In Ayodhya, a temple that is open to all faiths

In Ayodhya, a temple that is open to all faiths

The temple in the Hanuman Garhi area has emerged as a symbol of communal harmony in this historic town, about 150 km from state capital Lucknow, which has lately been in the news over a much-awaited verdict in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri mosque title suits.
"Journalists have always focussed on the negative aspect of Ayodhya which is related to the demolition of the mosque...Virtually no one took the initiative to report this unique temple that welcomes people of various religions," Hanuman Prasad, 45, the temple priest, told IANS.

Not many know that Ayodhya, which was at the heart of a Hindu-Muslim controversy when the Babri mosque was brought down in 1992 by Hindu mobs, has this living example of harmony.

"Those coming here for the first time are taken by surprise after they see idols and images of gods of different religions and places of worship sharing a common platform," said Prasad.According to residents, the temple derived its name from a Gujarat-based businessman and social worker, Laljibhai Satya Sanehi, who got it constructed around 60 years ago for promoting harmony among people of different religions.

"Satyar is made of two Hindi words 'Satya' (true) and 'yar' (friend). The temple in a real sense is living up to its name as Hindus, Muslims and people from other religions visit this temple," said Pankaj Ranjan, a local resident who is a visitor.

"I get a unique sense of satisfaction and peace at this temple. Though I primarily come here to seek blessings from Lord Rama, I don't forget to bow before the gods of other religions," he said.

Popular among Ayodhya residents, people from various religions make regular contributions for its maintenance and upkeep.Though the daily prayers and other rituals are conducted as per Hindu tradition, it is ensured that social events are organised on the occasion of festivals celebrated by Muslims, Christians and people of other religion.
"With the help of funds raised by local residents, we distribute food, clothes and other essential items among the poor and needy on festivals celebrated by the people of different religions," Sheetla Singh, an official of the temple's management, told IANS on telephone.

People believe that  more places of multi-religious worship like the Satyar temple of Ayodhya should be set up in other parts of the country."If worship places are set up on the lines of the Satyar temple, the exercise would go a long way in promoting communal harmony and uniting people from various religions," said Shabkadar Alam, an Ayodhya resident.

Even as the Ayodhya verdict - which was to be delivered by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Sep 24 - has been deferred till Sep 28, people here are hoping the temple will keep this town in the news for better reasons.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)