We present below the address of Parampoojneeya Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, on the occasion of the shilanyas of the grand Shri Rama Temple at Ayodhya conducted on August 5, 2020. The Sarsanghchalak’s address expresses the widespread joy in India at this momentous event and also provides guidance for the path ahead.
Revered Mahant Nrityagopaldas ji Maharaj, all assembled saintly figures, respected and popular Prime Minister of India, honourable Governor of Uttar Pradesh, honourable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, all brothers, mothers and sister of the citizenry.
Today is indeed a joyous moment; and one of happiness of many kinds. All of us had made a resolve. I recall our then Sarsanghchalak Balasaheb Deoras ji had reminded us before we took the first step for this task that we would have to work very hard for twenty to thirty years and only then would this task reach attainment. We have strived hard for twenty to thirty years and at the commencement of the thirtieth year, have been blessed to experience the happiness of the fulfillment of our resolve. Everyone strove hard with their entire mite and many among them also sacrificed their lives. They are today present here in a sublime form. There are also those who are unable to be physically present here or have not been able to come owing to circumstances. Shri Advani, who led the Rath Yatra would be viewing this event from his home. There are many who would have been able to come, but could not be invited, such being the circumstances. They too would be viewing this event from their respective places. I clearly see that there is joy in the entire country; this is a joy of the desire of centuries having reached its fulfilment.
But the greatest joy today is that the template of the confidence and consciousness that is needed for making India self-reliant is beginning to take shape here. This template is of that spiritual outlook wherein the entire universe is pervaded with the divine consciousness of Sita and Rama. It is the outlook of India wherein one sees the world in oneself and oneself in the whole world. It is for this reason that the conduct of every person in India is one of the most noble in the world and that of this country with the rest of the world is a conduct of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam—the entire world is a family. Such a nature and the discharge of one’s duties by forging a path through the dilemmas of the practical world, and taking everyone along to the extent possible itself is a way of life, the edifice of which is beginning to take shape here. The beginning of the building of an India that is glorious and works for the welfare of all is taking place at the hands of one who holds the leadership and command of the system and machinery of such a construction, which is a matter of even greater joy.
Today, everyone feels—and it is natural that such a feeling should arise—how nice it would have been had Shri Ashok Singhal and Poojneeya Mahant Paramhans Das been present here today. But only what He wills takes place. However, I certainly believe that those who are present here, in their minds, and those who are not, in an unseen but sublime form, are not only partaking of the joy emanating here, but are also enhancing it hundredfold. This joy has a flowering and energy—it conveys the feeling that we can do it and we have to do it. And that is why we proclaim:
May all who are born in this (great) country, i.e., belong to it, acquire knowledge from those endowed with the best of qualities, i.e., the truly learned and wise, and thence teach all the denizens of the world in keeping with their respective nature.
We have to teach everyone how to live life. We are currently in the midst of the Corona pandemic. The whole world has withdrawn into itself and is wondering what went wrong and how to forge the path ahead.
It has looked at and tried two paths and is wondering whether there is a third way. Yes, there indeed is. That way lies with us. We can present that way and it is our task to show that way. Today is the day to resolve to prepare to discharge that task. When we perceive ourselves through the life of Prabhu Shri Rama, we can see that the endeavour, valour and sense of bravery flow in our veins. We have not lost it; it is still very much present in us. It is such an inspiration whose flowering we are obtaining today, and indeed all Indians are being so inspired. No one is an exception to this, as Rama belongs to everyone and is present in everyone.
A grand temple shall be built here, the process of which has begun and responsibilities have been assigned. Everyone shall carry out their respective functions. What shall be our function or task then? All of us have to adorn and embellish the Ayodhya of our minds. The dharma for this mighty task of which Prabhu Shri Rama is held as the very icon, is one that binds, sustains, elevates and enables everyone to attain advancement and accepts everyone. We have to bear the standard of that dharma on our shoulders and build an India that will bestow happiness and peace to the entire world. It is for this purpose that we shall have to build the Ayodhya of our minds. Even as the construction of the temple progresses her, the Ayodhya of our minds will also be taking shape. And it is essential that the temple of our minds should be built and ready before the construction of this temple is completed.
Goswāmī Tulsīdās in his Rāmcharitamānas has told us how such a temple will be:
Kām Kōh Mada Mān Na MōhaILōbh Na Chōbh Na Rāga Na DrōhaII
Jinh Kē Kapat Dambh Nahin MāyāITinh Kē Hriday Basahu RaghurāyāII
Jāti Pānti Dhanu Dharamu BadāīIPriya Pariwār Sadan SukhdāīII
Sab Taji Tumahi Rahai Ur LāīITēhin Kē Hriday Rahahu RaghurāyīII
Those whose hearts do not suffer from lust, anger, pride, infatuation, embitterment, attachment or malice; those who are not deceitful nor take refuge in illusion; it is in those hearts that the foremost of Raghus (Rama) shall dwell. Those who enhance their dharma rising above sectarian confines and keep their homes and families in contended happiness; forsaking everything, keep you Rama in their inner selves; it is in those hearts that the foremost of Raghus (Rama) shall dwell.
Our heart too should be the abode of Rama. Free of all faults, deformities, malice and animosity, it should be ready to engage with the world, no matter what the entanglements of the world might be. This task is one of forging a society and national individuals, who from their very hearts, forsaking all kinds of divisiveness will be capable of embracing not just their own countrymen but also the entire world. The tangible and definitive symbol of making our society is about to take shape here. This symbol shall always continue to inspire us all. The task of building this grand temple to Shri Rama is not like building yet another temple similar to the lakhs of temples all over the country. The propitious beginning of the work of the reemergence and reestablishment of the divine purport of the consecrated idols of all the temples in the country has been made here today, through very capable hands. On this highly auspicious occasion, a moment of great joy, I convey my greetings to all of you. Having conveyed the thoughts that have arisen in my mind for your contemplation, I now take your leave.