Sree Rama is the soul and spirit of India. Sree Ramayan is the story of India. Sree Rama is the heart beat of every Indian. Sree Rama belongs to every Indian and every Indian belongs to Lord Rama. Every inch of India reverberates with the name of Sree Rama. Mom bathes her son and says “Sree Rama Raksha Sarva Jagadraksha”. To greet someone, we say, “Jai Siya Ram.” Any difficult situation, we say “Ayyo Rama.” Going on some important work, we say”Sree Rama Jayam”. Probability of success of work, we say “Prabhu Ram Ki Ichha”. Uncertain about something, we say “Sree Ram Jaane”. Someone passes away, we say “Ram Ram Satya Hai”. To sing a lullaby to a child, mom sings “Rama Laali Seeta Rama Laali”. To refer, a Father and son “Dasarathi and Dasaratha”, a Mother and son, Kausalya Supraja Rama. A Guru and Sishya, Viswamitra and Sree Rama, a Husband and wife, Sita Rama, relationship between brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, friendship Sugreeva and Sree Rama, reference to Dharma, Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmaha, Good Governance is compared to Rama Rajya. To learn English grammar, the first line is “Rama killed Ravana”. Ram is in every mind, and every element of India. Constitution of India is adorned with the picture of Rama with Sita and Lakshmana returning to Ayodhya after the victory in Lanka in its original version.
Words are not enough to describe the personality of Sree Rama. However, I will give what Maharishi Valmiki says:
One emerged from Ikshvaku dynasty, known to people as Rama by name. He is with a controlled self, highly valorous, resplendent, steadfast and a controller of (vice and vile… or) his own senses. [1-1-8]
He is a wise one, moralist, eloquent, glorious, and a destroyer of enemies. His arms are lengthy, with three lines in the neck [indicative of good fortune], and cheekbones high… [1-1-9]
He is the knower of rectitude, bidden by the truth, also his concern is in the welfare of subjects, proficient in prudence, clean in his conduct, self-controlled and an attentive one… [1-1-12]
He equals Lord Vishnu, the Lord of all creatures, Sustainer of the Universe, together with Sri Lakshmi, Eliminator of enemies, Protector of the world of living creatures and complete Guardian of probity… [1-1-13]
He is the knower of the meaning and essence of all the scriptures, excellent at memory, a brilliant one, and dear to all the worlds, gentle, level-headed and clear-headed in discriminating and distinguishing… [1-1-15]
Like an ocean that is reached by rivers, that reverential one too is always accessible and reachable by clean-minded ones, and he treats all equally, and ever a feast to eye… [1-1-16]
He who betters the happiness of his mother Kausalya is an embodiment of all noble merits, and in profundity he is like an unfathomable ocean, and by fortitude he is unalterable like the kingly Himalayan mountain… [1-1-17]
In valour Rama is comparable to Vishnu, and in his looks he is attractive like the moon, he equals the earth in his forgiveness, but he is matchable to world ending fire in his wrath… and in benevolence he is identical to Kubera, God of Wealth, and in his candour he is like Dharma itself, the Truth personified, with none to rival him… [1-1-18, 19a]
Ayodhya Rama Mandir
According to Naredra Modi, the prime minister of India “I know many Indians are emotional today, many cannot believe that they are seeing this day in their lifetime. But I am sure entire India is joyous today as a centuries-old dream has been realised,”
“A grand temple will now be built for our Ram Lalla who had been staying in a tent. Today Ram janmbhoomi breaks free of the cycle of breaking and getting built again – that had been going on for centuries. Golden history has been scripted on the banks of Sarayu river. Ram Temple will be modern symbol of our culture and will teach us love, faith and dedication.”
Every Indian cherished a dream of building a Bhavya Rama Mandir in Ayodhya and the dream became a reality in 2020 after a prolonged legal battle and the foundation stone was laid on Aug 5th, 2020. There is celebration and jubilation across India and Andhra Pradesh being a part of India experienced the same bliss of Ram Lalla.
Sree Rama Teertham is situated on the hills called Bavikonda with the Champa river flowing at its feet between Bhaskara Lake and Neellachalam Hills in Vijayanagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. The Kodanda Rama temple is perceived to be 1000 years old and is built entirely of huge rock. The idols in this temple are worshipped by Pandavas in exile and temple was constructed by Gajapati King. Sree Rama Navami festivities were celebrated on large scale in Bhadrachalam temple every year. The bifurcation of unified Andhra Pradesh forced Andhra people to look for another Sree Rama temple to celebrate Sree Rama Navami festivities. Vontimitta and Ramateertham were the two places where Sree Rama Navami celebrations are planned on a larger scale every year.
There is huge tension when it came to light that the 1000-year-old deity of Sree Rama in Rama teertham temple was mutilated, the priests of the temple found the doors of the temple broken. The deity in the sanctum and sanctorum was beheaded and the severed portion was thrown in the pond and was recovered from the pond. The Archaka was seen pained and crying inconsolably, a heart touching teary moment to any sensible Indian.
There are series of attacks on deities at Hindu temples by unknown elements. Two more temples and deities were vandalised after the Ramateertham temple attack incident on January 1st.
Vandalising temples is not new to Andhra Pradesh. According to the DGP, Gautam Narang.
The following temples were attacked and the Idols were damaged in Andhra Pradesh under the administration of present Chief Minister
1) 14.11.2019 – on Durga temple in Guntur.
2) 21.01.2020 – Hanuman temple in Pithapuram
3) 11.02.2020 – Venugopala swami temple in Rompicherla
4) 13.02.2020 – Main entrance of a temple in Undrajavaram
5) 14.02.2020 – the Chariot of Lord Balaji was burnt in Bitragunta (Nellore Dist)
6) 06.09.2020 – the Chariot of Lakshmi Nrisimha swami burnt in Antarvedi
7) 13.09.2020 – the Silver Lions from the Chariot of Godess Durga were stolen
8) 15.09.2020 – the Idol of Saibaba was damaged in Nidamanur (Krishna Dist)
9) 16.09.2020 – Hanuman Idol was damaged in Eleswaram
10) 16.09.2020 – Godess Idols were damaged near Gundlapadu in Guntur Dist
11) 17.09.2020 – Nandi Idol was damaged in Makkapet (Krishna Dist)
12) 19.09.2020 – Idols of Lord Shiva were damaged in Chintapalli (Visakhapatnam Dist)
13) 20.09.2020 – Photo frames of Lord Ayyappa were damaged near Narasapuram (West Godavari Dist)
14) 23.09.2020 – Hanuman Idol was damaged in Pathikonda (Kurnool Dist)
15) 25.09.2020 – Hanuman Idol was damaged near Naidu pet (Nellore Dist)
16) 05.10.2020 – Nrisimha swami Idol was damaged near Mantralayam (Kurnool Dist)
17) 06.10.2020 – Hanuman Idol was damaged in Adoni (Kurnool Dist)
18) 06.10.2020 – Godess Saraswathi Idol was damaged in Narasarao pet (Guntur Dist)
19) 17.10.2020 – Main entrance of Sri Veerabhadra swami temple was damaged I Tarlapadu
20) Hanuman Idol was damaged near Yanam (East Godavari Dist)
21) Lord Shri Rama Idol was damaged in Vizainagaram
22) Karthikeya Idol was damaged in Rajahmundry.
And also, temple lands of TTD and Mantralayam were put for auction and later the orders to auction were kept on hold due to public and political pressure.
The people of the state are clueless to understand what is happening to the belief system they have nurtured through many years.
Accusations and counter accusations
Series of concerning incident in Andhra Pradesh, many Hindu temples attacked, their deities mutilated and their properties have been attached and it appears that it is a systematically planned exercise.
- Ruling party YSRCP blames the opposition saying that opposition wants to disturb the process of big welfare schemes. Hence TDP is behind the attack to divert the attention of people from welfare programs. The Jagan Government ran into a controversy soon after it came to power when it appointed a family member as the Chairman of Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam. The chief minister comes from a devout Christian family.
- TDP blames YSRCP saying that the Christian CM wants to convert the entire state and hence the systemic attack on temples one after another.
- BJP is saying, why only temples are targets under TDP and YSRCP.
- Devotees allege that the staff and boards of Hindu temples and trustees are filled by Christians and athiests. Madrassas and churches are managed by respective community on their own, why Hindu temples need state control which is against the secular spirit of the constitution.
- Ruling party politicians promise speedy justice, but political parties are not active in restoring the justice to the hate crimes committed against the Hindu religion.
TDP’s leader and former civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju addressed the media via video messaging and he released a detailed document mentioning various elements constituting the attacks on temples. Here is the exhibit
Attacks will be stopped if
- All religions are treated as per true secular spirit of the constitution
- The government should stop arresting political leaders and detaining them.
- There is awareness among Hindus about their rights and duties
- Temples should be freed from the authority of the government and managed by trustees by Dharmic Parishad
- Rights of the deities should be restored
- CCTV surveillance in all temples and strict punishments to attackers are enforced at faster pace
- Youth should take active part in maintaining the cultural ethos of the Hindu religion and to stop conversion
Hindu community that is educated in big cities has been brainwashed to feel that if they talk about Hinduism or fight for it, people around them get judgmental about the person ;
1) she/he has become fundamentalist
2) closed minded
5) “something is wrong” etc
Not knowing how to pray properly, no knowledge about dharma is considered to be “carefree”, open mindedness.
Now for fighting for Hinduism rights gets them a “Bhakt” tag instantly, which they feel shows them in some poor light. Liberal is classy, while “Sanatani” is primitive.
People of any area would never fight for a subject like Hinduism. Highly conservative society, not revolutionary, laid back approach is the rule in Andhra. They don’t mess up in social matters. They have huge intrinsic energy in them, they don’t use it all. See them dance in community programs, boys, girls all, you will be shocked. They dance so fast and at so much loud music. Ask them to stand up for their culture & for their rights, they won’t. Can be easily brainwashed and manipulated. Politicians follow money reimbursement politics to win votes. I feel conversion is not even a topic of worry in the minds of common people in Andhra at least. And this trend needs to be reversed with a strong support movement from Hindus, by Hindus and for Hindus.