A day prior to foundation laying ceremony of Ram Temple, the four-phased Ramarchan puja has begun to invoke the major gods and goddesses who consider Lord Ram as their ‘Ishth’ (the god of worship) at Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi on Tuesday.

The prayers begun around 10:30 am with Vedic saints conducting the prayers facing Ramlalla on his temporary seat. As part of the religious ceremonies ahead of main Bhoomi Pujan on August 5, Lord Ganesh prayers were conducted on Monday.

Elaborating on the importance of Ramarchan Pujan, Satyanarayan Das, the priest reciting mantras in the pujan told ANI, “In our Vaishnav mode of prayers, Ramarchan prayers are taken from Bhavishtottar Khand. Before Lord Ram arrives, we invite and worship every important god and goddess. These gods and goddesses would acknowledge Lord Ram as their ‘Ishth’ (god of worship). It is after praying to them, we begin prayers of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.”

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According to Das, every god and goddesses has a distinct place in the puja mandap.

Gods and goddesses like Mahadevi, Lord Shankar, Ganesh, 10 digpal and Shodash Mata are worshipped in these prayers.

Explaining it further, Das elucidated who are worshipped and why they are worshipped in Ramarchan prayers.

“This Ramarchan Pujan will be conducted in four phases. First will be of regular gods and then we will enter Ayodhya and second phase worship will be of Ayodhya and also of Lord Ram’s soldiers and generals like Nal, Neel and Sugreev. In the third phase, Dashrath with his wives will be worshipped and then all three brothers, as well as their wives and Hanuman Ji, will too be worshipped. In the fourth phase, Lord Ram will be worshipped,” explained Das.

Lord Ram will be worshipped by chanting of his 1,008 names and offered tulsi.

Mahesh Bhagchandka, one of the Yajman in the Bhoomi Pujan and trustee of Ashok Singhal Foundation also participated in the ceremony.

“This is blessings of Lord Ram and elders. We were waiting for this for 500 years. Ashok Ji departed from this world but everyone around him took to his cause and we would be doing Bhoomi Pujan tomorrow. Yesterday, we prayed to Lord Ganesh with 108 laddoos,” stated Bhagchandka.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5.

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