla idols inside the structure back in 1949.
The leaders and karyakartas of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad who launched the RJB movement in the 1980s.
The leaders of the BJP, RSS and numerous Sangha associations including Advani ji, Murli Manohar Joshi ji, Kalyan Singh ji, Narendra Modi ji and many others who led the Rath Yatra in the 1990s.
The vast number of Hindu historians and intellectuals who analyzed the issue and provided historical and archaeological evidence for the presence of the Temple at the disputed site.
The scores of lawyers and individuals who fought the cases in the Allahabad High Court and Supreme Court for Rama Lalla Virajman.
Back then Bharata said thank you. Now, entire Bhaarata says
“Thank heaven! A very difficult task was accomplished due to all your help”
When Sri Rama arrived and mixed with the citizens of Ayodhya, the ecstatic residents welcomed him with the words:
“svAgataM te mahAbAhO kausalyAnandavardhana”
“Welcome to you, O the great-armed! O the enhancer of Kausala’s delight!”
The citizens of Ayodhya, and indeed all of Bhaarata, are similarly ecstatic today with the imminent arrival of Kausalya-nandana back again to Ayodhya. We are unbelievably happy at having the opportunity to witness your return in our lifetimes.
When Sri Rama offered a chance to the residents of Ayodhya to ascend to the upper worlds accompanying him, the delighted people could not believe their fortune. Similar is the feeling today for millions of Hindus all over the country. Those who thought the day would never come are living that day today!
The elderly Lal Krishna Advani ji, who spearheaded the Ratha Yatra campaign must be experiencing unbelievable joy, I am sure. It surely was a desire of his spanning many decades to see the Lord return. Similar would be the feeling of countless others who sacrificed their lives for this moment. Perhaps the words of Bharata welcoming Sri Rama would best describe what he may be feeling now.
“adya janma kruthArthaM mE samvrutashcha manOrathaH | yastvAM pashyAmi rAjAnamayOdhyAM punarAgataM”
“My life has accomplished its purpose today and my wish too stands fulfilled, in that I see you, its king, come back to Ayodhya”
Today is a day when the purpose of many a dhamik life has been fulfilled.
Jai Shri Rama!