Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh): The Shaligram stones weighing 40 tonnes have arrived at Ayodhya from Nepal. Sculptors will chisel them for making idols. The devotees will install the idols at the under-construction Ram Mandir. They may be just stones for some but for Hindus they are priceless.
According to an estimate, these Shaligram stones are about 60 million years old. These priceless Shaligram stones have been obtained from the holy Kaligandaki river of Nepal. The saints of Nepal and the Shri Ram Mandir Trust took this decision after joint deliberations. Before sending them to Ayodhya, the saints kept them in Janaki Mandir in Janakpur. After duly worshippingthem, they sent them to the Shri Ram temple with great enthusiasm.
During its journey, people in Nepal and Bharat welcomed this priceless heritage with respect, reverence and faith when they passed by their homes on way to ultimate destination.
Nepal: the forgotten link
And what makes this event even more special is the bond between India and Nepal. This will not only strengthen Indo-Nepal relations, but also continue to reveal the faith, harmony, unity and mutual dependence of both countries forever. Before the colonial dark age, Nepal was a part of cultural Bharat.
These Shaligram stones will not only keep refreshing the ancient relations in the present situation, but also play an important role in building a perpetual cultural bridge in Indo-Nepal ties. India-Nepal ties have remained consistent in the geographical, economic, social and cultural spheres. But, the last two decades have seen some ups and downs.
The expansionist China has made every possible effort to take control of our small neighbour. For this it created a rift in Indo-Nepal relations. China used the pretext of economic, military and political assistance to create this rift. The Dragon was able to sour these cordial relations to some extent by indirectly influencing coalition government of the small country. Former Central governments of India did not give due importance to this friendly small neighbour.
Not only Shaligram
However, this small neighbour has had a strong cultural and spiritual bond with India as a Hindu nation in the past. Mithilanchal region of Bihar province and its culture spreads till Nepal. Apart from Nepali, Maithili is the second official language in this neighbouring country.
As per sacred texts, Sita had originated in the Sitamarhi District of northern Bihar. the learned father of Sita, King Janak was its ruler. At that time, the capital of Mithila was Janakpur, presently a part of Nepal.
The mutual dependence between both countries can also be gauged from the fact that more than 60 per cent of Nepali youth are recruited in the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army. The much decorated Gorkha Regiment has a golden history of contribution and sacrifice in the Indian Army. Unfortunately, there are certain elements supported by the Maoists who are fueling anti-India sentiments. But thankfully, they have miserably failed in their pursuit.
These Shaligram stones, planned to form the core of much celebrated SHRI RAM MANDIR in Ayodhya will play an important role in building a perpetual cultural bridge in Indo-Nepal relations.