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Ayodhya is not just a Place, its more…

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In the heat of the moment, came to fore my memories of 2010, when I was accused of being communal to suggest that Ayodhya be Coronated with Temple of Ram. Accusations coming from my friends and relatives often made me reconsider my position, trail of thoughts however, leads me only to one and only conclusion, which manifested itself today. Ayodhya, the name again justifies itself.

Of the name “Ayodhya”

Sage Valmiki, names Capital of Kings belonging to Clan of Sun, also called “Suravansh”, as “Ayodhya”, However, Brahmanas, annexed with Vaidik scriptures relate another reason for City’s name. Ikshvaku son of Lord Vaivaswat Manu had a hundred sons, among whom Vikukshi was the eldest. Vikukshi a formidable and was never ever defeated, which earned him the sobriquet “Ayodh” meaning, one who can’t be fought against, and thus he named his Capital “Ayodhya” the City which cannot be won.
City stands at the banks of famous river “Sarayu” and was said to have nine Access points imitating the Human body.

Of the Kings

The Surayavanshis were divided into many warrior subclans, there were Ikshwakus, Narishyantas (Historically “Sakas”), Dharshtakas (Historically “Scythians”), Karushas (Historically a sub clan of “Abhirs”) and Prushadhras.

Sun clan, in general is one of the three most revered warrior clans in India. However, Ikshwaku was the eldest among all his brothers and thus the kingdom of Madhya Desh (“Middle land”) was received by him, His clan was cream of the crop, even among rest of Suryavanshis. Brahmanas and Puranas unanimously praise them for their valor, Piety, renunciation, Charity, veracity and clemency. The glory of Kings of this clan is so much, that to this date it is not called Clan of Ram, but “Raghukul” clan of Raghu, “Ikshwakuvansh” house of Ikshwaku, It is one of the strangest and shocking things in today’s environment, where people kill for identity politics and credit!

Other famous Kings of this clan are, Pruthu (Who believed to be father of Prithavi) and Sudas (who defeated 10 armies at once in Dasa Rajan War). Shravasta, the king who raised the “Sharavasti”, Sagar (the King who believed to have brought river Ganga from heavens), Dileep (King who was ready to sacrifice himself for saving life of a cow), Raghu (the King who caused Gold to rain!), Harishchandra (the king who sold himself, his wife and his child for keeping up with his promises), and Dasharatha (The King who defeated Asuras for 1000 years and Father of lord Rama). The list is not exhaustive, but it will suffice to note that every person belonging to this clan had added to the glory of this family.

Other notable personalities and affiliations

Ayodhya, was not known for its universities or Serene beauty or riches, rather it was a seat of power, and just like any other seats it has given birth to many satellite States. We have noted Shravasti, similarly there is Lav-pur (contemporary “Lahore”), Kush-pur (Contemporary “Kasoor”). The initiator of Buddhism, Lord Buddh and Lord Mahavira both have connections with Ayodhya, As both were born in Sun clan (while Buddha was born in “Shakya” republic, or more accurately Sakas, Ayodhya is considered birthplace of five great Theerthankars viz, Rishabhanatha, Ajitanatha, Abhinandananatha, Sumatinatha and Anantnatha). Guru Nanak Dev too belonged to a branch of Solar clan. In his life time he visited Ayodhya (around 1510 AD) and described the architecture of the city in detail. Interestingly his account has played a key role in suit related to Ayodhya reclamation. 

Myth and Reality

A few years back, History is believed to be a straight line, and every event during its course should neatly have spaced into that line or else latter will be condemned to remain a “Myth”. However, recent Idea of History which coincides with Indian Concept of History as well is that, the events always happen in parallel and yet they have an effect over each other. Civilisations of the past might not be as disconnected as they seem and Ayodhya can be a good case study in this sense. Consider this: King Ikshwaku is also known by the name, “Shashaad”, interestingly Persia has a dynasty whose name closely resembles “Shashaad” (“Sassanids”), Similarly King Pruthu’s name has a similar connotation with an Iranian tribe, “Parthians”. Interestingly, “Ram” Means “the one who brings to light” and again we have a Hawk faced god “Ra” in Egypt!

A few years back Member of Parliament from Congress Sh. Shashi Tharoor had written a piece in India Today, connecting Bhagwan Ram to City of Harappa. It will be interesting to see if in future Historians connect the dots and find out relation of Ayodhya with other Civilisations of the past.

The Successors

After collapse of central and unifying authority of Guptas, Ayodhya faced terrible attacks from invaders like Turks and Afghans, although attacks were frequent on all Hindu centres, but this was thwarted by Kings like Rana Kumbha, Maharaja Suhel Dev etc.

However, Babur’s general Mir Banki captured Ayodhya in 1528 and a resistance began, Rana Sanga, Medini Rai, Rajpoots, Lodhs, Nishads, Sikhs, Jaats, Nihangs, Nirankaris, Nagas and many like them sacrificed themselves to see the temple of beloved Ram at this holy of holies, according to an estimate Hindus have fought 80 battles to reclaim Ayodhya, longest among them was won at Supreme Court of India culminating in the building of Ram Temple.

The future Ayodhya holds for us

Return of Shri Ram at Ayodhya has lead to the rejoice and festivities, however, it is also a time for introspection. It is a time to ask ourselves that how a few hundred brigands have defeated the capital of that king whose name outshines even Lord Ram? How and why we have kept the caste and forgot what we have to contribute to make our membership worthwhile? Why have we stopped exploring our roots? Why have we became morbidly passive towards our traditions and values? Most of all why we have stopped keeping true heroes and placed our trust in false Idols?

Ayodhya is not a mere coincidence, it was effort of at least 15 generations of Indians working in tandem. Ayodhya is living evidence of United India. 

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