Mahant, Sarayu, and Ram

UP Government’s decision to install a tall statue of Bhagvan Shri Ram on the banks of river Sarayu is highly objectionable on the ground that it would reduce a worshipful deity to a public spectacle and a tiny dot on the tourist map.
When the devotees worship an idol, they are not worshipping the statue in front of them but the deity that resides in it. That is why pran-pratishtha is a vital part of moorti pooja. In their own framework, the worshipers are not merely paying obeisance to the image in front of them, but establishing a one-to-one relationshipwith the god as if the image were a living entity.
That is why the pujari of the temple is not like a security officer in a museum, but a personal attendant to the god that is virajmaan in the idol .
For some reason, parikrama, that is going around the installed idols in a prescribed manner, is an integral part of the pooja.
If UP decides to go ahead with its Ram statue proposal, it should ensure that the statue is not a mere decoration in a park. The moorti should be properly consecrated, and permanent arrangement made to prevent its desecration by the vagaries of nature and by bird droppings, etc.

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