For thousands of years she had endured the pain. Covered in dust, not to be seen by anyone. Deserted by her husband, abandoned by the Gods. Indra had reason to worry. Gautama was accumulating punya way beyond his league. He had to be stopped. His excess punya had to be burnt away. So he approached Ahalya. She had only played a role in the divine drama of the Devatas. And yet she had to pay a price.
It was as if she was cast into a stone for eternity. It would seem as if there was no end to her ordeal. That she was destined to remain that way forever. However, she never gave up hope. The hope that Rama would arrive.
And then it happened. The Vigraha of Dharma touched the pativrata who was almost a vigraha. Her sins burnt away. Her curse ended. Her husband came back.
The wait was over. Rama had brought life back to Ahalya.
He was the undisputed prince of the Kingdom. Their subjects lived all over the 7 khandas. And they were the masters. He had everything – wealth, wine, women. Their brotherly love was famous all over. The two could never be separated they said. And then fate stuck.
A dispute over what he did at a crucial time in the fight against a Rakshasa led to a major scuffle. And he was chased out of his own house and Kingdom. Not just that – his brother was baying for his blood now. And his brother was no ordinary warrior. Ravana once found himself tied to the rocker of his brother’s son because he happened to challenge him.
He found himself hiding from his brother in the Rishyamooka mountain because his brother could not enter that hill due to a curse. And so he led his life – like a hermit in a mountain.
His wretched life continued. Until one day the Lord of the Universe came seeking. His penance of many years had borne fruit. Rama gave him a hug – and his words. And lo and behold! his life changed forever. He was soon the Emperor of the Vanaras. And at his mere wish, monkeys from all over the Universe assembled at his disposal.
The wait was over. Rama had come into his life. Life came back into Sugreeva.
Fate had ensured that he would be born into the most illustrious Surya vamsha. And his mother had ensured that the Kingdom was his to be had. But he had turned it down. He chose to live a life of a mendicant. He could not enter his own capital. He could not live the life of a King.
His life would be one of sacrifice. And one of waiting. He would discharge all duties. But would not exercise any right. All he would do was wait. He would wait till his Lord – Sri Rama – arrived. He had imposed a deadline on himself. His Lord had to keep his promise. Not a day more than 14 years. Or else he would end his life.
Nothing but his brother’s assurance kept him going. And true to his words, Satyavachana Rama came back before the deadline expired. He was prince once again. In fact he was now the Yuvaraja of the greatest Kingdom on earth!
The wait was over. Rama came back to Bharata. The world came back into Bharata’s life.
She was an Apsara. Her exalted status made her haughty. And she behaved arrogantly in front of Indra. That was enough to get her a curse from Shachi Devi to live a long and ardous life on earth. She was born therefore as a tribeswoman. She lived a long and penurious life. There was nothing more important in her life than to get out of the wretched human existence.
And then her Guru Rishi Matanga gave her the mantra. She looked forward to Rama’s arrival. Every single day of her life. She would collect fruits and roots daily. To offer them to her Lord. So he would be pleased. And liberate her from her misery.
And then Rama arrived indeed. He let her worship him. He let her feed him fruits and roots.
The wait was over. Shabari gained liberation from earthly existence.
Centuries and centuries of subjugation. Tens of generations of people living under the terrifying rule of invaders. Homes destroyed, temples brought down. A civilization that was the envy of the world turned into one that felt ashamed of its own virtues.
A state of existence where anything foreign is coveted. Where anything our own is condemned. A nation where people have forgotten what is to be proud of themselves. A country where people believe it is glory to give up on their own identity. Where no lessons are learnt from history. Because no history is taught. Where people are incapable of speaking their own language. Because their own language is not taught.
A denying culture. A decaying civilization.
But they did not give up. Did not give up their anticipation. The anticipation of the arrival. The arrival of their Maryada Purushottama.
For 500 years they kept up hope. For 500 years they kept up the fight. Generations of people sacrificed their lives. By fighting with the destroyers. By camping at the site. By keeping vigil that the janmasthan would not be gone forever. Demanding it back from their colonial masters. Fighting it out in the courts after political freedom. Offering karseva in the midst of firing from our “own” rulers. For 500 years, they refused to believe that the chapter was closed.
And just like he obliged Ahalya, just as he blessed Sugreeva, just as he promised Bharata and just as he assured Shabari – Sri Rama has obliged the wishes of millions of his devotees.
The wait is over. Sri Rama is coming back to Ayodhya.
On the 5th of August 2020, the bhumi pujan of the Sri Rama Janmasthan Temple at Ayodhya begins. Without a doubt, a new era for Bharata. Whenever Sri Rama has returned prosperity, peace, wealth and happiness has returned. The return of Sri Rama to his Janmasthan shall definitely herald an era of great glory for our nation. The decay of the civilization halts now.
The return of Sri Rama marks the revival of Sanatana Dharma in this ancient land.
Jai Sri Rama.