Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a city called Ayodhya. A peaceful place, where religions prospered and wisdom bloomed. Many a Dasharath came and went. For thousands of years tranquility prevailed. This picture was to change one day. Cause once again a Kaykayi asked for two boons ... Raam to be exiled and Bharat to be crowned!
Raam was Dasharath’s choice. Raam was the Minister’s choice. Raam was the people’s choice. Earlier, as a king, Raam had discarded his Queen for his people. And today, a Dasharath was inclined to discard his people’s wish for his Queen! Dasharath commanded Raam to leave Ayodhya. Where is his struggle for survival? Cause Dasharath is sure to die without Raam.
One wonders, why Kaykayi is pampered? What is the quality that prioritizes her wants? Is it her status as the 'second one' that makes her older than the oldest, and wiser than the wisest? So what if the majority wished for Raam to be the king of Ayodhya? So what if Bharat was a minor? Or, on second thoughts, was that his qualification?
Laxman, the man of action, given his way, would have preferred to use the sword and re-establish Raam-rajya. It is only the golden hearted, elder brother Raam who prevents blood shed in family.
Abolished from Ayodhya, Raam, Laxman and Seeta are now living in the forests. Dasharath is dead. Bharat has not been coroneted nor is he declared as the crown prince of Ayodhya. Without a ruler, Ayodhya is an orphan.
Last time, Bharat condemned and disowned Kaykayi and asked Raam to return. But this time, it is almost 500 years, and there is still no sign of Bharat. Today’s Bharat amazingly supports the actions of his ancestor Kaykai. He is yet to realize that he is not fit to rule Ayodhya. There have been more than 76-armed conflicts for the throne of Ayodhya. 300,000 people have sacrificed their lives to bring back Raam. One has to be blind, not to notice this sacrifice.
When will Bharat realize that he is second to Raam in every respect? Ayodhya and its people’s well being lies in the return of Raam. Restitution of Ayodhya to Raam makes Bharat greater than Raam. Will Bharat be mature enough to learn that Ayodhya does not belong to him, will Laxman's patience end, or will Raam follow the steps of Bibheeshan and Sugreev? Being the king of Ayodhya is the destiny of Raam. He has to return. Who brings him back is the question, Bharat or Lakshman?
If Bharat brings him back, they all live happily ever after.
These are some temples elsewhere in the world that were converted into mosques, now reinstated or converted to secular buildings.
- The Matthias Church, Budapest: Following the capture of Buda in 1541 the church was converted into mosque. It was restored as a church in the 19th century.
- The Parthenon, Greece: It was built in 438BC as a Greek temple of Athena. Later it was converted into a Christian church. Under Turkish rule it was converted into a mosque. Today it stands as a national monument.
- Hagia Sophia, Turkey: The church of Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque. Christian mosaic icons were covered with whitewash. In 1934, the Turkish government secularized the building, converting it into a museum, and restoring the original mosaics.
- Church of the Saviour, Turkey: The church of the Saviour in Chora, was converted into the Kariye Mosque. The building is now a museum renowned for its 14th-century mosaics, marbles, and frescoes.
- Kars, Turkey: This building has been converted from church to mosque and back to church. Today it serves as a museum.
- Theotokos Kyriotissa Church, Istanbul - A late twelfth century church dedicated to Saint Mary Kyriotissa. Was converted into a mosque. Today it can be seen in the Byzantine section of the Museum of Archeology.
- Ayodhya - Summary of facts - R. K. Hariprasad and Sonu Nadira
- Consensus on Ayodhya – T V R Shenoy
- Truth In History - Temple Destruction - Vivek Gumaste
Footnote 1: History of Ayodhya
- Since the ancient times a temple has always marked the Ram-janma bhoomi. The most recent temple was built by the Garhwal King Govindachandra (1114 - 1154AD) in 12th century. It is described in the shila-lekh as a magnificent temple with golden steeples.
- 1528: Destruction the Ayodhya temple by Mir Baqi on Babar’s command. Babar built a three dome structure here.
- 1528-1605: Hindus launched 34 attacks in which more than 100,000 people were killed. In the later part of his rule, Akbar allowed Hindus to build a platform known as 'Raam Chabutra', and to install and worship images of Raam Parivar in the Babri compound.
- 1658-1707: Hindus fought 30 battles. Aurungzeb's army was defeated in one battle led by Guru Gobind Singh. Four years later, Aurungzeb again attacked Ayodhya and regained control after killing 10,000 Hindus.
- 1789 AD: Peshwas were working for more than 50 years to restore the 3 temples. In 1789 AD Mahadji Shinde annexed Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi, but due to his untimely demise was not able to restore the temples of Raam Janma Bhoomi, Krishna Janma Bhoomi and Kashi Vishweshwar back to Hindus.
- 1798-1857: Hindus fought 10 battles.
- 1857: Local Muslim leader Amir Ali persuaded the Muslims to finally hand over the disputed place to Hindus and jointly fight the British. However British won the War of 1857 and Amir Ali and Hindu leader Baba Raam Charan Das were publicly hanged from a tree near the Raam Janma Bhoomi. The British subsequently put a railing wall between Babri structure and the courtyard and Hindus had no choice but to do puja outside in the courtyard.
- 1912-1934: Hindus fought 2 armed conflicts.
- 1989 Rajiv Gandhi: The locks on the doors of the temporary temple were opened and a Shilanyas was performed.
- 6 Dec 1992: Demolition of the Babri structure by Hindus.
- Raam has been worshipped in the Babri structure, or in the compound throughout the period from 1528. On the other hand a Namaj has never been offered in the same structure. It cannot be termed as a Masjid. It has always functioned as a Raam Temple.
- Sept 2010: Disputed site in Ayodhya is Ram's birthplace: High Court. Allahabad High Court rules that the site should be split, Hindus getting control of a third, Nirmohi Akhara sect another third and the Muslim community the remainder.
Footnote 2: Archeology findings in Ayodhya
- The Babri structure had 14 pillars made of 'Kasauti' black stone that had Hindu images.
- A piece of a doorjamb in Babri compound had images of 'Mukut-dhari Dwarpal' and 'Devakanyas'.
- Several beautifully carved images of Parashuram, Balram, and Shiv-Parvati were found.
- Hindu images dating to 1st to 3rd Century AD were found.
- A 2ft x 4.5ft buff sandstone tablet was found in the excavations. This 'SHILA LEKH' bears an inscription in Devanagari script and Sanskrit language, and describes an ancient Raam Mandir.
- The excavation showed 50 pillar bases of burnt bricks of the preexisting temple.
- The excavations found ancient perimeters made of bricks that predate the time of Babur, and walls that were anchored with beautiful stone pieces bearing carved Hindu ornamentations like lotus, Kaustubh jewel, alligator facade, etc.